AfT Implementation On Track, But…
The Finance Minister Amara Konneh said the delay in the passage of the national budget is among several constrains that is hampering the prompt implementation of the Government’s ambitious strategy for inclusive economic growth and sustainable development known as the Agenda for Transformation.
Speaking at a one-day Steering Committee meeting of the Liberia Development Alliance(LDA), chaired by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County last Saturday Mr. Konneh said the timely passage of the budget can accelerate the AfT.
Finance Minister Amara Konneh, who is the National Coordinator of the Alliance blamed fiscal constraints due to recurrent pressures on the national budget and procurement challenges couple with inadequate coordination in the implementation of the Agenda for Transformation.
The high-level meeting was attended by an array of government officials, development partners, private sector and the civil society actors.
However, the fiscal manager reported that despite the constraints, AfT registered some progress. According to him, the national priority is huge, but the revenue envelop is small, but that government remains very committed to ensuring full implementation of the Agenda for Transformation.
President Sirleaf, impressed with the presentations by the sector heads said: “I believe we all go away a little bit more informed, I believe a little bit more enthused; I hope that we bring to our task greater sense of urgency that the many delays; we didn’t get into many of the reasons of why so many programs were delayed, unduly constraining the achievements of our goals for employment, development, social services.”
The President continued: “But we will among ourselves begin to focus on those so that we can sort of restructure some of those issues moving away from achievements to talk about future goals; to talk about constraints; to talk about what we need to do achieve.“
She admonished Liberians to support the AfT and also emphasized that among the five pillars of the AFT, the economy transformation is very significant because according to her, it will impact the lives of ordinary Liberians through major government interventions including the reconstruction of roads and the restoration of energy. She said the AfT will also improve human capacity building.
The Liberian leader emphasized that there are capacity building on going in almost every sector of the government which is very healthy for the society. “As we speak, Agriculture, Health, Education and other ministries and agencies are training their own people.“
The Annual Progress Report (APR) described the work that has been completed on the implementation of the AfT, from January 2013 to December 2013.The work completion is based principally on qualitative and quantitative information gathered over the one year period from all stakeholders involved in Liberia’s development efforts.
The Report demonstrates Government’s commitment to addressing the fundamental and structural constraints affecting the Liberian economy and to encouraging and motivating broad, sector-wide and national participation in the AfT implementation.
The AfT is the Government’s five-year development strategy which follows the Lift Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and is the first step in achieving the goals set out in Liberia’s long-term vision of socio-economic transformation and development. It sets out precise goals and objectives that Liberia will achieve in the next five years in order to take the necessary steps toward its long-term goals, which are to become a more prosperous and inclusive society.
The AfTis structured along five pillars (Peace, Security & Rule of Law, Economic Transformation, Governance & Public Institutions, Human Development and Cross-cutting Issues). The Government works along with development partners to make major investments in priority areas to deliver the results promised in the AfT.
The Liberia Development Alliance (LDA) is the high level coordination mechanism for the implementation of the Agenda for Transformation (AfT). The LDA Steering Committee, chaired by the President of the Republic of Liberia, is comprised of key Cabinet Ministers, heads of development partner organizations, private sector actors, and civil society representatives.
The LDA Steering Committee meets regularly to review progress on the implementation of the AfT. The Minister of Finance serves as the national coordinator of the LDA overseeing the Technical Secretariat which runs the day-to-day affairs of the LDA. The Secretariat works with Ministries, Agencies and Commissions in the various sectors to coordinate the implementation of the AfT.