News (70)

Commitments and Cautions: CENTAL Gathers Feedback from Citizens During Awareness Around New Corruption Reporting App in Liberia

In the fight against corruption, all hands are needed on deck. And this is why, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), through the Ant- Corruption Innovative Initiative, is harnessing the collective energy of ordinary citizens, who feel the most pinch of corruption to report anonymously any act of corruption. The initiative is being supported by the government and people of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) via the United Nations Development Program (UNDP),

“We will do our best to use the app to report corruption when we see it. We will not close our mouths when we see corruption” said Eric Dunn, a resident of Wyne community, Harlandsville, Grand Bassa County, during an engagement meeting.  Under the initiative, a mobile application called ‘TALKAY’ has been developed to provide citizens the platform to report corruption allegations anywhere in Liberia without disclosing their identities.

It is a red, white, and blue-colored mobile application that allows citizens to send reports of corruption to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in real-time. The LACC then investigates the report and takes appropriate action.


In Grand Bassa County, during an engagement with students at the Salvation Army Dorathy Knightley School, Atty. Bendu Kpoto, CENTAL’s Legal Officer explained that corruption comes in different shapes and forms including misuse of entrusted powers for personal gains. With a specific focus on the effects of corruption, Jerryline T. Wonde, CENTAL’s Youth Engagement Coordinator, lectured a cross-section of street vendors in the City of Buchannan on how corruption destroys the future of young people and denies them opportunities for growth. And Siafa S. Kamara, of the Advocacy and Legal Advice Center (ALAC), advised against soliciting bribes.

“One of the surest ways to succeed in the fight against corruption is to address the salary disparities in the civil service”, said Johnson William, head of the Police Detachment of Grand Bassa County at an engagement meeting held at his office. Also, Daniel Willie, Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs, applauded the initiative and expressed his commitment to help spread the word. He warned that despite the fact that the app is one of the best ways to reduce corruption, its success in the public sector will be reliant on political will and commitments from higher-ups in government.

For his part, Jerry E. Brooks, Mayor of St. John City blamed the pervasiveness of corruption on inadequate budgetary support to critical organs of the government including the City of St. John. He admonished CENTAL to include Advocacy for increased support to key government agencies in future programs. “When incentives are given, corruption will be minimized”, he stated.

If the views espoused by stakeholders including Mayor Brooks, Police Commander Williams, and Assistant Superintendent Willie are anything to go by, the war against corruption will be won when public service is adequately incentivized. And that the national budget working for few members of the legislature, as contained in CENTAL’s budget paper, and leaving the vast majority of the citizenry to stay in poverty and neglect must be a thing of the past.


Monrovia, Wednesday, 26 April 2023

Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen of the Press.

This Week marks another important period in Liberia’s history in terms of speaking truth to power and advocacy for good governance, accountability, and transparency in society, especially in government/public service. We have reassembled in this space to civilly and constructively discuss matters bordering on the economic and political governance of Liberia. We are doing so with the level of cordiality, sincerity, robustness, and passion required to speak truth to power and seek redress to trending and ever-present critical national issues, Corruption being a leading one. The media has been a critical partner and a mainstay in Liberia’s Democracy. Thank you for all that you do for Liberia and Liberians, especially the many hundreds of thousands of people out there who are basically surviving/struggling to live due to successive poor and corrupt national leadership in Liberia.

The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) welcomes the recent statement of the United States Ambassador to Liberia, Ambassador Michael A. McCarthy on the state of decentralization and how the national budget has been manipulated to serve the interests of those who control power.

There can be no better affirmation of recent reports issued by CENTAL detailing how the national budget is being used as a tool for corruption and how decentralization has been reduced to a political token rather than a deliberate effort to devolve power and resources from the central level in Monrovia to counties and communities on the periphery. Indeed, not only does the Ambassador’s statement reflect courage, it transcends any actual or perceived diplomatic boundaries for the good of the Liberian people. We see that the disservice meted out against the Liberian people by their own leaders is so great that it cannot be overlooked by our international partners, Ambassador McCarthy in this instant case. Surely, the American engages as a true Liberian patriot and campaigner for good governance and true decentralization. Even as corruption brazenly has its way, Ambassador McCarthy faces the odds and speaks truth to power. The question is: when will we, Liberians, engage our democracy and governance as true patriots wanting the best for the country and its people? When will leaders truly lead, selflessly, accountably, and transparently? And when will citizens satisfactorily live up to their civic duties?

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, in January of this year, CENTAL shared the results of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2022 released by Transparency International. There is a further decline in Liberia’s score on the index from 29 in 2021 to 26 in 2022, an unfortunate 15-point decline since the score of 41 in 2012. This is corroborated by CENTAL 2022 State of Corruption Report (SCORE 2022), which reveals that 90% of Liberians think the Corruption level is high in the county, with declining confidence in the executive branch of government to fight against corruption, from 30% to 26%. Findings of the US Ambassador’s recent trips to the counties, as contained in his recent statement to the public shed further light on how corruption continues to deprive Liberians of access to crucial services, as a few Monrovia-based power brokers binge on public funds with no pricking of conscience. And while the Ambassador identified county-level challenges, it is important to note that ‘ghost allocations’ are not only akin to entities in the counties. Spending entities in Monrovia have themselves complained that in addition to budgetary allocations not covering essential activities and operations, they are hardly received in full.

