“You were An Extraordinary, Exceptional Country Manager” -Weah Praises Outgoing WB Country Manager

MONROVIA – In a rare display of gratitude, reciprocity and spirit of African brotherhood, President George Manneh Weah, yesterday, pulled encomium on the outgoing World Bank Country Manager, Dr.  Kwhima “Sekou Dudu” Nthara, for being “an extraordinary, exceptional, consequential, and productive Country Manager for Liberia at the World Bank during your tenure”, stating that it was difficult seeing him leaving at the end of his assignment, stressing “if we had our own way, we would revise the rules of the World Bank to keep you here for the longest”.

President Weah’s statement was contained in his emotional remark made during the farewell dinner in honor of the outgoing World Bank official held at the EJS Ministerial Complex last evening where he made some reflections of Dr. Nathara and his contribution to the country upon his arrival just at the time, according to the President the economy was in a mess and there were all reasons to believe that the country was headed the wrong direction.

“You will recall that, when you first came to Liberia to begin your tour of duty, we were in the middle of serious macroeconomic challenges. Inflation was high, the exchange rate was in free fall, and many individuals became doubtful about not only our economic policy direction, but also the general direction of the country.

“But, Dr. Khwima “Sekou Dudu” Nthara, from the very start, was never one of those who doubted. He rose above the politics of the moment and saw the possibilities that lay in the Government of Liberia’s policy framework. Instead, he began a very close and intense collaboration with the relevant officials of my Government to help turn around the macroeconomic challenges.

“His objectives and targets were to re-program the portfolio of the World Bank toward the strategic imperatives of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity, to increase the size of budgetary support Liberia was receiving from that institution, to lend some flexibility to World Bank rules and to fight for Liberia during the very dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic”, he said.

The President further said where many doubted, Nthara predicted the outcomes that the citizens a see today, turning World Bank support for Liberia into a transformative tool.

“I saw the sincerity  of this young man when he and his regional boss,  Mr. Pierre Laporte, who is present at this program today,  were granted audience by me at some time in 2019 for our first meeting.  I was interested in meeting them following a meeting I had just had with our Development Partners at the Ministry of Agriculture, where we wondered why the agriculture sector was struggling, even though there appeared to be a lot of resources going to the sector.

“During our  meeting, I asked them how could we make the World Bank better for Liberia, how we could make the World Bank do more for roads and agriculture, and how could the World Bank position itself to support more impactful projects. Both Khwima and Pierre assured me that they would do all they could to help the Pro-Poor Agenda to deliver more effectively for the Liberian people.

“Khwima, and Pierre, you both did not disappoint me.  Since that first meeting in my Office four years ago, you have lived up to all of the assurances that you gave me that you would exert your best efforts and work assiduously to place the resources of the World Bank at the disposal of the Liberian people, and the results are there for all to see.   On behalf of all Liberians, I stand here today to say a big THANK YOU YAH.

“Today you have been gowned and given a plague by the Liberian people for your numerous accomplishments made in their interests during your tour of duty.  As you leave for your new assignment we want you to know that we will always regard you as a friend of Liberia”, the President concluded.

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