AGRICULTURE AND INTEGRATED RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Agricultural production has experienced a sharp decline in the last decades. Not only are we now net importers of some agricultural products that used to be major foreign exchange earners, but we also import a significance amount of food. Agricultural production declined for various reasons, some of which are:
The rural areas have been neglected by successive administrations leading to drift of the population away from the farm into the cities, as the villages become more and more unattractive. The remaining hands on the farm are either too old, too few, or too young to be adequately productive, and their principal implements are still the hoe and the cutlasses.
The objectives of the Agriculture and Integrated Rural Development Programmes are as follows:
- To provide critical infrastructure and social services in the rural areas.
- To increase rapidly the output of food and export crops and aggressively find export markets for them.
- To improve the quality of life of habitat in the rural areas and observe the tide of rural-urban migration.
HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
There is a need for more careful planning of land, especially in urban areas, where houses and other infrastructural facilities need to be incorporated into limited space. In Liberia, over the past centuries, the issue of land scarcity has not been a challenge. The country has an abundance of land in both urban and rural areas. Though in recent times and has started to get scarce in Monrovia and most of the urban areas. This has even led to the expansion of the city (Monrovia) beyond its original scope. Housing and urban development in Liberia remains a major challenge, especially under this regime.
- Set up and enforce standards for building materials.
- Encourage large-scale local production of building materials.
- Provide fair and affordable access to decent housing to the citizenry either through public or private investments.
- Improve the distribution and access to imported and locally produced materials.
- Facilitate access to credit for building and mortgage.
- Upgrade existing slum areas
- Provide technical assistance and access to low-cost building methods
- Support the creation of satellite areas around urban areas for housing major office buildings.
- Pursue the feasibility of building a new capital city.
- The building of offices by the government and the private sector outside Monrovia will be encouraged as a means of easing congestion in the City
- Support and strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency to better carry out its
- Coordinating and enforcement responsibilities
HEALTH AND SANITATION
Liberia’s health care system is characterized by high levels of communicable diseases,
Frequent shortages of essential medicines, shortage of healthcare providers and an organizational structure ill fitted to deal with the critical and worsening health challenges.
- To improve Human Resource Management through strengthening and making functional the Healthcare Delivery system and developing a comprehensive Human Development Plan.
- Improve conditions for all health workers to enhance retention and provide a better incentive scheme for those in remote areas
- Develop an incentive plan to retain locally trained doctors and attract medical professionals, including from abroad
- Strengthen disease prevention and control.
- Expanding and intensifying campaigns against diseases
- Promoting good hygiene practices
- Improving water and sanitation facilities
- Scaling up effective interventions for the prevention and management of Malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, EBOLA and other diseases
- Improve the delivery of health services
- Improve Leadership and Governance in the Health Sector.
- Reviewing the National Health Policy
- Developing Policy for Public-Private-Partnership in the health sector
- Strengthening NGO/Donor Coordination to make them more accountable to Government
- Improve Health Information System (HIS).
Investing in quality education –vocational, primary, secondary, and postsecondary will help turn Liberia’s natural and mineral resources into sustainable development. It is a well-known fact that all around the world; education is considered the key to individual, community and national development. No nation develops beyond its level of education, the quality of its education service providers, and the effectiveness and efficiency of its education service delivery system. Education helps lift people out of poverty and creates vast new opportunities to reduce unfair income distribution and increase choices. It creates awareness and helps to sustain democracy and peace. ALP considers education as a right, not a privilege.
- Raise the morale and productivity of our teachers. To this end, a Presidential Initiative for teachers will be launched. The Initiative will ensure that matters relating to teachers are treated with utmost importance.
- Reviewing the functions and making functional the National Teachers Association to create opportunities for teachers to have a career Path
- Developing an ad hoc incentive scheme for science teachers and teachers in Remote areas
- Promote technical and vocational education.
- Encourage Public-Private Partnership for the development of technical and Vocational education
- Establish Adult and Functional Literacy Programs in all Chiefdoms and Urban Towns
- Increase access and affordability to pre-primary, primary and secondary education. This will entail:
- Increasing daily learning hours in every school
- Re-introducing a school bus system in urban areas to enable children to get to school on time
- Promote Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). This will entail Mainstreaming nursery and kindergarten education into the national education structure
- System, training of teachers and encouraging the private sector to participate in providing preschool and kindergarten education,
- Establish Schools of Excellence for Science and Technology education in strategic regions of our country.
