Liberians have a tough choice ahead. Current President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a trained policymaker respected in Europe and North America, has failed after twelve years because of a corrupted political system which is malfunctioning and gangrenous according to french leading newspaper Le Monde “Au Liberia, le bilan plombé d’Ellen Johnson Sirleaf“.
West African countries are among the World’s poorest in spite of catapulting strong leaders with stellar academic credentials. IFPRI’s 2017 Global Hunger Index which just came out stresses that the severity of Hunger in Sierra Leone and Liberia is “Alarming”, with over 35% of Liberians going hungry to bed every day, if they even have one. Per capita income levels have remained flat at under one thousand dollars during the twelve years of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s rule. In this circumstances, Liberia needs a miracle to take off towards prosperity over the next 12 year period.
Thinking that any of the two presidential contenders in the current general election is a miracle worker is equivalent to believing one will win millions in the lottery, tomorrow. Miracle workers are trained engineers, architects and medical doctors, policymakers and scholars, certainly not ex football players. The problem of George Weah’s contender is not that he, Joseph Boakai, is also a footballer, but rather that he, Joseph Boakai has been Vice President in Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s cabinet, pilot and co-pilot are both responsible for having taken Liberia from nowhere to nowhere in just about twelve years of flying the plane, together. Joseph Boakai born in 1944 is only six years older than Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The two contemporary politicians deserve a retirement. I would not trust the destiny of my society to an individual who has proven for twelve consecutive years an inability to take me to a better place. The choice at stake is a difficult one: an ex football player with no formal training or more of the same for yet another dozen years. When a society needs a heart transplant or brain surgery, society has to be treated by the best possible surgeons in the best possible hospitals, not by someone who once upon a time was a great footballer. One may argue that such a treatment is expensive. In reality it does not have to be if creativity and imagination are embraced.
The best possible choice for President in Liberia is “White”. I encourage Liberians to vote “white” in the next general election, to say “basta!” to U.S. and Europe backed-presidents with strong academic credentials but little to no imagination and creativity, unable to clean their own backyards from corruption. Any successful attempt to take Liberia towards prosperity needs three components: a robust leader, the best possible crew and a grand plan. In the absence of any of these three components nobody will ever be successful at completing the journey towards success.
George Weah has been an amazing football player, the World’s best in 1995. But that’s it. Some of the best football players move on to become the World’s football coaches, for instance Zinedine Zidane training Real Madrid or Josep Guardiola training FC Barcelona, Bayern Muenchen, now Manchester City. Some among the great footballers also join UEFA, FIFA or in Africa CAF. I am surprised that George Weah has not chosen to pursue any of these alternative paths, where he would have landed success much more likely. He’s still young to bid for CAF’s Presidency, the current Malagasy Ahmad Ahmad was born in 1959. If the reader understand the metaphor, Liberia has great policymakers domestically and abroad. The problem is that it lacks a great coach and a method to win the games. Many countries have chosen to bring on board a foreign football coach to train their players. I may be the foreign coach Liberia needs to organize the best possible team and pull the country forward towards prosperity, faster than anyone ever thought possible. In addition I have a grand plan, which I published in 2010.
A critical choice lies ahead for Liberians. It’s perhaps time to show the World that the country is ready for its own revolution, to reject a corrupted political system with no talented leaders, who blah blah blah and accomplish little to nothing. An alternative is then possible, but only if Liberians, massively, choose to reject the current status quo voting for the best possible candidate “White”.
J.P.Monfort has earned graduate degrees in telecommunications engineering (Politécnica de Madrid, Télécom ParisTech and Universität Stuttgart), business administration (Collège des Ingénieurs), financial analysis (Carlos III), financial engineering (California-Berkeley), economic development (The London School of Economics), public administration (Columbia), international law (Georgetown-in progress) Religious Studies (University of Chicago-admitted), public health (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine-admitted) and global diplomacy (SOAS-admitted). He has been a columnist for The Huffington Post and Roubini Global Economics and speaks eight languages. He is the Author of Wiley’s TheMonfortPlan and is currently working on his second book “Fiction States“. He currently lives in the Balkans.