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Thursday, June 20, 2024

LIBERIA CONCLUDES 3-DAY CABINET RETREAT WITH LAUNCH OF NEW DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Date:

MONROVIA – The Government of Liberia ended a three-day Cabinet Retreat over the weekend by establishing a National Steering Committee to oversee the drafting and implementation of Liberia’s new Five-Year Development Plan, the ARREST Agenda for Inclusive Development.

According to the Ministry of Information, the steering committee will be co-headed by President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, Sr., and Vice President Jeremiah Kpan Koung. The committee will be co-chaired by Christine N. Umutoni, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Liberia, while Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima Kamara will serve as Secretary. Other members include the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Public Works, Justice, Health, Commerce, and Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism. Representatives from civil society, the Liberia Business Association, and the private sector will also be part of the Steering Committee.

President Boakai announced the formation of four additional committees: the National Coordination Committee, headed by Finance Minister Boima Kamara; the Technical Coordination Committee, led by Assistant Minister for Development Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Wellington Barchue; the Inter-Sectoral Coordination Committee, comprising 11 sectoral working groups; and the County Facilitation Committee, which will include officers from Liberia’s 15 counties.

The retreat, which began on Thursday, May 23, brought together Cabinet Ministers, their deputies and assistants, leaders of state-owned enterprises, commissions, public corporations, and other stakeholders. Also in attendance were Liberia’s development partners, including the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the World Bank, the European Union, the United Nations System in Liberia, the African Development Bank, and the United States Government.

As the first Cabinet Retreat under President Boakai’s administration, the event featured presentations of various action plans and updates on activities that Ministers and Heads of Agencies have accomplished during the administration’s first 100 days.

One notable achievement highlighted during the retreat was the fulfilment of President Boakai’s pledge that “no car will get stuck in the mud” within the first 100 days, an action successfully accomplished by the Ministry of Public Works. Additionally, piped-borne water was restored to Monrovia at the start of the retreat, a milestone achieved by the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation.

The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) acknowledged the challenges associated with power supply in the country, noting that the demand for power is outpacing investment in the sector. Acting Chief Executive Officer Monie Captan indicated that plans are underway to expand the capacity at the Mount Coffee Hydro to 148 megawatts and to install solar farms, with these actions slated to be completed during President Boakai’s administration.

The Ministry of Public Works made a commitment to pave major corridors across the country over the next six years. Mamaka Bility, Head of the President’s Delivery Unit at the Ministry of State, disclosed that 285 pieces of earth-moving equipment will be secured to enhance the government’s road program. This includes the reconstruction of roads and the creation of maintenance zones across the fifteen counties. This initiative aims to replicate the government’s pre-war nationwide road maintenance strategy, ensuring the availability of earth-moving equipment in each county to keep major road corridors accessible year-round.

Overall, the Cabinet Retreat marked a significant step in the administration’s efforts to lay the groundwork for Liberia’s development over the next five years, with a focus on inclusive growth and sustainable infrastructure development.

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