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To Support “Pro-Poor Agenda” Liberian President Seeks Out China

President George M. Weah

NEW YORK--Liberia’s president George Weah has said that his government is prepared and ready to align its “pro-poor agenda,” the national development strategy, with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The Liberian leader who is scheduled to visit China after paying an official visit to France, a superpower nation, and several visits to a number of African states since taking office, said Liberia will seek development opportunities at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit to be held in Beijing from September 3rd through the 4th.

“We believe that with China we can achieve our goals,” Weah said, calling China “one of Liberia’s biggest partners” and describing Liberia’s relationship with China as “a win-win situation.”

The Liberian leader who vowed to increase road connectivity throughout most parts of his country soon after assuming the Office of President said his government will make efforts to enhance road connectivity, agriculture development, and education.

“Our need is roads … With building roads to connect the country, Liberia can get back on good footing,” Weah said.

Adding, the Liberian president said China is involved in infrastructure projects in Liberia, including the construction of roads. “If you look at most of our infrastructure, like the roads, they are being built by Chinese companies. This is one of the ways that China is helping,” the president said.

“If we can improve agriculture for our people … it can help us bring growth to our economy. This is why agriculture is one of our main priorities,” he added.

President Weah, since taking office, has put job creation, improving infrastructure and raising people’s living standards as a high priority on the development agenda of his presidency. To achieve these goals, the “pro-poor agenda” has been launched, according to sources closed to the Liberian leadership.

The Liberian leader said he expects China to support the agenda, especially in providing assistance for youth empowerment.

But some opposition leaders in the country and social media bloggers in multiple Liberian chatrooms and forums, including the Darius Dillon’s Facebook group, said the Liberian government under President Weah lacks the commitment and vision to direct what its pronounces considering the level of bureaucratic incompetence at various government’s agencies.

One U.S. Conservative political strategists in Washington, DC said the new Liberian administration is making a dangerous mistake by appearing to disengage the United States since taking office. The U.S. strategist who spoke on condition of anonymity said the current Liberian administration appears to have foreign and domestic policy gaps and a misleading historical understanding of global affairs disengaging the United States, a historical ally.

One congressional aide dismissed the current Liberian administration as non-essential to U.S. foreign policy in any form and manner. Speaking to Globe Afrique by phone about the Liberian leader failure seek an official visit to Washington, DC since taking office, he said the decisions that small and poor countries that largely depend on the U.S. sustained support make will come to hunt them at the appropriate time.

He said the posture of the current Liberian administrations suggests that the administration adheres to the policy of the past Liberian government that joined other rogue nations in opposing the United States and Israel at the UN General Assembly in 2017.

Reliable sources say the current Liberian government has made efforts to reach out to Washington, DC but all attempts failed.

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Paul Stevens

Paul Stevens is a researcher, media issues analyst and senior contributor with Globe Afrique.
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