Our budget paper released last month entitled: ‘Making the Budget Work’ goes at length to lay bare the problems with our budget process and how addressing them is critical, if the budget must truly work for the people.  Key themes covered include public participation, overspending, failure to report, budget corruption, misplaced priorities, decentralization, etc.

For example, we identified seven (7) spending entities that spent more than what was allocated in the 2022 national budget. Over $35,810,406 was spent without legislative approval. Unapproved spending does not only raise questions of diligence applied during budget preparation, it also fuels suspicions of corruption. Since public expenditures must meet legislative approval through the budget, spending in excess of amounts approved by the Legislature raises significant concerns. This is coupled with the fact that contrary to law, reports on how budgetary allocations are used are not available, thereby making it difficult to follow public spending. Regarding decentralization, we highlighted that the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) continues to get the lion’s share of allocations to political sub-divisions. While counties receive a meager $219,333 in 2022, the MCC received $7,501,678 in direct budgetary allocation and through the Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP). The Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) received $2,249,23. These cities receive astronomically more than entire counties, raising questions about how decentralization is expected to work.

Members of the Press, on budget corruption, our report indicated that public officials continue to use the national budget to their own advantage. For example, the E&J Hospital in Ganta, Nimba County was built and owned by Senator Jeremiah Koung. Senator Koung has claimed that the facility has been turned over to the government, but no documents have been disclosed in this regard. As a private business, E&J received close to $1 million United States Dollars through the national budget. Besides, the African Dream Clinic, owned by Representative Samuel Enders has benefitted US$95,000 from the national budget through subsidy. The fact that a lawmaker’s clinic is included in the national budget, in the midst of limited support to government-owned hospitals and clinics speaks volumes. In 2021 and 2022, $3.6 million was allocated each year for 'legislative engagement' amid public outcry. The amounts were distributed to each lawmaker in portions of $30,000 per year. The recent outcry against Representative Marvin Cole regarding the diversion of funds meant for a clinic in Gbondoi Town in Bong County is another example.

CENTAL is deeply concerned about the perennially mindboggling neglect of the citizens by their elected and appointed national leaders. This extremely unfortunate development has to stop, if the people must truly and measurably benefit from the resources and other assets of the country. We call on national leaders, especially the President and Lawmakers to forge collaborations that placed citizens at the center of their engagements and decisions and not otherwise. In part, they should make the national budget Work for the people by adequately funding educational, medical, agricultural and other agencies and institutions directly serving the needs of the public.

We wish to conclude with the following recommendations, which if fully implemented will help to make the national budget and other resources work for the people.

  1. The Liberian Government should reduce funding to the President, Vice President, Speaker, and other high political offices and redirect those resources to activities and programs in health, education, and other sectors that will directly benefit citizens.
  2. The Liberian Legislature should be robust in performing its duties. Although highly disappointing in its performance, the Legislature still remains the Agency of Government responsible to provide the necessary oversight in safeguarding public resources and assets. It should do so if it must be regarded as truly representing the people and not itself.
  3. We applaud development partners for their tireless support in strengthening democracy and accountability cultures in Liberia and urge them to continue doing so, at an even greater scale. A blended support and engagement that sees development partners not only providing financial and technical support to civil society, government, and other institutions but also openly commending and criticizing major developments in Liberia is welcomed and or is pursued.
  4. We admonish civil society and the media to increase and diversify their engagements to educate the public, checkmate the national government as well as monitor and report on the development and implementation of the national budget and other key national policies and documents.
  5. Public Integrity Institutions such as the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission should be adequately funded and robust in their engagements and performance of their duties. For example, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission should enforce laws on Asset Declaration and ensure timely investigation and prosecution of corruption cases.
  6. Finally, as Liberians, we have a greater responsibility to ensure that our leaders are held accountable. Development partners cannot do for us what we ought to do for ourselves. Therefore, Liberians should stand up and demand accountability from their leaders at all times. As the October elections draw near, let us summon the courage to engage all those seeking our votes for their visions and practical actions in dealing with corruption and making our resources work for all.

Thank you.


Anderson Miamen

Executive Director


Friday, 17 March 2023 18:27

Press Statement for Immediate Release

Written by

Press Statement for Immediate Release

Friday, March 17, 2023

Monrovia- Distinguished members of the Press. Thank you so much for your continuous collaboration with CENTAL in the fight against corruption in Liberia. We strongly rely on the support of your various media outlets to succeed in weeding out corruption and bad governance and promoting transparency and accountability across all spectrums of the Liberian society.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are pleased to formally launch a report containing an analysis of budgets from 2016 up to and including the draft 2023 national budget, which has now been approved by the Liberian Legislature albeit with some changes. This is part of efforts to independently track and mainstream accountability and transparency in the national budget process so that it works for everyone and not a selected few individuals and groups.  The report follows a careful review and analysis of the draft 2023 national budget, the budget process, as well as expenditures.