- Strengthen school monitoring and supervision through capacity building in the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Education
Promote Inclusive Education through improving facilities and free education for the physically challenged
The issue of unemployment in Liberia has been a serious threat to the individual and national development of our country. Development is about people and by the people. The topmost priority of the ALP led Government will be developing the human capital. The ALP will consider human development as both a means and an end to the development process. This will require investing in youth, women, children, the disadvantaged groups, etc.
- To provide technical skills to youth in areas relevant for the Liberian Job market
- To revisit the policy and legislative framework for youth training and employment
- To establish a National Commission on Technical and Vocational Education;
- To establish and equip modern technical institutes in all Counties.
- To provide training and educational opportunities for our women
- To establish a Women’s Development Fund to support female entrepreneurs
- Promote women in agriculture through direct support to them for large scale farming and agro-processing activities; providing market information about local and export markets and facilitate the exporting of farm products; providing improved facilities for fish processing and poultry, and promoting female access to land and other strategic resources
- To increase the chances of women in politics.
- To enable all men who are within the ambiance of the working class and are qualified for such positions to be given priority to work; be it literate or illiterate or place of education.
- To create jobs in both the public and private sectors
- To reinforce the Liberalization Policy to allow Liberians to get exclusively engaged in individual businesses such as Pit-sawing, Soap making, Ice and mineral water production, etc.
SMALL SCALE BUSINESS
Liberia’s economic development growth has been slow because the Nationals (Liberians) are not in control of the economy. The economy is largely managed/controlled by foreigners. Liberia can only experience speedy economic growth when Liberians are encouraged and empowered to get involved in small scale businesses as practiced in other countries in the sub-region.
A vibrant private sector is critical to economic growth, income generation, employment and ultimately poverty reduction. A competitive, fast growing and liberal economy led by the private sector is envisaged. The private sector can substantially assist in building the capacity and Capability of Liberians.
- To ensure that Liberians are given priority in many businesses and employment.
- Promote the use of locally sourced Liberian goods and services
- Promote the development of Liberian SMEs
- Establish a fund to provide access to medium and long-term capital to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and encourage lending institutions to lend a significant proportion of bank loan portfolios to SMEs
- Support the domestic private sector to create linkages with large domestic as well as foreign firms
The collapse of national value systems, weak and ineffective national institutions, with emphasis on cronyism and institutionalized bad governance practices, have all contributed over time to the creation of a culture of less and less accountability while corruption in a pervasive manner has been on the increase. Corruption was one of the major causes of the Country’s civil conflict.
Corruption in public and private life in Liberia includes but is not limited to offenses such as bribery, embezzlement, nepotism, favoritism, and money laundering among others. These offences manifest themselves in the inflation of government contracts in return for kickbacks; examination malpractices, corporate fraud, tax evasion, falsification of accounts in the public services, taking bribes, and the perversion of justice among the police, the judiciary and other organs in the justice system, falsification of certificates; printing of fake currency; and stealing of public funds, to name a few.
- To promote national cohesion, revamping and de-politicizing national democratic institutions, strengthening the role of parliament, promoting justice and the rule of law, curbing corruption and ensuring state security.
- To promote inclusion and equal opportunities shall be the cornerstone of the ALP Government. Our administration will launch a presidential initiative on national cohesion and organize a conference on diversity management and building national cohesion.
- To treat corruption as a National Security issue and enact relevant laws to minimize it. To decentralize governance in the counties and districts.
The entire structure of the transport sector needs to be revisited. Institutions like the National Transport Authority and others are not operating efficiently, and there are schisms with the Liberian Road transport unions. The privatization processes of some areas within these institutions have been poorly handled.Some regulatory agencies like the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA) carry out their mandate inefficiently. For the sector to operate efficiently, sector reforms will be considered and politics taken out of decision making.
Prioritize roads projects with recourse to economic benefits that will be gained.
Institute a national Road Safety Programmes.
- Encourage and promote the creation of a Regional Transport Service with other MANO River Union States (Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast) along the lines of the Roberts Flight Information Region (Roberts FIR – comprising of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea)
- Review the concept of having an external security firm provide security for the airport for national security reasons
- Institute policies and regulations that will help reduce the costs of shipping and clearing goods
- Reorganize the Maritime Protection Agency to make it more effective
- Explore the possibility of extending and commercializing the existing railway services by mining companies to specific areas for transportation of people and local goods
- Consider instituting a national railway scheme. This will, however, be dependent on the result of feasibility studies