Monrovia, 14 Jul 2018: The conspicuous absence of the Liberian government representatives at a major policy dialogue here this week called to seek solution to the deepening economic “crisis” in the West African country may have been a faux pas of omission.
A former former foreign minister of the country is describing the absenteeism as “unacceptable”.
Our Monrovia correspondent reports that Liberia’s Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning, Commerce and Industry, as well as acting head of the Central Bank of Liberia and commercial banks, were absent at the one-day dialogue organized by the governance commission to brainstorm on how to solve widespread economic problems.
The commission involved economic experts from the University of Liberia and Cuttington graduate school as well as personalities from academia who analyzed Liberia’s economic woes with a view to recommend possible solutions.
Speakers were expected to crystalize their views in recommendations to the governance commission for onward submission to the government.
High inflation exacerbated by the free fall of the Liberian dollar is causing sharp price increases in essential commodities beyond the affordability of ordinary Liberians.
But the conspicuous absence of government representatives at the forum prompted former Foreign Minister Olubanke King-Akerele to observe: “We are in trouble; a major economic forum like this going on, (and) no Finance Minister, no Bank governors in attendance… “This is unacceptable.”
Map of Liberia
The former minister in Sirleaf’s government who was not invited to the forum, cited her participation in the Malaysia experience where a think-tank provided the model for sustained economic growth in that Asian nation.
Madam Akinrele-King stressed the indispensability of think tanks which
show governments the way forward in times of crises.
By Tepitapia Sannah
West African Journal Magazine