Vice President Boakai Highlights Liberia's Post-war

Friday, 21st September 2007
V.P. Boakai presents a copy of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy paper to the President of the San Diego Rotary Club 33, Geri Ann Warnke.
V.P. Boakai presents a copy of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy paper to the President of the San Diego Rotary Club 33, Geri Ann Warnke.
Photo Credit: Press & Public Affairs/Office of the Vice President
San Diego, California - Liberia's Vice President Joseph N. Boakai Thursday addressed two of San Diego's major Rotary Clubs during which he highlighted the challenges of Liberia's post-war reconstruction and the need for international partners to support the nascent Unity Party-led government's effort to grapple with these challenges.

Vice President Boakai, also a Rotarian, informed officials and members of the La Jolla Club and San Diego Rotary Club 33 that the the country's 15 years war destroyed everything, from infrastructure to schools and hospitals, with roads in a state of disrepair.

He said the poverty, illiteracy and unemployment rates were overwhelming, with most Liberians living on less than one dollar a day.

Vice President Boakai told the Rotarians, who are mostly successful business people, that the reduction in the government's annual budget e and earning capacity from about 600 million in the 1960s ans 1970s, to less than 200 million today, has exacerbated the problems of post-war reconstruction.

Vice President Boakai then went on to catalogue strides the government has made in tackling these huge challenges, including increasing the average wage from LD800 to USD55 in less than two years.

The Vice President told the gathering that Liberia is however still rich in natural resources, including diamond and gold, and boasts of nearly half of the remaining forest cover in West Africa. He assured those wishing to invest in the country of government's fullest protection and cooperation.

Vice President Boakai then called for collaboration between the Rotary Clubs of the United States and the Monrovia Rotary Club, which, he said, has also been aversely affected by the country's senseless civil conflict. He then presented copies of Liberia's Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy to the two Rotary Clubs.

Later on Thursday, the Vice President met with the Stewart Land Development Services, which specializes in  resolving land issues, and extended an invitation to the group to visit Liberia and help resolve some of the land problems occasioned by years of civil conflict.

Also on Thursday, the Vice President was guest of the San Diego based Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS) which is the most commonly used system for assessing adult basic reading, math, listening, writing and speaking skills in the United States.

Vice President Boakai observed that this system could be used to help reduce the high illiteracy in post-war Liberia.

He is expected to speak at this year's celebration of the International Day Peace to be held at the University of San Diego today.