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Vol 54 No 22

Published 1st November 2013


Feted and berated

Few doubt the President’s achievements but she is unpopular at home and persistent governance problems irk Western donors and the UN

In 2005, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf inherited a battered country with no infrastructure and an annual budget of US$85 million. The budget she signed on 19 October stands at $582 mn. Once shabby and tumbledown, Monrovia is now cleaner than most West African cities, with decent hotels and good roads. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation declared Liberia among five African countries ‘most improved’ since 2000 in its annual survey on 15 October. However, most of the improvements are confined to the capital, while the interior has poor roads and no electricity or running water. The contrasts mirror the difference between domestic and international views of the President.

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