Editorial By Julius T. Jaesen II
Economically, the administration of President Weah has enormous challenges as the country’s citizens’ living conditions deteriorate on a daily basis. According to World Bank statistics issued on July 30, 2020, the poverty rate increased from 55.8 percent in 2019 to 68.9 percent in 2020 as a result of the rapid rise in unemployment. If the correct policies aren’t implemented, more individuals will slip below the poverty line according to the World Bank report. There has been a significant decrease in foreign assistance to Liberia and other African nations. Liberia just missed out on a grant from the U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Compact for poor nations, which would have helped our economy grow and eased our budgetary burdens. As a result, we have little choice but to rely primarily on domestic revenue collection now.
ArcelorMittal, Liberia’s major economic development contributor, may cease operations in a few years if the agreement is not extended or ratified by the Legislature as request by AML.
The extended Mineral Development Agreement has suffered severe setback at the Legislature since its consummation in September of 2021 because of a few people’s selfishness and inflated egos, who are opposed to an agreement that would benefit thousands of jobless youth.
When the Mineral Development Agreement is approved, Liberia’s economy will benefit greatly and the government will be able to deal with some of its most urgent issues.
In the new arrangement, AML has opted to construct a concentrator in Liberia instead of purifying the iron ores she mines in Liberia in another countries. For the people of Liberia, building a concentrator to process and increase the value of Liberia’s ore will generate more than 2,000 direct new jobs and 4,000 indirect new employments.
The concentrator’s construction will need an additional $1 billion in AML’s Liberian investment. An increase in income and royalty to Liberia’s government would result from the processing of iron ores AML is exporting from Liberia.