Solving Liberia’s citizenship issue: An abbreviated perspective

Published: 11/Jan/2016
Source: The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia)

By Seward Montgomery Cooper

The largest number of Liberia’s skilled population resides in the Diaspora. Over the years they have acquired diverse skills and wealth from various countries. How can we affect them so that within their hearts – the place to which they will always want to return or contribute even after being away for extended periods – will be Liberia? How can we tap into this latent pool of direly needed skills, this sleeping source of capital, to help resuscitate our country?

Foreign direct investments have been marginal in most African countries, almost negligible in Liberia; but remittances from nationals abroad continue to climb. If we can remove the legal bottlenecks and lift the artificial barriers that inhibit full use of all Liberia’s human resources we could jump-start the economy. We therefore must draw from this human reservoir that lives outside to complement the efforts of those who live within our geographical boundaries.

Part of this can be done speedily and, in the first instance, without the cumbersome entanglements of a Constitutional amendment. It can be done by statutory adjustments that are clearly within the power of the National Legislature. The Legislature may repeal portions of the Aliens and Nationality Act especially portions of section 21, 22, and enact new statutes that permit dual citizenship.

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Themes: Dual Nationality, Loss and Deprivation of Nationality
Regions: Liberia
Year: 2016