Special Feature

From Where I see Weah..

Part (I) B:
How President Weah’s Government Can Reduce Hardship in Liberia?
Cancel the US dollar In Liberia: Condt’d from part I


Any Liberian or foreigner who will keep more than two-thousand US dollar in his/her private bank account said account should be an investigated by the National Security Service (NSA). And if the source of said amount or account is unquestionable, those concerned should be taken to Court of competent jurisdiction to provide evidence and justification of how they obtained such amount of US dollar and from what source. All private/public banking entities should be mandated by the Bank of Liberia to make a quarterly disclosure of all foreigners’ and Liberians who saved more than five thousand US dollars in their foreign accounts at home and abroad.

No foreigner/Liberian should be allowed by the NSA to pass through the Robert International Airport (RIA) with any US dollar without the approval of the Bank of Liberia and said fund should be in bank draft and not in physical cash. If the Bank of Liberia doesn’t approve of said transactions those involved should be charged with economy sabotage or economy crime and placed behind a bar for ten-year after a court ruling. Anyone wishing to travel with US dollar outside of Liberia he/she should get an authentic bank draft of not more than one five hundred US dollar with the support of the Bank of Liberia.

The US dollar has affected the effective growth and development of Liberia from time in Memorial. This is because every Liberian/foreigner/politician and other business people often engage in a capital flight of the US dollar from Liberia which undermines development in Liberia. The US dollar also facilitates rampant corruption in Liberia. There should be a banned on any Liberian banking in US dollar outside of Liberia.

Those who will violate such policy their properties should be confiscated by a Court and the accuse ones should be thrown in jail for five-years. A presidential decree from President Weah should compel every Liberian irrespective of status or position in Liberia to bank straightly in Liberia. It should be considered as an economic crime for any Liberian to bank abroad.

The Liberian government doesn’t have the necessary resources to back the use of the US dollar in Liberia, as a result, the nation is experiencing huge inflation and capital flight. The Liberian dollar has been undermined and weakened severely, which is a ridiculous economy. Liberia can easily obtain resources to back the Liberian dollar, then the US dollar in Liberia. Liberians are using the US dollar because of greed, corruption, personal aggrandizement and prestige.

The removal of the US dollar in the Liberian economy will eventually minimize hardship on Liberians because Liberia will only be confronted with the use of one single currency, that is Liberian dollar for all of Liberians personal and private transactions in the country. The use of the US dollar in the Liberia economy should be declared insane and violators should be put behind bars for using the US dollar as a legal tender in Liberia if only President Weah is serious about reducing hardship on Liberians in Liberia.

The other areas that adds hardships on Liberians is the serious disparities in salaries structures. Lebanese and other foreign businesses should be mandated how much to pay Liberian employees rather than the foreigners determining how much they should pay Liberian employees within their personal purview or perspective. The Weah’s government should get engaged fully in these areas of sincere concerns.

Column: From Where I see Weah…

Part I (A):
How President Weah’s Government Can Reduce Hardship in Liberia?


There are several practical steps or approaches the Weah’s government can utilize to minimize hardship and maximize good living conditions for Liberians. This series contained part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Part I of this sixth series, calls for the cancellation of the use of the US dollar in the Liberian economy which is one of the major factors contributing to hardship in Liberia.
Removal of the US dollar from the Liberian Economy:
The systematic and comfortable utilization of the US dollar as a legal tender in the Liberian economy is one of the fundamental and systemic causes of acute hardship-indirectly imposed on Liberians in Liberia since 1907. Not every Liberian works or earns the US dollar in Liberia. Pegging the US dollar with the Liberian dollar is economically not appropriate. Every item sold in stores in Liberia has the UD dollar price tag on it, thus making life miserable for millions of Liberians while few Liberians and their unscrupulous business partners dwelled in perpetual dollar paradise.
House rents are labeled in US dollar, school fees and registration are largely labeled in US dollar. Everything is labeled in US dollar. How will Liberia develop under such condition? Enormous goods and services are charged in US dollar. Salaries of government officials, including the judiciary, the executive and parliament are all in US dollar. As a result, unwelcomed and dangerous foreign businesses are constantly flocking to Liberia in search of the US dollar with evil intent thus leaving Liberians in poverty—this is viciously an insane precedence.
The Liberian economy is draining considerably due to the effective use of the US dollar which is adversely undermining the smooth development of the Liberian economic. First, the US dollar has been creating huge inflation rate (139 LD to I US) which has continued to weaken the status of the Liberian dollar. Liberia is the only country in the world that is effectively utilizing two legal currencies working assiduously -side-by-side. The use of the US dollar in Liberia is conducive and lucrative but it is very dangerous for Liberian living condition in general.
The US dollar fertilizes the perpetuation of rampant corruption in Liberia. The US dollar is highly tantamount to the economic vandalization of the Liberians business sectors and the proliferation of corrupt agent of change. The US dollar encourages the huge influx of thousands and thousands of foreigners into Liberia. These foreigners’ fundamental goal is to search, grab and take away every cent of the US dollar away from the Liberian economy.
If the Weah’s government is very serious to minimize hardship on Liberians as an agent of positive change, his government should move tactically and swiftly to replace the US dollar with the Liberian dollar. In other words, the Weah’s government should foster the establishment of a very strong Liberian dollar economy that will benefit Liberians and not the foreigners who are purposely in Liberia to chase and take away the US dollar.
Furthermore, all items, materials, should be sold directly in Liberian dollar going forward, which would improve and reduce hardship on Liberians. No business material should be price tagged in US dollar in Liberia anymore. For example, gas stations, hotels, motels, restaurants and for-profit and not-for-profit business entities/institutions, public and private Universities in Liberia should be made to charge all their fees and registrations in Liberian dollar exclusively.
Every embassy, NGO, PVO internal/external charities organizations, government officials, parliament, the judiciary and the executive should conduct their normal business transactions in Liberian currency only with no pegging with the US dollar. The bank of Liberia should be the official custodian of the US currency. All business entities/institutions that are in the business of importing goods from abroad should purchase the US dollar directly from the Bank of Liberia.
Other private banks should buy the US dollar from the bank of Liberia for external international transactions only. Individual Liberian can be allowed to open a private US dollar account at any bank of their chosen, but they will transact that amount in Liberian dollar in Liberia. Liberians who will have a US dollar account at any bank should be forbidden by law to transact their businesses and or other services directly in Liberian dollar and not in US dollar. Those services or businesses should be reflected in the through the powers of the Liberian dollar. That means, a Liberian can withdraw his/her US dollar from a bank of his/her chosen, but his/her transaction should be done in Liberian dollar going forward. Condit in next edition (Cancellation of the US dollar in the Liberian economy).