Additionally, it covers media tracking and monitoring visits to selected locations, Gbondoi Town in Bong County for example, to gather firsthand information from residents on budget performance and impacts. The report places a spotlight on efforts to make the budget process more transparent and inclusive, development projects and programs, underfunding of integrity institutions, and discrepancies in allocations and actual expenditure. Others include disparities in allocations to cities, 'zero budgeting', and recommendations for making the national budget more transparent, inclusive, and impactful.

As you may be aware, in every country, the national budget is the principal financial tool used by the government to drive development, the same being in Liberia. The budget outlines programs and allocates resources based on revenues generated from taxes and other external sources.  

Because of the significance of driving development in Liberia, over the years, CENTAL has developed a keen interest in the budget process, especially with respect to how transparency, accountability, gender, and integrity are mainstreamed. We run an open expenditure program, funded by Sida and the Embassy of Sweden in Liberia, which goes beyond the publication of budget figures to investigate how allotted resources are disbursed and actually expended. In part, this entails assessing transparency and accountability around recruiting companies/contractors to perform certain services, citizens’ involvement in such processes, in the case of the County Social Development Funds (CSDFs) and other projects, and whether or not the resources actually reach the target beneficiaries. Articles, reports and other analyses related to this program can be found on our budget portal: as well as our official website:

Our analysis points out a few positives, which are worth noting. We applaud the government for making appreciable efforts to make the budget process transparent and participatory, although much more is needed. Doors are beginning to open for the institutionalization of meaningful public participation in the budget process.

There are two notable initiatives in this regard: Fiscal Transparency Advocacy Group (FTAG) and Pre-budget consultations. The FTAG was inaugurated on 19 July 2022 with the mandate to select, design, and implement public participation mechanisms in relation to the budget process. It is comprised of an equal number of representatives from civil society and government who have been working to make the budget process more participatory and inclusive. As part of the initiative, pre-budget consultations for the formulation of the 2023 budget were held with over 300 representatives of CSOs and other citizens in 5 counties.

Also, civil society organizations developed a shadow budget, which was submitted to the government with a focus on prioritizing citizens’ interest in the budget process. This adds to other efforts, including publication of the draft budget by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to allow citizens and other stakeholders to gain access to make informed decisions. Additionally, huge allocations to the National Elections Commission for the upcoming general and presidential elections; a relative increase in support to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and General Auditing Commission; 2.5 Million to the Ministry of Education to abolish registration fees charged at public schools are all laudable.

However, there are major issues, including corruption and abuse of power that continue to make the national budget less impactful to citizens. The willpower is still not strong enough to make the national budget satisfactorily work for all, especially ordinary citizens and those living in remote parts of the country. The perennial issue of underfunding of public integrity institutions, discrepancies in allocations and actual expenditure, misapplication of budgeted resources, huge disparities in allocations to cities, 'zero budgeting', and undue prioritization of certain offices, especially those occupied by politicians as opposed to sectors and institutions with direct impacts on the lives of ordinary citizens. 

For example, over the last few budget years, over 80,000 USD has been allotted for a Health Center in Gbondoi Town in Bong County. However, the resources have not reached the people, neither are residents of the town aware if they had such resources in the national budget. The funds were diverted by Representative Marvin Cole of Bong County to Kpayah Town Clinic in his district, a clear abuse of power and misapplication of budgeted resources. This is a classic example of how policymakers use the national budget to their own advantage, at the expense of others and the population, more broadly.

On funding to the transparency sector, CENTAL observed that the sector is expected to receive increased budgetary support, from $42,142,578 in 2022 to $55,404,476 in 2023. However, much of the increase goes to the National Elections Commission to support the October general and presidential elections. This is welcoming, as Liberians need to support and take ownership of their own elections. Sadly, institutions leading the fight against corruption and promoting integrity-building efforts are given visibly less attention. This is concerning, particularly since offices of politicians continue to receive more than adequate support. For example, while the allocation to the PPCC in 2023 is put at $819,600, the Office of the Speaker is allocated a whopping $2,075,702, the Office of the Deputy Speaker a mind-boggling $1,292,196, and the Pro-Tempore a lavish $1,995,358. Upon further scrutiny, one realizes that the combined allocation to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker alone exceeds combined allocations to entire entities such as the PPCC ($819,600), (LEITI) $403,627 Independent Information Commission ($226,275), and the Financial Intelligence Unit ($1,410,114). We also note the unfortunate decrease in funding to the PPCC, Independent Information Commission (IIC), Internal Audit Agency (IAA), Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), and the Liberia Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI).

