Liberia sees more investments from renewed diamond exports
LIberria's government has expressed optimism that the U.N.'s lifting of sanctions on its diamond exports is expected to spark renewed economic growth owing to the inflows of funds into the cash-strapped coffer.
Deeply mired in conflicts for many years, Liberia will soon bounce back to revive its ailing economy that was wrought by rampant graft and corruption during the time of Charles Taylor.
Reports said the U.N. had imposed the sanctions because it believed that proceeds raised from the illegal sales of diamonds were used to acquire weapons in order to support Sierra Leone's rebels called the Rovolutionary United Front.
The sanctions came in response to clamors from other West African nations to impose an embargo on diamond exports until it resorted to adopting the Kimberley Process and to honor its commitment at the same time.
At that time, Sierra Leone's government was supported by at least 500 U.N. peacekeepers, when the rebels took them hostages. After scrutinizing the problem, the U.S. panel found that Liberia was engaged in illegal trade of diamonds where revenues were channeled to the rebels.
In its report, it said that Liberia has smuggled an estimated $125 million worth of diamonds from Sierra Leone every year.
However, with this new development, things will turn out positive for the country's economy. "Funds from investors would start flowing owing the renewed optimism in diamond exports," says Nathaniel Barnes, Liberia's ambassador to the U.N.
When investments start to come in, many jobs will be created thereby easing up unemployment in the country, he said.
The BBC reported that Liberia's unemployment rate is pegged at 85 percent. Therefore, the latest lifting of the ban on diamond export could mean more revenues to reinvigorate the country's economic growth.
Tags: Liberia , Diamond , U
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