Optimism: Is the Magic Word

If Liberians at home and abroad had never been optimistic about their president, since the cradle of Liberia’s independence, July 26, 1847, the inauguration of President Weah, should set the platform for such optimism about him.


Too often, most Liberians had dwelled in the state of unmanageable figment, terrible hallucinations, and endless bigotries. These disavowal vices have often prevented Liberians from knowing the hidden aptitudes of their elected leaders. These treacherous vices have the latent to develop into falsehood, political conspiracy theories, bitterness and hatred against their elected leaders. As a result, some Liberians become overwhelmed with impediment and disillusionment which often lead to sowing a discourse and bitterness in the nation against their elected leaders, when they should be submerged in the spirit of optimism.

Liberians should begin to nurture the political fruits of optimism for President Weah and his government for the sake of peace and unity. This is the moment when Liberians will need to forge ahead in harmony. Speaking with one preference in support of President Weah’s platform for the growth and development of Mama’s Liberia. Liberians need to understand that this is not President Weah’s government. It is the government of all Liberians. President Weah is simply a vessel to lead Liberians and Liberia as a captain.

His Excellency wasn’t elected Head of State and the 25th President of Liberia on the basis of mere human luck or by holistic magical powers, his election was divinely driven. H.E. was elected because the Almighty God had permitted him to become president of the Republic of Liberia. President Weah election is synonymous to that of the election of former President Barrack Obama of the United State of America in 2009/17. Former President Obama was elected in a white-dominated culture. Something that shocked and surprised the whole world. Former President Obama wasn’t elected on the basis of his hard-earned law credential or because he was born to a white mother. It was the Lord Almighty who sent him to lead both white, black and brown people of the United States of America.

Over 90% of Americans were definitively optimistic about former President Obama’s presidency. Because of such optimism, former President Obama was greatly successful and presidentially productive in every facet of his political undertakings. That doesn't mean that President Obama did not encounter political problems, social obstacles, and economic catastrophe.

The people of America stood by Former President Obama every step of the way; because they found meaning in the spirit of optimism and inspirations. In the midst of their troubles and frustrations, Americans were still optimistic about former President Obama. This is the type of spirit Liberians will need to cultivate honesty in supporting President Weah’s government in his trek.

Today, President Weah has been named the father of the nation, as such, all entities including the opposition parties, the clergy, political detractors, government officials, students and well-wishers will need to cultivate the spirit of optimism, hope, and inspirations for His Excellency to achieve the platform he has set forth to achieve. Liberians should be optimistic by putting forward meaningful advice, suggestion, and recommendation.

Liberians should not travel to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the United States of America with the intent of undermining the Weah’s Presidency, by calling on the international community to impose sanctions and discouraging donor agencies to support the pending holistic development initiatives embarked on by President Weah purposely for the people of Liberia.

Liberians who might be fortunate one day to travel far and wide around the world should speak positive about Liberia and encourage donor organizations and investors to invest in Liberia not purposely because of President Weah’s government, but because of the suffering masses of the Republic of Liberia. Let us remember when President Weah fails, Liberians fail, when he succeeds, Liberians succeed. “Optimism: Is the magic word” for the future of Liberia.

 

From Where I see Weah Government

President Weah’s Government Officials: Are they Old Wine in a New Bottle? Government linesmen/women are normally appointed by the president, and vetted by Parliament and paid by the taxpayers. Their paramount objective is to help the president stimulate the affairs of the nation from their individual’s administrative domain. Since the 80s, government officials have been recycled from time to time from one government to another. Some of these recycled officials are sometimes sincere, hardworking or highly fraudulent in their deportment.


Liberia has gone through a daunting task with rampant corruption being at the center stage of every emerging government. Corruption in Liberia has not been practiced by African Antelopes or Zimbabwe's giant elephants. Corruption has been practiced by the very government officials appointed by the president to assist him/her carry out the day-to-day’s operations of the government zealously.

