By J. Lyndon Ponnie
The World Bank has given a positive outlook of Liberia’s economy for this year. The Bank says Liberia’s medium-term growth prospects are expected to improve as macroeconomic stabilization and structural reforms get implemented.
According to the World Bank, following the expected contraction in 2019, Liberia’s GDP growth is projected to recover to 1.4% in 2020 and further to 3.4% in 2021, driven by the recovery in the non-mining sector and a moderate expansion in the mining sector.
President George Weah is concentrating Liberia’s poverty reduction strategy by rebuilding core functions and institutions, rehabilitating infrastructures and facilitating growth.
The administration of President George M. Weah enters its two years in office this month and will be taking stock of its deliverables in terms of social services and fulfilling campaign promises to the people of Liberia and what to achieve for the remaining four years.
The government put into place its Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) at the latter part of the first year in office.
The PAPD is guided by four pillars focusing on empowering Liberians through education, health, youth development and social protection, enabling private sector-led economic growth, supporting a peaceful society, and creating an inclusive and accountable public sector.
During the period under review, the country’s economy was challenged with rising inflation as a result of significant depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the United States dollar and other factors.
This situation, according to World Bank, hampered the Government’s ability to fully deliver services and meet other obligations.
Consequently, the President Weah and his Government are working with its development partners to help tackle the economic glitches, while instituting measures to promote growth and development, critical for sustaining peace and stability.
Following the highly contested 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections that ushered in the George Weah-led administration into office, Liberia is bracing itself for the Senatorial Mid-Term Elections in 2020.
The tenure of 15 out of 30 senators will be expiring and those seeking re-election will have to face the electorates. The Legislature has passed a bill for a national referendum to reduce the tenure of the President and members of the House of Representatives from six to five years and senators from nine to seven years. Dual citizenship is also included for the referendum.
Liberia’s current account deficit narrowed to 21.1% in 2019 from 23.4% of GDP in 2018. This was largely due to a decline in imports following the complete UNMIL drawdown, while exports of gold and iron ore rose.