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As a matter of fact, bilateral relationships are built to strengthen partners in their areas of disadvantages, but in some cases to supplement ideas for genuine partnership. It’s no joke that the Liberian Government lacks a viable intra-communication connectedness, (Internet system). Internet cannot be overemphasized for an effective and efficient communication channel to deliver services and goods either from the public or private domain.

Though signing bilateral relationship/ agreement is important, but it points to empty diplomatic treaty if no there is no fruition. Meanwhile, the receiving end (Liberia) has not pushed much to make that Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed becomes tangible project. The transformation of Liberia in specific areas has not being taken serious through formal promises.

Despite the huge internet challenge faced by almost every line ministry, agency, corporation and autonomous bureau, no minister cares to bring that meaningful offer to the discussion stall (Cabinet meeting) especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with oversight on Liberia external policy and bilateral corporations. We do know that bilateral cooperation is one of the world oldest forms of relationships before 1919, League of Nations.

Even though, the League of Nations did not survive further after World war I (1919-1939), nevertheless, we applause article 23(a) which established the International Labor organization (ILO) to maintain transparent, fair transactions and secure balance labor practices amongst member states.

However, bilateral cooperations or agreements are based on several points among which are commercial, political, military, technology, science, etc. as such this technological package from the Indian government or such a cooperation is well in the right direction for enhancing intra-working in government as well as communication. Every nation enjoys bilateral cooperation so why the Liberian government is not taking advantage of technology in this 21st century? Indians are some of the best brains behind the famous Silicon Valley Groups of engineers in California, USA.

There have been more than 38 senior Indian Government officials that have visited Liberia from the break of diplomatic ties in 1971. We will not buy the idea of “No Space” because it has been government`s delayed-tactic excuse to most bilateral programs implementation. This nearly took away the China Aid several months ago.

I remembered very well the momentum of the four-day visit of Dr. Shashi Tharoor, the then Minister of States for External Affairs and his twelve member delegate (September 16-19,2009). That delegation included leading companies’ representation in agriculture, mining, information technology education, telecommunication, transportation sectors and small industries. The team was received on arrival by Minister William V. S. Bull, the former acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

During this visit, a dinner was held in their honor for the visiting Foreign Minister of India and his delegation by the Vice President of Liberia Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai because President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was at General Assembly annual conference in New York, USA along with then Foreign Minister Olubanke King-Akerele.

For his part, Dr. Tharoor informed Liberians that India agreed to set up an information technology and communication center of excellence as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in Liberia; IT education in short term Two “Hole-In-The-Wall” computer education centers at sites to be identified by the Government of Liberia.

Also mentioned was training of Diplomats and Policemen (Officers). However, it was clearly stated in that Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the Indian government will do any or all, but “deemed to be priorities by the Liberian Government”.

So, is internet connectivity isn’t priority to the workings needs of national government? This is “Land mark” because the last of such high delegate was done in 1971 headed Foreign Minister Sardar Swaran Singh according to of President Sirleaf. Additionally, request to train women on Solar Energy Development at the barefoot College was agreed upon the during the signing ceremony.

There are more advantages to bilateral relations in support to good governance diplomatically, enhance commercial trade economically also give-and-take of skills or expertise. You know what happens when bilateral agreements turn out real, there can be transformation into sector promised through collaborations and other weaker sectors can benefit too in the near future. Bilateral has helped many countries in Africa and other parts of the world.

We be glad, if Liberia will prioritize bilateral or MOU as indicative by the then Minister of States for External Affairs. Yes, for too long Liberia have had unfulfilled bilateral agreements. Therefore, it was not any mistaken comment by Dr. Tharoor to have said ‘deemed priority’. So let the Liberian Government underscored its priorities needs before consummating bilateral memoranda. Then, why ask for support that is not needful?

The most recent controversial bilateral deal was the China Aid that nearly slips off the hook because “no land”. Why will the government even think that way when land for development purposes has not been any struggle?

It is no secret that Bentol City is undeniably the capital City of Montserrado County which is just less than 12KM away from our lone political and economic capital (Monrovia). This strongly suggests that development isn’t really found in our leadership administrative workings. Monrovia in already congested and that is a known fact.

Today the whole of Monrovia cannot accommodate any new structure accept demolitions of old ones. Everywhere around the world development is never rejected by citizen since they are the direct beneficiaries, but it is done with care and awareness.

I think the question is: can Liberia rise above the challenge of underdevelopment to wisely go after priorities bilateral agreements? By this, the burden of going after agreed bilateral agreements for tangible rest squarely upon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Liberia’s chief foreign policy negotiator and achiever.

Bilateral agreements are clearly noticed through the fulfilling results. If the Government of Liberia will sign bilateral agreements to impress our visiting guests that have more to offer and turn away from pursuing those underlined requests, then it is for the sake of signing paper. Every government achieves most of its goals through partners, (bilateral or multilateral treaties). So when Liberia signed, the goals must be met realistically as was thought of before signing.

If nothing is done to actualize our bilateral agreements, then we only see and read documents. It is a good thing to sign, but the real matter is the touch. Foreign governments are committing themselves to helping your country because they have what they promised. Perform your part by going after those promises. You need them and they have what you need.

In summary, let Liberia act reasonably to grab opportunities to development. When Liberia leaves bilateral agreements unfulfilled, then our quest for development remains a delusion. Liberia follows up on development correspondences from good and friendly nations. With this practice Liberia will move from that of a low development nation.

Jefferson G. Togba is a lecturer at the United Methodist University; with more than several years of experience in commercial banking, administrator; he holds Master of Arts degree in Diplomacy, Law & Business. He also read extensively on international Affairs with emphasis on International Political Economy at the Jindal School of international Affairs at the O.P. Jindal Global University in India. He also served as conference panelist during the India-Africa Corporation held in New Delhi in 2014; and he graduated with bachelor degree in Business Administration at the AME Zion University, Liberia. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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