The Liberian Economy

Liberian Currency


President Sirleaf (R) and Governor Jones

Liberia’s Excess Cash Reserves Of $262 M: Cash Cow For Governor J. Mill Jones And President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
By: J. Yanqui Zaza
The Central Bank of Liberia has had two controversial issues since the 1999 law repealing the Act of the National Bank, and the Act creating the Central Bank of Liberia. The first revelation was about the excessive Board of Director fees, for example, $56,000 paid to Cllr Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh in 2002. The second is the current debate about the disbursement of loans to small-sized businesses, allegedly disbursed by the Chief Executive Governor, Dr. J. Mill Jones to prepare himself for the 2017 presidential election.

Liberia’s staggering macro-economic woes: tackle supply-side constraints
By Musa Dukuly (PhD)
Economic activities remarkably expanded in Liberia, averaging 7-8 percent growth rate over the last 5 years, but inherent supply-side risks are eroding the gains. Existing economic indicators of spiraling inflation, depreciating exchange rate and diverse fiscal constraints are imminent economic challenges requiring wide range of policy debates and discussions to elicit pragmatic solutions. Sustaining the growth calls for pragmatic policy actions from all strategic fronts to help mitigate ‘economic waste’ and redirect resources to productive sectors

Nigeria and Liberia’s Central Banks Thread Separate Paths on Micro-Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) Financing
By: Wonderr K. Freeman
The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL, herein after) and its Governor, Dr. Mills Jones, have been under pressure lately. Its microfinance and SME policy has come under heavy suspicion by the Liberia Senate and other Liberian technocrats. It’s not farfetched to say that most of the senators don’t quite understand that boring subject called economics – the bankers’ “bread and butter”. But senators surely do understand politics when they see it. And as far as they can see, the CBL’s Credit-to-Consumers-Direct MSME policy looks like politics, feels like politics and smells like politics – hence the senatorial inquest.

Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: A Wake up call for Major Stakeholders
By: C.Gyude Bedell
In 2012, African Ministers of Finance and Development Planning endorsed the establishment of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa. Chaired by Thabo Mbeki with the aim of conducting wide range of consultation among major stakeholders, the panel is expected to design practical recommendations in order to mitigate the alarming rate of illicit flows.

Corruption & Bad Governance: Evolution and Typology since 2006
A Socio-criminological Analysis

By: James Thomas-Queh
No doubt, we all seem to have an idea of the problem – it is corruption, corruption and corruption. Unfortunately for this government and Liberia, this is the generalized perception that has been firmly installed since the alert was first given, long ago, by one of the government’s most famous watchdog agencies then, the General Auditing Commission, GAC. And eight years on, Cllr. Harry Varney Gboto-Nambi Sherman, Chairman of the ruling Unity Party, in his excellent July 26, 2013 oration or rather a manifesto to salvage the party and probably our democracy, served this vexing reminder to the attention of the Standard Bearer:

Governor Mills Jones Destroying Liberian Economy: IMF Raises Concern on Depleting Reserve
The Five Factors Causing High Inflation in Liberia

By: John S. Morlu, II
The current Minister of Finance of Liberia said he has a solution to the budget busting inflation problem facing Liberia. After the Minister of Finance's press conference on the rising inflation, on 18 September 2013, the New Republic reported that "(the Minister) used the occasion to disclose that in subsequent time the ministry will encourage tax payers to pay more of their taxes in LD, which according to him will be publish with detail later." First, Section 6 of Revenue Code 2000 (amended 2009) states that "tax may be assessed either in Liberian dollars or US dollars and may be paid in Liberian dollars or US dollars." Is the Minister saying Liberians are demanding more U.S. dollars just to pay taxes, when they law clearly says they can pay in Liberian dollars?

