ONTARIO, Canada–An accomplished Liberian labor market information expert and public policy professional, Jones Nhinson Williams, has called on Liberia’s president-elect George Manneh Weah to request the dissolution of certain government’s agencies such as the Ministry of Information, and instead establish two new government agencies: The Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the National Bureau of Information Technology.
Williams, who worked as Maryland State Government Labor Market Information Manager in the United States during the recent global recession said the world has transitioned more clearly from full reliance on extractive industry economy to knowledge-based economy, and that transition requires adaptation in job creation policy.
He said he believes President-elect Weah will succeed because most Liberians are prepared to assist his administration for the sake of Liberia.
Williams, who currently serves as State Administrator for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics programs which include the Current Employment Statistics unit, Local Area Employment Statistics unit, Occupational Employment Statistics unit, the Mass Layoff Statistics unit, and the industry and Occupational Projection unit, said a focus on developing all industry sectors with emphasis on workforce development, employment and training as well as small business establishment will drive the Liberian economy and impact national security.
“When people don’t have jobs, they tend to listen to anyone who talks sense or nonsense. We need to put Liberians to work. We need to empower Liberians as business owners and employers. We need to make Liberians ready to compete in the global labor market,” he added.
Asked who he thinks could develop the two agencies he wants to be established, he said, for the proposed Ministry of Culture and Tourism, he would like to see the president-elect appoint Helene Cooper of the New York Times or Ms. MacDalla Cooper, a former presidential candidate. Both ladies could shine a light on Liberia’s culture and tourism.
For the National Bureau of Information Technology, he said Lawrence Kou Kennedy, a Liberian professional living in the United States with decades of banking and technology experience would fit that call.
Williams said the key benefits of tourism are economic, socio-cultural and environmental. Adding, “Tourism can provide direct jobs to the community, such as tour guides or hotel housekeeping. Indirect employment is also generated through other industries such as agriculture, food production, and retail.
He said with a booming tourist industry sector in Liberia, several Liberians will become small business owners in other aspects of leisure and hospitality. He said tourism don’t only provide jobs, it can improve the wealth of an area. This is why Liberia must become a major tourist destination.
Asked if he is willing to return home to Liberia and assist the Weah’s administration with job creation policy development and implementation, Williams said he will help Liberia and the Weah Administration from where ever he is.
“I favor a small but effective government. Public service should be about service, not wealth making. We need people with proven record and experience to help transform the country. I will help in whatever way but my position remains that the incoming Weah’s administration increases investment in the private sector and let people seek employment and wealth in the private sector. Those who will enter government should be selected based on substance and the ability to deliver,” he added.