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Thursday, June 20, 2024

PRESIDENT BOAKAI COMMITS TO ANTI-CORRUPTION EFFORTS AMID GLOBAL TUG-OF-WAR

Date:

MONROVIA – The Liberian government is mounting a sustained campaign against corruption to win trust and attract new international investments, whether from the U.S. or China, according to President Joseph Boakai. In an interview with the Washington Times recently, Boakai emphasized Liberia’s neutral stance in the global economic competition between Washington and Beijing, expressing hope that both superpowers will collaborate to support Liberia’s development.

“There’s a traditional saying here that when two elephants fight, the grass suffers,” Boakai stated. “We hope the big countries understand they need to coexist and work together to give us a chance to provide a sustainable life for our people.”

Liberia’s economy, bolstered by a surge in mining activity, grew by 4.7% in 2023 and is projected to average nearly 6% growth over the next two years, according to the World Bank. Despite this progress, the country remains among the poorest globally, with half the population living below the official poverty line and a GDP per capita ranking as one of the lowest in the world.

President Boakai, who assumed office in January after a narrow election victory and a smooth transition hailed by the U.S. Institute of Peace, has prioritized anti-corruption efforts. Transparency International’s latest ranking placed Liberia 145th out of 180 nations on its Global Corruption Monitor, a drop from the previous year.

In 2019, Liberia joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative, adding the country to the list of over 150 participants in China’s vast infrastructure development plan. While Washington has warned of potential debt traps associated with Beijing’s projects, Boakai met with China’s ambassador to Liberia in February, reaffirming Liberia’s commitment to the “One China” policy and cherishing its friendship with China.

Simultaneously, Boakai maintains strong ties with the U.S. He recently visited America at the invitation of the Biden administration, attending the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Dallas, Texas. There, he met with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, praising her dedication to Liberia’s anti-corruption efforts and the rule of law.

“We just want to live as a country,” Boakai said, using a local proverb to illustrate Liberia’s position: “The mouse will eat and the elephant will not suffer.”

As Liberia navigates its path toward development, President Boakai underscores the importance of international cooperation and internal reforms to achieve a prosperous and stable future for all Liberians.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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