The Need For Class Action Against The Government Of Liberia, Companies & The World Bank,
By CLLR. Frederick A. B. Jayweh
The confession of Robert A. Sirleaf as to the role played by The World Bank in writing the Concessionary Oil Agreement (Block 13) in Liberia is quite interesting. The revelation and public confession of Robert A. Sirleaf appears to bring to light and to public attention the roles that multi-National Concessions have played and are playing to promote and protect their business and primary interests in poor nations, while assisting corrupt leaders in Africa including Liberia to drill the hole of poverty, disease, ...

World Bank Made $3.00 Billion Dollars In Profits In 3 Years, While African Countries (Its Clients) Got Poorer
By J. Yanqui Zaza 
Harsh conditions in many African countries, many of which have been chronicled in news media and public reports, are not different from the narratives of the 10/16/2013 NY Times article called “Poverty And Stigma Give An Edge To Disease.” In this article, as well as in previous ones, the writer narrated the issues of corruption, incompetence and limited resources as the root causes of Africa’s plagues, including high infant mortality rate, poor education, etc. Also, the writers have and continue to discuss the generous efforts made by individuals, groups and, or international organizations such as the World Bank, but, nonetheless, conditions continue to deteriorate year after year.

We Speak Through The Constitution
We Speak Through The Constitution
By D. Garkpe Gedepoh
I pity those narrow-minded beneficiaries of President Sirleaf’s corrupt administration and those blind loyalists who lack the knowledge to understand the simple words that are written in the Liberian constitution, but instead rain accusations and ambiguously misinterpret patriotism as “irresponsible”. They say they won’t support the resignation of the president even though she has failed to properly govern the Liberian people and grossly violated the constitution, the supreme law of the land.

President Sirleaf/World Bank: Can Big Business Reduce Unemployment And Make Big Profits?
By J. Yanqui Zaza   
Unemployment, the second man-made cancer to corruption, has many ways of showing its ugly effects. For example, in Zorzor, Lofa County, Liberia, it did not only prevent breadwinners from putting food on the table, but it also forces recipients of Western Union controlled number and government checks holders to travel far away to get cash, according to participants at a Committee Meeting. At that Zorzor District Meeting held in Liberia in January, 2013, during my visit, participants stated that a branch of Ecobank, one of the established banks in Lofa County, has closed its doors, due largely to the unemployed residents' inability to purchase goods and services

President Sirleaf/World Bank: Can We Fight Corruption, While Big Business Greases The Wheels Of Business?
By J. Yanqui Zaza   
Corruption, as a vice President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf calls Liberia’s number one enemy, is back in the news. It was rampant before her presidency, but now, Liberia has become one of the most corrupt countries in the world. This notorious status came after we killed three Presidents (E. J. Roy on 2/11/1872; W.R. Tolbert on 4/12/1980 and S.K. Doe on 9/09/1990), sent the fourth (Charles Taylor) to the Hague, and prosecuted the fifth (Gudye Bryant), all in the name of fighting corruption.

President Sirleaf And World Bank/IMF: Debate Employment Policy; Don't Fuss Over The Rate Of Unemployment 
By  J. Yanqui Zaza 
For over seven years Liberians, including President Sirleaf's advisers have discussed the rate of unemployment.  Government says the rate of unemployment is 3.7%, indicating that the country's security is good. Critics say the rate of unemployment is 80%, implying that the country is sitting on a time bomb. 

The WTO Farce and the IFM Conspiracy
By  J. Yanqui Zaza
Thanks to Fasukoi for the interesting comment made by him about the relationship between local facilitators (elected officials) and the real criminal enterprise (big business/IMF). The statement as to why IMF would loan millions of dollars to President Sirleaf who has not accounted for billions of dollars donated to Liberia could be viewed as protecting an interest. I surmise the statement is based on his experience that any regular bank or lending institution would review the past activity of a loan applicant to determine the applicant's eligibility. However, the IMF is not a regular bank. It has other interest such as creating an economic and political environment for big business to make huge profit. 