In the areas of decentralization, it was observed that power and resources remain concentrated at the national level, while cities and counties in the rural parts partake in crumbs. A comparison between the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) and other cities does well to place this issue in the proper context. In 2022, the city of Monrovia received $5,305,457 in direct budgetary allocation, and $2,196,221 through the Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP), totaling $7,501,678. Also, in the 2023 draft budget, $4,528,311 is allocated to the city of Monrovia, and $1,500,000 is allocated through PSIP, totaling $6,028,311. These amounts are exclusive of municipal taxes and other revenues generated by the city. Meanwhile, a contiguous metropolitan city and one of the largest cities, the city of Paynesville, receives far less than the city of Monrovia. Allocations to the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) remain $1,499,231.28 and $750,000 for PSIP, totaling $2,249,231.28. In fact, only these two cities are directly featured in the budget. This reality is disturbing, to say the least.

In conclusion, we wish to make the following recommendations as critical pathways to making the national budget citizens-driven, more inclusive, transparent and impactful. In this regard, the national government should do all it can to ensure that the national budget works more for citizens. The need to mainstream transparency and accountability throughout the budget cycle cannot be overemphasized.  Recently initiated budget consultations must continue and be expanded to budget hearings at the Capitol Building. Civil society organizations and experts as well as communities should be invited to provide valuable inputs to shape the budget drafting, review, and approval processes. Hearings must remain open and not held behind closed doors. Citizens must closely monitor the budget process and make their voices count by directly and indirectly making the necessary suggestions to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the process.

Most importantly, there is a need for quarterly expenditure reports as required by the Amended and Restated Public Financial Management Act. These reports are cardinal if citizens must follow the money. Additionally, Audits must be conducted regularly to safeguard public resources, while there is an urgent need for public integrity institutions to be prioritized by giving them adequate support to deliver on their mandates. Lastly, we encourage civil society, the media, citizens and other stakeholders to thoroughly review the national budget, discuss its contents on national and local radio and other platforms as well as closely monitor spending entities to determine whether or not budgeted resources are being/have been used for the intended purposes.

CENTAL wishes to thank the Embassy of Sweden in Liberia and the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency for funding its Open Expenditure Initiative, which has made this report and analysis possible. Also, we like to thank our many donors and partners, including citizens whose support and motivation have sustained our work over the years. We recommit to remaining constructively engaged with the governance process and meaningfully supporting anti-corruption, integrity-building, fiscal transparency and other well-meaning efforts in Liberia.

Thank You.

Signed: Management.

Thursday, 02 March 2023 15:01

CENTAL Trains Security Sector Actors on Anti-Corruption

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Monrovia, March 1, 2023 - One major way to end the corruption scourge in Liberia is by ensuring that public sector employees act in the public interest by being honest, transparent, and accountable. And this is why, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) through its Executive Director Anderson Miamen and Program Manager, Atty. Gerald D. Yeakula on Tuesday, February 27, 2023, facilitated a training session of law enforcement personnel on anti-corruption at the offices of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA).

The session, organized by the LDEA International Visitors Leadership Program Alumni Association, brought together security personnel from the Armed Forces of Liberia, the Liberian National Police, the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), the Liberia National Fire and Rescue Service, the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency and other institutions. “As law enforcers and public servants, it is incumbent upon us to be accountable. We just couldn’t keep to ourselves what we learned from the IVLP program”, said Special Agent Chris M. Curtis President of the LDEA IVLP Alumni Association. 

CENTAL honored the invitation based on her continued commitment to the fight against corruption, in part through forging mutually benefiting partnerships to build capacity and mobilize the needed support among diverse stakeholders and groups.


Executive Director Miamen drilled the officers on mainstreaming anti-corruption values in the security sector as well as understanding Civil Society Organizations and their roles in the democratic space, especially in Liberia. He also reminded the participants of the delicate nature of their work and the growing demand for transparency, accountability, and good governance.


Program Manager Yeakula lectured participants on understanding what constitutes corruption, its various types and forms, international and national laws and policies governing the fight against Corruption as well as strategies and tools to deal with corruption.

Friday, 24 February 2023 09:49

CENTAL Takes TALKAY Awareness Campaign to Nimba County

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Monrovia, February 23, 2023 – Corruption takes many forms. Increasing citizens’ awareness and reportage about the act and other forms of corruption through an innovative approach has been at the core of outreach activities of CENTAL in Nimba County. CENTAL in partnership with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Integrity Watch Liberia and the Accountability Lab Liberia with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is conducting awareness around a corruption reporting innovation in Bong, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Bomi, Gbarpolu, and Montserrado counties.

WhatsApp Image 2023 02 24 at 9.44.32 AM

The effort places whistleblowers in direct and secure contact with the LACC through the TALKAY platform. Those using the mobile app and website to file complaints would be able to send reports and attach multiple files (video, audio, document etc.) with an option to remain anonymous or not. Once sent, an automatic generated reference number that can be used to follow up on the report.  All reports submitted using either the web app, mobile app or SMS go to large screens dashboards at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in real-time. The LACC then investigates the report and takes appropriate action. Once actions are taken, the system updates based on the action taken and those filling reports can track the status of their report using their unique ID numbers issued when they submitted their reports.