The employ government officials served at the pleasure and dictates of the President. Government officials are humans like us. They loved the good life, pageantries, and booties. Despite their selection to work for Liberia, the Liberian people expect so much of President Weah's officials by embarking on extraordinary initiatives in a relatively different context characterized by doses of honesty.

The appointees are expected to enact tremendous innovations that will be incomparable to the tasks and duties of their predecessors in past governments. The new officials are expected to expose corruption, punish corruption and announce corruption in their various Corporations, Commissions, Ministries, and Agencies. They should endeavor to report any form of corrupt within their rank and file. The new officials are expected to work in alignment with President Weah’s expectations and holistic goals in the fulfillment of their salient sacrificial services to the people of Liberia. How achievable this will be, is the guess of the devil.

But President Weah is three times likely to lose the fight on corruption if, and if only those who he is appointing are not ready to stand shoulders to shoulders with him in his quest to challenge corruption head-on. The appointees should be able to walk in the shadows of President Weah's thinking on how corruption can be defeated. In order for President Weah to fight corruption successfully, his appointees will need to make a tremendous sacrifice. They will need to first change their lavish lifestyles by cultivating a measurable and sound ethical work habit through the banner of unquestionable patriotism and absolute commitment to President Weah and the people of Liberia.

Some of the appointees are already “old wine in a new bottle” in the eyes of the Liberian people who are a testimonial to the devastation of corrupt government official in Liberia over the years. Some will be accepting President Weah’s offer with the intent to live big time life as they did in previous governments. Others are coming to the new job either to pollute the office with unethical practices such as womanizing and other nefarious activities within the limit of their individual’s official domain. Some will demand money from others to offer them jobs, while others could effectively transform their offices into hotels and motels with the intent to exploit innocent opposite sexes for little or nothing. Rampant corruption is not only about stealing or embezzling money from government coffers. It is also about how government officials conduct their persona through the demand of administrative decency and political cordiality that are reflective of the Weah’s team.

President Weah’s eyes will not be everywhere at the same time checking on his appointees to do the right thing. But the appointees are under official obligation to live up to expectations not to bring disgrace to the Presidency. They will need to enforce a self-administrative disciplinary mechanism within the scope of their individual’s offices that will help push back on corruption by embarking on the following actions: First, all appointees should be compelled by President Weah to develop a plan of action on how they will go about tackling corruption within their various Ministries, Agencies, and Commissions and Corporations. Second, each appointee should sign a written memorandum of understanding with President Weah, declaring that he/she will proceed to Prison for twenty-years, and his/her properties will be confiscated if, and if only the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Fast Track Court Courts on corruption find him/her guilty of rampant corruption. Third, each Corporation, Commission, Agency, and Ministry should be Audited by the General Audit Commission in every six-months to ensure transparency and accountability. The Weah’s government should engage the professional services and the protections of staunched whistle browsers on corruption in Liberia.

Can President Weah Defeat Corruption?

President Weah proclamation to the world in his inaugural address: “Corruption Will Have No Place in My Gov't” sounds promising, but yet a complicated dinner to have. H.E. is aware that the late President Doe did murder 17-government officials in the name of fighting rampant corruption, yet he became corruptible. Former President Sirleaf declared in her 2005 inaugural address: “Corruption Would be Public Enemy Number one as we Strive to make Liberia a Post-Conflict Success Story”, yet corruption became her closest companion for 12-years until such marriage ended on January 22nd, 2018.


President Weah is vividly aware that fighting corruption is a process and not an event. However, for the President to successfully subdue corruption and be triumphant in the process, he must first be a shining example as a corrupt free president in the Executive Manson with a very clean slip to exhibit to the world and the Liberian people by sincerely accounting for his 85-million he earned during his football career outside Liberia.

There are strong indicators that President Weah’s political proclamation: “Corruption Will Have No Place in my Government.” This proclamation is challenging, but hopeful. The President official utterance was emphatically dead on arrival giving the unbeatable fortitude of rampant corruption in Liberia. If President Weah truly wants to redeem the Republic of Liberia and its citizenry from the raft of rampant corruption several questions arose: What was President Weah's measurable plan of action in defeating corruption at the CDC? When President Weah served the people of Monsterrado County as Senior Senator, what was his plan of action recommended to the House of Senate to tackle corruption? For the purpose of political expedient, can President Weah disclose the financial reports of the CDC within the last 13-years? Have Liberians asked themselves as to why President Weah did not Audit Former President Sirleaf if he is truly sincere and committed to fighting rampant corruption in Liberia?

The CDC has been a shadow government in waiting for the past 16-years. The CDC has not been using stones or sticks to run its massive operations, programs and activities. The CDC has been surviving enormously on individual's dues and huge external and internal donations from Liberians and businesses at home and abroad. What are the records of those smart exchanges, disbursements, and savings? Is President Weah lamenting that the CDC's officials and line officers including himself are corruption free in the CDC?

Ironically, if the founder of CDC, who is now Head of State and the 25th President of the Republic of Liberia is uneasy to unearth his blueprint plans he once used to curb corruption within the CDC's rank and file, how then can Liberians President Weah’s official proclamation with smiles? Most Liberians may not easily take President Weah by his presidential proclamation on corruption: "Corruption Will Have No Place in My Govt't"? President Weah's proclamation is indeed conspicuously self-defeating. The proclamation is not measurable and achievable by any stretch of political imagination.

