Private Sector Development in Liberia: Financing Economic Transformation in a Fragile Context

Judith Tyson, October 2017

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In recent years, the development community has become focused on how to stabilise fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS), not only to enhance economic development, but also to safeguard international security and stability. Multiple factors interact to re-establish stability and resilience after conflict. Re-establishment of political stability and accountability and economic stabilisation are important. However, relatively few FCAS have managed to move away from conflict follow a long-term path leading to becoming stability and prosperity.

This paper examines Liberia as one instance of a FCAS that, it is hoped, is making this transition. It concentrates on one particular aspect of economic renewal – the revival of private sector growth. Liberia is of particular interest because, although it remains fragile, it has made significant progress including establishing a stable democratic government. Further, it has set out an economic strategy that is well-grounded in the country’s comparative advantages and has attracted significant donor support. Nevertheless, Liberia remains one of the poorest countries the world and the barriers to moving beyond being a stable but poor country, towards economic prosperity remain significant.

Photo credit: Morgana Wingard/ UNDP. License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0