President Sirleaf Speaks on GEMAP

Saturday, 28th April 2007
President Sirleaf flanked by US Ambassador Donald Booth and Finance Minister Antoinette Sayeh at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
President Sirleaf flanked by US Ambassador Donald Booth and Finance Minister Antoinette Sayeh at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
Photo Credit: James M. Garessen, II/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the experience of the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program (GEMAP) has been mixed. The President, however, pointed out, that the program has, to a large extent achieved its objective in many areas. The President noted that some issues of financial mal-practices have been addressed. Proper procurement and arrangement, the President noted, have been put in place, with respect to procurement laws, based on the country’s budget system. “We’ve been able to ensure that those payments reflect proper allocation efficiencies,” the President emphasized.

Speaking at a GEMAP-EGSC retreat on Saturday at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia, President Johnson Sirleaf said despite the progress in other financial management areas, GEMAP has not worked well in other sectors.

The President attributed the misunderstanding to a loss in the spirit of teamwork, although teamwork forms part of the partnership program, an Executive Mansion release quoted the Liberian leader as saying.

The President, who also chairs the Economic Governance Steering Committee, observed that there have been problems in other sectors, where some experts feel that they are auditors or judges; they report to the principle from where they get paid. The Liberian leader spoke of the need for teamwork to ensure that were there are problems, solutions can be found, ‘that we are all working toward ensuring that Liberia is able to manage its resources; that we do respect the standards of accountability, transparency and set those goals aimed at achieving those objectives.”

Meanwhile, the President has called for the building of local capacity to ensure that following the departure the international experts the country would be able to attain the goals it has set for itself in capacity building.

Liberia, the President acknowledged, has had a long history of technical assistance, and cautioned that unless the knowledge is transferred, the country may suffer a setback in the proper management of its resources.

President Johnson Sirleaf expressed the hope that at the end of GEMAP, “we can all be proud that we have contributed to making Liberia a better place, where the management its resources have been enhanced by your contribution.”

Saturday’s retreat was also attended by US Ambassador Donald Booth; the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-general, Alan Doss, Cabinet ministers and other senior government officials as well as representatives of international organizations including GEMAP experts.