When corruption becomes a way of life or the norms rather than the exception, it becomes a daunting task to deal with. Corruption in Liberia is a deadly weapon. It is a life or death game. Liberia has witnessed the transition of generation of very corrupt officials in many past governments. For example, the late Former President Doe did produce a set of corrupt officials in the early 80s. Those corrupt officials took permanent residence in all the Interim governments in the 90s. Those corrupt officials from the then list of Interim governments also migrated to Former President Charles’s government.

The late Doe’s corrupt officials, the Interim government corrupt officials’ and the former President Taylor corrupt officials, did cross-over into Former President Sirleaf’s government and spent extra 12-years recruiting new members of other government officials known as: “The Liberia’s generation of highly corrupt officials” who are standing-by patiently to pollute the young Weah’s government. It is believed that 9 out of every 10 Liberian government officials in Liberia are carrying the corruption disease with them.

There are strong signals that President Weah is three times likely to employ some of the disease-carrying corrupt officials either from the late Doe's era, the chain of interim governments era, the era of the Former President Taylor's government or from Former President Sirleaf’s era. Today, corrupt is a systemic disease in Liberia. The fight to weed corrupt officials will be an uphill task for President Weah's government, but in all Liberians, should remain optimistic about President Weah in the process.

Can President Weah Defeat Corruption?

President Weah proclamation to the world in his inaugural address: “Corruption Will Have No Place in My Gov't” sounds promising, but yet a complicated dinner to have. H.E. is aware that the late President Doe did murder 17-government officials in the name of fighting rampant corruption, yet he became corruptible. Former President Sirleaf declared in her 2005 inaugural address: “Corruption Would be Public Enemy Number one as we Strive to make Liberia a Post-Conflict Success Story”, yet corruption became her closest companion for 12-years until such marriage ended on January 22nd, 2018.


President Weah is vividly aware that fighting corruption is a process and not an event. However, for the President to successfully subdue corruption and be triumphant in the process, he must first be a shining example as a corrupt free president in the Executive Manson with a very clean slip to exhibit to the world and the Liberian people by sincerely accounting for his 85-million he earned during his football career outside Liberia.

There are strong indicators that President Weah’s political proclamation: “Corruption Will Have No Place in my Government.” This proclamation is challenging, but hopeful. The President official utterance was emphatically dead on arrival giving the unbeatable fortitude of rampant corruption in Liberia. If President Weah truly wants to redeem the Republic of Liberia and its citizenry from the raft of rampant corruption several questions arose: What was President Weah's measurable plan of action in defeating corruption at the CDC? When President Weah served the people of Monsterrado County as Senior Senator, what was his plan of action recommended to the House of Senate to tackle corruption? For the purpose of political expedient, can President Weah disclose the financial reports of the CDC within the last 13-years? Have Liberians asked themselves as to why President Weah did not Audit Former President Sirleaf if he is truly sincere and committed to fighting rampant corruption in Liberia?

The CDC has been a shadow government in waiting for the past 16-years. The CDC has not been using stones or sticks to run its massive operations, programs and activities. The CDC has been surviving enormously on individual's dues and huge external and internal donations from Liberians and businesses at home and abroad. What are the records of those smart exchanges, disbursements, and savings? Is President Weah lamenting that the CDC's officials and line officers including himself are corruption free in the CDC?

Ironically, if the founder of CDC, who is now Head of State and the 25th President of the Republic of Liberia is uneasy to unearth his blueprint plans he once used to curb corruption within the CDC's rank and file, how then can Liberians President Weah’s official proclamation with smiles? Most Liberians may not easily take President Weah by his presidential proclamation on corruption: "Corruption Will Have No Place in My Govt't"? President Weah's proclamation is indeed conspicuously self-defeating. The proclamation is not measurable and achievable by any stretch of political imagination.

When corruption becomes a way of life or the norms rather than the exception, it becomes a daunting task to deal with. Corruption in Liberia is a deadly weapon. It is a life or death game. Liberia has witnessed the transition of generation of very corrupt officials in many past governments. For example, the late Former President Doe did produce a set of corrupt officials in the early 80s. Those corrupt officials took permanent residence in all the Interim governments in the 90s. Those corrupt officials from the then list of Interim governments also migrated to Former President Charles’s government.

The late Doe’s corrupt officials, the Interim government corrupt officials’ and the former President Taylor corrupt officials, did cross-over into Former President Sirleaf’s government and spent extra 12-years recruiting new members of other government officials known as: “The Liberia’s generation of highly corrupt officials” who are standing-by patiently to pollute the young Weah’s government. It is believed that 9 out of every 10 Liberian government officials in Liberia are carrying the corruption disease with them.

There are strong signals that President Weah is three times likely to employ some of the disease-carrying corrupt officials either from the late Doe's era, the chain of interim governments era, the era of the Former President Taylor's government or from Former President Sirleaf’s era. Today, corrupt is a systemic disease in Liberia. The fight to weed corrupt officials will be an uphill task for President Weah's government, but in all Liberians, should remain optimistic about President Weah in the process.

