By: Wynston G. Freeman,a Columnist
As cerebral thinkers, questions that will catapult our minds on such an absorbing topic like this are:
Why are some nations great and ours is not? Some rich while ours is poor? Why do some have great wealth while we live in extreme poverty? Why do some have abundance of food while we live in famine? Finally, why are some developed, while we are not?
With an upcoming general election that is expected to be hotly contested in less than three months, and our relative economy recuperating following the 14yrs of civil – political crisis, Liberia stands at a crossroad!
While there is no specific formula for any country to become a great nation, I want to suggest some secrets that will put our nation on the right trajectory of becoming a great nation.
Where truth is sought after in all areas, manifesting itself in transparency, integrity and honesty in all governmental and private offices. Al Gore said, “A commitment to openness, truthfulness, and accountability helps our country avoid many serious mistakes that we would otherwise make”. The lack of truthfulness emboldens those who wish to hide their evil deeds in the shadow of legitimacy. Having open and transparent dedications for all government projects and passing freedom of information legislations would be a step in the right direction. In such a society, leaders would be honest about mistakes made and take the right actions.
Malcolm X gave a wise educational quote ” Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Education in every sense is one of the fundamental factors of development. No country can achieve sustainable economic development without substantial investment in human capital. Education enriches people’s understanding of themselves and the world. It improves the quality of their lives and leads them to broad, social benefits.Furthermore, education raises people’s productivity and creativity, and promotes entrepreneurship and technological advances. In addition, it plays a very crucial role in securing economic and social progress and improves income distribution.
The importance of technology in our daily lives is undeniable. In other words, life without technology is meaningless “in this dynamic world. Technology basically refers to bringing together tools that ease creation, ease the use and exchange of information, and make tasks easier to execute and solve. It is the fact that technological advancement has made life easier in the developed world.
Technology has made communication across the globe very easy. This is due to a global village. For example, people hailing from different geographical regions can virtually communicate through video calls, e-mails and many other social media platforms. Business owners have realized the power of using internet to achieve more customers for their products easily by creating business websites that customers can click on and buy desired items in the comfort of their homes. This could be true for Liberia.
One key area in which technology has been of great use is the health industry. For example, the discovery of modern electronic equipment has improved the quality of treatment that people receive at health institutions, as well as survival from various ailments.
Another notable benefit of technology is that it has enabled doctors to discover health problems while they are still in the developing stages, and have treated them before they can develop into severe stages.
Bertrand Russell, the English thinker said, “Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires”. Freedom has to be the bedrock of a prosperous nation, for without freedom, the shackles which stop us from reaching for the impossible and exploring the unexplored remain. People must be free to think, free to dream, free to explore, free to change, and free to express themselves. Freedom has its risks, but it is my belief that it can be mitigated by some values like justice, graciousness, integrity, truthfulness and many more.
Chapter three , Article eleven 11 to Article twenty- six of the Liberian constitution shows our fundamental rights.
These rights give us freedom and protections to make meaningful inputs to our society. However, we should be fully responsible for the abuse thereof.
Abraham Lincoln quoted these wise words on freedom, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. ” Let me paraphrase this quote into the context of my article, by saying, ” A government that denies freedom to its citizens, deserve it not for itself.”
Fairness and equality in our society, making sure that the rights of everyone are protected regardless of any condition.
Justice is important, because every person will not choose to do that which is deemed right in society. Since justice is the punishment of the wrong and the upholding of the good, justice is then implemented to maintain what is deemed right behavior or appropriate behavior.
Justice helps create a safe environment for people to live in. Without justice, there would be nothing to stop wrong doings from happening and nothing to punish people for doing things against what has been establish as good.
Justice is important because it places a standard of good over all people and demands all people to pay attention to this standard.
When Liberia’s Justice system is effective without discrimination, corruption will be minimized or even eradicated.
When a Liberia’s Justice system is dispensed unbiased, the rich will not take advantage of the poor.
Integrity distinguishes between right and wrong.
In a pluralistic society like Liberia,which accepts all religious practices,integrity could be a best practice.
Better is the man who has no religion but lives a highly moral life than the one who has religion but denies the requirements of that religion. We need to have a firm integrity base to support all that we do so that we can eradicate corruption, criminal activities, social ills and family breakdown.
