Liberian Earns Ph.D. in International Development Economics from Peking University in Beijing


BEIJING – A Liberian, Plingloh Emmanuel Munyeneh on Saturday graduated from the National School of Development (NSD), Peking University in Beijing, China with a Ph.D. in International Development Economics. His research focuses on the nexus between forest and agriculture land and the implications for access to land rights and ownership and poverty reduction. According to Dr. Munyeneh, he used the Wonegizi Forest in Lofa County as his unit of analysis for his research.

Findings from his research call for a jurisdictional approach in the implementation of international norms that have wide-ranging implications for domestic governments, especially on indigenous poor. Most developing countries are susceptible to international agreements that do not readily fit the ‘one size fits all’ approach. Developing countries must, therefore, ensure that international agreements are strongly aligned with their national development plans as well as the SDGs. More importantly, national governments need to sit in the driver’s seat during every stage of the implementation process.

He noted that his stay at Peking University gave him a different perspective on how to tackle the issues of poverty and inequality. African governments must begin to ask themselves how China emerged as the second-largest economy in the world when in the late 70s they were part of the bottom billion with one of the lowest GPDs. Using path dependence, intellectual clarity, and managerial skills can help developing countries unravel the mystery and pursue the miracle of economic growth and development which is central to peace and stability.

Before pursuing his academic career at China’s premier university, Dr. Munyeneh served as Assistant Minister for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was due consistency in his output that he earned the scholarship through the Chinese Embassy near Monrovia. He held several positions including Technical Advisor to former Minister of Education Hon. Othello Gongar. He also served as Assistant Managing Director for the Forestry Development Authority and as a consultant at the Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, the Governance Commission of Liberia and few international organizations.

Dr. Munyeneh is a 2010 graduate of the University of Maryland College Park where he obtained dual masters’ in International Development and Environmental Policy. He is also a 1998/99 graduate of the University of Liberia with a B.Sc. in Economics.

Dr. Munyeneh expressed his profound thanks to God, Almighty. Noting that nothing good comes easy and a journey that started three years ago has finally paid off.  He thanked his family and friends for all the support they provided during his academic sojourn.

He also expressed his appreciation to both the administrations of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the confidence and trust reposed in him, as well as President George Weah for recognizing the importance of education as a fundamental for sustained peace, economic growth and development. Dr. Munyeneh also recognized the efforts of the Chinese Embassy near Monrovia and the People Republic of China for allowing him the opportunity to enhance his career.