“We the disabled people in Nimba County have been longing for our voice to report corruption because we have been afraid of what might happen to us after we have reported”, said Nenlay G. Doe, Chair for the Nimba Disabled Community. “But with the assurance of guaranteed protection and confidentiality”, she continued “we will now begin to report acts of corruption as we see it without fear. We are happy that we now have a platform to report about things that affect us as a people-all thanks to CENTAL and her partners for this initiative”, said Madam Doe.

Several marketers who converged at the Liberia Marketing Association office in Sanniquellie City, first expressed their individual opinions about corruption and then quizzed the outreach team on benefits of the innovative approach. “Although, we are all happy that we now have a platform to report corruption, we must only report only what we hear and see but not lies”, Winifred Guah, head of the Liberia Marketing Association Nimba Chapter, cautioned her fellow marketers.  


Jerryline Wonde, CENTAL’s Coordinator for Integrity Clubs, espoused the need to elect leaders who would make policies that ensure equal access to basic social services for everyone including people with disabilities.  But this, she said can only be achieved when everyone joins together to fight corruption.

“Corruption only benefits few and robs the larger population of what they deserve like basic social services”, Peter N. Dolo says. Dolo is Executive Director of Community Solutions Aid, a local advocacy group in Bong County, Central Liberia. If Dolo’s statement is anything to go by, then the poverty and lack of basic services in the country can rightly be linked to the menace of corruption.

In Liberia, allegations of corruption are rife. In the 2022 State of Corruption Report released by CENTAL, 90 percent of those surveyed indicated that the level of corruption in Liberia is high. Liberia has also reached its all-time low on the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International, scoring 26 out of 100. But despite these alarming statistics, whistleblowing, which remains an important tool in preventing and detecting corruption and other malpractices, has been discouraged by inadequate protection for whistleblowers, amongst others. 

The government of Liberia through the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has partnered with the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia CENTAL, Integrity Watch Liberia and the Accountability Lab Liberia to deliver a corruption reporting tool and ramp up awareness around the tool in Bong, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Gbarpolu and Montserrado counties on implementation of an Anti-Corruption Innovation Initiative. Under the initiative, a mobile application called ‘TALKAY’ has been developed to provide citizens the platform to report corruption allegations anywhere in Liberia without disclosing their identities. This effort places whistleblowers in direct and secure contact with the LACC. Those using the mobile app and website to file complaints would be able to send reports and attach multiple files (video, audio, document etc.) with an option to remain anonymous or not. Once sent, an automatic generated reference number that can be used to follow up on the report will be received.  All reports submitted using either the web app, mobile app or SMS go to large screens dashboards at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in real-time. The LACC then investigates the report and takes appropriate action. Once actions are taken, the system updates based on the action taken and those filling reports can track the status of their report using their unique ID numbers issued when they submitted their reports.

In Bong, CENTAL has kicked-off awareness activities around TALKAY with Nimba, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, and Bomi to follow. Like many other counties, Bong County is suffering the effects of corruption. Already, the county is feeling the pinch from the menace. The County’s account, which holds the county development funds has had a moratorium placed by the national legislature over allegations of mismanagement of previous funds. This has in a way, hamstrung the provision of some basic social services for the people. “Through this initiative, we are hoping to turn the history of this country around to one that uses its resources and taxes to develop the country”, said, Madam Bendu Kpoto, Legal Officer at CENTAL, during an engagement session with students of the Dolokelen Gboveh High School. 

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Madam Kpoto rallied the students to utilize the mobile app, the 4419 SMS service, 4432 call-in service to report any act of corruption. This, she said, will allow for the delivery of basic services like health, education, and infrastructure development. Arthur Bono, Bong County Chapter Chairman for the National Union for the Disabled pledged to make use of the application and other services to report corruption issues because of the current effects it is having on members of his organization. 

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Also, members of the Bong Athletic Social Intellectual Center, an intellectual forum promised to use the app and other platforms to flag corruption issues. Because of the significance of this initiative in the fight against corruption, Peter Dolo, recommended that government of Liberia and its partners increase education about innovation, increase protection for whistleblowers, and ensure speedy prosecution of corruption cases. 

Saturday, 11 February 2023 11:14

Disclaimer On Use of CENTAL Materials

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On Thursday, 9 February 2023, a video circulated on social media in which a young Liberian is seen pulling down publicity materials of government officials and politicians at the Capitol Building, the official seat of the Liberian Legislature. The young man is also seen wearing a t-shirt marked by the logos of CENTAL and Transparency International as well as the flag of Sweden, which funds our work through Sida. While CENTAL rallies citizens to take actions against corruption as well as promotes active citizen-participation in the democratic process, we wish to clarify that the action of the young Liberian was not carried out under the auspices of CENTAL. Further, he is not an employee of CENTAL and did not receive any instruction from CENTAL regarding his actions at the Capitol. 

