Liberia: EU to Support Boakai In Areas of Agriculture, Infrastructure, Rule of Law, Education and Conservation

Charles Michel stated in a tweet: “I congratulated President Boakai on his election which showed once again Liberia’s solid democratic foundations.

MONROVIA – Charles Michel, President of the European Council, has stated the willingness of the European Union to support President Joseph Boakai’s agenda, especially in the areas of agriculture, infrastructure, rule of law, education, and conservation in an effort to promote EU-Liberia partnership.

Michel stated in a tweet: “I congratulated President Boakai on his election which showed once again Liberia’s solid democratic foundations.

“The EU is ready to support you in your priorities on agriculture, infrastructure, rule of law, education, and conservation. Promoting a strong EU-Liberia partnership based on shared values and respect.”

The EU’s areas of interest in Liberia are a core part of President Boakai’s ARREST Agenda.

During his first Annual Message on January 29, President Boakai disclosed that poverty, drug abuse, corruption, poor infrastructure, and an underperforming economy continue to undermine national development and the livelihood of Liberians.

The President reemphasized his government’s commitment to rescue the nation, as revealed in the ARREST Agenda. He said it is high time Liberians harness opportunities in agriculture, roads, and infrastructure development, improve the rule of law, rethink the education sector, improve sanitation, and unlock the potential of the tourism sector.

“We believe that creating economic linkages between these development facets and reinforcing them will help reverse years of economic downturns,” the President lamented. According to him, the state of the economy calls for concern amid the current nature of perennial unemployment and economic instability citizens faced.

Emphasizing further, the President said: “We must not just recognize the pain and frustration that permeate our society, but also work together to introduce and pass legislation that will prioritize economic reforms fostering sustainable economic growth and job creation.” On the state of the economy, President Boakai reported how economic growth slowed between 2022 and 2023, from 4.8 percent to 4.6 percent. He stated: “The rate of growth averaged about 1.5 percent, compared with 3.1 percent between 2012 and 2017 due in part to an underperforming economy and the existing geopolitical global environment.” According to him, the economy faced challenges during the past six years in terms of growth, job creation, and poverty reduction. “Inflation during the period 2023 rose to 10.1 percent at the end of December, from 7.6 percent in 2022. Revenue collection as reported for 2023 stood at US$710.23 million while expenditure totaled US$796.32 million; hence, a large budget deficit of over US$80 million,” he intoned. The President further noted that his administration intends to change the state of the economy by thinking “outside the box”, doing away with reliance on primary commodity export to focusing on value addition with the private sector as the engine to drive the economy. President Boakai also announced the reintroduction of the Liberianization policy which would help to empower Liberian businesses and promote growth and jobs creation. “In our quest to expand the economy, we will leverage Information Communication Technology (ICT) in creating jobs, especially for our youth,” he accentuated.

The President also disclosed that his administration will build the capacities of 10,000 young people in various digital skills in the first half of 2024. President Boakai asserted that the Liberian middle-class goal must be a reality in the next 6 years.

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