Liberian footballer-turned-politician George Weah to be sworn in as president

Liberian footballer-turned-politician George Weah to be sworn in as president

After winning 61% of the vote in December’s runoff election, Liberian footballer-turned-politician George Weah will be sworn in as president today. This will be the conflict-stricken country’s first peaceful democratic transition of power in over 70 years. One of the main issues faced by the incoming president is the state of his country’s economy, which

Liberia Weah

Photo: Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters

After winning 61% of the vote in December’s runoff election, Liberian footballer-turned-politician George Weah will be sworn in as president today. This will be the conflict-stricken country’s first peaceful democratic transition of power in over 70 years.

One of the main issues faced by the incoming president is the state of his country’s economy, which was ravaged by the Ebola outbreak of 2014 and a drop in commodity prices worldwide—specifically, iron ore and rubber, Liberia’s chief exports.

Overly dependent on foreign assistance—the country imports 80% of its staple foods and half of its GNI comes from aid—Mr Weah will need to commit to investing in infrastructural and educational development to bolster Liberia’s domestic production capability. However, such advancements have traditionally been bankrolled by foreign donors, who will likely be skeptical of pumping money into the government of someone with as little governing experience as Mr Weah.

To assuage investors’ concerns, it will be crucial for Weah to appoint experienced, well-respected lawmakers to key ministerial and advisory posts and establish task forces to combat corruption and enforce fiscal accountability from government agencies.

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