The SONA Chronology: Pres. Weah Delivers 6th Annual Message Monday 

By Wilfred S. Gortor & Ibrahim A. Sherif (LINA)

MONROVIA, Jan. 25 (LINA) – President George M. Weah will on Monday, January 30, 2023 deliver his sixth State of the Nation Address (SONA) in fulfilment of Article 58 of the Liberian Constitution.

Article 58 of the Liberia Constitution states that: “The President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration’s legislative programs for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the Republic, the report shall cover income as well as expenditure.”

In pursuance to this constitutional directive, the Liberian leader is all set to present his administrative programs to the 54th Legislature up Capitol Hill in Monrovia and it is highly anticipated that he will highlight his Government’s achievements, challenges as well as plans for the upcoming 2023 Presidential and General Elections which are slated for October 10, 2023.

Since the ascendancy of President Weah to the nation’s highest seat in 2018, his government has made significant progress in various areas of governance, including health, education, economy, agriculture, infrastructure, transparency and accountability, and energy, among others.

In Retrospect:

During his first SONA on January 29, 2018, it can be recalled that the Liberian leader outlined his priorities and vision for Liberia while introducing the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD). He then announced a 25 percent cut in his salary – a move which was hailed by many citizens.

In 2019, President Weah reported that the state of the nation was in a stable and strong condition as he pointed to gains made across the socio-politico and economic landscape of Liberia.

In 2020, however, the Chief Executive outlined in his Annual Message the Government of Liberia’s commitment to improving governance and the business climate to spur investment in the country.

During his Fourth Annual Message on January 25, 2021, the Liberian Chief Executive committed his government to fiscal discipline and further improvement in cash management, transparency and accountability in spending, and domestic revenue mobilization.

He referenced his government’s stance on monetary policy, stating that “it is appropriately aligned with the inflation objective and significant progress that has been made in strengthening the Central Bank’s independence.”

He also highlighted the country’s progress relating to the fight against the COVID pandemic.

In his Fifth National Address on Monday, January 24, 2022, President Weah told the Liberian people that: “The state of the nation is peaceful and strong.”

He subsequently informed the nation about Liberia’s fiscal period transition from July 1 to June 3 to January 1 to December 31.


In the area of health, the Government of Liberia under the astute leadership of President Weah can boast of improving the health sector of the country through the construction of the Emirates Hospital in Western Liberia (Gbarpolu County), the 14 Military Hospital in Montserrado County and the ongoing Redemption Hospital in Caldwell, Montserrado County, the seat of the Liberian capital, Monrovia, among others.

The health sector also saw an increment in doctors’ monthly salary from US$700 to US$2,000 as well as an addition of 2,500 health workers to the government payroll after the Donors Health Pool dried up.

The Pro-poor government is also credited with the provision of specialist training for more than fifty (50) doctors and also the regularization and increment of salaries of over 500 supplementary health workers.

In the fight against the Coronavirus disease, which exposed the weakness of health systems across the globe, Liberia, under the leadership of President Weah, has been recognized for the vaccination of over 80% of Liberians against COVID-19, making the West African nation the Third best in performance relative to containing COVID-19 in the sub-region and Seventh best in Africa.

In the area of education, the provision of Free Public University/college education benefiting over 30,000 students yearly has been captured as one of the outstanding accomplishments.

The payment of fees for the students writing the West African Senior Schools Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for more than 80,000 students yearly (Grades 9 & 12), upgrading the status of over 3,500 supplementary teachers to a permanent status on the government’s payroll as another achievement and also the increment of 3,500 supplementary teachers’ salaries from L$8,000 to US$125 as yet another milestone in the sector.

On the economy, the Government of Liberia has worked expeditiously to ensure that Microeconomic stability and gro,wth is realized in the country through the institution of sound Monetary and Fiscal Policies.

In regard to making sound decisions that have improve all spectrums of the Liberian economy, the Government of Liberia ensured the re-establishment of macro-stability after inheriting a weak macroeconomic foundation from the previous government as a result of the Ebola virus disease and the drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), among others.

The Government of Liberia also endeavored to reduce inflation from a high of 30 percent to seven (7) percent, marking a milestone, which neighboring Ghana is trying to replicate amidst a quest to clampdown on its high level of inflation.

In the Energy Sector, the Government of Liberia has connected over 140,000 households or 800,000 people to the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) grid since 2018.

As a means of beefing up the strength of the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant in order to connect more Liberians to the electric grid, the government invested more than US$65 million to bring the electricity from neighboring Cote d’Ivoire through the CLSG lines.

As a means of making electricity affordable, the Government of Liberia, through the LEC reduced the cost of electricity from US$0.35 (cents) per kilowatt hour to US$0.21 (cents) per kilowatt hour.

In the area of Road and Infrastructure, which the Government of Liberia holds dearly, because of the huge deficit associated with the sector as a result of the 14- year civil war and other factors, it has made strides in the sector.

The Government has built more than 620km of primary and urban community roads from 2018-2022, which include the Ganta–Harper, Doe Community, Logan Town roads, amongst others.

The Government of Liberia has also ensured the construction of more than 1000 pro-poor homes across the 15 counties in order to bring relief to its less fortunate population and also improve the infrastructure sector of the country.

The construction of over 20 new market buildings across the country coupled with the erection of several new government offices, including the new administrative offices of the National Port Authority (NPA), Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC), Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) and the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), amongst others.

The construction of the only renowned recreational center in Liberia for now, the Invincible Park and the renovation of the primary soccer stadium in the country the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sports Complex to meet international standards are among notable gains of the Weah-led government.

In the area of Agriculture and Forestry, the Government of Liberia has guaranteed the provision of agricultural grants to over 60,000 farmers, completed more than 200km of feeder roads to strengthen farm-to-market roads, and placed Liberia’s forest reserves at the center of the climate change agenda.

Amidst the Government of Liberia’s quest to improve the area of Human Rights and improve the Rule of Law in the country, it has supported the expansion of courts throughout the country.

Accountability and Transparency efforts by the Government of Liberia to cultivate a culture of propriety across its Ministries and Agencies, the Government restored the budget of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to levels before the macroeconomic shock and planned more support.

It has also improved the audit of the government revenue account through the Internal Audit Agency to enhance better financial records.

It has, moreover, revised the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission law and availing more powers to the LACC to fight corruption, waste, fraud and abuse, among others.

With countless achievements to indicate and others unnamed here, it is anticipated that President Weah will not fall short of naming or highlighting the challenges the country has faced since his ascendency to the country’s highest seat nearly six years ago.

With months to the 2023 General and Presidential Elections, the Liberian leader may announce subsequent development plans which are intended to improve the socio-political and economic landscape of Liberia.

Backlogs of his government’s agenda (PAPD) may be highlighted and, until then, all eyes are set on the 2023 polls.


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