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Exporting fortunes in Liberia
United Nations has finally lifted its prohibition on Liberia’s export of ‘Blood Diamond’s. A 15-member Security Council’s unanimous vote to lift export ban has shown confidence over the strong political will of the country. The present government under the presidency of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has shown ardent determination to ensure that money from diamond sales goes to the benefit of Liberia and its people.
Nearly 50% of global diamonds come from west, central and south Africa. The bloodied trade of diamonds has fuelled conflict consuming the lives of millions across Africa; and in Liberia, endemic antipathy started prevailing way back since the 1980s when the elite oligarchy set in the capital city exploited mercilessly the natives of poor areas. Even in 1990, for example, a UN expert panel had reported that the illegal diamond trade in Liberia per se had moved up to $125 million in just a handful of years!
The biggest task for Ellen Johnson is to reduce foreign debt, which has mounted up to $4 billion. IMF has estimated that the country is growing at 7.8% and expected to grow at 11% in the next five years because of boosting reconstruction projects. To that effect, the removal of the diamond export embargo is bound to bring back Liberia’s golden status of yore in Africa. It is to Ellen Johnson’s credit that the global perception of a nation is being changed intellectually. It is to the world’s credit that Liberia is being changed to become... Liberia’ted!
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