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Saturday, June 22, 2024

LIBERIA: FORMER FINANCE MINISTER ON RESCUE MISSION IN THE U.S. FOR BOAKAI’S INCOMING GOV’T

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MONROVIA – Gbarpolu County’s newly elected Senator, former Minister of Finance, Amara M. Konneh, is currently on a mission in the United States, to forge strategic partnership between that country’s government and the incoming administration of President-elect Joseph Boakai.

Konneh has already had several high-profiled meetings in Washington D.C., and he’s expected to continue dialoguing with scores of influential individuals in the U.S. including prominent private citizens and officials of the U.S. government, on a new strategic direction in the partnership between Liberia and the United States.

During his stay in the U.S., Konneh will also hold separate discussions with officials of the State Department and Treasury Department of the United States, Smart News Liberia (SNL) has been reliably informed.

He’s also expected to hold talks with highly-placed officials at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and some relevant authorities at the independent U.S. government international development agency, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Konneh’s discussions with officials of the MCC are expected to focus on what possible steps are to be taken by the incoming government headed by Boakai, aimed at the new administration reinforcing good governance, and ensuring economic freedom and investment for citizens and residents of the country, SNL has gathered.

He also has series of meetings lined-up with officials of IMF, World Bank, Corporate Council on Africa, and the US Institute of Peace including U.S. congressional members and senior policy leaders in the United Sates.

The incoming Liberian administration is taking over the helm of leadership at a time the country is faced with woes in several sectors, especially a plummeting economy, underpinned by excessive public sector corruption.

The outgoing regime headed by retired soccer star George Weah, during its six-year tenure, was very unsuccessful at attracting significantly needed Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) that would have lubricated the economy and ensure job provision in the private sector, as well as accelerate development projects – revenues generated by the Weah-led government during this period were reportedly siphoned on a large scale allegedly by officials of the administration, thus plunging the country into huge domestic and internal debt, with  a staggering unemployment rate and minimal achievement in the execution of development projects.

As at 15 December 2023, the Weah administration had not submitted to the Legislature a draft National Budget, and the government is still deeply engrossed in unapproved off-budget expenditures.

On Weah’s watch, with budget supports already frontloaded and spent and the IMF Program ending since 10 December, financial experts, who are projecting a deficit in the amount of US$115 million, have predicted a long road ahead for the incoming administration of former VP Boakai and the Liberian people.

Olando Testimony Zeongar
A cleric and a career journalist, with a wealth of experience in the journalism craft that spans over two decades. He’s also a poet and an editor.

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