By: Wynston G. Freeman, Columnist
Just as a New Year is considered for new expectations, so it is with new expectations for a new government.
Let me again congratulate you as I did in part 1 in continuity of this captioned article, but this time for the formal certification ceremony held in the James M. Fromayan Conference Hall, National Elections Commission Headquarters, 9th & 10th Streets, Sinkor, Monrovia, Liberia on Thursday, January 4th, 2018 along with the Vice President- Elect, Hon. Jewel H. Taylor and sixty-six Representatives- Elect.
You need a million of applaud for the level of maturity exhibited on New Year Day in reconciling the electoral struggles and exchanges during the campaign period and political differences to move Liberia forward. I must not ignore the obsequious Vice President of Liberia, Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai who has shown his great maturity of being nationalistic and patriotic by firstly congratulating you, having been defeated but unhesitantly embraced you upon your visit at his resident. He also pledged his expertise to your administration through an advisory role. That is the authentic application of LIBERIA FIRST!
Mr. President Elect, you are not just going to be inaugurated, but be part of those history makers of this historical transition of power in 73yrs(1944) Liberians have not witness. You, along with H.E. Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Hon. Jewel H. Taylor, Vice president elect are setting another history as one sitting president freely and constitutionally transferring power to an incoming president elect. Also, the vice president-elect,will be Liberia’s first female vice president in our history.
I don’t want to attempt mentioning all of the historical successes ( both political & non- political) you have made which have triggered down to a national & international reflections of proud to Liberia.
Most citizens’ expectation from a newly elected government is, the hypothetical first 100 days in office. This article does not intend to make inconsequential that first hundred day expectations, but things that are expected to be accomplished before your elected term elapse.
Even the wisest man who ever lived and accounted for in scriptures, Solomon, said, “The race is not to the swift…”. As a studious person of the scriptures, it is recorded in Matthew’s account about Jesus’ interest is always in those who ENDURE TO THE END.
The reason you were voted for unhesitantly, is because, Liberians believe that you are the best to live – up to their expectations in bringing the needed CHANGE to our beloved country. Mr. President elect, when people are disappointed in someone who has not met up with their expectations, they become uncooperative, resentful and dismissive which could probably lead to non confidence in that administration.
There is a cliché that says, ” the sooner the better”. This article is an alert of early reminder about things expected at least at a considerable level during this term. And if our expectations are achieved, I think, it could obviously create the possibility for a reelection of your administration.
Part 1 of this article published last week, I catalogued and expatiated on three (3) expectations. Today, I am pleased to unearth three (3) more expectations.
4) Education Reform:
Malcolm X gave a wise educational quote which says, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Mr. President- elect, it is no secret that our educational system is a mess with lot of flaws, but a system that is of mess, could be transformed into the best. Mr. President-elect, Liberia is ranked 8 on the the website of worldAlas.com amongst the top most 25 countries with worst education systems which spend the lowest percentage of their GDP on education.
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.
Mr. President-Elect, education reform should be a priority of your administration for a better future. Ensure that appropriate budgetary allotment for education is appropriated during your tenure and improve both the formal and informal educational sectors.
5) Quality improvement in the Health Sector
Improving quality in our health sector is about making health care safe, effective, patient-priority, convenience and reliable. Information gathered for the website of the “RTTNews” www.rrttnews.com reported on the World Health Organization (WHO) health system index on the top ten(10) worst healthcare countries in the world and posted 2017, Liberia is ranked six(6) with the life expectancy around 57 years. Only 4.7% of our population is over 60 and 43% of the population is 15 or under.
There is massive wealth inequality in our health sector. Malaria is a huge problem for our country, and the fledgling system is overwhelmed. Consequently, 43% of children under 5 do not receive any anti-malarial treatment. Liberia has a mere 14 doctors per million people.
On the website of UNICEF 2016, Yulia Widiati reported that Liberia has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world with 1,072 maternal deaths for every 100,000 births. Hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal deaths (25 per cent). The neonatal mortality rate is 26 for every 1,000 live births, and one in every 11 Liberian children dies before reaching her or his fifth birthday as unfortunate and common in the rural areas. Moreover, children in rural areas are more likely to die young compared to children in the urban areas.
Mr. President- elect, please improve our health sector; both the rural and urban areas, so as to save lives through early action.
Technology has been key and of great use in 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. Mr. President-Elect, our country lacks well equipped referral hospitals. That is why most of our health cases are referred overseas. With heavy disadvantage, makes it difficult for an impecunious person (a poor person) to survive if he/she is beset with such situation.
6) An Improved Agricultural Sector
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 prioritises 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.
Mr. President-elect, should we continue to import 80% of our most stabled food (rice) we consume? Or import the least expected PEPPER from our African countries like Guinea and Mali to be sold and consumed? I am sure your answer will be a resounding NO!
Part 3 of more expectations is up soon!!!!!