Vice President Boakai Identifies Technology as a Critical Component in Poverty Reduction

Thursday, 26th April 2007
Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has identified technology as a critical component in poverty reduction, economic recovery, educational improvement and enhancement of good governance.

He said as a country emerging from a devastating civil war, everything, from educational, agricultural and health systems as well as infrastructure have been destroyed, and that the Unity Party-led government would appreciate anything that would help the country to jumpstart its recovery program and meet its critical needs.

He lamented that from a budget of about US$600 million, Liberia now operates on a paltry budget of US$150 million, noting that from adulthood, we “now are crawling again like a new born baby”.

Vice President Boakai was speaking at his Sinkor office Wednesday evening, when a four-man team of executives of the U.S based ICT giant Cisco, accompanied by Deputy Presidential Affairs Minister Amara Konneh, called on him to acquaint him with Cisco’s desire to enter into a memorandum on Understanding with the Liberian government.

The officials were Mr. Drew Murray, Territory Manager, CISCO Africa, Matthew Smith, CISCO Business Operations Director for the Middle East and Africa, Shahab Meshki CISCO Academy Regional Director and Anthony R. Vonsee, Cisco Systems Emerging Africa.

Vice President Boakai observed that Liberia was among African countries that were moving fast in technology, but that due to the prolonged conflict, Liberia finds itself lagging behind most West African countries.

He said this government would like to see technology that would help the country move along with the rest of the other African countries.

Earlier, executives of CISCO assured massive ICT training for Liberians, if the Liberian government embraces its programs and enters into a memorandum of understanding with them.

The executives assured that under a short term training program, CISCO will initiate an on-line training program with PC labs to train both literate and illiterate Liberians.