The President of Liberia, George Weah, has been given a mandate to deliver within the next six months to three years, on key recommendations emanating from a three-day Economic Dialogue.
Over 350 participants from 4-6 September, deliberated on strategic national issues aimed at enhancing speedy economic recovery, sustained economic growth and peace and reconciliation.
They represented government, political parties, youth groups, women, development partners, civil society organizations, and observers.
This National Consensus comes in the wake of economic challenges Liberia is experiencing and the risks they pose to macroeconomic stability and the survival of the State.
The discussions were centered around 4 thematic areas namely; Public Finance Mobilization and Management; Investment Promotion and Private Sector Growth; Youth Unemployment and Skills Development as well as Peace Building and Reconciliation
The dialogue was hosted by the Government of Liberia and funded by UNDP in collaboration with other development partners- European Union in Liberia USAID/Liberia, ECOWAS and others, under the theme "National Economic Revival and Growth, Critical Issues, Challenges and way forward.
It witnessed participants from different spheres of the divide fully engaged in the various thematic discussions.
Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh, Head of the National Economic Dialogue (NED) Secretariat, who read the consensus document, call on President Weah to Strengthen capacities within the presidency to monitor the implementation and outcome of the just ended dialogue.
Reading the preamble, Dr. McIntosh said, “We note, the many economic challenges and are deeply concerned about the hardship brought upon our people as a result of these challenges.
One of the recommendations coming out of the National Conversation was the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court.
The document also highlighted among other things, immediate actions to be taken within the next six months to complete the process for enactment of the custom code, negotiate and restructure extended debt; recapitalize the Central Bank of Liberia by enforcing existing rules and ensure compliance with an audit of other regulatory bodies, as well as improve aid management and coordination; increase revenue collections with the appropriate strategy for small, medium and large taxpayers and close the lope holds in the laws, policies and the processes to reduce leakages in the revenue collections side and the expenditure side among others.
President Weah receiving the document, assured stakeholders that their efforts and contributions will not go in vain, but will ensure that the people of Liberia reap positive benefits from their deliberations.
“I want to assure you that my Government will take these proposals into urgent and careful consideration. Our focus will be on implementation, although the timing will be a matter for synchronization and harmonization with existing programs and policies.
Additionally, he proposed 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.
The Liberian Leader also announced that a High Council of Economic Advisors in the Office of the President will soon be appointed. This High Council will consist of both renowned Liberian and international experts, who will serve on a voluntary basis. They will be required to meet on a quarterly basis, to review economic policies and programs, and advise the Government.
The National Economic Dialogue evolves on a set of short and medium term policy measures, strategies, programs and a time-bound road map aimed at situating the country on a path of rapid economic recovery, sustainable inclusive growth and social transformation.