February 1, 2022

Re: Business prefers a weak and corrupt government; Liberia must end debt dependency now

Liberia could use proceeds from selling gold and reduce its debt of USD $1.6 billion, which was USD $200 million in 2010. Gold mining is almost everywhere in Liberia, but our national government, unlike Botswana, gets little or no benefits. Gold miners include the World Bank, through its subsidiary, the International Finance Company (IFC), which, in 2015, had 12.8% ownership in the Aureus Mining Company in Liberia.

In Botswana, government receives 50% of its revenue from minerals, therefore it does not rely on excessive debts. In 1965, the former President of Botswana, Mr. Seretse Khama, in 1965,  renegotiated Botswana’s economic development and arranged for the nation-state to receive revenue from minerals.

Liberia became entangled with loan by 1871, when former President E. J. Roye authorized William Spencer Anderson to arrange the $500K loan from the British Consul-general. Later, in 1926, Liberia borrowed $5 million and granted one million acres of land to the Firestone Rubber Plantation, which some experts say was the beginning of Liberia’s economic problem. These money-borrowing actions, I surmise, convinced our leaders into becoming a member of the World Bank, the world’s famous “Pawn Shop.” Money-lending or credit card institutions are the sophisticated or high-level “pawn Shops.” Banks or pawn shops make more profits on debt when their clients are bankrupt, corrupt, undisciplined, ignorant, etc.

What has or have impeded Liberia’s efforts in generating reasonable more revenue?  Was it because of limited ownership, limited role in management, debt dependency, or all of the above? Liberia has zero interest in gold mining. But it has, at least, 15% ownership in ArcelorMittal Steel, had significant ownerships in the three former iron ore companies in the  60s through the 80s. One of the iron ore company, LAMCO’s ownership document shows that Liberia owned 37.5% shares.

If Liberia did not receive its share of profit as a shareholder, could our participation, by itself, generate reasonable revenue? In any case, what advice did our economic adviser (World Bank) offer? Better yet, has it advised Liberia not to sell gold so government can borrow money? If not, why has it not recommended that Liberia sells  gold in order to reduce its revenue shortfall? Or what benefit, if any, does the World Bank receive if Liberia has revenue shortfall? Well, banks make more profit by lending money, and big businesses dictates policy of a country. Liberia is not an exception.

Let us review the money-lending arrangements of the two key subsidiaries of the World Bank, namely, (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development-(IBRD) and International Development Association-(IDA) and its affiliate, the (International Monetary Fund-(IMF).

1)         IBRD, founded in 1944, gets its cash from big businesses. It had total assets of $386 billion, but $323 billion was owned by big businesses, according  to 2020 audited financial statements. Big businesses dictate IBRD’s actions because of significant ownership.

2)         IDA,  founded in 1960, gets its funding from countries such as  the United Kingdom, Japan, USA, Germany etc. In 2019, these  countries replenished IDA coffers with $82 billion. They replenish the fund after every three years. United Kingdom contributed 12%, Japan 10%, USA 9%, Germany, and France 5% each. (See pages # 13 and # 14 of IMF Report dated 2019-Heavily Indebted Poor Countries).

3)         IMF, founded in1944, receives contributions from members. In 1975, countries gave 25 per cent of their contributions in gold, which was $21 per ounce in 1975. Now it is going at $1,887.


IBRD does not only lend money to poor countries, but it also advises them on how much to borrow. Yes, advocates of the World Bank continue to argue that the separation of functions are defined, and there is minimal issue of conflict of interest. Nonetheless, any bank, searching for maximum profits, will usually lend money to corrupt client. In the case of Liberia, the World Bank lent $157M in June 2021, even though the United States Department, in the same month, reported that Liberia continues to violate the Liberian 2009 PFM Law (Public Financial Management Act). In fact, President George Weah and his advisers are accumulating expensive real estate properties, yet the World Bank says nothing about accountability and transparency.


There is another arrangement (i.e., principles used to deduct or write off bad loans) that the World Bank uses to deprive poor countries of adequate revenue. In regular business, debtors and creditors are required to follow business principles. For example, creditors, not different parties, write off bad loans if they lend money to corrupt debtors. However, at the World Bank, IDA uses donations from governments and IMF uses proceeds from the sale of gold to reimburse creditors such as IBRD. What would be the values of the accounts receivable of the creditors (IBRD, IMF) if governments did not reimburse them for the USD $73 billion bad loans, for example, Liberia’s debts of USD $4.7 billion? Most importantly, would the creditors lend more money to Liberia, if governments did not reimburse them? Without reimbursement, creditors might not lend additional loan.


The last, but not the least, is the economic arrangement the World Bank uses to deprive poor countries of revenue are the requirements of debt relief. The World Bank and big businesses use the debt relief and institute anti-people’s policy such as downsizing of sale-wage employees. In addition, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf leased state-owned entities to private investors as part of the debt relief requirements. Now, the Liberia Electricity Corporation, although it received government-back aid of (USD $314 million) from IDA, in addition to the yearly government subsidies, the private-managers have not provided published financial statements since 2014. Also, the National Port Authority, another state-owned entity, has not provided financial statements because it is leased as per the requirements.

Liberia awarded 66 fraudulent concessionary agreements between 2006 through 2009, as part of the debt relief completed in 2010.

Unfortunately, debt relief (i.e., to use governments’ donations to reimburse creditors (IBRD and IMF) who will cancel bad loans given to corrupt debtors) is back in the news, according to NY Times article dated 01/22/22. In fact, our economic adviser/creditor has suggested that it would be prudent to give debt relief and address the huge debts of poor countries. Mr. David Malpass, President of W/B, as per the 01/22/22 NY Times article, stated that the G8 should pay for “debt relief,”  because“…high national debt hinders the ability of nations to support low-income population.”

Another request for a “debt relief” came from Mr. Joseph E. Stiglitz, former chief analyst of the World Bank and Mr. Kevin  Gallengher, according to the January 14, 2022, New York Times article. The two economists presented an analysis showing that IMF has and continues to excessively charge extract fees on loans it lends to poor countries. For instance, Argentina will pay $5 billion in surcharges alone by 2024. The country will pay $1.6 billion as extra fees in 2024.

In closing, remember, money-lenders are like owners of “Pawn Shops.” Also, voters should not elect creditors’ candidates as voters in South America are rejecting them. Liberia should sell gold and pay its debt.

J. Yanqui Zaza

New York State Certified Public Accountant (NYS CPA), MPS

Tel: +231-776491322  Email:

VOA Paynesville, Liberia


“…IFC owned 12.8% of the issued and outstanding shares…will help Aureus Mining…and support the company’s ongoing work in Liberia.”


“…economic development took off in 1967–71 after the discovery of diamonds …precondition…so that state revenue would benefit from…mineral… renegotiation was achieved in 1969.

3)         (

In 1871, Liberia borrowed $500K from the British Consul-general, David Chinery


Firestone’s 1927 Loan to Liberia


Debt Relief Requirements by the World Bank

6)         (Mlendough1984_85-Th38.pdf)

The data on Liberia’s ownerships of stocks of Iron ore companies.

7)         (

“…As a result of these efforts and the continued strong support of our partners, we achieved a record $75 billion replenishment for IDA18.”

8)         (

Debt Relief Requirements by the World Bank

9)         Debt campaigners are calling for the International Monetary Fund to sell some of its stockpile of gold to cover the debt payments owed by the world’s poorest countries for the next 15 months


According to documents reviewed by The Sentry, AGR exported approximately $377 million in gold in 2017 to an apparent affiliate of the Belgian gold refinery Tony Goetz NV, based in Dubai.

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