Liberia Is Changing for the Better

Former President Chissano
Former President Chissano
Photo Credit: Public Affairs Bureau MFA

 The former President of the Republic of Mozambique and Chairperson of the Africa Forum, His Excellency Joaquim Alberto Chissano, says Liberia is a glorious African country that played a key role in the fight against colonialism and he feels very strongly that Liberia is changing for the better.
   According to the Former President Chissano, it was Liberia that within the framework of the League of Nations played a critical role in raising the issue of Namibia’s decolonization, and that of other fellow African countries, adding that Liberia was also at the forefront of a similar role within the United Nations.
 “It is for this reason that we would like to pay a special tribute to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, as the Head of the Executive and all members of the Legislative branch, the private sector, the faith-based organizations, the civil societies and the people of Liberia for their efforts they have been deploying to move Liberia from a war-torn country to a country that is steadily and sustainable on the path to recovery and development.”
 He said the Africa Forum strongly believe that Liberians will once again show their resilience and overcome the challenge of post-conflict reconstruction and development.
 “We also believe that Liberia is moving in the right direction as far as pursuing unity and reconciliation is concerned. We sincerely hope that Liberia can be peaceful forever. But only Liberians can keep the country together, through unity in development, in which all Liberians have a role to play.”
 “We wish to pay a deserved tribute to the people of Liberia and its leadership for the vital role played for the liberation of Africa”, the Africa forum Chairperson noted, stressing that it is also critical to pay tribute to the people of Liberia who decided to turn swords into ploughs, and opted for sustainable and durable peace.
    In a speech delivered on behalf of members of the Africa Forum at the elaborate occasion marking the nation’s 161st Independence Anniversary, the former leader of Mozambique said Liberia has been an active member of the Liberation Committee of the Organization of the African Union, having offered political, economic and financial support to Liberation Movements fighting for freedom in their countries.
  According to a Foreign Ministry press release, the former President said the Africa Forum hope that the people of Liberia will no longer see war, saying that the country has come out of the 17 years conflict with commitment and determination to give democracy a chance and to move expeditiously on the path of post-conflict reconstruction and development.
  He said, “We from the 35 Members Africa Forum recognize the enormous challenges ahead of the people and leadership of Liberia but, at the same time, we are confident that under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and in collaboration with the legislature, the task of post-conflict reconstruction and development is certainly not insurmountable.
 Speaking further, former President Chissano said members of the Africa Forum have taken note of the efforts deployed towards the rehabilitation of roads, particularly from the airport to the city, the restoration of electricity and water supply, and the restoration of peace and security prevailing in the country.
 According to him, the effort would not have been possible without the collaboration between the Executive, the Legislature, political parties, the private sector, the media, civil society and all other stakeholders who have a strategic role to play in reshaping the new united and prosperous Liberia.
“We at the Africa Forum have come to the conclusion that as a post-conflict country, Liberia needs to put in place specific measures and mechanisms to address in a comprehensive, holistic and integrated manner the issues of food security, health and energy”, he said.
  “Most of our countries are going through what we call the triple shocks of food insecurity, the shock of poor health services and spread of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, and the shock of energy”, he added and said these constitute, in our view, the priority agenda for post-conflict reconstruction and development in Liberia or in any other country emerging from conflict. Together with this, Liberia will also need to engage in capacity development at all levels.
   He said the experience of Liberia and many other African countries emerging from conflict will prove wrong the argument that as opponents negotiate a peaceful settlement, a peace agreement is reached and elections are held and declared free and fair, then democracy has been delivered.  “From our experience, this is far from the truth. The truth is that the real work actually starts after elections”, former President Chissano has said, but stressed that the truth is that the challenge of reconstruction and development is enormous and a possible relapse into conflict is high if the aspiration and demands of the people are not met.
    According to him, it is for this reason that the Africa Forum intends to play a major advocacy role in raising awareness about the need to decisively and together find a solution to what we have now come to term as triple shocks, the components of which are hiking food prices, poor health services and the spread of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, as well as the energy crisis that forces all of us to look for alternative sources of energy at regional, sub-regional and national levels.
