22 August 2008

Emergent Liberia ~ Investment, Anti-Corruption, and Optimism!

Very good to see the Economist spotlight emergent Liberia in an article titled With a little help from her friends. This story weaves together the post-civil war role of peacekeepers, the boom of interest among Americans -- since Liberia was founded in part by US ex-slaves in 1847 -- and most especially the leadership role of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, an incorruptible former World Banker. Several fascinating "live-case studies" are happening, including...
Firestone, the company that owns the largest rubber plantation in the world just outside Monrovia, the capital, has signed an innovative agreement with the government, agreeing to pay taxes and invest in better housing for its workers. Liberia’s government sees this as a model for other large-scale farming enterprises damaged in the war.
Beyond the rubber agro-renewables sector are also forestry, mining, and tourism -- both historic and eco. There's tremendous further work to be done, of course, including dramatically dialing up the development ventures sector and inspiring grassroots micro-entrepreneurship everywhere.

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