Government and Opposition: A Lesson from History

The greatest political problem with which the emerging CDC government will have to contend is that of the relationship between government and opposition. The problem has its roots in the collaboration experienced between the state and opposition parties. The state, starved of resources, becomes somewhat introverted, excluding opposition parties from the political governance process. Too often the state leaders are only concerned with their own private welfare. Opposition parties, particularly in the past, never really engaged the government or at times they bypassed it as a survival strategy.


When Liberia entered the age of the one-party state characterized by centralized rule, political pluralism was curtailed and remaining opposition institutions were co-opted, harassed or banned. At the apex of this highly centralized state there usually resided a presidential-monarch enjoying the power of personal rule. These autocrats have had little to fear by way of formal political challenges to the leadership. No constitutional mechanisms remained to unseat them. Opposition parties were forced to accept the leadership of whichever faction of the state elite was in the ascendant.

The last two decades of the twentieth century brought a tidal wave of multi-party elections to Liberia. Some of big politicians perished in this exercise, but many more survived.

The two multi-party governments that have emerged from the political upheaval of the 1980s and 1990s certainly retained many authoritarians’ reflexes from the past, yet the UP-led government was relatively accountable to the people. A resort to exclusive personal rule has been discouraged by the restoration of legal-rational institutions.

In this process, opposition parties were brought back into the constitutional political process and once again permitted to participate. This improved relationship between government and opposition parties will not guarantee, but dramatically increase, the possibility of bringing a brighter political future to our country. It is still a gloomy reality, however, the new government cannot start with a clean slate.

The division between government and opposition parties cost our country dearly, and today we find ourselves still at the beginning of such a dialogue.

In Western Countries the function of the opposition is to compel thought, to expose some of the dangers of the policies of the government and to exhort the government to change these policies which are dangerous. But in Liberia, few opposition parties can claim the achievement of either compelling thought or persuading governments to change some of their policies. This does not mean that Liberians have not grasped the essentials of party democracy; this only means that governments have still to learn to trust the intentions of oppositions either because the latter once co-operated with the enemies of freedom or because leaders of rival parties have not had the opportunity of knowing and trusting each other. Since opposition in the initial years of multi-party democracy, achieves a few positive results, and since it frays nerves on both sides, there seems to be a strong case on this score alone for inviting leaders of opposition parties to participate in government. Working together in this way would have the effect of building up mutual trust between the leaders of various parties. Once distrust has been removed, the winning and losing parties can revert to their respective functions of proposing and opposing and there would be a reasonable chance that the views of the opposition will not only be listened to sympathetically but also acted upon where necessary.

When multi-party elections reached Liberia, a great hope for change was anticipated. Examples of some very important elements of change anticipated in Liberia include but not limited to:

• Need for a credible opposition to consolidate our young democracy.
• Need for a strong civil society because new or mended political

leadership is hardly more democratic than their predecessors.

• Need for stronger economy: severe economic problems could

lead to loss of legitimacy and even the collapse of pluralism

itself.

• Need for a separation of the state and ruling party, a distinction yet to emerge, but essential if a level playing-field is necessary for parties to compete.

Unfortunately, for us all these requirements remain as stumbling blocks. In particular the confusion created by the merger of state and ruling party is unhealthy. This unhealthiness is indicated by such symptoms as intolerance on the part of governing party towards opposition parties, a tendency towards strong-man or iron-lady government, indulgence in smear campaigns and political instability.

Remember: it is better to light a lamp, than to curse the darkness!

By Tom Nimely Chie

President George Weah Inaugural Address on Liberia’s New Foreign Policy Agenda

Indeed Liberia has deeply changed the political pages of modern democracies across various continents by making history as the first sovereign state in the world to elect and sworn in office an acclaimed international soccer legend as President of the Republic, while in 2005 Liberia became the first African country to elect a female president. Interestingly this unique history of Liberia started in the 60s when the nation produced the first female president of the United Nations General Assembly. The three Liberians are President George Weah, former president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Mrs. Angie Brooks Randall.


The expectations of Weah’s leadership are sky-high among Liberians who believe are positives that the president will deliver on his promises of equality, rule of law, unity and better living standard for the poverty-stricken population. Interestingly, the excitement and enthusiasm that engulfed thousands of Liberians at the Sports Complex in Paynesville and others whose queued for miles to get to the venue signified a new dawn in the pages of Liberia. President Weah has risen from the slums of Clara town, outside Monrovia to the nation's highest office after two unsuccessful attempts in 2005 and 2011 for the presidency.

Just like his predecessor, Johnson-Sirleaf, the Weah administration has inherited a task of removing greater number of poverty-stricken Liberians from abject poverty, provide electricity and safe-drinking water to greater population, ensure paved roads across the country, create jobs and quality education and affordable health care, among other pressing necessities.

But in his thrilling inauguration address as 24th President of Liberia, Mr. Weah said: "I am a humble today to be at this stadium that made me, I have spent many years of my life in stadium, but today is a feeling like no other, I strive to be excellent, and I can be successful.”
The address has been described as one of the best inaugural orations in modern history that addressed many pressing issues and reawaken hopes and motivation of the poverty driven people of Liberia.

The Tuesday’s occasion made Liberia the focus of international attention and at the same time captured on the front pages of global leading newspapers and in the headlines of top television and radio stations across the globe when former president Johnson-Sirleaf peacefully transferred power to President Weah, with thunderous cheers echoing through the stadium and across the country; something that hasn’t been done in Liberia’s 74-year of history.