  He revealed that the Africa Forum recognizes the importance of setting priority areas of focus while it also recognizes that countries emerging from conflict cannot address everything at once.
 He said it is important to focus on specific community-based incentives that will arrest rural-urban migration, and that will ensure the retention of population in the rural-agricultural areas, saying, that is why we have decided to recommend that countries emerging from conflict could consider food and agriculture, as well as health and energy, as priority areas of focus that can facilitate societal transformation and building of a capable state.
   We believe that the only way you can keep the people at the rural areas is to provide incentives by focusing on reconstruction and development in the areas most affected by conflicts, particularly the rural areas.  Therefore, building roads, providing health and education, as well as water and electricity and focusing on social integration, remain fundamental in keeping the people in the countryside. We are convinced that Liberia is moving in that direction.
  Former President Chissano used the occasion to appeal to the international community to provide the necessary resources to support the country’s poverty reduction strategy towards growth and recovery, adding that Liberia is a small country in size, therefore, post-conflict reconstruction and development can be done as expeditiously as possible if new and additional resources are timely made available.
 He reiterated that Liberia has a clear and sound programme which gives the Africa Forum confidence in the country’s future. He said the international community should seize this opportunity and turn Liberia into an example of a successful post-conflict reconstruction and development.
  “We wish to encourage all political parties, civil society organizations and the whole leadership of the country to promote a permanent dialogue among all citizens so that the wounds of yesterday can be healed forever, saying that  Reconciliation must be achieved between and among individuals.
The feelings of hatred and revenge, he said should be eliminated from the hearts of the Liberian people, adding that in the post-conflict reconstruction and development of Liberia, the opposition has a critical role to play.
 “We appeal to all opposition parties to engage the Government with constructive criticism and bring positive suggestions and alternative solutions to the problems Liberia is facing.”
  Meanwhile, former President Chissano says Liberia is lucky to be led by the first Female African President, a Mother that cares about keeping the Liberian family together. “We therefore wish to encourage Liberians to remain with this spirit of reconciliation, unity and development of their country. Because this is the only way you can have a peaceful Liberia forever, allowing Liberians to enjoy the peace dividends”, he stressed. Reports: Public Affairs Bureau/MFA

   The former President of the Republic of Mozambique and Chairperson of the Africa Forum, His Excellency Joaquim Alberto Chissano, says Liberia is a glorious African country that played a key role in the fight against colonialism and he feels very strongly that Liberia is changing for the better.
   According to the Former President Chissano, it was Liberia that within the framework of the League of Nations played a critical role in raising the issue of Namibia’s decolonization, and that of other fellow African countries, adding that Liberia was also at the forefront of a similar role within the United Nations.
 “It is for this reason that we would like to pay a special tribute to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, as the Head of the Executive and all members of the Legislative branch, the private sector, the faith-based organizations, the civil societies and the people of Liberia for their efforts they have been deploying to move Liberia from a war-torn country to a country that is steadily and sustainable on the path to recovery and development.”
 He said the Africa Forum strongly believe that Liberians will once again show their resilience and overcome the challenge of post-conflict reconstruction and development.
 “We also believe that Liberia is moving in the right direction as far as pursuing unity and reconciliation is concerned. We sincerely hope that Liberia can be peaceful forever. But only Liberians can keep the country together, through unity in development, in which all Liberians have a role to play.”
 “We wish to pay a deserved tribute to the people of Liberia and its leadership for the vital role played for the liberation of Africa”, the Africa forum Chairperson noted, stressing that it is also critical to pay tribute to the people of Liberia who decided to turn swords into ploughs, and opted for sustainable and durable peace.
    In a speech delivered on behalf of members of the Africa Forum at the elaborate occasion marking the nation’s 161st Independence Anniversary, the former leader of Mozambique said Liberia has been an active member of the Liberation Committee of the Organization of the African Union, having offered political, economic and financial support to Liberation Movements fighting for freedom in their countries.
  According to a Foreign Ministry press release, the former President said the Africa Forum hope that the people of Liberia will no longer see war, saying that the country has come out of the 17 years conflict with commitment and determination to give democracy a chance and to move expeditiously on the path of post-conflict reconstruction and development.
