‘Our People Will Reward Us in 2023’ -Weah Says As He Calls Cabinet Retreat To Order in Ganta

MONROVIA – Four years of service to the people of Liberia by the Coalition for Democratic Change government may not be enough to restore and achieve all that could not be in nearly 174 years; but unarguably, there is comparably much done during this period in terms of speed and substance of the initiatives undertaken. Too many first-time transformational achievements, such as free college tuition in public schools, free WASSCE for Liberian students, building and extending low-cost modern using units in the hinterland and bold and unprecedented push for more paved roads in and out of the Capital City, present reassuring evidence that despite scarce resources and crippling pandemics, Liberia is on the right trajectory. President Weah who heads the government has much appreciation for those audacious efforts and he thinks the remarkable achievements of his government in the last couple of years could be the catapult and basis for reelection in 2023. The Analyst reports.

President George Manneh Weah has said that his administration has made great strides in the      implementation of development projects across the country and that such giant public service record will be incentive for reelection in October 2023.

Dr. Weah said that in 16 months the Liberian people will be exercising their constitutional right to choose the next president of their choice, and that he got no illusion that the people will reward his government for the results it was achieving.

He however called on his appointed officials to see it as an imperative that all hands be put on deck with a full commitment to ensure that the government does much more in order to a resounding victory at the polls in October 2023.

President Weah made the assertions yesterday, Monday, July 11, 2022, when he delivered the opening statement at the 4 day ongoing Cabinet retreat taking place in Ganta City, Nimba County.

The retreat, accordingly, is intended to review the activities of government to highlight the achievements of the government over the period under review, identify challenges and set priorities for the successful implementation of his administration’s flag-ship program, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity.

Over the last four years of his Administration, President Weah noted that “we have made great strides in the implementation of development projects across the country. It is therefore imperative to review the status of these projects, to ensure that they are fully aligned with our goals and intentions to take our country to its desired destination.”

“The official theme for this Retreat is rightfully framed as ‘Pushing Forward for A Better Liberia,”’ he said further, adding: “As I said at the Bicentennial Celebrations, it is imperative that we ask ourselves, what are those things that we must do to ensure that Liberia is a better place than when we met it?”

The answers to this question, he said, must be the primary focus of your thinking throughout the Retreat.

The Liberian leader asserted that while it was in order to commend his officials for their hard work and dedication, it was noteworthy that a lot still remains to be done to bring the nation to what he called the Promised Land as enshrined in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), his government’s flagship national development plan.

While outlining key areas the retreat will focus on, President listed the PADP performance, outlook of the national economy, management and coordination of foreign aid and the review of the 2022 Legislative agenda.

Other areas of concentration according to the President are increasing accountability and transparency in government, ensuring a culture of performance and delivery of results, improving coordination and teamwork in government and a review of Presidential priorities for the next 16 months.

The Chief Executive said further: “Accordingly, I commend your active participation in the Performance Management and Compliance System, which requires all Ministries, Agencies and Commissions to develop a comprehensive, critical, and analytical report of policies and programs that are under their direction, with particular emphasis on those that have been instituted during the period of our stewardship.

“You are also expected to develop Service Delivery Charters for your institutions, to provide clarity to the public of the high-quality services we are providing. It is also of critical importance that you develop Institutional Strategic Plans that are well-aligned with the national development agenda, the PADP.”

President Weah also used the occasion to brief his officials on what he called  significant developments that have taken place in the region and the continent in the course of a week beginning with his attendance of the 61st Regular Meeting of the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) which was held in Accra, Ghana during which President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana who had served two consecutive terms turned over the helms of affairs of the regional body to President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea Bissau.

He also said that the  leadership of the ECOWAS Commission was also changed, with the Presidency being passed on from Mr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou of Cote d’Ivoire, who had served in that capacity since 2018, to Dr. Omar Alieu Touray of The Gambia. He added that significant progress was made in dealing with the military interventions in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, through the direct and vigorous engagements of ECOWAS with these regimes, in order to hasten their return to civilian rule and constitutional governance.

“Sanctions were lifted against Mali, in response to the declaration by the military of a fixed timetable to turn over power in 24 months, by 2024, which date was acceptable to ECOWAS.  Burkina Faso released the former President, Mr. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré from all forms of detention.  And in Guinea, in order to make progress, the Authority of Heads of State and Government appointed a new ECOWAS Mediator for that country, in the person of Mr. Thomas Boni Yayi, former President of Benin.

All of these developments are the result of persistent engagements by ECOWAS in order to ensure stability, democracy, and peace in our sub-region.

“But peace without prosperity is an unfinished agenda.  That is why last Thursday, I attended the African Summit of the International Development Association of the World Bank in Dakar, Senegal, along with twenty-two (22) other African Heads of State and Government.  The conference was also attended by the World Bank Group leadership, heads of regional and UN institutions, and representatives of IDA donor governments,” he said.

He said the Summit was a follow-up to a previous IDA20 Summit which was held in July last year in Abidjan, La Cote d’Ivoire, which I also attended, and where African leaders made a joint plea to the IDA and World Bank for a robust and ambitious replenishment of IDA resources to support our recovery agenda and to drive the sustainable development and economic transformation of our continent.

“Our deliberations in Dakar were successful, as we championed a strong start to IDA’s twentieth financing cycle (IDA20).  We called the attention of the World Bank and its agencies to the fact that our continent is experiencing reversals of development gains triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and compounded by climate change, food insecurity, conflict in the region, and the war in Ukraine.   We therefore welcomed their positive response by their decision to approve an IDA20 financing package of US$93 billion to help all countries supported by IDA recover on a greener, more resilient, and inclusive path.

He said: “In view of this new development opportunity, I hereby instruct all Government Ministries, Agencies, and Commissions to vigorously engage the IDA and World Bank to ensure that Liberia will benefit from these funds during this transformational period, particularly in the areas of health, education, agriculture, digital economy, youth and women empowerment, roads and ports, energy and gender.  Please be informed that the funding available under IDA20 will expire and revert to the donors if not utilized within the stipulated time-frame.”

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