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RCU holds Ambassadorial Reforms Dialogue Series No.2 with US Ambassador Michael McCarthy

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Monrovia, Liberia - Acting Finance and Development Planning Minister Hon. Tanneh G. Brunson as head of the Senior Management team, on Monday June 13, 2022 hosted the United States Ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy at a Development dialogue.

The Dialogue was about learning from the United States experiences on various reforms initiated including good governance, and how their experiences could help Liberia’s postwar development efforts.

Making remarks at the opening, Acting Minister Brunson welcomed the Ambassador and extended thanks to the United States of America for their support given to the Liberian government over the years, especially towards the country’s national development agenda.

 Hon. Brunson said: “Liberia is in the process of executing many reforms and we thought that it is necessary to learn from experts and people who have done things in common.  We want to learn and try your experience and see how we can make change and improve our processes”.

She noted that the senior management team wants to know more about transparency initiatives, public financial management, social programs and how Liberia can enhance its social programs for citizens across the country.

“There are so many things to be learned from you, and I am very confident that we will find something more fruitful from what you have to offer” she added.

We are still in the learning curve, the priorities are many, so it is important on how we prioritize needs from wants, when you have so many challenges, she said.

For his part, United States Ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy said a strong Public Financial Management System can promote efficient and accountable governance.

He disclosed that any government that is efficient and accountable will do a better job by delivering public goods and services for the poor, and create an environment that attracts investments, spurs private sector growth, and creates jobs.

He noted that any country that desperately needs broad based economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction that comes from a robust public financial management system, it certainly is Liberia.

However, Amb. McCarthy said: “we know the story too well about the twin shocks of the Ebola epidemic and sharp decline in commodity prices which stalled Liberia’s post-war economic recovery just as it hit its stride. There has been no respite. COVID-19 and now the spillover effects, including inflationary pressures, of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have again hampered Liberia’s economic recovery”.

According to him, the resulting accumulated effects of Liberia’s stalled economic growth are glaring and Liberia’s GDP per capita stands at just over $600, less than half of what it was in real terms in 1980.

He expressed with dismay that the country’s revenue to GDP ratio is below the average for Sub-Saharan Africa, rendering the country unable to provide basic public services.

Quoting the World Bank Human Capital Index, he added “that tells us that a child born today in Liberia will only be 32 percent as productive when she grows up as she could have been if she had full access to education and healthcare services”.

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