Signed: Management  

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 13:12

Press Statement for Immediate Release

Written by

Press Statement for Immediate Release

Rising Public Sector Corruption in Liberia, as President Weah Presides Over Liberia’s Worst Ever Score/Rating on the CPI

Monrovia, Tuesday, 31 January 2023

The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) is pleased to release the findings of Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2022. Since 1995, the Corruption Perception Index has been scoring and ranking countries based on how corrupt their public sectors are perceived, according to experts and business executives. The score ranges from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), where 0 equals the highest level of perceived public sector corruption and 100 equals the lowest level of perceived public sector corruption. 180 Countries were targeted in 2022 as in 2020 and 2021.

The CPI draws upon 13 data sources, which captured the assessment of experts and business executives on a number of corrupt behaviors in the public sector. These corrupt practices and behaviors include bribery, diversion of public funds and supplies, use of public office for private gain, procurement irregularities, state capture, and nepotism in the civil service. Also, some of the assess mechanisms available to prevent and address corruption in a country. Examples include the government’s ability to enforce integrity mechanisms; independence of anti-graft institutions; the effective prosecution of corrupt officials; conflict of interest prevention; access to information; freedom of speech and the media, and legal protection for whistleblowers, witnesses, journalists, and investigators.

Global Highlights:

The CPI 2022, released today by Transparency International mainly focuses on the link between Corruption and Insecurity/Conflict. CPI 2022 shows that most of the world continues to fail to fight corruption: 95 per cent of countries have made little to no progress since 2017. In other words, the fight against corruption has stagnated worldwide at a time when conflict and insecurity abound and human rights and democracy are also under attack. This is no coincidence. Corruption enables human rights abuses and fuels conflict and insecurity. Equally, ensuring peace and security and basic rights and freedoms means there is less space for corruption to go unpunished.

The global average remains unchanged at a score of 43 out of 100 for the eleventh year in a row. Denmark (90) tops the index this year, with Finland and New Zealand following closely, both at 87. Strong democratic institutions and regard for human rights also make these countries some of the most peaceful in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. Meanwhile, South Sudan (13), Syria (13) and Somalia (12), all of which

are embroiled in protracted conflict, and remain at the bottom of the CPI. 26 countries – among them, Qatar (58), Guatemala (24), Liberia (26) and the United Kingdom (73) – are all at historic lows this year.

The highest-scoring region is Western Europe with an average score of 60. The lowest-scoring region is Sub-Saharan Africa (32). The 32 average score of Sub-Saharan Africa shows a bleak picture of inaction against corruption in the region, as governments are doing very little to deal with the culture of impunity.

Regional Highlights and Trends:

In 2022, the Corruption Perception Index shows a decade of stagnating Corruption levels amid insecurity, human rights abuses and democratic decline in Sub-Saharan Africa. Progress is stalled, while over 90 per cent (45 of the 49 countries surveyed on the continent) score below 50. The Sub-Saharan Africa average is 32, the lowest in the world. In the last decade, 43 countries in the region have either declined or made no significant progress.  Since 2012, Botswana (55), Liberia (26), Mali (29) and South Sudan (11) have significantly declined on the CPI.


With a score of 70, the Seychelles earns the highest mark in the region, followed by Botswana (60) and Cape Verde (60) as distant second-place holders. Burundi (17), Equatorial Guinea (17), South Sudan (13), and Somalia (12) are the region’s worst performers. Some significant improvers over the last few years include Seychelles (70), Senegal (43), Ethiopia (38), Tanzania (38), Kenya (32), Côte d'Ivoire (36) and Angola (29).

Although no country is free of corruption, countries topping the CPI share characteristics of open government, press freedom, strong parliament/legislature, civil liberties, and independent judiciary. Meanwhile, countries at the bottom are characterized by widespread impunity for corruption; poor governance; and weak institutions, including but not limited to parliament/legislature and anti-corruption and integrity institutions.

Liberia’s Score and Performance:

From 29 in 2021, Liberia has dropped by 3 points to 26 in 2022. This further cements the country’s position as one of the biggest decliners on the CPI, dropping by a massive 15 points from 41 in 2012 to 26 in 2022. The country now ranks 142/180 and remains further down the table, joining the list of countries significantly declining on the CPI. Worldwide, with the exception of Saint Lucia that has dropped sixteen (16) points, only Liberia has fallen fifteen (15) points since 2012. Also, in West Africa and the Mano River Union, Liberia is the only country that has declined by 6 points over the last five years. Since the country attained her highest score of 41 in 2012, it has been in free-fall on the CPI, topping the list of countries with stagnated and declining anti-corruption efforts, much to the disappointment of many. This is corroborated by CENTAL 2022

State of Corruption Report (SCORE 2022), which reveals that 90% of Liberians think Corruption level is high in the country, with confidence in the executive branch of government to fight against corruption declining from 30% in 2021 to 26% in 2022.