If a man can not compromise his integrity for any gain, he will not corrupt public funds for personal gain. He will not dispense justice to a party that is financially efficacious, because of the brown envelop he has received.
7. Inclusive Economic Institutions
Competitive Market – making or encouraging citizens to participate in the economic activities in making best use of their talents, skills etc.
Embrace more than one business to compete with the same production or commodity.
Secure private and public entities with unbiased System of law. Government should institute basic regulations to prevent fraud or malpractice.
8. Citizen’s Welfare
When I speak of citizen’s welfare, I am speaking specifically about the less fortunate ones. Government needs to seek the welfare of all her citizens. The extremely poor citizens need special attention.
A society that looks after the poor and needy citizens who are less fortunate people, is ready to prosper. Government needs to employ a system that will be effective in seeking the welfare of these people.
Welfare can take a variety of forms, such as monetary payments, housing assistance etc. Welfare is commonly provided to individuals who are unemployed, or who are I’ll, or who are disable, or are elderly or have dependent children. A person’s eligibility for welfare may also be constrained by government’s evaluation.
The feeling of Patriotism is important for the Freedom of a Country. A patriotic person will always be ready to sacrifice his life for the love of his country.
Liberians should love their own country. They should act for for the good of the country. This feeling for a country is called patriotism.
Patriotism is one of the best virtues of citizens. It is a noble feeling of the mind. Few Liberians have got a love for their country. They wish to make their native land free. There are Some Liberians who are ready to sacrifice their own interest for the good of the country. A selfish man cannot love his native country. A selfish man may be rich; he may he born of a noble family; he may have a big title, but nobody respects him. After his death, he is forgotten by all. He is sometimes an enemy to the country. He seeks his own interest. He can even do harm to the country for his own interest. But everybody, praises a patriot. He is worshiped by his countrymen. He is honored all over the world.
Patriotism is defined as “love of country; devotion to the welfare of one’s compatriots; the passion which inspires one to serve his/her country”. So,when we, Liberian citizens, love this nation, will do all to secure and develop it. This should be a compelling reason why we should elect patriots!
Protection of citizens’ lives, rights, properties, and of the state.
National Security is a act by which a government, along with its House of Legislature, protects the state and its citizens against all kinds of “national” crises through a variety of power projections, such as political power, diplomacy, economic power, military invasion, etc.
According to Prabhakaran Paleri, author of National Security, Imperatives and Challenges defines – national security as:
The measurable state of the capability of a nation to overcome the multi – dimensional threats to the apparent well being of its people and survival as a nation – state at any given time, by balancing all instruments of state policy through governance, that can be indexed by computation, empirically or otherwise, and is extendable to global security by variable external to it.
Government should take these measures to ensure national security, such as:
a. Maintaining an effective armed forces
b. Build a security system that will make investors secure so that they might not hesitate to establish their million dollar investments.
A nation where the states’ properties, resources, environments are managed for the enjoyment of future generations. It would be a nation where conservation of its natural resources is not just a public relation exercise but birthed out of our deep conviction that saving the planet is saving our children’s lives. It would be a place where we hate wastage in the form of unnecessary and unsustainable projects; and where we want to maintain what we already have, like parks, buildings and roads. Such a society would willingly sacrifice any economic gain if it would threaten its environment
As a matter of fact, if the process of economic development is to be initiated and made self-sustaining, it must begin with the agricultural sector.
The agriculture sector is the backbone of an economy, which provides the basic ingredients to mankind and now raw material of industrialization.
From my research on the economic history of many advanced countries, I am informed that agricultural prosperity contributed considerably in fostering economic advancement.
It is observed that the leading industrialized countries of today were once predominantly agricultural, while the developing economies still have dominance of agriculture and it largely contributes to the national income. Currently, 28 percent of India national income comes from this sector.
Agriculture sector also employs a large quantity of labour force. For example, in Tanzania, 70 -80 percent of the labour force is employed in the agricultural sector.
Imagine if Liberia prioritizes this sector to the extent that 40 percent of our national income is generated from this sector, and over 80 percent of our labour force is absorbed in this sector – the country will become self – sustainable.
As I conclude, my opinion is that if we put in the right leaders of our beloved country who have these secrets added to their manifestos and will be relentless in instituting them, I suppose, that LIBERIA will rise again!