The exciting speech was greeted with thousands Liberians waving flags and dancing through the various streets and communities across the country while others from the homes and entertainment centers followed the historic occasion via radio and televisions transmission.
In an astute speech of optimism, President Weah used the historic inauguration to set forth his administration foreign policy and domestic agenda constructively as he reached out to friendly countries and Liberia’s international partners especially to Washington, Beijing, European Union, ECOWAS, African Union, United Nations, World Bank International Monetary Fund and Arab League countries, among others.

From an analysis of the speech, President Weah’s foreign policy to some degree is contrary from that of former president Johnson-Sirleaf regime’s foreign policy. However, bother leaders foreign policies centered on the cultivation cordial friendly relations with governments, United Nations, Multilateral institutions, regional and continent bodies and members of the global system.

The past years of the nation’s dark history, the country was viewed by the outside world as a failed state, but the extraordinary display of diplomatic modus operandi and good leadership for the former administration, Liberia has since regained its status among the comity of nations.
The speech which was sharply delivered by President Weah also focused good neighborliness, respect for international orders, ensuring the prevalence of sub-regional and by extension guaranteed continental and global peace and security and respect for sovereignty. Generally, the address avoided too many big promises; instead his speech was people centered issues driven. Like former president Johnson-Sirleaf, President Weah vowed to root out.

An analysis of the inaugural address shows that the CDC led-government foreign policy is formulated solely for national interests and its primary and obvious objectives entailed the maintenance of national security and the preservation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, the promotion of peace and harmony based on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, and respect for international orders. It also centered on securing the much-needed strategic partnerships with international players.

During the occasion, the president reiterated that his administration will build on the gains made by the former regime of Johnson-Sirleaf especially in the areas of free speech and press freedom, stability and peaceful co-existence but vowed to root out corruption.

Thunderous cheers echoed through the stadium and across the country, President Weah used the profound address to praise his predecessor Johnson-Sirleaf for laying the foundations on which he said Liberians can now stand in peace, stressing that "United, Liberians are certain to succeed as a nation, warning that divided the we are certain to fall.

Interestingly, the speech touched the relations between Liberia and the United States of America and seeks the United States continue support in various aspects based on both interests that tied to Liberia and America. The speech recounted Washington support to Liberia, describing the United States as Liberia’s oldest and reliable partner. The United States has also led the international efforts to end the armed conflict in Liberia through its financial support for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL.

Besides, the Weah’s foreign policy also reflects Liberia’s relations with European Union and reiterate his administration desire for continue ties with EU, attributing his achievements to Europe. He also detailed some assistance the EU has rendered Liberia and continue to render the state the state; he has committed his administration cardinal ties with EU.

Still on foreign policy, the address documented Liberia-China productive and mutually rewarding relations, reflecting on the numerous supports Beijing has rendered Liberia in the areas of general economic cooperation, infrastructure development, agriculture, energy, education, culture and health and security development. The president used the occasion stress the maintenance of closer and stronger ties friendship and economic partnership with traditional allies and friends in the Middle East and revealed that Liberia is going to open of new avenues of engagements and mutual solidarity with other states.

With wild applauses from millions of Liberians and foreign dignitaries at the stadium, came the much awaited presidential policy on the fight against corruption; saying that his first priorities would be to root out corruption and pay civil servants "a living wage," and encourage the private sector. He admonished the public to show solidarity for the tasks that lay ahead, saying with the collective determination of all Liberians and God above, his administration succeeded Queued for miles to get at the Sports Complex in Paynesville, the crowds singing, dancing and waved the national flag as they enthusiastically waited for the “country giant” president Weah to be sworn in office.

Meanwhile, foreign policy takes into consideration emerging events across the globe since foreign policy formulations and implementation takes into consideration domestic policy of a state because politics deals not only with government or state but also several dynamics that occurring at other states levels.

While international relations is a strategies of self-interest adopted by a state to protect national interest and respect to its sovereignty including independence, regulation, power, authority, government with the much needed goal in international system. Let us not forget that foreign policy and domestic policy are both interconnected because foreign policy formulation is originated from the inner of state programs which determines government developmental priories based on budgetary appropriation.

Liberia’s Foreign Policy is firmly rooted in its political ideology of liberalism and democracy while the guiding principles of Liberia’s foreign policy has been the maintenance of national security and the preservation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, the promotion of peace and harmony based on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.

The fundamental thrust of Liberia’s foreign policy objective before the mid-1960s was predominantly the maintenance of national independence, due to threats posed by the former colonial powers to the Lone Star of freedom and Liberia’s support to independence movement in Africa. The foreign policy objective, during the colonialism was the independence of African states and a devotion to economic, social and political development across the continent.

Liberia’s international stature and standing among the comity of nations improved immensely from the failed and pariah state situations of the 1990’s and early 2000 to a responsible and well respected member of the International Community. This new status of Liberia ensured particularly during the former era of Johnson-Sirleaf administration.

It is expected that new administration will understand that diplomacy today takes place among multiple sites of authority, power, and influence; at its essence is the conduct of relationships, using peaceful means, by and among international actors, at least one of whom is usually governmental. The typical international actors are states and the bulk of diplomacy involves relations between states directly, or between states, international organizations, and other international actors.

