Pres. Weah Self-Evaluates CDC Administration
January 22, 2021 marked President George M. Weah exactly three years since he was inaugurated President of the Republic of Liberia. This means that the President has gone into the first half of his six-year administrative term, and should be ready to be evaluated by the public and international partners.
Some organizations following the activities of the President and his administration are yet to come up with a full evaluation, while others are grading on specifics that their entities are involved with.
NAYMOTE-Partners for Democratic Progress recently graded the CDC administration based on the President’s Meter Project. This project is said to have recorded all the promises made by President Weah during the campaign of the 2017 presidential and general elections, tracking all the ones he has delivered, the ones on-going and the ones unaccounted for.
Also, the Coalition for Transparency and Accountability in Education (COTAE) sometime ago declined to comment on the President’s score when it comes to the level of work done by the CDC government in the education sector.
However, ahead of all the anticipated criticism and commendation, President Weah, during his fourth State-of-the-Nation Address to the 54th National Legislature, did a semi-evaluation on his administration’s achievements and shortcomings during the past three years.
President Weah noted, “Just three days ago, January 22, 2020, was the third anniversary of my inauguration as President of Liberia for a six-year term. This is therefore the mid-term of my tenure, and it is timely that we review our progress and achievements made thus far, and re-calibrate where necessary, to ensure that we achieve the goals of our national development plan, the ‘Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development’, which is based on the platform upon which you elected me to this high office.”
He stated that considerable work has been made in terms of road connectivity, “as road connectivity continues to be my flagship program, which is intended to serve as a major catalyst for national development”.
From his tune, it could be alluded that the regime did not do well in terms of agriculture over the years and, therefore, he said there is a need for a renewed focus on agriculture, as his government is determined to ensure that Liberia has a vibrant agriculture sector to ensure food security and sustainable development. He emphasized that the agriculture sector will receive his personal attention and the fullest support from the government.
“Everyone must go back to the soil, in order to utilize agriculture as a vital tool for the revitalization of the economy. We have the land, we have the labor, and we have the climate. So let us go back to the soil to grow what we eat, and eat what we grow, so that we can reduce our dependence on food imports, create jobs, and increase food security,” President Weah emphasized.
For the education sector, he recounted the free-tuition at public schools, which has doubled the enrollment of the University of Liberia from about 8,000 to 18,000 students. He mentioned the payment of 12th graders’ WASSCE fees which, he said, has reduced the financial burden on parents and brought signification impact on the improvement of the learning environment.
In international relations and foreign policy, he noted that his administration has maintained strong ties with the nation’s traditional allies, and has initiated bilateral friendship with a number of western nations, to the benefit of Liberia and its citizenry.
The energy sector, according to the President, is picking up gradually, as his government has been pro-active in the early realization of the TRANSCO CLSG transmission lines from the Ivory Coast, which will make available an additional 225 kilovolts of electricity to augment the supply from the Mount Coffee hydroelectric plant.
Bringing the state of the economy under the pedestal, President Weah said the sector suffered badly over the years. However, he envisioned an economic boost in 2021 and the opportunity to create more jobs for the citizenry. He disclosed that the Executive Branch will be submitting a new bill to the National Legislature proposing an amendment to the ArcelorMittal Mineral Development Agreement to kick-start a whole new investment trend in 2021.
“We will continue to take targeted steps which are aimed at consolidating the fundamentals of democracy in Liberia. The guarantee of political rights and other basic freedoms are cardinal principles of democratic governance that my government will continue to uphold at all times.
“Over the last three years, we have created a conducive environment for all to fully participate, irrespective of their political, social or religious beliefs. The discourse has been diverse and loud. The media, political parties and religious groups have all made their voices heard, holding public officials accountable,” President Weah noted in terms of human rights freedom and the freedom of the press.
He said the health sector was again tested by the deadly Coronavirus in 2020, but this time the nation was more prepared than during the Ebola crisis.
He noted that UNMIL left the country about three years ago, but his administration not only maintained the peace but secured it unbroken.