President Sirleaf And IMF: Rosy Economic Prediction Begets More Debt, But No Development
By J. Yanqui Zaza
The adage that says "Bad Habits Die H" is alive in Liberia. Fardor instance, corruption, for which Liberians fought a civil war to reduce, is not just back, but is rampant. Another bad habit, the practice of government officials to make rosy prediction, is also on the rise. Yes, rosy predictions, that usually gives rise to false hope, is once again encouraging public officials to borrow more money.

Liberia systematically breaking its own laws in oil, mineral, forest and land deals worth billions of dollars, new audit reveals
Global Witness welcomes a new audit recommending that the Liberian government take immediate action to address systematic gaps in compliance with laws on how its natural resources are allocated. The report, commissioned by LEITI, Liberia’s groundbreaking transparency initiative, revealed that laws had been broken in virtually every natural resource deal since 2009.

Exclusive: Resource deals audit overshadows Liberia anti-graft push - DAKAR (Reuters) - Almost all the $8 billion worth of resource contracts signed by Liberia since 2009 have violated its laws, according to a draft audit report commissioned by the government, casting doubt on anti-graft and good governance efforts under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has said the billions of dollars in foreign investment she has drawn since becoming Africa's first freely-elected female president in 2006 should help ordinary Liberians to climb out of poverty. In a continent often blighted by corruption and mismanagement, the Liberian government has promised greater openness in its dealings with foreign investors. The country's transparency watchdog LEITI - which is co-chaired by the Finance Ministry - itself commissioned the audit of deals involving oil, mining, agriculture and forestry in the West African country.


Limited Utility Services Stifle Economic Prosperity
(J. Yanqui Zaza)
Rumors emanating from Liberia indicate that certain parties are attempting to revive Charles Taylor’s privatization plan. This idea to turn over the control of utility companies, for example electricity, from government to private owners might create more problems than it solves.

The IMF Advises Liberia against Quick Fixed Solution to Liberia’s Economic Problems
(By Winsley S. Nanka)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised the interim government of Charles Gyude Bryant that it is not in the interest of Liberia at this time for the government to implement a quick fixed solution to Liberia’s economic problems by adopting a full dollarization of the Liberian economy. Dollarization is the process by which residents of a country “extensively use the U.S. dollar alongside or instead of the domestic currency or as the predominant or exclusive currency”.

Liberia’s Social Security Program: Is It Solvent?
(By J. Yanqui Zaza)
The debate concerning the solvency of the U.S. Social Security Program raises a concern about the Liberian Social Security System. The concern is beyond allegations such, as whether the government hasn't pay benefits to retirees and that whether it is using the worker’s payroll deductions as petty cash. Our country, since 1847, hasn’t invested in its skilled workforce and infrastructure, incentives that entice good-paying corporations in investing in a country.

FIRESTONE AND AFL: A Rebirth For Better or For Worse?
(By James Thomas-Queh)
Firestone and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) - are two entities that have marked the social, economic and political history of Liberia, and also the Liberian -US relationship. Therefore their very synchronised and publicised reactivation is not a coincidence. What is more, it is our generation that brought both entities to the political spotlight from the 1970s. And like today, both entities were established at the beginning of the 20th century when Liberia was on her knees; though, they also perished with her at the end of the same century.

Africa 2005: Outlook
(Abdoulaye W. Dukulé)
The African Union (AU) held its annual Summit in Abuja and celebrated its fourth anniversary on the last weekend of January 2005 and looked at some crucial issues. The war in Sudan that had been termed “a genocide” by much of the world, including Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell before the Arab solidarity reduced it to a “humanitarian crisis” has become a contentious matter that divided the Union in two groups: the Arab countries sided with the government of Sudan while the Sub-Saharan nations shyly agreed to a formula “calling on the international community to send troops …

Gyude Bryant’s Interim Government Spent US 8.6 Million Dollars Without Budgetary Approval
(
By Winsley S. Nanka
)
The Gyude Bryant-led Transitional Interim Government of Liberia spent US 8.6 million dollars between February and June 2004 without budgetary approval by the Transitional National Assembly of Liberia. In addition, the amount spent was not allocated in the government of Liberia’s budget for the fiscal period. According to the report released by the United Nations Panel of Experts on Liberia dated December 6, 2004, the Ministry of Finance allowed excess expenditures of [US] 8.6 million dollars without supplementary budget prepared nor any approval by the Transitional National Assembly obtained”.

