For a long time now, the United States government has been babysitting Liberia as the highest donor of foreign assistance to spur economic growth and build strong health and education sectors. This gesture has bred a dependence mentality in leaders of the post conflict nation so much that expectation of getting aid from the US is never cut short. With the election of Republican candidate Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, African leaders, especially Liberia can now begin fending for themselves because the new American leader has vowed to make America great again” by preserving his citizens’ interests.
President-elect Trump’s announced plan to protect Americans interest has sent shock waves to leaders across the world with Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf being the first African leader to bemoan Mr. Trump’s victory on grounds that it is a “missed opportunity on the part of the people of the United States to join smaller democracies in ending the marginalization of women” but pointed out that despite the circumstance, Liberia still has a “long and historical relationship with the United States and we expect the good relationship to continue”. “We are concerned about whether President-elect Trump will have an African agenda and build bridges with Africa. We are hoping that he will do so in due course,” the Liberian leader added. She said she is worried about trade deals for Liberia and Africa and special programs that have been put in place by Presidents Obama and Bush. “We don’t know what the new policy toward Africa would be under a Trump administration. We have to wait and see. Obviously, we are concerned but we have to just give him the benefit of the doubt,” President Johnson-Sirleaf asserts. The Africa’s first female President acknowledged that Liberia enjoys a significant amount of aid from the United States which makes them number one partner to the West African nation, stressing: “what the future holds is something we don’t know but we have to also know that we have to take responsibility for our own development. According to financial reports, The U.S. Government gave a total of $247,097,350 to Liberia in 2012 alone in the following categories: Child Survival and Health, US$-20,535; department of Defense Security Assistance, $153,000; development Assistance, US$934,882; economic support fund/security support assistance, US$115,678,500; food for education, US$3,577,873; global health and Child Survival, US$35,911,302; migration and refugee assistance, US$3,500,000; Military Assistance, Total: $13,285,000. According to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning “Development Assistance” quarter-three report for FY2015/2016, USAID disbursed the highest amount: US$31,186,794 million to the government in financial aid. The report indicates that the total amount disbursed by USAID for the entire fiscal period is US$117,833,883. Political pundits have opined that President Johnson-Sirleaf’s strong comments against the election of Mr. Trump stem from the fact the newly elected US President has vowed to “protect Americans’ interest” which implies that monies being sent outside the US as aids would be cut off and African leaders will have to fend for themselves. These pundits believe that due to the fact the Liberian leader pays little attention to local resource mobilization because of the friendship she enjoyed with the Obama and Bush’s administration, Liberia could just well be on the knife. “The Liberian leader needs to tap local resource potentials to improve the living condition of her citizens instead of crying wolf. This country is too old and has all it takes to be truly independent. Dependency mentality of our leader is hurting this country. No more freebies. We must work to ignite a paradigm shift in our approach to economic revitalization,” one pundit narrated.