The Prospect is Here!
Liberia’s 14-year civil conflict destroyed the country’s infrastructure and capacity, created thousands of refugees and forced thousands more to lose hope in the country’s future. Ten years of reconciliation, rebuilding and renewed political pledges mean that Liberia’s tremendous opportunities are able to be reached. Liberia has abundant natural resources. The mining, agriculture, and oil sectors have boomed with new investments. Local populations – with the help of the United Nations, as well as international and local organizations – are becoming more empowered. The government through the Ministry of Commerce and the National Investment Commission has been working with local and international organizations to help make the country investment-friendly.
Local entrepreneurs have to take hold of every opportunity to direct the country’s economic realization toward a “Liberia First” mindset and policy. It will be challenging, but the process is on. Businesses in Liberia have never had more opportunities to win contracts and grow their enterprise. Building Markets is here to add its voice to the economic reconstruction process of the country by championing local procurement in the buying habits of the large NGOs and concessionaires.
Business owners of Liberia: Do you see the opportunities to supply these businesses, and your fellow citizen consumers? Are you seeing the many international organizations that are operating in Liberia who could depend on you to supply their operational needs? Or are you counting the number of bidding opportunities printed every day in the various newspapers, and now online in one place at the Building Markets tender distribution portal?
Yes, the prospect is here!
The opportunities associated with competitive, local procurement can alleviate poverty and bring about jobs, poverty reduction, and tranquility. Our plea to the small- and medium-sized enterprises is to work hard and realize these opportunities.
Many local entrepreneurs say that local procurement is a closed competition, that most companies or governmental organizations select sellers before tenders are posted. This mindset is dragging down the Liberian economy and contributing to less competition. Opportunities are lost because businesses don’t even try to go after them.
Recently, I had the opportunity to accompany the Building Markets Verification Team on a tour of Waterside in downtown Monrovia. I was sad to see that most business owners interviewed had a negative opinion about the competition in Liberia. The concerns ranged from lack of finance, lack of sufficient information about bidding opportunities and corruption in awarding the opportunities. It is important for business owners to take heed to the saying: “the secret of success in life is to get ready for his opportunity when it comes.”
That opportunity is here. The prospects are enormous. We cannot wait for others to do things for us but rather get up and take charge of our country’s economic revitalization. There are many challenges. Therefore we all have to rally for the sake of the future of our country. We have to engage every sector that is playing a cardinal role in the growth and development of the country and put in place all necessary strategies. We must take control of the local market.