I understand and know the economic and social benefits of investing in the agricultural sector. Agriculture is one of the main catalysts for sustainable economic development and growth, foreign exchange savings, poverty reduction, food self-sufficiency, and job creation. Understandably, this requires significant public investments.
If Liberia remains dependent on importation of its main staple foods, the nation will continue to exist at the mercy of other nations, thus threatening our national security interests. This is no secret: Nimba county has one of the most innovative and industrious groups of people in Liberia. It was one of Liberia’s bread-basket counties prior to the Liberian civil war. If given the chance, Nimba can regain that status again and beyond.
I want to see the way our people engage in agricultural activities, improve. I want Liberia especially Nimba County to take the lead in feeding itself. We must invest in the agricultural sector, by subsidizing our farmers to give them the necessary funding and means to better plant for higher yields. we can produce enough food to feed ourselves. It takes leadership, and I am that leader in the 2020 senatorial election in Nimba County who has the vision and passion to see our County change course for sustainable progress in the agricultural sector.
Education is the engine that propels a country towards its greatest potentials. To paraphrase Nelson Mandela, Education is the most powerful tool one can use to change the world. I believe that the most important asset a nation has is its people. Therefore, I will champion government’s investments in its people. I believe that Liberia must prioritize and adequately invest in quality and affordable education that is accessible to ALL Liberians.
I am also concerned by the direction of the educational system in our country. We need to change course and reintroduce quality, affordable and accessible vocational education as a foundation for our national development agenda. Curriculum at the secondary educational level must be re-designed to incorporate vocational education. This will prepare our young men and women who are graduating high school to have the capacity to contribute to Liberia’s development as productive citizens.
We need to institutionalize the annual training of teachers to strengthen their capacities, as we increase public primary schools in every community with school-age children in accordance with the education sector plan. The youthful population of Nimba county yearns for education that will enable them to compete in the global economy we find ourselves in this 21st century. Therefore, I will make sure that Liberia creates the vehicle that makes that a reality, through common sense legislation that drives what I call a productive education approach.
the American President, John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. As your senator, I will write and sponsor a bill that will make national service a condition for graduation from high school and entry into all tertiary institutions, including colleges and universities.
It is our moral responsibility to teach our children a sense of duty to country and county. Therefore, I will write a bill that will make a three-month National Service in key areas of the nation: military, healthcare and agricultural services as a requirement for graduation. The essence of this approach is two-fold: to instill in our current and future generations a sense of national duty and give hands-on training opportunities to our youthful population. We must instill in our young people, the sense of national duty and service.
We are so blessed to be such a youthful country--more than 60% of Liberia’s population is younger than 25. Liberia must invest in its most important asset, its people (the youth). The country cannot develop without investing in and empowering the youth. To be competitive, we need to invest in our youths’ development and education in order to position them for competitive engagement with young people of the world.
our democracy and development will only succeed if women are given an equal opportunity to access resources and have their voices heard on critical issues impacting their lives. In healthcare, there are grave issues such as maternal mortality that are solely affecting women and girls. We are gravely concerned about the poor attention government has paid to this issue which has become endemic in Liberia.
Gender-based violence, including the increased incidents of rape in our country, is yet another compelling reason for the need of a strong female voice in the senate to prioritize those gender specific issues. It is our determination to bring those issues front and center of our national discourse through effective and efficient legislation that will drive critical programs to address them. As I have been fighting and advocating, I will continue to fight for the voices of women to be heard loud and clear if elected as a senator of Nimba.
Our women, including children should never have to lose their lives to rape and other forms of violence. I will fight to protect every child by introducing bills that hold perpetrators of rape and other violence-based crimes accountable at the highest level, irrespective of the perpetrator’s status or connections in society. The bill will provide resources for survivals I will work hard for the government to promote women’s health by providing free preventative care for women at the community level. I will work with the national government and foreign investment partners to support local businesses, especially women-owned businesses to improve their capacity for transitioning from the informal sector to formal sector. I want to give our women the economic power to compete with women within the subregion.
There is absolutely no excuse for a broken 19th century healthcare system in Liberia in the 21st century. In 2019, why should countless number of our citizens be dying from preventive and treatable diseases and medical conditions? It’s no secret that our healthcare system is broken. Countless numbers of our citizens are dying of curable and preventable diseases and the lack of trained medical practitioners.
We have hospitals in Liberia. But the sad truth is that these are hospitals that need real systemic reconstruction. It’s unacceptable in 2019 for people to be dying of simple and curable illnesses. We must invest in our healthcare system, including investing in training our healthcare providers: doctors, nurses, technicians, and midwives, among others. We must invest in modernizing our hospitals, equipment, services and national healthcare policies.
As our hospitals and clinics stand today, they have become breeding grounds for disease and deaths. We must fix this broken system. I will work with other lawmakers to make healthcare affordable, accessible to ALL Liberians, including our people in remote villages and towns. I will make sure that healthcare budget considers appropriation of money for training more nurses, doctors, and paramedical personnel, construction of more primary health centers and strengthening of health district governance to protect our supply chain.
Liberia is the only thing we all have in common and hold dear. It’s the only place we all call home. It’s our common identity. And there is NO Liberia without its forests. Yet, our forests are on a fast decline with the deforestation caused by international investors, who are irresponsibly destroying our forests and cultivating vast areas of lands for palm and rubber plantations without any reforestation plan. I will be the first to admit that these foreign investors are not to blame.
The blame lies squarely with our leaders who did not stand up for Liberia; who did not put Liberia’s and our people’s interests FIRST. These companies are doing things that they cannot do in their countries of origin. Yet our leaders allow them to destroy our land with impunity...with no consequences.
I tell you, it’s time we take charge of our common destiny and change this damaging trajectory. As a country positioned right along the cost of the Atlantic Ocean, with the rising sea levels and increasing erosions, we must not idly sit silent on this critical matter that has direct impacts on our future as a people and nation. Climate change may be global; but the impact is LOCAL and REAL. If we do not act now, Liberia risks facing grave consequences beyond our imagination; and it might just be too late for any action
“My vision is clear. I want to continue to fight for better, more prosperous, secured and safe Liberia. I want to continue to fight for causes that empower our people and protect the future of the country. I need the political space and tool to effectuate that which has been my lifelong passion. Now is the time. Join me for this issue and all critical issues already mentioned. Change is possible, when we collectively work in honest to meet our common challenges head-on. The clock is ticking. We must work together to develop Liberia now! The time is now and together we can! Are you in? Please join me on this road to total recovery!”
— Edith Gongloe-Weh, declaring her candidancy for the 2020 Senatorial By-election
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