As the National Economic Dialogue came to an end on Friday, September 6, 2019 at the newly constructed Ministerial Complex, the Liberian leader, President Manneh Weah has lauded the organizers of the dialogue noting that his government remain fully committed to ensuring the fully and expeditious implementation of resolution reached at the just ended ‘National Economic Dialogue;
Speaking at the closed of the dialogue, President stated that the proposed measures stated in the Consensus document, especially the implementation matrix , will be urgently review and implemented, stressing, “These proposed measures are clearly set out in the Consensus Document, which has just been read, and in the Implementation Matrix. I want to assure you that my Government will take these proposals into urgent and careful consideration.”
The Liberian chief Executive also said that why timing in the implementation of the consensus document was a factor for consideration, yet, his government will ensure items listed in the implementation phase will be synchronized and harmonized into existing programs and policies.
He lauded the chairman and members of the National Economic Dialogue, headed by former Foreign Minister Togar G. McIntosh , for the tremendous efforts applied in making sure the dialogue was a success.
Pres. George Weah: “In my view, you have fulfilled your mandate well, which was two-fold: firstly, to stimulate a broad-based conversation among all stakeholders within the Liberian economy, concerning the best and most feasible way forward to sustainable growth and development.
And secondly, to derive out of this dialogue a road map that would set out a clearly-defined and practical set of policy measures, strategies, and programs that would be aimed at enhancing speedy economic recovery and ensuring sustained economic growth”
The Liberian leader pledged his government commitment to ensuring the establishment of four (4) Implementation Sub-Committees of the Cabinet, in congruence with the four major topics that formed the agenda for discussion during this Dialogue Conference, namely:
Cabinet Committee on Public Finance and Management
- Cabinet Committee on Investment Promotion and Private Sector Growth
- Cabinet Committee on Youth Unemployment and Skills Development, and
- Cabinet Committee on Peace Building and Reconciliation.
These four Cabinet Committees, the Liberia President said will be tasked with oversight on harmonization and implementation in these four areas, and will report to the full Cabinet from time to time on their progress.
“The deliverables from this National Economic Dialogue consist of much more than the summary documents that have been presented at this Closing Session. There is, for example, the entire set of Conference Minutes and records containing speeches and presentations. As they form the body of evidence from which the Consensus Document has been distilled, it is my belief that they should be preserved in the archives of a now-to-be permanent Independent Secretariat for National Economic Dialogue.” President Weah called.
Speaking further, President George Manneh Weah, called for the holding of an annual ‘National Economic Dialogue to review the progress and challenges on the implementation of recommendations laid down in the consensus document.
Pres. Weah: “Additionally, I wish to propose that the National Economic Dialogue Conference should take place on an annual basis, in order to conduct an annual review of the progress that has been made on implementation of the road map presented here today, as well as to analyze each year’s current economic situation so that the necessary adjustments, revisions, and amendments can be made to programs and policies.”
The Liberian leader hinted that in the coming days, he will appoint a high Council of Economic Advisors, consisting of international experts to quarterly review the economic policies of the government and make recommendations for progress.
“I wish to announce that I will shortly appoint a High Council of Economic Advisors in the Office of the President. This High Council will consist of both Liberian and international experts, renowned for their expertise and experience in their respective disciplines, who will serve on a voluntary basis. They will be required to meet on a quarterly basis, to review our economic policies and programs, and advise my Government accordingly.
“Let me put you on notice that several of you who have participated in this National Economic Dialogue will be tapped to serve on the High Council of Economic Advisors. So let it come as no surprise to you.” President told cheering audience.
President Weah furthermore thanked all for the participation, especially those of traveled from far and assured them all that their efforts and contributions to the National Economic Dialogue will not go in vain, pledging that he shall ensure that the People of Liberia reap positive benefits from works done over the three days.
In closing, the Liberian leader reminded Liberians, regardless of political affiliation, religion, creed, or tribe; whether resident or in diaspora, that the responsibility and obligation to contribute meaningful ideas and suggestions for the revitalization of the economy is everyone’s duty.
Pres. Weah: “We are all aware of the problems, most of which have existed for a very long time, and we have all suffered because of them. But this is not the time to point fingers or to apportion blame, for this will not solve anything. In fact, it is our very awareness of the extent of the problems and the hardships that they have caused, that moved us to seek leadership in order to try to resolve them.
“I now have that responsibility, as well as the opportunity, to find a new way forward. I welcome your constructive criticisms. But, more importantly, I invite your positive contributions to this national dialogue.”
Touching on concerns of more women participation in government, President George Weah assured that his government was on the path of ensuring more women participation as evident by his position as ‘Liberia’s “Feminist-in-Chief”, stressing his commitment to inclusiveness of women at all levels of leadership and governance in our society remains firm and unwavering.
The three day National Economic Dialogue conference brought together members of the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary Breaches of government; members of the Diplomatic Corps, Religious leaders; Chiefs and Traditional Leaders; Political and Business Leaders; Officials of Government; The Chairman and Members of the Independent National Dialogue Secretariat; The Leadership and Representatives of our Support Partners for the National Economic Dialogue, including the UNDP, USAID, the European Union, and ECOWAS.