Apparently as a direct result of the crucial political exercises that were taking place in Liberia during the month of October, much attention had not been focused to the observance of the European Development and Democracy Day, a forum attended by Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on October 22, 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark, although not destined to have been observed on the African continent this year, retrospection is required as mark of respect for the historic observance.
Thus, whilst the study of human development teaches that "development" may either be negative or positive, the latter has however remained the preoccupation of most governments the world over who have been recipients of assistance from the European Union (EU), especially in under-developed and developing nations, against the backdrop of the dire need for socio-economic improvements.
Having unquestionably received the support of multilateral and bilateral institutions over the decades by Liberia, considered the oldest African republic, having experienced in more recent decades a devastating civil crisis that rendered nearly all of its socio-economic programmes seriously affected, conduits through which the suffering nation can reassert itself in attaining national reconstruction continue to remain the mainstay through the intervention of the EU.
Momentarily faced with seeming crisis over the Eurodollar, though with high hopes of fully addressing, it can be emphatically stated that precisely against the backdrop of efforts by the Liberian nation in the postbellum to address the socio-economic needs of its population, it cannot in the least become deaf to unfolding developments within the EU, given the many contributions by the European Economic Commission (EEC) to the country during past decades in speeding growth and development in various sectors.
Gradual as the national development agenda by the post-crisis leadership has been in implementing, amidst inadequacy that has evolved out of the damages caused by the past civil crisis, it does not however require a psychologist or psychiatrist in determining the state of affairs of the Liberian nation in the last six years, since they are indeed evident of the strides.
Thus far proven and similarly undermined when extreme efforts were exerted by past leaderships, with that of the late President Tolbert proving resounding out of the many projects initiated out of assistance received from the EEC, with the construction of the Mano River Bridge still proving symbolic, aside agricultural and other programs that extended into the 1980s, it would simply prove a disservice were such traditional partner not be recognized in its continuing efforts to identify with the plight of the Liberian nation.
No longer the "same six and seven" as long upheld within the traditional context, meaning that differences would not be created in the support to administrations in Liberia now with a restored democracy, observance of the European Development and Democracy Day lends many lessons to be learnt in perpetuity of the nation, particularly industry.
No doubt a waiver of Liberia’s external debts that now place it in very unique position to begin pulling its own boot-straps by prudentially managing its resources, since to do otherwise during the democratic dispensation would create additional bottlenecks in the administration of future governments in Liberia, new frontiers must now be sought in the fertilization of the democratic concept it seeks to attain national growth and development.
Purely developmental in nature without having to share similar experience as Mr. John Erlichman, as exemplified in his book: "Witness to Power" that provides an insight into the years at the White House of the late United States President Richard M. Nixon, keen observant of the metamorphic changes that have occurred in the life of the Liberian nation out of assistance received from the EU ought to be acknowledged.
The continuing stay of the EU in Liberia, undoubtedly providing some clues to the aforestated facts, full reconstruction of the Liberian nation characterized by the need to truly reconcile its people out of the devastation suffered cannot be easily achieved without the constructive engagement of traditional partners, among which has come to be identified as the EU.
Indeed true that trade and commerce between the EU and Liberia may now be on course, there however remains the problem of too-much foot-soldiering by the population due to inadequate transportation. Considering member-states of the EU as been quite industrious and notwithstanding the immense support provided in more recent years by other nations, including the Republic of India, cooperation in such field is required as appropriate steps aimed at consolidating Liberia’s democracy and development fruitfully realized.
Perhaps viewed as been in the interest of the down-trodden found in many under-developed and developing societies, the pace at which Liberia’s productivity must accelerate would only reach its expected level when partners continue to be constructively engaged as demonstrated during the immediate postbellum years.
Allowing key cabinet ministers involving Planning and Economic Affairs Minister Amara Konneh, Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan, Agriculture Minister Dr. Florence Chenoweth, Public Works Minister Kofi Woods, among others, to have since taken up the challenge, the EU would continue to identify with the plight of the post-crisis nation.
Recently declared by Finance Minister Ngafuan that the leadership will, in the coming year, prioritize the private sector which the EU also considers seriously, it would go a long way when fora held in commemoration of the European Development and Democracy Day are continuously highlighted, howbeit the continuing resolve by the Union to remain one of the nation’s traditional partners.