Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Launched in Liberia

Tuesday, 10th July 2007
President Sirleaf formally launching the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
President Sirleaf formally launching the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
Photo Credit: James Garresen, II/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has officially launched the Extractive Transparency Initiative in Liberia, reaffirming her governmentís commitment to fighting corruption at all levels. Reacting to criticisms in some quarters that government has done little in its fight against corruption, the President outlined several measures taken by government in its clamp down on corruption in the country.

The President said though people tend to forget, the government has taken several strong positive steps in keeping with its commitment.

Earlier upon her ascendancy, the Liberian leader recalled, key government officials were required to declare their assets. The government, the President said, canceled 87 forestry concessions, and called for a review of all concession contracts concluded during the National Transitional Government (NTGL) to ensure that the national interest was protected.

Other measures, the President said, include the ratification of the African Union and United Nations Conventions against Corruption; the formulation, adoption and publication of anti-corruption policy and strategy; appointment of a new Auditor-general, under a new law that enables the Auditor-general to maintain his independence by reporting to the National Legislature rather than to the Executive; as well as the Asset Freeze Legislation which has been submitted to the National Legislature.

The Liberian leader also spoke of additional measures taken by government to tackle corruption, including the dismissal of government officials for whom circumstantial evidence exists on their violation of the public trust. The Liberian leader also recalled the ongoing case against former officials of the previous governments currently going through the legal process resulting from evidence provided in the ECOWAS Audit Report, as well as several other measures now being discussed including the preparation by the Governance Reform Commission of the draft legislation of the code of conduct for public servants and the establishment of an Anti Corruption Commission.

The President noted that government has also made progress in improving financial management, adding that the countryís fiscal reporting is contributing to more transparent management of the budget.

According to the Liberian leader, governmentís goal of ensuring transparency in the extractive industries sector is part and parcel of the broader agenda of good governance and development. The President pledged governmentís full support for the implementation of the Initiative, which she noted brings Liberia in line with more than 20 countries around the world that have voluntary pledged their support for a more open, equitable and responsible management of extractive resources.

Finance Minister, Antoinette Sayeh who chairs the steering Committee of the Extractive Transparency Initiative promised transparency and accountability in the sector. 

Read full text of President Sirleaf's Speech