1.5 Million Dollars Foreign Exchange Reserve Missing at the Central Bank of Liberia
(By Winsley S. Nanka)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) declared that in 2003 the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) failed to account for a $1.5 million decline in the foreign exchange reserve of Liberia. The foreign exchange reserve declined in 2003 from $1.8 million to $300,000. The central bank’s authorities told the IMF during its recent visit to Liberia that there was “no foreign exchange reserve transactions by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) in 2003.”

Whatever Happened to the Watchdogs of Government
(By Ezekiel Pajibo)
Two recent announcements have got me thinking about the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the current Liberia transitional process and the re-creation of the new Liberian state. (In this piece, NGO is in reference to local Liberian non-governmental organizations.) The first has to do with the November 30, 2003 announcement by the Ministry of Finance of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation that is visiting Liberia from December 1-14, 2003. Among the list of names, i.e. stakeholders that the delegation is to meet, not one Liberian NGO was mentioned. I have yet to hear any protest from the Liberian NGO sector on this totally unacceptable practice

LUBI Bank and Central Bank of Liberia: Will it be Business as Usual?
After 150 years, can a political system built on patronage and nepotism avoid these practices? Promising to do away with these practices is one thing, and doing it is another. Every government since the founding of Liberia has promised to eradicate corruption but the story is always the same - more corruption. When will this end - patronage and nepotism? To fight corruption requires the will and commitment to change things. Since Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant came to power, he too has promised to fight corruption and monopolies in Liberia.

War Against Corruption: A Big Job for the General Accounting Office (GAO)
Are we experiencing too much theft? Yes. So let's get a guard dog - a General Accounting Office (GAO). We don't mean the "gbagbati" one in place now that comprises state auditors that steal. These guys put on expensive suits and hold shinning attaché cases. They roam the dusty roads, from cities to towns to even villages. Instead of reports, their shinning attaché cases are filled with raw cash by the time they return to Monrovia. That's when the party begins. They hit Dualla and New Kru Town, and take over the bars. They take off the coats, loosen the ties, flaunt money, chatter the bars

Willie Belleh Must Resign from Interim Government
The recent revelation by The Perspective magazine that Willie Belleh, Director of the Cabinet and the Chief of Staff to Liberian Interim Leader Charles Gyude Bryant, and the other officers at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) lucratively rewarded themselves in the midst of the abject poverty in Liberia is appalling and unconscionable.

Elie E. Saleeby, Governor of CBL and Chairman of CBL Board
All the President's Men: A Case of Massive Corruption?
Liberia is considered one of the world's poorest countries - many say the world's outright poorest - where under the dictatorship of Charles Taylor, government employees such as police officers, soldiers, teachers and clerks have not been paid for well over a year. It is difficult to comprehend, but we are told that the average salary is less than $25.00 (twenty five dollars) per month - not enough for a bag of rice, the nation's staple. Conditions have been so devastating that the average family cannot afford to fully feed itself. For many, sending their kids to school is a luxury they cannot afford.

Opposition leaders in Taylor’s Ring of Corruption?
The Perspective, along with Chairman Gyude Bryant, UN Special representative in Liberia Jacques Klein and other publications received some documents that throw light on how the meager resources of the nation were distributed among a few people. Readers would read for example that the Chairman of the Central Bank of Liberia took home some US$13,000.00 (Thirteen Thousand US dollars a month).

Corruption at the Central Bank of Liberia
As Liberians, it is incumbent on all of us to assist you in achieving the goals associated with your job responsibilities. In this light, we solicit your attention to a few problems that need immediate consideration. The resolution of these issues will ensure that such practices are abolished immediately, never repeated, and yield good governance.

