Tuesday, July 6, 2010

‘No Room for Complacency: U.S Ambassador Declares at $US15M Grant Signing

07/07/2010 - Nat Nyuan Bayjay, nbayjay@frontpageafrica.com ( 231-77-402-737

“Ghana, Senegal and Mali have enjoyed this Threshold Program, Ghana coming as an example where U.S$ 500,000,000 where alot were being done, and with such funds available to Liberia, a lot can be done in road constructions, health and even improve the lives of the citizens with some jobs creation."

Dr. Linda Thomas Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to Liberia

Monrovia -

The United States Ambassador to Liberia, Linda Thomas-Greenfield has said the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) given assistance to Liberia is due to the hard work from the government over the past five years.

She said Liberia is now enjoying free press, political debate, open budgets and improving management of natural resources. She stressed that despite the government current efforts in putting citizens in school and the development process, more need to be done.

The Ambassador spoke Tuesday when a US$ 15M dollars grant was signed between the Liberian Government and the MCC for Threshold Program which is expected to last for three years.

Some of the students who will benefit from the fifteen million U.S. grant at signing ceremony Tuesday.

Ambassador Greenfield said the MCC Threshold Program should be handled by the government responsibly in all three areas, the land rights and access, girls’ primary education and trade policy. “Ghana, Senegal and Mali have enjoyed this Threshold Program, Ghana coming as an example where U.S$ 500,000,000 where alot were being done, and with such funds available to Liberia, a lot can be done in road constructions, health and even improve the lives of the citizens with some jobs creation,” the Ambassador said.

She told the audience that “There will be no room for complacency” during the implementation of the funds, adding that many countries do not always complete the transition from Threshold to Compact status because they failed to control corruption, but she is confident that Liberia will pass that stage and reach to the compact status as expected.

The Senior Advisor for MCC, Cassandra Butts in her remarks before the signing ceremony said Liberia and the United States of America share both history and hope for the future, relating to the 1820s when freed African-Americans and freed slaves from United States settled in Liberia. “Today, we remain partners on the number of fronts, from promoting democracy and good governance, to deepening security, to achieving sustainable development,” the Senior Advisor said.

USAID Director Pamela White and Planning and Economic Affairs Minister Amara Konneh sign grant Tuesday.

She added that the US Government, one of its most innovative models for the delivery of development assistance, the MCC invests in poor, but well-governed, countries. “Our partners share our commitment to good policies, to fighting corruption, to investing in their people and to broadening economic freedoms,” Madam Butts emphasized.

Madam Butts said the three years threshold program will focus on the land rights and access, girls’ primary education and trade policy. Saying “The three areas of concentration are necessary since they represent key constraints to economic growth, identified by Liberians themselves and as part of their own national development.”

Madam Butts further said the United States Agency for Development (USAID), headed by Pamela White will bring valuable field presence and expertise and MCC will focus on results through rigorous, transparent monitoring and evaluation.

President Sirleaf with U.S. lawmakers at signing ceremony Tuesday.
For her part, the President of Liberia, Madam Sirleaf said the coming of President Barrack Obama as US first Black President, many information came that the Threshold program will not continue and it was at the time the government was still working to be qualified to be a part of the program. But with President Obama continuing the program, she extends thanks to him and the US Congress for allowing the program to exist.

The Liberian leader said with the establishment of Girls Education Trust (GET), through the help of institutions from the United States and private individuals, more than 5,000 girls are on scholarships currently.

On the issue of girls’ primary education, the president said it has not complicated in getting girls to attend primary school, but when girls reached the junior high or senior level, for some reasons like poverty, early marriages sometimes serve as setbacks for girls to continue their higher education which she said is still a problem that the government is faced with.

She stressed all of the African nations have hoped over the years to have a trade policy instead of aid to put their natural resources to work and sustain their own development process. She extended thanks to the US Congressional delegates and hoped that the grant will improve the development process of Liberia.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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