Exclusive: Liberian President-elect Weah tempers expectations, plans agriculture push

Edward McAllister|

President-elect George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) speaks during an interview with REUTERS at his residence in Monrovia, Liberia, January 2, 2018. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

(Reuters) – Liberian President-elect George Weah on Tuesday set modest goals for his six-year term, calling for Liberia to start exporting crops and repairing decrepit infrastructure, in his first interview since winning election last week.

President-elect George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) speaks during an interview with REUTERS at his residence in Monrovia, Liberia, January 2, 2018. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

Weah rode a wave of youth support to capture more than 60 percent of the vote in last Tuesday’s run-off, but he will need to manage expectations as he attempts to revive one of Africa’s worst-performing economies.

Later this month, he will replace President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female head of state and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power since 1944.

Seated outside his unfinished new house on a quiet dirt backstreet near the capital Monrovia, where a concrete sign announces, “Friends of Weah say welcome”, the 51-year-old ex-soccer star began to tentatively fill in some of the gaps in his vague campaign promises.

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About Cholo Brooks 6729 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.