Secretive Deloitte Audit in Liberia Raises Allegations of Irresponsible Corporate Behaviour and Conflict of Interest (Global Witness)
A secretive agreement signed between the government of Liberia and the auditing firm Deloitte & Touche (i) is drawing criticism from Global Witness and other international organisations. Global Witness, the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), and the UN Panel of Experts on Liberia are critical of the murky nature of the new agreement, whose draft terms of reference state that all information, including notes and final assessments, are the sole property of the government of Liberia and cannot be shared without direct approval (ii). Such behaviour raises concerns that this is an attempt by the government of Liberia to use the reputation of Deloitte and Touche as a cover for continued illicit activities

Liberia: The World's Worst Country in 2003
The annual world survey by the London based Economist Magazine, The World in 2003 has predicted that Liberia would be "the world's worst place to live in 2003". According to the Economist's Intelligence Unit survey, even "by African standards", Liberia is "set to get worse".

Local Authorities Against Privatisation Of Essential Services in Africa
African Local authorities officials attending a one day meeting in Paris have warned against the privatisation of essential services such as water, electricity, transport and other social amenities saying the move risked compounding poverty levels that African governments were struggling to reduce.

Gripped by Fear and Opportunism
The Liberian economic crisis is being compounded by a synergy of fear and opportunism. The general climate of fear in the country, nurtured by constant acts of political repression and rebel warlordism, has provided a platform and pretext for economic opportunism. Agents of profiteering designs have found in this climate a much needed alibi to subject the economy and people to instant exchange rate fluctuations and price extortions.

Liberia in a Vicious Political Industrial System
Liberians are being sacrificed in a kind of political industrial system in which their lives are viewed by political-ego chasers as mere raw materials consumable in the process of manufacturing and safeguarding state power. Just as in a typical economic industrial manufacturing process, where certain goods are used up as intermediate inputs to produce others, in the Liberian political manufacturing system the lives and wellbeing of human beings are treated as intermediate, disposable raw materials.

]The Free Trade Hypocrisy
In pursuance of global economic liberalization governments of the developed capitalist countries and the major international economic institutions, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), have been pressuring developing countries to desist from economic intervention and allow global markets to determine their national policies.

The Poor Credit Performance of Commercial Banks
A country's financial system, including its banking institutions, is the oil that greases the engines of its economic growth. Banks provide the vital function of mobilizing savings from those who have it and allocating such savings to those who wish to borrow to invest in economic development. When these two cardinal functions are not effectively provided by a country's banking institutions, then its economic performance is seriously hampered. Since suffering the destruction of civil war, Liberia's commercial banks have not been fully revitalized to a point where they can adequately perform these tasks.

The AGOA: Another Dictated Trade Regime?
The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), initiated by the Clinton Administration and enacted into law last year by the U.S. Congress, will soon have its first major institutional establishment when foreign, trade, and finance ministers from 35 African countries convene in Washington D.C. in October to launch a US/Sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (AllAfrica.com, May 16).

The Human and Economic Plight of a Nation
Liberia continues to endure vast human and economic destruction under a Taylor factor forced upon it eleven years ago in the form of a false revolution that promised national progress but now delivers untold suffering and anarchy. The fact is that the Taylor regime has long recognized its own inutility to the Liberian nation, and yet, like previous regimes, it remains recalcitrant in refusing to abandon its grip on state power.

How Effective is Our Monetary Policy under Taylor?
More than a decade now, especially since Charles Taylor became president three years ago, Liberia has been without a direct monetary policy. Why is the Liberian economy still denied the most potent macroeconomic policy option available to it? Can there ever be an effective monetary policy under this regime?

Globalization and the Future of Liberian Economic Policy
Two sets of forces have combined in the last decade to challenge the Liberian society and economy. One of these forces was the outbreak of civil war in the early 1990s, resulting in national political chaos that culminated ironically in the enthronement of the major warlord (the repercussions of which Liberians are still suffering). The other set of forces that have concurrently challenged Liberia is the increasing global dominance of the liberal economic policy vision which reemerged in the early 1970s after nearly twenty-five years of relatively strong state economic intervention (1950-1973), and has since gained growing momentum under the thesis of globalization.

