Forging Partnerships And Relationships To Rebuild Liberia – Cummings
The Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Mr. Alexander Cummings, has stressed the need for Liberians to take ownership of the country’s problems and find enduring and sustainable solutions instead of relying solely on solutions from international partners.
Cummings made the assertion, when he addressed a group of Liberians, Canadian educators and business leaders at the Hamilton Public Library in Canada on October 13, 2022.
The CPP Standard Bearer was invited to share his perspective on developing a strong governance and partnership for sustainable development and education, aimed at exploring how institutional partners, such as the McMaster University Office of International Affairs, Empowerment Squared, and the Hamilton Public Library can be helpful in Liberia’s transformation.
Canada and international development partners have repeatedly argued that poor economic performance in developing countries like Liberia is largely due to bad governance.
The scars and destruction of the 14 years brutal civil war are still visible, with Liberia recorded as having the lowest literacy rate, 70 percent of schools damaged, serious infrastructural challenges, poor education system, and many school age youths out of school, according to UNDP.
Cummings said Liberians will have to “take ownership of their problems, take ownership of the solutions, and then identify the right partners who can help solve or achieve the solutions.”
He said most often international partners using their money and resources, will tell Liberians or Africans what they want to do for us, but in order to find an enduring and sustainable solutions, we will have to own our problems, and find practical, enduring and sustainable solutions, shifting from the international dependency syndrome.
He said a tripartite engagement amongst government, civil society and the private sector can work together to find enduring solutions that can be sustainable, even after the departure of our international partners. “We can work together, study and understand the various sectors, develop solutions to the problems of education, health and investment in agriculture, shifting from the dependency syndrome,” Cummings said.
Referencing, the country’s poor education system, Cummings said a primary focus of a CPP Government would be to immediately initiate an aggressive teachers training program from primary to university levels aimed at improving the quality of education throughout Liberia. He said medium term measures would be education through technology, working with the few great professors to conduct classes, using technology and existing libraries and centers as hubs to impart knowledge to students and have national/political discussions anywhere within Liberia.
According to the CPP Standard Bearer, government partnership with civil society and the private sector are as important and critical as relationships with international partners in finding enduring local solutions to Liberia’s development needs.
“Partnerships are important, relationships matter, and identifying the right expertise and resources are critical as building relationships with other European countries other than just our traditional partner, the United States,” he said.