Political pundits have forecasted that the overwhelmed election of President Weah will translate into the creation of jobs that young Liberians desperately need, and improve of livelihoods and a basic ample income distribution for the bigger population.
Those that will be accorded the task to positively drive president Weah’s regime foreign policy and international relations should understand that diplomacy goes far beyond sparkling red and white wines, champagne, ceremonial dinner and soliciting financial and other hand-outs for personal enrichment.

This can be achieved if the rightful individuals with the education and academic credentials, technological skills are given the task to deliver. This requires a strong background of the diplomats from a multidisciplinary perspective since professional diplomacy is an appropriate instrument to perform this synthesis, to the extent that it can use its persuasive techniques in favor of businesses and investments and, simultaneously, prove to be politically and economically profitable to Liberia.

By: Josephus Moses Gray
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Profile of President-elect George Oppong Weah

Ambassador George Oppong Weah, was born October 1, 1966, in Claretown, Monrovia Liberia. He is a soccer star turned politician. He was named African, European, and World Player of the Year in 1995—an unprecedented achievement. His talents on the field were equaled by his activism on behalf of his homeland, where he worked to bring an end to a long civil war. Weah was elected president of Liberia in 2017.


Weah learned his football on the dusty streets of Monrovia before playing for Invincible Eleven, Mighty Barolle, Bongrange Bonguine, and Young Survivors of Claretown.

After leading Young Survivors, a team without a coach, into the first division, Weah signed a three-year semiprofessional contract with top Cameroonian club Tonnerre of Yaoundé, which won its league in his first season (1987) with the team.

Shortly thereafter, the promising 22-year-old striker was signed by AS Monaco of the French first division. In his five seasons with Monaco (1987–92), he scored 57 goals, and the team won the French Cup in 1991. His exceptional dribbling and shooting skills made him a crowd favourite, and his uncompromising work ethic and technical ability landed Weah a lucrative contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). In his most acclaimed season, he led PSG to the French Cup, to the league title, and to the semifinals of the 1995 European Champions League. Subsequently he transferred to AC Milan (1995–2000) in Italy’s Serie A, helping the club win the 1996 and 1999 league titles. In January 2000 AC Milan loaned him to Chelsea of London, where he made an important contribution to that team’s Football Association Cup triumph. At the end of his career, he played briefly with Manchester City and Marseille in France. Weah scored more goals and played in more matches than any other African professional in Europe.

Though Weah established a new home for his family in New York City, he maintained close ties to Liberia, where he is known as “King George” and enjoys considerable popularity. Wracked by poverty and civil war in the 1990s, Liberia was able to sustain the Lone Star—the national team—only with the assistance of Weah, who played for, coached, and to a large extent financed the team. In 2002, after the Lone Star nearly qualified for the World Cup and then performed poorly at the African Cup of Nations, Weah retired from football.

Following the ouster of Pres. Charles Taylor in 2003, Weah returned to Liberia as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations. In 2005 he ran for president of the country as a member of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party. After winning the first round of voting, he was defeated by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Unity Party (UP) in the runoff election in November 2005. Weah initially challenged the election results in court, but he dropped his case the following month.

Weah faced Johnson Sirleaf again in the October 2011 presidential election, but this time as a vice presidential candidate running on the CDC ticket with presidential candidate Winston Tubman. Johnson Sirleaf and Tubman emerged with the most votes, but—as neither garnered a majority—a runoff election was held on November 8. Less than a week before the runoff, however, Tubman cited CDC complaints about irregularities in the first round of voting and withdrew from the race. He also urged his supporters to boycott the election. International observers, who had previously declared the first round of voting to be free and fair, said his allegations were unsubstantiated. Johnson Sirleaf was reelected by a wide margin, although her victory was clouded by the withdrawal of the Tubman-Weah ticket from the race and by low voter turnout.

In December 2014 Weah ran for the position of senator of Montserrado county under the banner of the CDC. He handily defeated his nearest opponent, Robert Sirleaf (one of the president’s sons), taking 78 percent of the vote to Sirleaf’s almost 11 percent. Two years later, in an effort to consolidate opposition strength in preparation for the 2017 elections, Weah’s CDC merged with two other parties to form the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). Weah was the CDC’s candidate in the October 2017 presidential election, with Jewel Howard Taylor, senator for Bong county and former wife of the ousted president Taylor, as his running mate.

Weah was the top vote getter in the first round of voting, winning about 38 percent in the October 10 poll. He and his nearest challenger, Vice President Joseph Boakai, who represented the UP and received about 29 percent of the vote, advanced to the November 7 runoff election. The election was indefinitely postponed, however, after the Supreme Court ruled on November 6 that the electoral commission could not hold the poll until the commission had finished investigating allegations of fraud and incompetence filed by the third-place winner, Charles Brumskine, and his Liberty Party (LP).

