Economist Samuel P. Jackson Set to Unveil His Paradox of Poverty in Liberia


Monrovia – Economist Samuel P. Jackson debuts his much-anticipated “Rich Land Poor Country next week at the Bella Casa Hotel in Monrovia.  

The Paradox of Poverty in Liberia  is a study into the factors that made Liberia the poorest country on the planet. It reviews the country’s history, impact of the North Atlantic Slave trade on the formation of Liberia and delves into the sociopolitical reasons for its status as a failed state due to the result of 14 years of a barbarous civil conflict. The book covers the period from 1492 to the end of 2017, including the discovery of “America” by Christopher Columbus, the impact of cotton and the plantation system on the modern economy of Liberia. It examines the faulty “concession” model of 1869 that continues even today laying the foundation for the rentier state, with Liberia’s over reliance on the extractive industry, which produced a narrow economic base consisting mostly of the export of iron ore and rubber.

The book analyzes reasons for Liberia’s poor state of development, and reviews the measurements used to determine the status of livelihoods in Africa’s oldest republic. In the narrative, the book starts with a shameful episode in the country’s recent history as a means of understanding the current mindset of officials and how easily they can be manipulated to sell the country and its image for peanuts. Moreover, it discusses the incestuous relationship between donor nations especially the United States of America and successive corrupt Liberian governments. 

The book takes a hard look at the reasons for conflict and the tumult of the last 39 years, including the coup d’état of 1980 and the nasty wars between 1989 and 2003. It examines the reasons for the coup that ended 133 years of Americo-Liberian sociopolitical and economic hegemony, but also led to economic decline in the 1980s and culminated in 14 years of an orgy of violence.

The analysis of socioeconomic development in the postwar era begins with the inauguration of President Sirleaf, in 2006. The book reviews the strategic direction of the country’s planners, based upon the 150-Day Action Plan implemented in early 2006, the interim Poverty Reduction Strategy (iPRS), the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), the medium-term Lift Liberia and the long-term visioning plan, the Agenda for Transformation (AfT), which was meant to achieve the goals set out in Liberia Rising 2030. It discusses the model of economic development pursued by the country’s officials and the impact on the quality of economic growth and socioeconomic achievements.