Public Policy and Liberia: Impact, Results and Consequences
By Jones Nhinson Williams |
I honestly support and pray for the Liberian government to succeed and I also wish President George Manneh Weah well in all that he does as president of Liberia.
However, I want to be clear: I don’t share this view because I need a job from past, present and a future Liberian administration. I hold this belief because I am a Liberian who wants his country to be better and his people to do well.
I also begin with this thesis statement, if may say, because some people believe that when one praises or critique a Liberian administration then it means that such person wants a job or was denied a job. I have been fortunate and blessed to have worked for some of the best governments in the world at senior policy and management levels in two of the best continents. And I currently have a good job that I can’t trade for anything.
Fast forward with the just stated clarity, I want to appeal to President Weah and the entire Liberian administration to be focused and determined as well as be inclusive in idea sharing and analysis in the governance process of the country because every Liberian wants Liberia to succeed and do better, and not every LIBERIAN wants a Liberian government job or is opposed to the CDC -led coalition administration.
In short, President Weah and the Liberian government need to seek and rely on public -private partnerships with various Liberian groups and professionals and resist the temptation of labeling anyone or group as “us” versus “them” because it doesn’t and wouldn’t help now and in the future. And surely it has never helped past governments around the world that thought and acted that way.
Paraphrasing Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, whatever Liberia needs and wants it already has. All we need is to be bold and probably humbled in developing the appropriate mindset as well as assemble the best team not necessarily as government employees or officials but as partners. In other words , reaching out to seek the advice of older Liberian statesmen and women as well as serious-minded and tested professionals wouldn’t be bad an idea.
This brings me to the crux of my FOCUS.
President Weah and the CDC -led government wants to build roads throughout Liberia, develop the country and create jobs . I get it and support these ventures. To do these things, the President and the government need funds and investments.
However, I urge President Weah and the Liberian government to be discerning as well as seek to understand and appreciate global dynamics and how these things play out.
The President just recently traveled to Israel seeking support. The Liberian administration is also seeking support from the United States and the EU. I get it and support the rationale behind why President Weah and his government do this. After all, just as I want a good road in my native River Gee County in south-eastern Liberia, I equally want all parts of Liberia to be developed.
That said, why Liberia seeks global support anyhow, we as Liberians and our government, in particular, need to understand the global construct. – that geopolitics is a matter of interest, alliances, shared values, belief-system, and competition. Therefore, no country can afford to be a ‘political’ or ‘economic’ prostitute with glaring symbolism.
Every governance action and international engagement have a profound impact, result, and serious consequences. Examining and dealing with these intricacies are and should not the daily work or reflection of a president but the duty, responsibility, and obligation of the appropriate government agencies such as foreign affairs, presidential affairs, internal affairs, etc. as well as the president’s advisors.
Finally, not every form of diplomatic engagement requires symbolism and pictorial amplification. Sometimes antics can do good or cause harm, especially in geopolitics. So why we welcome the UAE investors to Liberia and congratulate President Weah for his untiring efforts in seeking foreign investments for Liberia, we also appeal for discretion and diplomatic prudence.
About the Author
Jones Nhinson Williams is a Catholic educated Liberian philosopher and an American trained public policy professional. Among his many professional experiences include serving as a former labor market information and analysis manager for Maryland State Government, the USA; former program director of the U.S.-based Jewish Family Services international refugee resettlement and integration program and as a state administrator of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics programs in the state of Maryland, USA. He is currently a senior partner at Kennedy & Williams LLC, a global consulting firm based in the United States.