As The Liberia Philanthropy Secretariat approaches its sixth year of planning Philanthropists Visits, the LPS team has seen many well intentioned donors fall into the same stressful and disappointing traps. On the eve of some of LPS' largest upcoming visits during Liberia's 2013 Dry Season, there are three helpful hints that will help make your visit to Liberia (and most of Africa) stress free and fulfilling.
Everything Costs...in Cash
Currently there are few places in Liberia that accepts any major credit cards so having cash in hand is very important. Also, as you are planning make sure to account for higher than usual costs. In Liberia for example a standard rental car can costs up to $100 USD a day, much higher than their US and European counterparts. Having a contact on the ground like LPS to coordinate such costs can be extremely helpful.
Government: The Largest Employer
Africa's brightest and best usually head to the government for employment. Many African nations' limited private sector which often results in higher salaries for government employees, is a major factor. That being said, when visiting African nations, many of which are unfortunately plagued with corruption, transparency and communication is paramount. You need the best and the brightest., especially when you're dealing with VIPs. From security details to ensuring important meetings with important essential government officials. This is the beauty of programs like The Liberia Philanthropy Secretariat, housed in the Office of the President but funded by foundations.
Slow Down & Focus
This is important to keep in mind as you make your plans. Many an overcrowded schedule has been poorly executed due Liberia's relaxed culture. We recommend keeping plans concise and impactful. Trying to fit every area of interests into one trip will just leave you frustrated; get the general idea and make future plans based on that.
We hope this is helpful. For more information on Philanthropists Visits to Liberia, please contact us.