17 March 2012
The people of Liberia gave their vote of confidence to President Helen Sirleaf Johnson, after a tense and sometimes violent election, which saw the president extending an olive branch to former rebel fighter – opposition leader Prince Johnson. Many have described this messy political forge as a ‘marriage of convenience’.
But the International Monetary Fund (IMF) appears satisfied with the direction the country’s troubled economy is heading.
After meeting officials of the government – including; the Minister of Finance – Amara Konneh; Central Bank of Liberia Executive Governor – Joseph Mills Jones, head of IMF mission Mr. Christopher Lane on the 14 March 2012, said that; “Economic prospects for 2012 and over the medium term remain favourable.”
Although the IMF was in Liberia to discuss the eighth and final review of the country’s economic performance, financed under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), it also briefed the government on “the potential role of the IMF in financing and supporting the implementation of the authorities’ Economic Growth and Development Strategy and on policy options to manage mineral revenue”.
In his statement to the media, Christopher Lane said that:
“Recent economic developments have been broadly encouraging. Preliminary estimates indicate a boost of real GDP growth to 6-7 percent in 2011, the exchange rate against the US dollar has been broadly stable, and international reserves have increased.
“Strong exports were supported by high rubber prices and the restart of iron ore production after more than two decades. However, persistent high food and oil prices in global commodity markets contributed to an uptick in inflation and an increase in trade deficit.
“Performance under the ECF-supported program has remained strong through end-December 2011. All quantitative performance criteria and an indicative target were comfortably met.
“Progress has been made in implementing the structural reform program: the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) roadmap for capital market development is under preparation; and the expansion of the integrated financial management system continued and is planned to extend into line ministries during 2012.
“Economic prospects for 2012 and over the medium term remain favourable. The expansion of iron ore exports will support high GDP growth in 2013 and in the medium term.
“Downward risks are mostly linked to the increased volatility of international commodity prices, which could raise inflationary pressures and depress private consumption growth.
“The Financial Year 2013 budget is being prepared for the first time with a medium-term expenditure framework. The mission strongly supports the authorities’ plans to expand spending on programs and projects, notably for infrastructure, agriculture and youth. To this end, steps will be taken to consolidate the FY2012 good tax revenue performance and to contain discretionary recurrent spending.
“The mission welcomes the authorities’ commitment to enhance financial oversight of state owned enterprises and to re-define their mandates while strengthening the governance framework in line with best practices.
“In addition, measures will be taken to further improve the banking supervision framework, establish a loan recovery unit, and build a national payments system that will substantially contribute to financial sector development.”
Bravo to you President Helen Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia, may the showers of blessings from heaven pour upon your soul and continue guiding you and providing you with all the human strength and farsightedness to honestly lead your people and country out of suffering and poverty, to provide them the confidence and environment to be part of the real human world and to strengthen the peace process by bringing every tribes in Liberia together and treating them like one people serving under the Liberia flag. God bless you madam President.
Unlike responsible nations blessed with wise and farsighted leaders in Africa and around the world, Sierra Leone still remain to be govern by one of the remaining dictators, heartless, violence-driven and seasoned corrupt people bent on finishing the remains of the 11 years rebel war in Sierra Leone, but specially in the south/eastern part of the country.
God will surely guide and protect our armless and innocent people from the hands of this remaining evil and hypocritical leader left after Gaddafi, Saddam Hussien and comrades. President Ernest Bai Koroma, you will not succeed in your destructive plans, you might have all the weapons and all the money but that will not intimidate us the ordinary people and will not put an end to human revolution in that part of Sierra Leone.
Your true record within the past four years clearly demonstrate your hatred for the south/easterners. Everybody knows that your intention is to use the form three graduate Musa Tarawally and Tom Nyuma to arm them to the teeth against their own people.
What kind of people and political party that is only known for violence, human destruction, corruption, tribalism and backwardness? Anything that is not moving forward is moving backward, that’s the position Sierra Leone finds herself in.
The world is moving ahead, Sierra Leonean people are yarning for better lives, progress and development for all. Mr. President even though your days in state house are numbered because the november 17th election is going to be a referendum on your leadership vis-a-vis progress made in the lives of our people, but it’s always important to learn from the examples of responsible leaders like president Johnson of Liberia.