Saturday, January 20, 2007

Who's Gonna Take the Weight?

Speaking of graft, here's a pretty well-informed piece from a Liberian in the US noting some of the appearances of corruption that persist in the Ellen government.

The author has every right to call the government on its flaws, but it drives me crazy that educated, informed Liberians are so few in Liberia, and yet the ones who live abroad are so quick to blame and indict the ones who have come back to make a difference.

He asks the question of why the investigation of the Transitional Government is going so slowly. I would bet my right arm that the main reason is a lack of qualified, trustworthy attorneys who are willing to work for government paychecks, when they could easily get a better-paying job in the private sector. And how many of the qualified Liberian attorneys still live abroad? Most of them, I suspect.

I was just sitting in a meeting the other day in one of the government ministries, and it was simply astounding how little capacity and resources these high-level guys have to run the country. The Deputy Minister's assistant was wearing cheap knockoff hip-hop gear and not even paying attention to the meeting. At one point a heated argument ensued over the number of photocopies that were made.

But they're doing their best with what they've got. And they need all the help they can get. The international community is helping, but it's the diaspora Liberians that will be the key to success.

"It's one thing to critique it. It's another thing to construct the alternative."

-Susan Davis, Chair, Grameen Foundation


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