Liberia Excluded from Canadian Government Debt Relief
The Canadian federal government, through Finance Minister Paul Martin, announced a moratorium on debt payments from all heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs) owing Canada. The minister was delivering on an initiative he launched during meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Prague last September, at which he publicly requested that all creditor governments suspend debt interest payments from poor countries.

The Arguments of "The Rice Import Liberalization Agenda in Liberia"
The need for economic research and analysis as prerequisite for policy decisions is an elementary and obvious fact, which we should waste no time to debate. And yet, some people have superfluously stressed this need for policy research, as if others were not aware of it.

The Continuing Debate on Self-sufficiency in Rice Production
As Geepu Tiepoh notes, I am an advocate of free trade and make no apologies for that. I do not believe that free trade is a panacea for all economic problems. Nor do I think that free trade is without its difficulties.

External Debt and Political Chaos: Future of Liberia's Economic Policy
Liberians should be mindful of two important forces that now affect both their present economic reality and the future of their economic development policies. Huge external debt overhang and increasing domestic political paralysis have now combined to not only prevent current development opportunities but also endanger the domestic autonomy and direction of economic policy in Liberia. In the present context of global economic adjustment, excessive external debt always entails the danger of the imposition of international policy prescriptions that often overlook critical domestic economic, social, and human development concerns.

Blinded by Free Trade and Comparative Advantage Dogma
In his reaction to my recent article, "The Rice Import Liberalization Agenda in Liberia: Some Critical Policy Issues", Harry Greaves, Jr. has clearly evaded the crucial arguments of the article and focused instead on preaching rhetoric about comparative advantage, free trade and globalization. In asking the question, "What's the Case for Self-Sufficiency in Rice Production?", Greaves asserted that the article was based on "the false premise" that Liberia should be self-sufficient in rice production.

What's the Case for Self-Sufficiency in Rice Production?
The whole basis of Geepu Nah Tiepoh's article in the April/June 2000 issue of The Perspective rests on the false premise that a desirable policy goal should be self-sufficiency in rice production for Liberia. In this, as in countless other renditions I have read and heard, there is a lot of emotion-laden cant, hype and theology about the need for Liberia to be self-sufficient in rice, but nary a reasoned argument based in quantitative analysis to support this position.

The Rice Import Liberalization Agenda in Liberia: Some Critical Policy Issues
In the January/March 1998 issue of this magazine, we had predicted that under the current rule of global capital, where a country's access to international finance is largely determined by its having "sound" macroeconomic and structural balances, post-war Liberia would have to adhere to the demands of global capital by instituting "appropriate" macroeconomic and structural adjustment. Well, our prognosis has come true. In fact, just as we were making this prediction, the government of Liberia was embarking upon an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff-monitored program (SMP) of economic and financial policies designed to enforce discipline and reforms in the economy.

Debt and Adjustment under the New Globalization Consensus: Can Africa Still Resist?
Recently, various activist groups backed by hundreds of supporters converged on Washington D.C. to protest against the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The groups accused the two Bretton Woods financial institutions and the World Trade Organization (WTO) of pursuing policies that promote global economic injustice predicated on enriching wealthy nations, placing corporate profitability over social and environmental concerns, and increasing poverty in developing countries.

Capital and Development in Liberia: Some Critical Issues
Behind the cloud over the issue of lack of development in Liberia, different attitudes emerge towards the role of international capital in domestic development. There are those who, unaware of the current dynamics of international capital, and in their honest desire to identify the appropriate forces for national development, are quick to point to the importance of global finance and investment capital in the development process.

Pitfalls Of The Liberian Economy: What Is Liberia's Choice of Economic Management? - Like other badly run third world economies, the Liberian economic problems are traced to a set of interrelated problems that are amazingly taught in every day business school; in this case, diversify the economy to avert potential stagnation arising from over-reliance on one or too few primary export products...

