Opinions Wed, 21 Sep 2016

Liberia’s Dr. Joseph Mills Jones: The masses choice

As the Liberian election will be coming soon, we have chosen to allow the world know who arguably their best choice should be - Dr. Joseph Mills Jones.

Dr. Joseph Mills Jones was born in Sinoe County, to the union of Mr. Joseph Humphrey Jones and Mrs. Catherine Cooper Jones. His father was a small businessman and his mother a school teacher. He did his primary education at the St Joseph Catholic School in Greenville, Sinoe County, graduating at the top of his class, and received a high school diploma from the Bishop Ferguson High School in Maryland County, also at the top of his class.

Joseph Mills Jones earned a bachelor degree in economics from Cuttington College, now Cuttington University (Magna Cum Laude), completing his studies in less than the prescribed four years. He also holds master and doctorate degrees in economics from the American University, Washington, D.C. He is married to Esther Buxton Jones.

After completing his studies in the United States, Dr. Jones returned home within three days to take a position as Assistant Minister of State for Presidential Affairs working on economic issues. He later joined the Ministry of Planning and Economics Affairs as Chief Economist and Special Assistant to the Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs.

Dr. Jones has served in senior positions in both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. His last position in Washington D.C. with the Bretton Woods Institutions was Alternate Executive Director of the World Bank for Africa Group I, comprising 22 countries.

He was appointed Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia in 2006, and subsequently reappointed in 2011 to a second five year term. As CBL Governor, Dr. Jones plays a key role in managing the Liberian economy, and was an important member of the team that managed the debt relief process for heavily indebted poor countries with the IMF.

The CBL under Dr. Jones’ leadership had been particularly keen to promote Liberian entrepreneurship, through several programs directed at increasing access to finance for Liberian businesses, including the Liberian Marketing Association, Petty Traders, Farmers and women in the villages in all 15 counties of Liberia through Village Savings and Loan Associations.

Dr. Jones has attended several high level international conferences and has traveled widely, which provided him a wide range of experiences. Dr. Jones was honored in 2013 by Cuttington University with a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) and the Distinguished Alumni Award. He has also been honored by the National Traditional Council of Liberia as well as several community groups and organizations.

In recognition of his unprecedented and bold steps in transforming the Liberian economy through the promotion of sound financial inclusion and access to credit strategies, the Executive Governor was honored by several organizations, both at home and abroad, during the year 2013.

On the home front, Dr. Jones received myriad honors for ushering in a new day for Liberian businessmen and women, and for creating the enabling environment for easy access to finance---no longer an issue.

With this brief, Liberia needs an adventurous, bold and daring man to lead the country to another phase.

Columnist: Adeyemi Adebayo Victor