12 December 2012

Liberia: Doubts Over Vision 2030

The national visioning conference on Liberia's economic development strategy taking place in the central region entered its second day yesterday with delegates expressing skepticism about the sustainability of Vision 2030.

Our reporter covering the conference at the Administrative Hall of Gbarnga, Bong County, said the question of sustaining Vision 2030 remains a major concern among the delegates.

The delegates, however, argued that for the vision to be sustainable, government must holistically address the issues of nepotism, corruption and the continuous marginalization of the disabled community in the country.

Thomas Romeo Quiah, assistance superintendent for Development in Sinoe County, speaking from the platform, suggested that a policy must be legislated to allow a succeeding government to work on the vision.

Looking back at previous efforts made for national visioning exercises, Dorithy Togba, a civil society advocate, also raised concern about the sustainability of Vision 2030. "We have had series of visions in this country. Former President Taylor brought the 2024 vision and today we are not hearing about it, so what is the assurance that this other vision would be sustained and how would it be sustained?" she inquired.

Other delegates also spoke about Vision 2013 that was launched shortly after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf assumed power in 2006. They said the failed visions did not create lasting impact on the people.

For his part, Steven Weah, a township commissioner in Grand Kru County, said that for the "vision to hold, our cities and towns must not be reduced."

He believes that when the rights of young people are protected and their capacity built, the country will be better in the next 18 years as proposed by the Vision 2030.

Others talked about the improvement of the security situation in the country. "We cannot be talking about the future of the country when the security sector of our country is still fragile. The government must invest more in the security of our state if they want to see a brighter future in the country," said Francis Colins.

McCathy G. Teah, one of the delegates from Sinoe County, stated that for vision 2030 policy to be sustained, the people of Liberia "must have the true spirit and passion to reconcile with one another."

"We must also invest into our young people. You cannot talk about a vision when a vast majority of your youthful population lack capacity," he said.

Daneila Daneils, an employee of the Gender Ministry, also emphasized that the rights of the children must not be neglected while discussing the document.

Women empowerment, capacity building for the youths, security and general inclusiveness are the key issues topping discussions among the delegates.

Under the theme, "Consolidating Citizen-centered Development," the conference seeks to tackle a scourge of Liberia's socio economic and political problems, with the view to reducing poverty and ensuring that the country rises from economic collapse to a middle income economy that will afford everybody the chance to have food on the table by 2030. Hundreds of delegates from home and abroad are attending the conference slated to end today.

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