Liberia: How to End Poverty

As we commemorate the 75th Birth Anniversary of the United Nations on October 24, 2020, we know that the United Nations was founded to bring peace to the world. Peace to the world can come only when there is Justice for All. In the midst of the prevailing violence globally, especially in West Africa, let us become motivated to end poverty so that it can no longer be used as a pretext for violence, including Civil War.

To end any problem, it is most important to know the source of the problem. Any problem comes from the decisions made by decision-makers. From the family, the community and to the Country, there are decision-makers. When Parents and Guardians help children to choose right over wrong, then they develop a sense of justice, where everyone, male and female, young and old, is treated fairly/equally, meaning that everyone has access to equal opportunities.

When the access to opportunities becomes unequal, then poverty sets in because some people can enter the door of benefits while other people are not allowed to enter. Some people get the power to deprive other people from being treated fairly because they get their power through inheritance and corruption, where some people take for themselves what belongs to other people. The powerful people get some people to work for them but the workers get very little of the value of the work/production while the employers get the big share of that value. These powerful people are supported by even more powerful people in the big countries, called developed or advanced countries. The local and foreign powerful alliance makes sure that their choices for national leadership get elected through an electoral system set up by them. Out of this electoral system come national decision-makers who work to make sure, through corruption and violent means, that the decision-makers in the developed countries get the raw materials produced in the undeveloped countries. In this way, the rich within countries get richer while the poor get poorer and the gap between the developed and undeveloped countries becomes wider (UN/WB/IMF/ADB).

Now that we know where poverty comes from, we can proceed to knowing how to end it. On account of the fact that the powerful national decision-makers get elected through an unfair electoral system, national decision-makers who take actions to bring Justice for All can be elected only when the electoral system becomes fair. How will the electoral system become fair? The electoral system will become fair only when the knowledgeable people take united non-violent actions to raise awareness among the masses of the people in ways that motivate them to work together non-violently to change the electoral system from an unfair one to a fair one. We must bear in mind that powerful people use violence to prevent the masses from changing the electoral system for the better. The masses must persist in their democratic actions and not be intimidated by the powerful decision-makers. In their persistence, with globalization in existence, they will be joined in the global democratic alliance by the unfairly treated masses in other countries to build up enough power to change the electoral system from unfair to fair, from bad to good.

When the 40th Anniversary of the Commemoration of the United Nations Human Rights Charter was held in Paris, France, I was there and it was concluded in the Paris Declaration that the main problem was the lack of implementation of the Human Rights provision in the Constitutions globally. The Constitutions around the world declared that "All People is with the People" but such was not being implemented. When the Power to the People posture is achieved, then the masses of the people will participate in the making of decisions that affect them and they will choose poverty eradication over poverty generation. Then the masses of the people will be able to produce what they consume and their national decision-makers will take action to add value to human and natural resources, leading to manufacturing and economic growth with economic development, where there is improvement in living standards sustainably. Growth with development means poverty is eradicated as the economy grows, as seen in the People's Republic of China, where the poverty rate has declined from 80 percent to less than 5 percent in four decades (UN/WB/IMF). In effect, with poverty eradication, the use of poverty as a pretext for violence becomes non-existent. Democracy, Power to the People, end poverty, through the Rule of Law, the Constitution of a Nation.

The Author

Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh is the Founding Leader, Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) and Chairperson, Servants of Africa Fighting Epidemics (SAFE).

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