“All Nations are Equal at Least on Paper”

-Liberian Lawyer Dissects Liberia, & Africa’s Economic & Governance Woes in New Book

A Liberian Investment Lawyer, Cllr. Mark M. M. Marvey, has authored a book entitled: “All Nations Are Equal At Least On Paper.”

In the book, Cllr. Marvey, who is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Better Future Foundation (BFF), expounded on how over the years, poor economic management has limited the ability of the Liberian nation to exert its sovereignty.

While highlighting poor regulatory frameworks, dysfunctional institutions and low human capacities which have opened Liberia, like many other African countries, up to exploitation and maneuvers by foreign companies, the US trained Liberian investment Lawyer, in the book, pinpointed the complexities that form the core of disgruntlements within the present frameworks for international trade, investments and global governance.

The book further showcases the effects of colonialism on Africa after about 60 to 80 years of exploitation of its natural and human resources by Western Powers, under the guise of Christianizing and civilizing the continent and how Africa was torn apart and plunged into a world molded by a web of laws fashioned by the Westerners that suppressed Africa’s values, considerably destroyed its environment and culture and rendered it well marginalized.

The Author also reflected on the poor governance and leadership abilities that have been demonstrated by many African leaders, underpinned by vain quest for power, entrenched cultures of impunity, abuse of rights, and corruption.

Cllr. Mark argues that all of these invoke and sustain the perception that Africans are incapable of democratic self-governance.

According to the Author, while poverty, illiteracy, and diseases continue to plague the African continent, many African leaders lived and continue to live in affluence while the few who have arisen above such mediocrity and inspired by the vision of a united front (United States of Africa), have either become victims of coup or regime change.

The Liberian Lawyer also takes a critical look of Article Two (2) of the United Nations (UN) Charter, which provides that the Organization, in pursuit of its Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the principle of sovereign equality of all its Members.

“Till date,” Cllr. Marvey argues in the book that the composition of the UN Security Council which consists of only five Countries is starkly unrepresentative of the peoples of the world.

“Africa for example, a whole continent of about a billion people, consisting of 54 sovereign countries has no representative on the Security Council. Yet, the UN prides itself of being democratic,” he wrote.

“Democracy”, in my understanding, is not a spectator’s sport. Moreover, the conducts of UN Security Council members, have render the notion of equality of nations, a complete lip service,” the author further observed.

Cllr. Marvey: “I was so fascinated by the fact that westerners fund it (UN) so convenient to cast into oblivion the legacies of abuses, and utter cruelty that characterized those years of widespread and massive human degradation occasioned by both slavery and colonialization, and tend to project an image of immaculate innocent such that they ought to be trusted to have the best interests of all at heart, and so much so that even the security of Africa, like the rest of the world ought to remain bequeathed to their exclusive watch,” he asserts.

The author however advanced a number of recommendations aimed at a paradigm shift towards democratic governance, socio-economic growth and development not only in Liberia but on the continent of Africa.

Speaking at the occasion, Eva Mappy Morgan, Chief Judge of the Commercial Court of Liberia, who served as a Chief Launcher of the book lauded Cllr. Marvey for the book which she said remains a resourceful material in telling Liberia and Africa’s true stories.

Judge Morgan called on Liberian scholars to emulate the positive example of Cllr. Marvey who she described as a young and fast-emerging scholar of repute.

At the occasion, the president of the Liberia Chambers of Commerce, Mr. Wendell Addy, who served as a Co-launcher and gave a summary of the book recommended that it should be considered as a textbook for Liberia and other African students so that the continent’s current and succeeding generations will have a clear understanding of the mistakes of the past and to make informed future concessions-negotiations that will accrue more benefits, as Africa endeavors to fast-track its development.

Other personalities who graced the occasion included Mr. Gregory Coleman, Chairman of National Bureau of Concessions; Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, a prominent Lawyer;  Cllr. G. Moses Paegar, President of Liberia National Bar Association; renowned human rights Lawyer, Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongle of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia;  Representatives Laurence Morris and Samuel Anders, members of the Legislature,  Republic of Liberia all of whom hailed the book as highly revealing and scholarly.

Making remarks at the occasion, the Founder and President of the Better Future Foundation (BFF), Mr. Augustine Arkoi said BFF is delighted to be a part of Cllr. Marvey’s legacy and contribution toward the making of informed policy-decisions that assure the prosperity of all.

Mr. Arkoi also stressed that BFF’s support for Cllr. Marvey, and organizing the book launch is based on the fact the book is a classic case study of Liberia’s economic governance  in terms of the challenges with respect to how to make  better future concession agreements to positively impact Liberia and the overall development of Africa.

An array of distinguished personalities participated in the book launch ceremony held on Thursday, November 1, 2018, at Corina Hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia.


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