CENTAL is extremely concerned over Liberia’s continuous poor performance, especially her place among the Worst Decliners globally. In part, this speaks to the Liberian Government’s inability to address the entrenched culture of impunity by adequately funding public integrity institutions, fully enforcing existing anti-corruption laws and policies, and taking drastic actions against hi officials accused and investigated for corruption. Importantly, this year’s poor result should serve as a wake-up call to the President that his efforts are not good enough, as they have only taken the country backward in its anti-corruption drive. Liberians have heard more words and promises from the President and other public officials than genuine efforts in the fight against Corruption in the country. This has to change if the country’s extremely disappointing performance has to be reversed. Massive improvement in score and performance, and not stagnation and further decline, is what the country needs, going forward.


Improvement is possible, but only when the necessary corrective measures are instituted. Like other countries that registered remarkable progress and improvements over the last decade, Liberia can climb the CPI ladder, surpass its 41 scores of 2012, and outperform other countries. However, this can be achieved if President is Sincere about his desire to tackle the entrenched culture of corruption, especially in the public sector. 

We recommend the following additional actions/measures:

  1. That President George Weah leads by example and pursues a sincere and holistic fight against Corruption that does not protect certain individuals and groups accused and investigated for corruption, especially his confidantes.
  2. Public Officials accused and investigated for corruption should be prosecuted and made to face the full weight of the law. Strong administrative actions from the President are also needed to deter corrupt behaviors in and out of government.
  3. Government anti-corruption agencies must be fully funded and given adequate moral support.  The independence and sanctity of integrity institutions should also be maintained by the President and his government.
  4. That issues bordering on governance and accountability take center stage in the Weah-led administration to give citizens and development partners confidence in his anti-corruption efforts and hope for a better Liberia.
  5. That the Legislature be robust and independent in playing its role, ensuring that priority is given to anti-corruption and governance issues.
  1. The Legislature should open itself up for a financial audit, as one of the single biggest receivers of taxpayers’ monies in Liberia.
  • Finally, civil society, media, ordinary citizens, and other actors should remain active and constructively engaged in national efforts against corruption.


Anderson Miamen,


CENTAL wins ‘𝖠𝖼𝖼𝗈𝗎𝗇𝗍𝖺𝖻𝗂𝗅𝗂𝗍𝗒 𝖢𝖺𝗆𝗉𝖺𝗂𝗀𝗇𝖾𝗋 𝗈𝖿 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝖸𝖾𝖺𝗋’ Accolade
The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) was today awarded as the ‘Accountability Campaigner of the Year 2022’ by the Global News Network, Incorporated (GNN-Liberia).
The award, according to GNN-Liberia, was based on the invaluable contributions being made by CENTAL to promote transparency and accountability as well as its passionate desire for good governance and democracy in Liberia during the year, 2022.
Founded in 2004, CENTAL is a national civil society organization that has been leading efforts aimed at promoting transparency, accountability, and integrity across all sectors of Liberia. It’s the national Chapter of Transparency International, the global network against corruption with networks and chapters in over 120 countries worldwide.
The Annual Personality Award Program held at the YMCA in Monrovia on Friday, January 13, 2023, was organized by the GNN-Liberia to recognize individuals and institutions that played meaningful roles towards the growth and development of Liberia during the year, 2022.
Meanwhile, CENTAL Executive Director Anderson D. Miamen has lauded the GNN-Liberia for the award and dedicated the accolade to the board and staff of CENTAL who continue to stand in the vanguard to fight corruption and promote the culture of transparency, accountability, and integrity in Liberia.
Director Miamen said the award is a motivation as well as a challenge to CENTAL and its staff to increase the demand for transparency, and accountability and to promote the culture of integrity across all sectors of Liberia.
The CENTAL’s Executive Director called on public officials to lead by example and work in the interest of the country and its people and not themselves. He also urged the people of Liberia to stand up and demand accountability from their leaders.
Miamen used the occasion to reiterate CENTAL’s position on the violation of fundamental constitutional safeguards such as the separation of powers by Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe and the Bomi Legislative Caucus in the Western Cluster Concession saga.
He stated that the involvement of Senator Snowe and the Bomi Legislative Caucus in negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishes a serious conflict of interest on the part of the Legislators who have an even higher responsibility of oversight regarding matters such as concessions.
The negotiations around the Western Cluster Concession in Bomi County have understandably generated tension between citizens of Bomi County and their leaders on the one hand, and Bomi County and the company itself (Western Cluster Limited) on the other hand.
The MOU, according to Miamen, undermines the 2011 Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between the Republic of Liberia and Western Cluster Liberia Limited as it evades lawful taxes in millions of dollars owed by Western Cluster to the Government of Liberia, and approves potential environmental hazards posed by Western Cluster operations via trucking of minerals from Bomi through the Freeport of Monrovia.

