Donors, EU, IMF, UNDP, USAID & WBank: The Problem Of Dependency And Under-Development In Liberia

By Bai M. Gbala, Sr.

Contributing Writer

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
July 4, 2017



While we appreciate and welcome direct foreign investment and donor assistance in Liberia, but we argue that Donors, EU, IMF, UNDP, USAID, WBank, etc., constitute the main “bag of bribery, corruption and related, political/economic ills” that keep Liberia and other developing countries in the state of continuing, continuous dependency and profound under-development.

These agencies are, in fact, foreign policy extensions of their respective developed countries - USA, the European States, and the United Nations Organization – which have declared anti-democratic and anti-corruption policies.

But information and policy implementation activities in Liberia disclose or expose that these developed countries “instruct” their in-country, resident agents/advisors to “cooperate fully with governments on the ground”, irrespective of political/economic conditions prevailing.  Accordingly, the results, in Liberia have been, and are:

a. That the country agents/advisors have become friendly “political/economic bedfellows” of high officials of government, acting as “conduits” of bribe payments and other anti-democratic/antic-corruption practices and that they (agents/advisors) have been, and are on first-name basis with ministers (of Finance, etc.) having major policy-making authority, including the President of the nation;  

b. They live in luxurious apartments, five-star hotels, all local expenses paid with top-of the-line, late model, expensive vehicles and salaries paid off-shore; and

c. Some hardly travel out of Monrovia to Rural Liberia and, apparently, know very little or nothing about the culture and history of the Liberian people.

The Developed Countries
Consistent with the process described above (Items a-c), these developed, direct foreign investment countries, some of which were colonial states, acquire excellent, highly-profitable business opportunities on behalf of their multi-national corporate giants in Liberia and other developing, third-world countries.

The basic objective of the developed, neo-colonialist counties’ re-entry in Africa is targeted at (Africa’s) our natural resources – oil, gas, diamonds, gold, iron ore, timber, etc., etc. - to feed their factories, while they use our nations as markets for their manufactured goods and services:

1. With bribes, developed countries gain foothold in Liberia; loans and related foreign assistance, stacked with kick-backs, etc. and investment contracts, exploit Liberia’s (and other developing countries’) natural resources at the expense of the Liberian nation and people, in association/partnerships with Liberian politicians and related elites (Pailey, 2012);

2. Control and use Liberia as captive market for developed counties’ manufactured products and services - vehicles, banking, insurance, etc. and to provide employment opportunities for their citizens and business organizations, NGOs, multi-national corporations, etc.

On the basis of the foregoing, Liberia’s political/economic problem is not so much about Capitalism versus Socialism, in terms of the results of strict theoretical application, but the pervasive injection and abuse by bribery, deceit, thievery, dishonesty or corrupt practices into the political/economic process, variables that are external or foreign and inapplicable in both Capitalist and Socialist analysis (Zaza, 2017).

Pailey, Robtel, Liberia’s Negro Clause is not racist; it is Protectionary, Commentary, Front Page Africa, October 22, 2012.

Zaza, J. Yanqui, World leaders condemn Capitalism, Africa or Liberia, which way, Perspective, June 26, 2017.

Andrew Worth
The points you make have some validity, but if you're trying to suggest that there's an intent by these nations and organizations to keep Liberia poor I think you're way off. In economic terms a richer Liberia gives more opportunity for economic growth through increased trade and increased Liberian production of commodities in demand in Western countries, so in economic terms a richer Liberia is good for everyone.

My own take is that, (and I think you brush on this) the aid flowing into Liberia and the international politics around it has become a huge magnet for people in the Liberian Government. So instead on focusing on getting Liberians employed in building their own country, Liberian politicians and Government officials ignore the honest and productive things that they could be working towards and go chase the big foreign dollars, along with building their own personal international profiles to attract more of those dollars.

I think this is one of the reasons how so many of these Liberian politicians and Government officials can justify to themselves the regular and lavish junkets they have to rich donor countries, rather than just staying at home, head down, shoulder to the grindstone and getting the Liberian economy working.
Andrew Worth at 06:38PM, 2017/07/04.
Bai M. Gbala, Sr.
Indeed, I believe that the points that I have made have excellent policy and economic validity. I grant the economic requirement of investment for return on investment. But when a government, representing many major multi-national corporations engaged in direct foreign investment apparently violates its own published policy regarding foreign aid and therefore, economic investment, then my criticism is valid.

I argued not that these developed counties intended or intend to make Liberia poor, but their policy actions, good or bad, have the result, as I indicated very clearly with Mr. Worth's support, regarding our government officials.

Bai M. Gbala, Sr.
Bai M. Gbala, Sr. at 08:02PM, 2017/07/04.
Andrew Worth
The latest editorial in FPA covers the tragedy that is the corrupt Liberian Government and politicians and officials special relationship with the rich and powerful in business to the cost of the rest of Liberia's people.
Andrew Worth at 01:36AM, 2017/07/05.
Bai M. Gbala, Sr.
Thank you so very much, Andy Worth, for the information regarding the Front Page Editorial, although I am on the ground, in Monrovia, diligently buy and and read, almost, all of the Liberian print media, including the mighty Front Page, Liberia's Washington Post, New York and LA Times combined.

Fortunately, the socio-cultural, economic and political ills about which Front Page writes had taken, are taking a deadly impact on all of us (now being dragged to the pre-planned rigged 2017 elections). Meanwhile, the graft and greed or roaring corruption declared, only recently, by none other than the "Harvard-trained economist" who happened to the current President of our country, to be "Liberia's public enemy no.1" has become Corruption, Inc.,a Liberian Mafia, developed into a thriving, big business or an industry by highly-educated young Liberians - MBAs, LLMs, PhDs, etc.,financed by GOL's policy of Salary/Wage Allownces. These young academics dominate the Super Ministry of Finance and Development Stealing.

They, also, dominate the Liberia Revenue Authority or Stealing. I am sure that you are aware that our problems are many and varied and, perhaps, culturally-rooted, unfortunately, Ethnic/Tribal Bigotry. In any case, thank you for the information.

Bai M. Gbala, Sr.
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