By Bai M. Gbala, Sr.
While we appreciate and welcome direct foreign investment and donor assistance in Liberia, but we argue that Donors, EU, IMF, UNDP, USAID, WBank, etc., constitute the main “bag of bribery, corruption and related, political/economic ills” that keep Liberia and other developing countries in the state of continuing, continuous dependency and profound under-development.
These agencies are, in fact, foreign policy extensions of their respective developed countries - USA, the European States, and the United Nations Organization – which have declared anti-democratic and anti-corruption policies.
But information and policy implementation activities in Liberia disclose or expose that these developed countries “instruct” their in-country, resident agents/advisors to “cooperate fully with governments on the ground”, irrespective of political/economic conditions prevailing. Accordingly, the results, in Liberia have been, and are:
a. That the country agents/advisors have become friendly “political/economic bedfellows” of high officials of government, acting as “conduits” of bribe payments and other anti-democratic/antic-corruption practices and that they (agents/advisors) have been, and are on first-name basis with ministers (of Finance, etc.) having major policy-making authority, including the President of the nation;
b. They live in luxurious apartments, five-star hotels, all local expenses paid with top-of the-line, late model, expensive vehicles and salaries paid off-shore; and
c. Some hardly travel out of Monrovia to Rural Liberia and, apparently, know very little or nothing about the culture and history of the Liberian people.
The Developed Countries
Consistent with the process described above (Items a-c), these developed, direct foreign investment countries, some of which were colonial states, acquire excellent, highly-profitable business opportunities on behalf of their multi-national corporate giants in Liberia and other developing, third-world countries.
The basic objective of the developed, neo-colonialist counties’ re-entry in Africa is targeted at (Africa’s) our natural resources – oil, gas, diamonds, gold, iron ore, timber, etc., etc. - to feed their factories, while they use our nations as markets for their manufactured goods and services:
1. With bribes, developed countries gain foothold in Liberia; loans and related foreign assistance, stacked with kick-backs, etc. and investment contracts, exploit Liberia’s (and other developing countries’) natural resources at the expense of the Liberian nation and people, in association/partnerships with Liberian politicians and related elites (Pailey, 2012);
2. Control and use Liberia as captive market for developed counties’ manufactured products and services - vehicles, banking, insurance, etc. and to provide employment opportunities for their citizens and business organizations, NGOs, multi-national corporations, etc.
On the basis of the foregoing, Liberia’s political/economic problem is not so much about Capitalism versus Socialism, in terms of the results of strict theoretical application, but the pervasive injection and abuse by bribery, deceit, thievery, dishonesty or corrupt practices into the political/economic process, variables that are external or foreign and inapplicable in both Capitalist and Socialist analysis (Zaza, 2017).
Pailey, Robtel, Liberia’s Negro Clause is not racist; it is Protectionary, Commentary, Front Page Africa, October 22, 2012.
Zaza, J. Yanqui, World leaders condemn Capitalism, Africa or Liberia, which way, Perspective, June 26, 2017.