21 June 2019

Liberia: We'll Turn This Country Around

Liberia's Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweah, is optimistically passionate about the government's resolve to reversing the current dismal state of the economy and improve standard of life of the Liberian people.

Minister Tweah says with collaboration from international partners, including the World Bank, the European Union, USAID and the International Monetary Fund, among others, the government development roadmap, Pro-Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity or PADP, is on course.

Tweah expresses his optimism in remarks made at a farewell reception for departing World Bank Country Manager to Liberia, Ms. Larisa Leshchenko, and Country Director, Dr. Henry Kerali, respectively, held Tuesday, 19 June in the diplomatic enclave Mamba Point, Monrovia.

Ms. Leschenko, a Ukrainian, returns to New York for reposting, while Dr. Kerali, a Sudanese, leaves Liberia for Afghanistan.

The Finance boss recalls fond memories of Ms Leshchenko in working together to place government development programs on the right trajectory, while welcoming her successor, Mr. Khwima Nthara, to Liberia.

Mr. Nthara is a Malawian. He joined the World Bank family in 2005 as an Economist in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Department. He arrived here Sunday, 16 June and formally assumes duty effective 01 August 2019.

Subsequent speakers, including the United States Ambassador to Liberia, Ms Christian Elders, similarly express profound memories of Ms. Leschenko, whom they describe as a workaholic.

Liberia's Minister of Education, Professor Ansu Sonii, hails her for the Bank's support to education under her tenure, while Minister of Youth and Sports, Zeogar Wilson, was found of praises for the Youth Opportunities Project or YOP under the auspices of the World Bank.

Minister Tweah has no alternative, but to remain optimistic. The economy is walloping in serious recession with exchange rate and prices simultaneously sky-rocketing while purchasing power of ordinary citizens dwindles amid public outcry for reforms.

In public, the government may appear serious in fighting graft by announcing plan to audit former offices, but critics say the administration should first take the mote in its own eyes by accounting for the US$25 million mop-up of excess liquidity that left no tangible impact and other unscrupulous expenditures it had made before going after the past regime.

Liberia

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