22 February 2013

Liberia: Finance Min. - Poverty Remains Pervasive

Despite many progress and investment being made in the last 10 years, Finance Minister Amara Konneh has said poverty remains pervasive in the country. Minister Konneh admitted out that the investment has not had a trickle-down effect on the ordinary Liberians as government would have wanted it to be.

The Liberia's Finance Minister made these comments Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at the launch of two new projects by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), Liberia Media Center (LMC) and the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA). The two projects include: the Constituency Communication Platform (CCP), which is supported by IREX with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Two-Way Budget SMS, which is supported and funded by OSIWA.

The joint projects, which were launched at the "Market Place" in Monrovia, were launched under the theme: "SMS for transparency". According to Minister Konneh, this is largely due to the enormous challenges created by the war.

He stressed the need for further strengthening of economic stability in order to appreciate the dividends of the inclusive growth, which according to him, is currently taking place. In response to these realities, he said government's strategy as captured in the new expanded five-year development agenda-the Agenda for Transformation (AfT), is to diversify the economy.

Minister Konneh, who recounted Liberia's progress since the country returned to normalcy, lauded IREX and OSIWA for buttressing government's drive to ensure fiscal accountability.

He thanked the organizers of this landmark program for providing the platform that addresses critical issues surrounding public financial management and the close collaboration that should characterize the interaction within the public sector, civil society organizations and the citizenry, with the view to enhancing public access to information, especially around the budget and state expenditure. "The SMS for transparency program jointly supported by IREX and OSIWA in many ways buttresses our own drive to ensure fiscal accountability," he amongst other things added.

Meanwhile, the two projects will be implemented by the Liberia Media Center (LMC).

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