Vice President Boakai Craves Investor’s Return Says Liberia At Crossroads

Monday, 30th August 2010
Monrovia, Liberia - Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has told a major business forum for Chinese Investors in Shanghai, China that the main focus of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led Government is to transform Liberia into an oasis of peace and prosperity.

Vice President Boakai, who earlier  decried the over decade-long Liberian civil war that destroyed every fabric of the Liberian society, further told the forum that the destruction will never leave the Liberian people’s imagination unless they translate their aspirations  into meaningful initiatives that will bring back dignity and pride to them.

However, the Vice President said the government alone cannot transform Liberia into an oasis of peace and prosperity, stressing that Liberia is at a crossroads in history and certainly needs help.

According to him, the government needs the help of the business people, people of goodwill among others in achieving this crucial goal.

Speaking further, he highlighted some of the significant leaps the government has taken in restoring confidence in the Liberian economy with the institution of prudent fiscal and monetary policies.

“The international community is assisting in training and restructuring our national security apparatus. The training and restructuring of the security forces includes civil and human rights education, as well as provisions for the recruitment of those personnel who might not be required for further service,” he stated, amid tremendous applause from the gathering.

He said all of these initiatives, including the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure, are  geared towards restoring trust and confidence in the governance system that was eroded over the years.

But the Liberian Vice President was quick to point out that all of these efforts are not without challenges.

“Our government is still faced with the challenge of restoring electricity and pipe-borne water supply to Monrovia and to extend these services to other parts of the country, especially the rural areas,” the Vice President noted.

He continued: “ The rehabilitation and expansion of the Mount Coffee Hydro-electric plant and water treatment facilities, which before the civil war provided electricity and drinking water for Monrovia and its environs, would prove very vital to these efforts.”

These facilities, he said, were originally constructed through funding and expertise provided by the international community.

Against this backdrop, he indicated that Liberia needs international assistance to stimulate economic activity and growth in the country once again.

Hear Vice President Boakai: “ As peace and stability return, we will highly appreciate if investors can once again continue to play a significant role in the economic development of Liberia.”

He encouraged those investors that once invested in the Liberian economy to return and those considering exploring investment opportunities in Liberia to seize the opportunity provided by this new political dispensation to also return and help build war ravaged Liberia.

 He informed the forum that Liberia’s investment opportunities include natural resources such as iron ore, gold, diamonds, timber, rubber and crude oil.

“Tourism is another area of investment in Liberia worth international attention. Coastal and rural locations such as Marshall, Cape Palmas, Robertsport  and national wildlife  reserves in the southeastern part of the country offer many natural and scenic attractions,” he added.

The business forum was also attended by Liberia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Madam Neh Dukuly Tolbert, China’s Ambassador to Liberia, Zhou Yuxiao, Liberia’s Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Cletus Sieh, as well as prominent Liberian business people, among others.

Meanwhile, Vice President Boakai and delegation returned home on Saturday, August 28, following a nearly two-week state visit to that Asian nation.