Tuesday, October 16, 2007

To Change the Culture of Work

Liberia is a country where begging someone for money is one of the most common forms of social interaction, and is not looked down upon. People have traditionally looked to government for their daily cup of rice, mainly in the form of civil service jobs, where extra-legal fees can be charged on transactions and whole extended families are fed from the proceeds. Institutions (govt, NGOs, businesses) are commonly seen as fair targets for the extraction of resources for personal gain, and every man's goal is to build or belong to a strong patronage network.

This is all well and good as long as you don't mind perpetual poverty and periodic civil wars. So, in recent days, government ministers and the presidency have been making statements designed to change the way people view their own roles and the role of government. At least in words, they're trying to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship and a rejection of dependency.

Speaking at the graduation exercise of the party's sponsored computer training program, Vice President Boakai said, "Unity Party did not necessarily come to power to provide jobs for the whole country."

However, he maintained that the UP government came to power to provide quality leadership.

He disclosed that there were lots of misunderstanding in Liberia when people vote for a party that wins elections.

He said some of them (voters) can be frustrated over jobs allocation and provision.

Here's more of the article. And if you're interested in this topic, don't miss this short book.