The LP’s complaints had the support of other political parties, including the UP. Furthermore, the UP alleged that Johnson Sirleaf had interfered in the electoral process to Weah’s benefit—a charge which she denied. After the electoral commission concluded its investigation and dismissed the LP’s allegations, on December 7 the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by the UP and LP and ordered the runoff election to be held. The election was held on December 26, and Weah won an easy victory with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Letter To President Trump from former US Ambassadors to Africa

January 16, 2018

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,
As former U.S. Ambassadors to 48 African countries, we write to express our deep concern regarding reports of your recent remarks about African countries and to attest to the importance of our partnerships with most of the fifty-four African nations. Africa is a continent of great human talent and rich diversity, as well as extraordinary beauty and almost unparalleled natural resources. It is also a continent with deep historical ties with the United States.
As American ambassadors abroad we have seen Africa’s complex and rich cultures, awe-inspiring resilience, and breathtaking generosity and compassion. Even as some nations have faced challenges, we have counted among our contacts dynamic entrepreneurs, gifted artists, committed activists, passionate conservationists, and brilliant educators. We learned of novel solutions to complex problems, helped American companies find partners critical to their success, and counted on African military and intelligence officials who often assumed real risks to help achieve outcomes critical to our shared security.
We know that respectful engagement with these countries is a vital part of protecting our own national interests. The United States of America is safer, healthier, more prosperous, and better equipped to solve problems that confront all of humanity when we work with, listen to, and learn from our African partners. We also know that the entire world is richer because of the contributions of Africans, including the many Americans of African descent.
It was one of the greatest honors of our lives to represent the United States of America abroad. It was also a privilege to live in and learn from the diverse and spectacular countries of Africa.
We hope that you will reassess your views on Africa and its citizens, and recognize the important contributions Africans and African Americans have made and continue to make to our country, our history, and the enduring bonds that will always link Africa and the United States.
Sincerely
Mark L. Asquino – Equatorial Guinea
Shirley E. Barnes - Madagascar
William (Mark) Bellamy – Kenya
Eric D. Benjaminson – Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe
Michele Thoren Bond – Lesotho
Parker W. Borg – Mali
Aurelia E. Brazeal – Kenya, Ethiopia
Pamela Bridgewater - Benin, Ghana
Reuben E. Brigety II – African Union
Kenneth L. Brown – Ivory Coast, Ghana, Republic of the Congo
Steven A. Browning – Malawi, Uganda
Edward P. Brynn – Burkina Faso, Ghana
John Campbell - Nigeria
Katherine Canavan – Botswana
Timothy Carney – Sudan
Johnnie Carson – Uganda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Phillip Carter – Ivory Coast, Guinea-Conakry
Herman Cohen – Senegal, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Frances D. Cook – Burundi, Cameroon
Walter L. Cutler – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tunisia
Jeffrey S. Davidow – Zambia
Ruth A. Davis – Benin, Director General of the Foreign Service
Scott H. DeLisi – Uganda, Eritrea
Christopher Dell – Angola, Zimbabwe, Deputy Ambassador at AFRICOM
Harriet Elam-Thomas – Senegal, Guinea-Bissau
Gregory W. Engle – Togo
James F. Entwistle – Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Robert A. Flaten - Rwanda
Robert S. Ford – Algeria
Patrick Gaspard – South Africa
Michelle D. Gavin – Botswana
Donald H. Gips – South Africa
Gordon Gray - Tunisia
Robert E. Gribben – Central African Republic, Rwanda
Patricia McMahon Hawkins - Togo
Karl Hofmann – Togo
Patricia M. Haslach - Ethiopia
Genta Hawkins Holmes - Namibia
Robert G. Houdek – Uganda, Eritrea
Michael S. Hoza - Cameroon
Vicki J. Huddleston – Madagascar, Mali
Janice L. Jacobs - Senegal
Howard F. Jeter – Botswana, Nigeria
Dennis C. Jett - Mozambique
Jimmy J. Kolker – Burkina Faso, Uganda
Edward Gibson Lanpher - Zimbabwe
Dawn M. Liberi - Burundi
Princeton N. Lyman – Nigeria, South Africa
Jackson McDonald – The Gambia, Guinea
James D. McGee – Swaziland, Madagascar, Comoros, Zimbabwe
Roger A. Meece – Malawi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Gillian Milovanovic - Mali
Susan D. Page – South Sudan
David Passage - Botswana
Edward J. Perkins – Liberia, South Africa, Director General of the Foreign Service
Robert C. Perry – Central African Republic
Thomas R. Pickering – Nigeria
Jo Ellen Powell - Mauritania Nancy Powell – Uganda, Ghana
Anthony Quainton – Central African Republic
Elizabeth Raspolic – Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe
Charles A. Ray – Zimbabwe
Fernando E. Rondon – Madagascar, Comoros
Richard A. Roth – Senegal, Guinea-Bissau
Robin Renee Sanders – Republic of the Congo, Nigeria
Mattie R. Sharpless – Central African Republic
David H. Shinn – Burkina Faso, Ethiopia
A. Ellen Shippy - Malawi
George M. Staples – Rwanda, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Director General of the Foreign Service Linda Thomas-Greenfield – Liberia, Director General of the Foreign Service, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Jacob Walles – Tunisia Lannon Walker – Senegal, Nigeria, Ivory Coast
Melissa F. Wells – Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Zaire (Congo-Kinshasa)
Joseph C. Wilson – Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe
Frank G. Wisner – Zambia, Egypt
John M. Yates – Cape Verde, Benin, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Permanent Charge (3 years) Zaire, Special Envoy for Somalia
Mary Carlin Yates – Burundi, Ghana, Sudan
Johnny Young – Sierra Leone, Togo

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