MONROVIA – The outgoing country director of World Bank in Liberia, Dr. Khwima Nthara says the George Weah-led government has made strong strides in improving the macro-economic situation in the country.
By Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
He said most of his success stories in Liberia can be linked to the level of cooperation he received from the government.
Recounting his stay in Liberia, Dr. Nthara said President Weah lived up to his word and after he presided over a retreat between the World Bank and his cabinet, on December 15, 2019, under the theme “Maximizing World Bank Group Support to Liberia.”
According to him, that retreat set the stage for what has been a truly rewarding and productive partnership between the World Bank and Liberia.
“Mr. President, after three years and seven months, it has been such a rewarding experience, and it was a great pleasure and honor to have been of service to this very special country. I fell in love with this country before I even set foot on it,” he said.
Dr. Nthara said, the results of that partnership between the Bank and the government is very glaring. “Your Government turned the macro-situation around, which saw inflation decline from around 37% in 2019 to a single digit. I recall when I arrived, the exchange rate was around 200 Liberian Dollars to 1 US dollar, but the Liberian dollar has gained strength and is now at around 154 Liberian Dollars to 1 US dollar,” he said.
According to him, Liberia stands out in the region as a beacon of sound macroeconomic management.
“It is for this reason, that in 2020, Liberia also reached the threshold for graduation from the World Bank’s list of Fragile and Conflict-affected states. All these achievements were possible because your Government followed through your commitment to do the right things and turn the situation around. Some of the steps you took, such as wage harmonization, were not popular, but you did not waiver. Indeed, it was because of your Government’s determination to do the right thing that we were also able to make a case with our Senior Management and our Board to double budgetary support to Liberia from $20 million per year to $40 million,” he said.
Dr. Nthara said Liberia is a very unique country because it is endowed with abundant natural resources and has been blessed with many firsts, including being the first republic on the African continent, the only country in Africa to have produced a winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year and winner of the Ballon d’Or, who later became President of this special country, and Liberia was also the first African country to elect a female President.
“I have to say, as soon as arrived and had my first interaction with you, Mr President, the Minister of Finance, Hon. Samuel D. Tweah Jr, and other key members of your administration, I was so energized and inspired. I was encouraged by the clarify of your vision and the commitment you showed to turning things around,” he said.