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  • Writer's pictureMarie S.

International influences on governance and democracy:

Liberia has a history of political instability and conflict, and international actors have played a significant role in promoting governance and democracy in the country. The United Nations, African Union, and other international organizations have provided significant support to Liberia in its efforts to establish democratic governance and promote accountability.

One of the key actors in promoting democracy in Liberia has been the United Nations (UN), which played a pivotal role in ending the country's civil war and supporting the transition to democracy. The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was established in 2003 and remained in the country until 2018, providing security, supporting the disarmament and reintegration of former combatants, and assisting with the holding of elections. The UN also supported the establishment of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR), both of which are key institutions for promoting good governance and human rights in Liberia.

In addition to the UN, the African Union (AU) has also played a role in supporting governance and democracy in Liberia. The AU's African Governance Architecture (AGA) program has been active in Liberia, providing support for the country's National Vision 2030 development plan and promoting good governance through initiatives such as the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). The AU has also been involved in efforts to promote peace and stability in Liberia, including through the establishment of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) on Liberia.

Other international actors, such as the European Union (EU) and the United States, have also provided significant support for governance and democracy in Liberia. The EU has provided funding for a range of initiatives aimed at strengthening democratic institutions, promoting human rights, and supporting economic development. The United States, for its part, has provided financial aid, technical assistance, and other forms of support for governance and democracy in Liberia, including through initiatives such as the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Despite these efforts, however, Liberia continues to face significant challenges in promoting good governance and building strong democratic institutions. Corruption remains a major problem, and there are concerns about the government's respect for human rights and the rule of law. The country's electoral system has also come under scrutiny in recent years, with allegations of fraud and irregularities in both the 2017 presidential election and the 2020 senatorial elections.

Moreover, there are concerns about the potential for external actors to exert undue influence over Liberia's political system. China, for example, has increased its presence and investments in Liberia in recent years, and there are concerns about the potential for Chinese influence to affect Liberia's economy and political system. Liberia's relationships with other global powers, particularly the United States, also remain important for the country's economic and political stability.

International organizations have also provided support to Liberia in strengthening its democratic institutions, promoting transparency and accountability, and improving access to justice. For example, the African Development Bank has provided funding for legal and judicial reforms in Liberia, while the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute have provided support for political party development and election monitoring.

The impact of international actors on governance in Liberia has been significant. International support has helped to establish democratic institutions, promote transparency and accountability, and improve access to justice. However, the challenges facing Liberia in maintaining democratic governance remain significant. Corruption, economic inequality, and weak institutions continue to be major obstacles to effective governance and sustainable development.

According to the World Bank, the control of corruption indicator in Liberia was 19.5 in 2020, indicating a high level of corruption in the country. Furthermore, the poverty rate in Liberia was estimated at 55.5% in 2019, indicating the persistent economic inequality that remains a challenge to the country's development.

International support can help to address these challenges, but Liberia must also balance its relationships with domestic and international actors. While international actors have provided significant support to Liberia, the country must also develop its own capacities and institutions to sustain democratic governance and promote economic development.

In conclusion, the role of international actors in promoting governance and democracy in Liberia has been significant, but the challenges facing the country remain significant. It is important for Liberia to continue to work with international partners while also developing its own capacities and institutions to ensure sustainable development and effective governance.

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