One thing we’re keen to do on Building Markets’ country blogs is help you get to know the people behind each project’s success. We like to talk about success, but we also want to showcase the people who are directly responsible for it. With our newest project in Liberia ramping up, we’re taking the opportunity to do that right from the start. Every Monday and Thursday we will introduce you to a member of the team in Liberia through this blog. Read on for one profile below.
When Calitha was offered the position as Business Verification Associate at the Sustainable Marketplace Initiative in Liberia she said ‘Yes’ right away.
“I wanted to become a part of an organization whose focus is building a better peace for conflict and post-conflict countries like mine,” Calitha said. “I believe that Building Markets can make my country a better place and also make me a better person. It has been interesting so far.”
She joined the Building Markets team in September after working as a deputy manager at a bank in Monrovia and studying IT in India. If verification is the lynchpin of the Sustainable Marketplace Initiative, then the project wouldn’t exist without Calitha. Until recently, she oversaw verification by designing work plans for identifying and reaching out to local businesses, gathering existing business listings, developing a questionnaire for interviewing local businesses and supervising a team of verification officers and assistants. Now she’s taking on more responsibility as the Business Operations Manager, overseeing the ramp up of Building Markets’ other services, including matchmaking and tender distribution.
When she isn’t doing all of the above, Calitha likes to go to the beach on weekends with her family or barbeque with friends. One of her favorite sites in Monrovia is the Centennial Pavilion, which was built in 1947 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the country’s independence. Calitha is proud that her country was the first independent republic in Africa.
She also believes in the power of Liberia’s marketplace. “I view the local market’s greatest strength as its ability to tackle economic hardships…within each of the sixteen counties,” she says. “We need more microfinance institutions and international organizations to provide aid to Liberian businesses in order to strengthen the local market.”