Bridging Liberians into the 21st Century
By Ramses K. Nah
November 12, 2003
A couple of years ago, I visited Liberia and spent a few weeks there, especially in Monrovia. I was astounded at the depth of destruction I witnessed all around me. I was equally appalled with the poor caliber of individuals who were occupying high positions in the government. Above all, what affected me most was the obvious absence of professional Liberian owned enterprises. The Liberian workforce, from the very top appeared to be inept and incompetent. Today, in this interim administration, this is the reality, corrupt, incompetent individuals, along with murders, thieves and people who have in the not too distant past, shown that they are incapable of good governance are our leaders and hold important fundamental positions. These individuals lack experience, except for a very few, and they are all in it for personal gain. All this led me to the conclusion that something drastic had to be done to alleviate Liberia from this predicament and felt the urgent need for Liberians to form a Professional Organization of Liberians of various disciplines.
While this may sound like the formation of yet another useless group of Liberian organization, the sincere involvement of the right people, such an organization would become the vehicle that could lead Liberia out of its present day chaos. Now, the question may be what kind of organization. The desire is that this body should be made up of professional Liberians of all backgrounds subjugated by educational discipline. Of course, this does not mean that this organization is only for those who have completed a four-year university or college course, definitely not. Professionals from all disciplines are welcome to join forces, although the believe is that, down the line, dividing the group based on their professional disciplines will be imperative in achieving our goals.
Now, why such an organization?
The Liberian society is currently suffering from a severe “Brain Drain”. A majority of the highly skilled Liberians are not in Liberia at the present. If conditions and opportunities do not improve soon in Liberia, then these highly skilled professionals will never think of returning home. But this new organization could seek out such people and induce them to return home with assurances of creating opportunities for them in Liberia. Since the core vision of this organization will be to induce professionalism into the Liberian society, we can help both sides - the job seekers as well as the provide opportunities. In addition, this organization could also become a special body that could effectively advice, as well as influence the policies of the national government and provide technical guidance to Liberia’s industries. Besides the above potential benefits, bringing about a network of such magnitude would lead to the organization becoming a national referral institution.
One of the most important objectives of such an organization will be to provide standardization of the various disciplines within the framework of a viable society. Each sub-group will provide guidelines that affect their respective disciplines. The establishment of professional standards, education of the less fortunate and sharing of professional experiences gained will be vital to the creation of a civilized and professional Liberian society. This will provide a forum for professional discourse for the betterment of the respective industry and even the nation as a whole.
Frame Work of Such Organization
This organization will consist of semi-independent groups within a group. Simply stated, groups will be segmented by discipline. Each discipline group would be very much autonomous and may vary in structure and function, based on their professional discipline. There could be a Board of Directors, which will serve as overseer of the activities, professionalism and standards of the collective organization.
The rationale here is that the selection of individuals for government services must be vetted for the proper credentials before occupying such positions. This organization would then recommend to the national leadership whether or not individual are capable of steering the positions for which they have been selected. Moreover, government policies could be heavily influence by this organization as standard and experience would be made available to have the right people and policies in place. On the other hand, networking amongst Liberians would enable the creation of better opportunities in employment and job creation.
We as Liberians cannot sit idly and expect the outside world to bring us what we can do for ourselves. Instituting the right course of action now would lead to a better Liberia that is palatable to our children and our lingering years. Liberians must take control of their economy and society and not sit and wait on handouts. The time is now! As in the words of George W. Bush, “Are you with us or against us”. Certainly, LURD, MODEL, NPP and Charles Taylor and his now defunct administration and kleptomaniac friends are not with us.
My fellow Liberians, the future is our children’s and ours. Are you in or are you out!