LIBERIA: A Frame Work For Change And Renewal
We are but six months away from that which will mark the twenty-year period of the tumultuous events of April 1980 when our nation had the first real opportunity for change. The constraints imposed by one hundred, fifty years of power and privilege monopolization were broken, providing the basis for a fundamental altering of the framework of economic, political and social systems that had been shaped over those many years of settler domination.

Taylor, U.S. Dollar And Public Ignorance
A little over two years ago, Charles Taylor was campaigning for the presidency in Liberia and making promises of all sorts and to lend credibility to his many promises, he procured rice from the Republic of Taiwan and distributed it amongst his constituency. Confounding even his critics, Taylor made himself over in a crowded field of presidential wannabes and projected an image as the one person who had a sustained connection to the ordinary household in Liberia. Outhustling, out-maneuvering and double crossing even some of his fiercest opponents, Taylor managed to do the imponderable, bringing most Liberians into his cheering line and virtually assured himself as a drop of goodness in a sea of insanity.

National Security Through Power Protection Or Human and Socioeconomic Development: Which Way Liberia?
It becomes increasingly clear that the Taylor administration, like other Liberian governments of the past, has chosen a Machiavellian-type view and approach to national security over one based on democratization, human protection, and socioeconomic needs satisfaction. The prevailing tendency has been towards protecting and entrenching state power structures through instrumentalist means as opposed to promoting broader and longer-term national security goals through popular and legitimate provision of human and socioeconomic welfare. This turn of events is quite unfortunate because Liberian history is replete with lessons pointing to the disastrous consequences of putting state security interests above basic human and socioeconomic security. It is true that the Liberian state requires security and stability.

The Hubbub Over Foreign Aid: Facing The Sobering Reality
Recent pronouncements by officials of the Liberian government, including President Taylor, indicate that the government is disappointed with the current level of foreign aid to Liberia. Two months after submitting the government's National Reconstruction Program to an international donor conference in Paris last April, Liberia's Finance Minister chastised the African Development Bank (ADB), at its recent Annual Conference, for not being "responsive to Africa's needs", noting specifically that the Bank has failed to come to Liberia's aid (The Inquirer, Vol. 7, No. 95). Upon returning home from a trip to Nigeria and Burkina Faso early July, President Taylor too accused the international community of turning its back on Liberia, saying all that the country is getting from non-African nations is promises (Liberian Daily News Bulletin, Star Radio, July 6).

Debt And Adjustment In The Liberian Economy: Some Policy Implications
As Liberia emerges from the ravages of war, her economy wobbles under debt and monetary crises which threaten the country with further economic uncertainty and poverty. The threat comes not only from the direct impact of the crises but also from the policy options that are available for resolving them. In an increasingly competitive world capital market, where a country's access to foreign capital is largely determined by its ability to maintain 'appropriate' macroeconomic and structural balances, it is certain that Liberia, which has recently emerged out of war with no significant domestic capital sources, and whose debt and monetary conditions are debased, will have to adhere to the demands of global capital by instituting some macroeconomic and structural adjustment.

The Liberian Economy: The Path From Loot To Develop (Part I)
A careful analysis of the nature of military conflicts occurring in most African countries points to a disturbing irony: Whereas these conflicts are often waged over the control and distribution of the available economic and power resources, the national economies that nurture these resources are often destroyed during the conflicts; they are looted of their very life-sustaining fibres, and denied much needed development opportunities during the crises.

The Liberian Economy: The Path From Loot To Develop (Part II)
In the previous issue, I offered a descriptive analysis of the dismal state of the Liberian economy, as caused by corrupt management policies in the 1980s and compounded by a civil conflict in which "warlords" plundered the natural resources of the land. In this sequel, I will provide a brief perspective on some possible strategies for post-war economic recovery and development in Liberia. Given the space constraint, the analysis will be devoid of detailed specifications but will provide a broad view on the debate about Liberia's economic future. In separate issues, I hope to discuss the themes mentioned here in greater depth.


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