Tuesday, June 28, 2011

President Sirleaf's Speech and Q&A at CDG

On June 23rd, President Sirleaf gave a 20-minute speech and took questions for another 20 at the Center for Global Development in Washington. Always positive and promotional, at times she was refreshingly frank, in identifying some of the on-going weaknesses and failures of her administration and the social, political, and investor milieux.

President Sirleaf seems firmly focused on achieving some progress on major areas in dire need, especially health, education, and physical infrastructure (naming power, ports and roads) for the sake of more sustainable economic development, with the aims of greater employment and alleviation of poverty.

In the 3rd clip, Todd Moss enquires about what kind of questions investors typically ask her government when coming in to Liberia. Saliently, Sirleaf readily offers that investors fear both the inadequacy of the court system for redress, and are wary of having to pay kickbacks to governments to execute a transaction. Refreshing to hear that these issues of crippling bribery and entrenched impunity are at least mentioned in such an audience.

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