President George Manneh Weah has finally launched his government’s much-heralded Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) in Ganta, Nimba County.
The Liberia leader, along with his Vice President, Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor and other government officials launched the PAPD, a five-year (2018 -2023) national development roadmap on Saturday.
The PADPseeks to move impoverished and less fortunate Liberians from the state of poverty to prosperity.
The PAPD will give citizens the knowledge on how
the government of Liberia, (GoL), led by President Weah will govern the country.
At the launch, the Liberia leader called on his compatriots
to also take ownership of the PAPD to ensure national security, peace, good governance, among others.
He also explained that the pro-poor agenda has been designed to give power to the people, promote economic diversification, protect sustainable peace and encourage good governance among others.
He named the rule of laws, infrastructural development, agriculture, health, education, among others parts of the four pillars of the PAPD.
Other components of the agenda include promotion of national unity, reconciliation, youth capacity-development and empowerment and promotion of human rights and jobs creation.
President George Weah lamented that the country cannot be developed without good quality infrastructure and a skillful labor force.
He disclosed that over the next five years, his administration will invest in high quality infrastructure including roads, affordable energy, air and sea port, telecommunication and information technology, housing,
water, sanitation, and ending widespread vulnerability among others.
According to the President, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development will kick off from July 2018 to 2023.
President Weah assured Liberians and international development partners of the government’s preparedness to unite and reconcile the people, educate and develop the youth and promote basic human rights of the citizens in order to build a harmonious society based on the goal of economic empowerment, especially for the underprivileged.
He added that his government will also place emphasis on national security in order to engender a peaceful and serene society that will afford Liberians to move and live freely and without fear.
He then admonished Liberians to promote the plan and make sure it works, stressing: “I pledge to you today my government and I fullest commitment to purposefully achieve these goals.”
Speaking at the launch, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah indicated that under the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), the government will not build roads for political reasons, but will set out corresponding economic activities in parts of the country to be affected by paved roads.
The Weah-led government vows to construct at least 800 kilometers of road around the country up to June 2023 - the final year of the implementation of the PAPD.
Minister Tweah, who gave an overview of the national development agenda during its launch at the weekend in Ganta, Nimba County, made it clear that the ambitious road program of the government will be linked to economic growth prospects or special economic zones so that such activities, at the various ends of these roads, can pay for some of the concessional loans that financed them.
The government is working with the private sector and its development partners to operationalize special economic sectors that can provide jobs for mainly the youthful population, says Minster Tweah.
The Pro-Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), when implemented to the fullness, a total of one million Liberians will be lifted from poverty over the next five years.
The government plan, however, does not mean that those Liberians are going to be rich, according to MinisterTweah.
Tweah explained at the official launch of the PADP in Ganta, Nimba County over the weekend that the one million Liberian citizens will have a sustainable income which will support them and their families.
“The PAPD aims to do this by enabling the private sector to grow and produce more jobs in various sectors of the economy; it is these jobs in agriculture, forestry, manufacturing and services sector that will give Liberians that sustainable income,” Tweah explained.
He said: “This is why the PAPD places economic diversification and private sector-led Pro-Poor growth at the center of its development strategy.”
He affirmed that under the PAPD the government through a combination of domestic resources and support from major development partners and private investments will deliver on road infrastructures.
In terms of road development as contained in the PAPD, Tweah added that Liberia will be a radically different country as the government will deliver a minimum of 800 kilometers of paved new roads within the next five years.”
Among other things, Tweah indicated that the plan will take Liberia’s electricity generation beyond 500 megawatts and reduce electricity tariffs by liberalizing the electricity sector.
“Where electricity is expensive and where there are no roads there can be no jobs created,” Tweah pointed out.
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