  He said, “We from the 35 Members Africa Forum recognize the enormous challenges ahead of the people and leadership of Liberia but, at the same time, we are confident that under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and in collaboration with the legislature, the task of post-conflict reconstruction and development is certainly not insurmountable.
 Speaking further, former President Chissano said members of the Africa Forum have taken note of the efforts deployed towards the rehabilitation of roads, particularly from the airport to the city, the restoration of electricity and water supply, and the restoration of peace and security prevailing in the country.
 According to him, the effort would not have been possible without the collaboration between the Executive, the Legislature, political parties, the private sector, the media, civil society and all other stakeholders who have a strategic role to play in reshaping the new united and prosperous Liberia.
“We at the Africa Forum have come to the conclusion that as a post-conflict country, Liberia needs to put in place specific measures and mechanisms to address in a comprehensive, holistic and integrated manner the issues of food security, health and energy”, he said.
  “Most of our countries are going through what we call the triple shocks of food insecurity, the shock of poor health services and spread of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, and the shock of energy”, he added and said these constitute, in our view, the priority agenda for post-conflict reconstruction and development in Liberia or in any other country emerging from conflict. Together with this, Liberia will also need to engage in capacity development at all levels.
   He said the experience of Liberia and many other African countries emerging from conflict will prove wrong the argument that as opponents negotiate a peaceful settlement, a peace agreement is reached and elections are held and declared free and fair, then democracy has been delivered.  “From our experience, this is far from the truth. The truth is that the real work actually starts after elections”, former President Chissano has said, but stressed that the truth is that the challenge of reconstruction and development is enormous and a possible relapse into conflict is high if the aspiration and demands of the people are not met.
    According to him, it is for this reason that the Africa Forum intends to play a major advocacy role in raising awareness about the need to decisively and together find a solution to what we have now come to term as triple shocks, the components of which are hiking food prices, poor health services and the spread of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, as well as the energy crisis that forces all of us to look for alternative sources of energy at regional, sub-regional and national levels.
  He revealed that the Africa Forum recognizes the importance of setting priority areas of focus while it also recognizes that countries emerging from conflict cannot address everything at once.
 He said it is important to focus on specific community-based incentives that will arrest rural-urban migration, and that will ensure the retention of population in the rural-agricultural areas, saying, that is why we have decided to recommend that countries emerging from conflict could consider food and agriculture, as well as health and energy, as priority areas of focus that can facilitate societal transformation and building of a capable state.
   We believe that the only way you can keep the people at the rural areas is to provide incentives by focusing on reconstruction and development in the areas most affected by conflicts, particularly the rural areas.  Therefore, building roads, providing health and education, as well as water and electricity and focusing on social integration, remain fundamental in keeping the people in the countryside. We are convinced that Liberia is moving in that direction.
  Former President Chissano used the occasion to appeal to the international community to provide the necessary resources to support the country’s poverty reduction strategy towards growth and recovery, adding that Liberia is a small country in size, therefore, post-conflict reconstruction and development can be done as expeditiously as possible if new and additional resources are timely made available.
 He reiterated that Liberia has a clear and sound programme which gives the Africa Forum confidence in the country’s future. He said the international community should seize this opportunity and turn Liberia into an example of a successful post-conflict reconstruction and development.
  “We wish to encourage all political parties, civil society organizations and the whole leadership of the country to promote a permanent dialogue among all citizens so that the wounds of yesterday can be healed forever, saying that  Reconciliation must be achieved between and among individuals.
The feelings of hatred and revenge, he said should be eliminated from the hearts of the Liberian people, adding that in the post-conflict reconstruction and development of Liberia, the opposition has a critical role to play.
 “We appeal to all opposition parties to engage the Government with constructive criticism and bring positive suggestions and alternative solutions to the problems Liberia is facing.”
  Meanwhile, former President Chissano says Liberia is lucky to be led by the first Female African President, a Mother that cares about keeping the Liberian family together. “We therefore wish to encourage Liberians to remain with this spirit of reconciliation, unity and development of their country. Because this is the only way you can have a peaceful Liberia forever, allowing Liberians to enjoy the peace dividends”, he stressed. Reports:     Public Affairs Bureau/MFA