The New Dawn (Monrovia)

19 December 2012

Liberia: Traditional Council Angry Over Unemployment

The National Traditional Council of Liberia (NTCL) has warned that development here remains elusive if President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf continues to appoint Liberians living in the United States.

Chief Zanzan Karwor, Head of the Council told the media that Diaspora Liberians were not working for the development of the country but in their own interest, noting that they were working and sending money back to the United States and Europe for development when such should remain here for the Liberia's development.

"When Ellen was elected, she said only degree holders will be appointed in her government which prompted many people to go back to school, and that was something good," Karwor lamented.

He continued, "But now, our children are graduating from university or other higher institutions with papers (degrees) here and they need jobs to make their contributions to the country," Karwor said.

According to him, when employed in positions of trust in government- whether cabinet ministers, directors or commissioners, the earnings of these home-based Liberians would remain here for the development of the country which will trigger down to others.

"Because the local graduates from various universities or colleges would want to do something for themselves and the country by way of development instead of sending money abroad to support family members and friends," Karwor said.

Unemployment is an issue of national concerned, but Liberia's labor force survey report, covering 2010 showed that 78.4% of the citizens were vulnerably employed, while 3.7% were unemployed. These statistics were released in September, 2012 by the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Service (LISGIS) and Labor Ministry.

However, Liberia has 32 accredited universities and colleges which grant associate, bachelor and master's degrees. These institutions outdoor hundreds of graduates annually for the job market in a country where there is limited private sector investment despite government's public declaration of US$15 billion investment in the economy.

But observers here see the Council's warning as a wake-up called to the President to limit the continue appointment of these failed diaspora Liberians into various positions.

"Most of these people who live in Diaspora (US and Europe) for years did not acquire anything or bring back home something; most of them return with fake document(s) used to cajole the President through those closed to her for appointments," said Rajah Kweh, a resident of PHP Community south of Monrovia, writes TKS.

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