USAID and Government of Liberia Launch New ICT Support Project

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Government of Liberia (GoL), today launched the USAID Digital Liberia and e-Government Project in Monrovia.

In support of the GoL’s e-Government Strategy, the Digital Liberia and e-Government Project will improve the GoL’s performance and bring it closer to the people through the development of internet and computer technology capability.

This USAID funded project will improve the GoL connectivity and institutional capacity that is necessary for the provision of effective services, progressing Liberia towards the creation of a sound national ICT platform now and for future generations. Liberia will be in a better position to tell its story, engage with the world and enhance health, education, agriculture and other public outcomes, and promote economic growth and private sector development.

Speaking at the project launch, the United States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine A. Elder, noted that of the Digital Liberia and e-Government Project builds on momentum started before the Ebola crisis in strengthening Liberia’s ability to prevent, detect and respond to future crises.

The US Ambassador emphasized that the Project will support several GoL Ministries, Agencies and Commissions to improve decision making and management.  She added that the Project will identify sustainable government digital initiatives and help the GoL take advantage of various technologies to digitize institutional systems and processes.

Reaffirming the United States Government’s partnership and continued support to Liberia, Ambassador Elder expressed the hope that the effective use of ICT and digital tools will enhance, expedite, and make permanent the many GoL reform efforts in procurement, transparency, decentralization, and improved public service delivery.

Below Is Remarks by Ambassador Christine Elder at USAID Digital Liberia & e-Government – Bella Casa Hotel, Monrovia; March 22, 2017

Our Embassy is delighted take part in this launch. As the U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, I am proud that the Digital Liberia and e-Government Project is no longer a mere concept; and more importantly, that the Government of Liberia has taken ownership of this important initiative which supports a number of goals of the Agenda for Transformation.

The Digital Liberia and e-Government Project will build on momentum started before the Ebola crisis. It will strengthen Liberia’s Information Communications Technology (ICT) capacity and improve connectivity to better prepare Liberia to prevent, detect and respond to future crises.

This project also lends support to several government institutions to improve decision making and management.  This support will identify priority sustainable government digital initiatives and help them to take advantage of technologies to digitize institutional systems and processes.

The Digital Liberia and e-Government Project will not only make Liberia compliant with Open Government Partnership principles, it will also help the government manage public resources to lift its people out of poverty.

This project is a milestone in efforts to digitalize government and the way it does business. For Liberia, it represents a crucial innovation that will contribute to the country’s socio-economic development, promote transparency, and enhance government’s responsiveness to its citizens.

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications fosters strong partnerships and remains central to the success of the Digital Liberia and e-Government Project.  Indeed, for this project is to succeed, the Ministry must provide and maintain platforms for ICT integration and interoperability of all government systems.

In launching this project, USAID recognizes the need for nationwide connectivity and has initiated support in other areas which complement the Digital Liberia and e-Government Project. For example, USAID is working with the Liberian government to vastly expand fiber optic infrastructure servicing the capital area. With the metro fiber network, Liberia will have a needed infrastructure to better prepare for and recover from future crises.

Shared communications infrastructure is the key to unlock the power of connectivity and the digital economy. The metro fiber infrastructure can also further develop the technology sector, making it more attractive to do business in Liberia, which can facilitate economic recovery and growth. The Digital Liberia and e-Government project will help Liberia take full advantage of these connectivity infrastructure investments.

Our government is also supporting Liberia’s efforts to modernize its telecommunications policy and regulatory capacity in partnership with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the Liberian Telecommunications Authority.

Why?  Because communications systems are critical to enabling Liberian citizens and public institutions to prevent, detect, and respond to future public health crises.  In addition, we are supporting expanded rural connectivity networks that can improve the decentralization environment.

Moreover, as we create technology to improve governance, we must also focus on developing the competencies of public officials and civil servants to comply with relevant legal and regulatory regimes.  It is only by adhering to applicable policies, and procedures that we can ensure that new systems and reforms are institutionalized and that Liberians derive the benefits.

On behalf of the Government and people of the United States, we reaffirm our partnership and continued support as you implement the Digital Liberia and e-Government Project.

We look forward to the many ways better use of ICT and digital tools can enhance, expedite, and make permanent the many reform efforts on which we partner: decentralization, procurement, transparency, and improved services more broadly.

(Visited 652 times, 1 visits today)
About Cholo Brooks 13197 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.