Liberia: Why the Private Sector Development Initiative failed, the Pro-Poor Loan Scheme shouldn’t


By Caesar R. Morris, [email protected], Contributor

MONROVIA – We appreciate President Weah for such positive step. We believed that this is a positive step to the sustainable development of Liberia. If manage well, this initiative will have a national impact across SME’s and the government of Liberia. The private sector is the engine of growth and we all know what that means; the private sector don’t just run business; it create businesses and jobs that contribute in taxs to the government for economic development. So, the government of Liberia should consider private sector development a priority for the fact that the tax dollars that runs the states from the it (Private Sector).

Again, we comment the president and look forward to the sustainability of the Pro-Poor Loan Scheme hoping that this is not just a gesture but becomes legislated as a budgetary commitment for sustainable economic development.

Lessons learn from PSDI

In Liberia, its often said; that we are hard to learn and quick to forget. We all know the story about the Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI). It was a great concept and some of Liberia’s best minds managed it and yet it was the worst failure of the decade. I have concluded that it failed because of bad management! We all know what happen; folks in there created companies and awarded the funds to themselves as it wasn’t enough, they extended the funds to friends and family members.

Good thing is that, we must learn from the good bad and ugly situations around us. If we got anything from the fail PSDI; it wasn’t properly managed. It is our hope and prayer that the CDC government learn from the pass and take the necessary actions and put the require procedure in place to ensure this Pro-Poor Loan Scheme become sustainable.  

If this Pro-Poor Loan Scheme is to work, the ministry of commerce and the Liberia bank for development and investment must treat this loan as other loans but at a special lower rate and better repayment plan. What do I mean? This loan is not a political show, it’s actually intended to help develop the private sector and help government in her economic development drive. So, there should be at least a requirement that a business should be at least 12months legally old. Businesses that couldn’t pay previous loans shouldn’t be given this one because it wouldn’t pay back, businesses must be tax compliance. Most of all, there should be a quarterly report on the performance of this Pro-Poor Loan Scheme so as to monitor the progress

Creating a level plane field

Again, we appreciate the president for the Pro-Poor Loan Scheme; it’s worth noting that the government of Liberia must see reason in taking some austerity measures to ensure her people succeed. Going us the money is a good thing and should be the basis to creating an enabling environment, a level plane field for a fair market. Most of our foreign counterparts marginalize in multiple forms and shapes thus eventually undermine and kill Liberian businesses. If Liberians are to no longer be spectator in their own country, they should have privileges in their economy and not the other way around.  It’s time that the CDC government legislate the Liberian Business Economic Empowerment Act thereby creating an enabling environment and space for Liberian businesses to dominate and not be a spectator.