Footballer-turned-politician George Weah takes the leadership of Liberia as the country’s president after winning the December 26 runoff with 61.5 percent of the vote. Weah inherits high levels of unemployment and domestic debt, a depreciated currency, donor aid fatigue, low growth projections, corruption, and declining human development indices. The citizenry hope he will keep his promise of "transforming the lives of all Liberians" as his "singular mission."
Liberia imports more than 80 percent of its food - including the staple rice. Weah has to help turn Liberia’s citizenry into a productive workforce that will see the country food self-sufficient. He should revise bilateral agreements to spur improvements in tax collection, value-addition, employment, and corporate social responsibility.
His experience from the pitch should enable him assemble a formidable team comprising both women and men with a proven track record of developing and implementing reforms in government and semi-autonomous agencies that generate significant government revenue, such as the maritime, port, social security, petroleum and refinery agencies, as well as navigating geopolitical interests. Success will not come overnight. It will not come by pointing fingers. It will come by everyone getting under the load and doing their part.