‘Natural Resources Must Work for Citizens’, CENTAL says regarding Western Cluster Mining Operation in Bomi County

Monrovia, Friday, January 13, 2023 – Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, development partners and fellow Liberians:

 Firstly, we extend our sincere best wishes for the New Year and appreciate you for standing with CENTAL and supporting our work in 2022. We look forward to more of your support and dedication to the fight against corruption in 2023. Meanwhile, the year has already begun with troubling developments that rehash nearly a century-long history of bad concessions in Liberia. What is even more troubling is that Bomi, one of the counties that have experienced natural resource extraction with virtually nothing to show, is again being placed at the epicenter of the resource paradox.

Fellow Liberians, CENTAL’s attention has been drawn to negotiations around the Western Cluster Concession in Bomi County, which has understandably generated tension between citizens of Bomi County and their leaders on the one hand, and Bomi County and the company itself (Western Cluster Limited) on the other hand. With utter shock, we have observed violation of fundamental constitutional safeguards such as the separation of powers. In particular, the involvement of Senator Edwin M. Snowe and the Bomi Legislative Caucus in negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishes a serious conflict of interest on the part of Legislators who have an even higher responsibility of oversight regarding matters such as concessions. Further, the MOU undermines the 2011 Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between the Republic of Liberia and Western Cluster Liberia Limited as it evades lawful taxes in millions of dollars owed by Western Cluster to the Government of Liberia, and approves potential environmental hazards posed by Western Cluster operations via trucking of minerals from Bomi through the Freeport of Monrovia.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press and fellow Liberians, the lack of citizens’ involvement in the said negotiations are even more telling and constitute flagrant violation of relevant laws, including the Land Rights Act of 2018.  CENTAL continues to note these unorthodox incidents of corruption in the extractive sector involving some former and sitting lawmakers and ministers with utter dissatisfaction. This is and has always been the trend in Liberia, whereby government enters into agreements with companies to extract natural resources, usually at the disadvantage of citizens and affected communities. These acts do not only signal corruption, but also undermine transparent revenue generation by multinational firms through corporate lobbying to weaken enforcement of key mineral policies. Also, they influence policymakers’ decisions to win government contracts in mining companies’ favor through fraudulent means, thereby hindering efforts to garner needed revenues and transform the lives of affected communities/counties and Liberians, more broadly. As a result, Liberia continues to lose millions of dollars through shady concession deals and illicit financial flows in the sector. Unfortunately, these funds mainly benefit corrupt government officials and their allies instead of the government itself, thereby creating unnecessary financial burdens for government. The State is then compelled to beg for financial assistance and acquire loans for development purposes, when there is huge potential to generate internal revenues from natural resource extraction if corruption is prevented. 

In 2019, it can be recalled that several former public officials were accused by Global Witness and subsequently indicted for soliciting US $950, 000 in bribes from UK-based Sable Mining Company. The aim was to change section of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) Act in favor of the company to award Wologizi Mountain in Lofa without competitive bidding process. The likes of Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman, Alex Tyler, former Speaker, House of Representative, Morris Saytumah, former Minister of State and now Bomi County Senator, Richard Tolbert, former National Investment Commission head and others were involved in the said corruption saga. What is even more disturbing is that some of the same names have resurfaced in this shady MOU arrangement wherein Bomi County Senator Edwin Snow mentioned Alex Tyler, former Speaker, House of Representative, Morris Saytumah, former Minister of State now Senator, and others as participants. This speaks to the fact that the culture of impunity continues to thrive as a result of a weak and compromised legal system that undermines the rule of law, democratic tenets as well as effective functioning of our judicial institutions established to reprimand violators of crimes.

Fellow Liberians, CENTAL is extremely elated that the people of Bomi are standing up and demanding accountability of their leaders and better treatment from a company operating in their county. This is exactly what we have pushing for over the years, working with communities in Bomi and other counties to educate them on their rights and roles in ensuring that their natural endowments work for them, in keeping with the Principles of Free, Prior and informed consent which seeks to promote transparency, accountability, and inclusion of all stakeholders involved in concession related activities and processes. We call on the citizens and people of Bomi County to remain steadfast in their advocacy for a better deal that reflects and truly seeks their interest, moving away from business as usual. Moreover, we call on the leadership of Bomi County, through its Legislative Caucus to respect the rights and plights of the people of Bomi in their call for nullification of a bogus MOU and demand for better treatment, including jobs and environmental protection.

Given the gravity of this situation and other longstanding issues of corruption in the extractive sector, we are calling on President George Weah to protect the Constitution and the Liberian People in this Western Cluster deal by demonstrating zero tolerance for corruption and bad governance. Circumstances surrounding development and implementation of the “bad MOU” should be investigated and those found wanting prosecuted for their actions. Also, any discussion (s) around review of existing concessions and awarding of new ones should be done in line with relevant Liberian Laws, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative guidelines and requirements as well as other international frameworks promoting inclusion, transparency, accountability, and full citizens’ engagement and meaningful participation in mining and other award decisions. Finally, the government of Liberia should also act to respect the principle of separation of powers, as provided for in the constitution of Liberia. Senators and Representatives who should be providing oversight and approving Agreements cannot at the same time be negotiators of said contracts.

Thank you.



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