Aspire for Social Cohesion, Financial Mobilization -Liberian Economist Animates Diaspora Liberians

MONROVIA: A noted Liberian economist and public policy expert, Dr. P. Emmanuel Munyenneh, has implored Liberians living in foreign lands to see the wisdom of social cohesion and financial mobilization as one of the possible ways for potential entrepreneurship and giving back to their troubled society.

“If you can hold together and replace the shenanigans, divisiveness and petit gossips with a binding commitment and a bond of trust,” the Liberian economist said, “I can assure you that Mr. President-elect and your core of officers will do exploit and this proposed model will be used as an example throughout these United States.”

Serving as the keynote speaker at the induction of the newly elected leadership of the Liberians Association of Arizona, Dr. Munyenneh asked his compatriots to hold together and replace the shenanigans, divisiveness and petit gossips with a binding commitment and a bond of trust.

With that, he noted, “I can assure you that the Mr. President-elect and core of officers will do exploit and this proposed model will be used as an example throughout these United States.”

According to him, there are other people, citizens of other countries, who have succeeded in many cases, and they are those who have dared to do so.

“Look around you today,” the Advisor to the Executive Director- Africa Group One Constituency Countries said. “Some emigrants in the diaspora have moved from financial remittances which are based on the sole principle of individuality to a more harmonized level of capital consolidation.

“In Ethiopia and Rwanda, there are diaspora banks. In Kenya and Tanzania, there are diaspora real estate. In the small island and developing nation of The Gambia, there is a diaspora tourism and investment initiative, and the list goes on from Ghana to Senegal. And in Liberia, what diaspora investments can we point to?”

Speaking on the topic, “Social Cohesion and Financial Mobilization for Resilient & Inclusive Growth in Liberia,” Dr. Munyenneh said he had a doubtless conviction that if other Africans can succeed at this, then, “we can also succeed too.”

“A thousand miles begins with a step, and this is a clarion to the newly elected leadership to put your acts together and adopt this life-saving financial model through cohesiveness and trust. For truly, an investment in Liberia will be your ticket and your balance of power in decision-making or your retirement package both in the USA and Liberia.”

He said when a group of people has a common economic interest, it is less likely for crisis or disunity to flourish.

He added: “This is a plead, a charge to keep, and an urge to you and your leadership team Mr. President. Don’t sit there, do something positive for the common good of your people. Come on LAA and come on let’s do this together in building community and capital investment in Liberia.”

He emphasized that social Cohesion involves the commonality of interest and shared values that bind a community together using their mutual identity and interest to build financial autonomy for financial investment and resilient growth.

Reflecting on the vital role Diaspora Liberians have been playing in helping their people back home, Munyenneh asserted: “I am aware that most of you here today if not all, do have some sort of investment back home. It could range from sending barrels to stimulate the local economy to building your own homes despite the hurdles that come with land rights and ownership needless to talk about the problem of duping from your relatives and friends.

“More to this, and if you do not know, your support to your family and friends back home through remittances is a high component of the country’s gross domestic products; meaning that you are a somewhat big player in the family, but relatively unknown in the overall scheme of national development.”

In 2023, he said, remittances inflow to Liberia was $27 million from $32 million in 2022, adding, “Even during the COVID-19 period when some or most of you were laid out from your jobs, you still made it your priority to send money back home to your families. Indeed, you are not just a backbone or a pillar or a foundation of your family, but you are indeed a superstar in all the sacrifices you make during thick and thin.”

But he said this is the time for new thinking with limitless possibilities and restless times in a poverty driven society lacking in social cohesion, representative participation, and developmental orientation.

The Liberian economist further courted his countrymen: “We can all agree that you are individually contributing to improving the lots of your family and relatives back home. This is an undisputed fact.

“However, there is an all too familiar adage that says: ‘It takes a town to raise a child’. It is almost the same as saying two heads are better than one’ or the ‘more we are together, the better we will be’. In these parables and modern parlance lie the essence of collectivism. And this begs the question of what are you doing back home as a unit, a team or a community of people?

“No doubt, the individual and personal development is a part of the whole in terms of economic growth, but that does not give you a big stick in the socio-economic and decision-making processes in-country. Individual support will not raise your voices nor allow you a seat at the high table.”

He called on the Diaspora Liberian, to think outside the box, moving from the business as usual to doing the extra-ordinary in a country yearning to be unshackled from high rises in poverty and underdevelopment.

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