Liberia craves a functioning economy, and the Brumskine Strategy for Economic Prosperity offers a pragmatic path to achieving one. The Brumskine Strategy, pro-Liberian, pro-growth, pro-trade, and pro-business, policies posit an approach that will grow the economy, create jobs, and provide opportunities for all Liberians.
The Liberian economy continues to perform poorly and the Unity Party government has done little or nothing to alleviate the plight of the poor. Four out of every 5 Liberians are fighting to escape poverty. The short term economic outlook is not encouraging because of the failure of the Unity Party government to do strategic investments with the large cash windfalls received over the past 12 years.
In order to reverse the prevailing stagnation in the Liberian economy, the Brumskine Strategy will attain four goals:
- Develop Liberian entrepreneurship evidenced by both the scale and scope of Liberian participation in the economy
- Reduce the number of Liberians living on less than US$1 per day by half by 2023
- Grow and broaden the economic base through improved environment for both domestic and foreign private investments
- Expand and diversify trade within ECOWAS thereby strengthening the long-term relationship with countries within the sub region
These fundamentals goals will not be realized in a vacuum. Consequently, the Brumskine Strategy has developed a 10-point plan to boost economic activities.
- Put more money in the hands of the Liberian people by maximizing opportunities to increase the value of our local production and build a domestic economy
- Stop the old economic practice where plantation-style concession agreements take away the people’s land. Prior and informed consent of the owners of the land will be the way to go on all future concessions
- Reduce government footprint (control of public corporations) and encourage private sector to facilitate growth in the domestic economy
- Keep the US dollar as the dual currency with the Liberian dollar (working with the CBL) to ensure trade with global partners and keep Liberia as an attractive destination for business in ECOWAS
- Create a financing arrangement to help Liberians to build decent homes and add value to their land in and around our cities and towns
- Use Public Procurement opportunities to give Liberians more business and build Liberian entrepreneurship. Government will set realistic targets to buy goods and services from Liberians.
- Simplify the process for cross border trade towards ECOWAS countries and Africa; so market women and small business owners can move around the region more freely to do business
- Build a modern economic infrastructure—our roads, our telecommunications, our water and sewer, and affordable electricity.
- Create 49,000 jobs and livelihood opportunities to get more money into young people’s hands. Over the long term only the private sector can sustainably create jobs; but over the short to medium term and until the new economic policies and strategies bring growth to the economy, the government will help using public expenditure for the rehabilitation of roads, sanitation projects in municipalities, short-term teaching opportunities, etc. to expand employment.
- Redefine and reorganize the Ministry of Labor (MOL) is the final phase of job creation through workforce training and development. The new MOL will emphasize livelihood and employment promotion through skills training and certification programs and will work with businesses to identify, train, and certify youth for existing and future opportunities around where they live.
Liberians, economic prosperity can be our reality. But we need the right leadership to provide stewardship of the economy. The Brumskine Strategy puts Liberia and Liberians first. The Brumskine Strategy recognizes the intrinsic value and worth of every Liberian and aims to elevate our standard of living.
The Brumskine Strategy is for the Liberian people and about the Liberian people. The Liberian people time has come.