New Democrat (Monrovia)

30 January 2013

Liberia: Stronger & Safer - Ellen Declares Liberia

Contrary to perceptions that Liberia's security is "fragile and unstable," President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has assured Liberians that their country is now 'stronger' and 'safer' than ever before.

"Today, our republic is safer, stronger and better. In our various places of worship, let us give thanks and praises to the Almighty God for the good and mercy He continues to bestow on our nation.

"I am proud to report that today's Liberia is one considered a true friend to many, a good neighbor in our region, a reliable contributor to international peace and security, and an improving destination for investors," the President declared in her state of the nation address at the Capitol Monday.

Liberia was considered by the world as an insecure country during the height of it's civil conflict that left over 250,000 persons dead and massive ruined infrastructure in the country painted Liberia insecure in the world.

Though there remain some huge challenges, President Sirleaf said: "Today, the country's image has tremendously and positively changed over the past years.

She told the lawmakers hat the overall crime rate that once posed a huge challenge to national security has now reduced and that the relationships between the police and the communities have become strengthened.

"As President, I pledge to continue to mobilize the resources of our country to achieve this transformative aspiration. My Fellow Liberians, the determination of this administration to transform our country and the will of our people for us to succeed is built upon the foundation of getting our priorities right.

"We have our priorities right! We are investing in our people and infrastructure, energy, road and ports so as to guarantee our future prosperity.

"We have planned well, we know what we want, now is time for transformation," she said.

President Sirleaf emphasized that in formulating national vision 2030, two plans critical in the achievement of such goals set out in a vision were developed--the five-year agenda for transformation and the reconciliation road maps.

"The agenda for transformation was formulated through an extensive participatory consultations in all regions and districts in Liberia as well as the diaspora to allow the Liberian people to determine their priority and make their inputs into the development agenda for the country," she said.

To ensure that growth and development are inclusive, President Sirleaf also said that the agenda for transformation also pays special attention to issues of fragility, social cohesiveness and marginalization.

"The agenda for transformation represents a departure from our economic development experience described as one of those without development.

"We have learnt the lessons of the past. We want to step and shape our economy from it dependence on natural resources to one that has a broader base, create more jobs in a place where everyone especially Liberians can do business and where the country's wealth is share equally," she insisted.

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