a VirtualTourist member from Southport
My company has been approached to provide a short training course in Monrovia. UK and other Government websites seem to advise against all but essential travel due to the state of the infrastructure and the potential risk of personal danger. Does anyone on here have any recent personal experience of travel to the area.
PLS GO THROUGH FOLLOWING WEBSITE ITS WHAT U NEED TO KNOW
AND BE SAFE,I HOPE ITS LIL HELP TO U.
AND PLS GO THROUGH THIS ALSO
One trip to Liberia a couple of years ago was enough for a lifetime for my husband! Not an experience he ever wants to repeat.
My husband has travelled to Liberia a couple of times on business in the last year, and his experience is not quite as negative as the above - but almost!
His feedback is that corruption in Liberia is not just endemic, but enshrined in law. For example, companies undertaking consultancy work (he's an environmental consultant to the mining industry) are legally required to work with Liberian partners, and the law is clear that this is required (and should be budgeted for at a 'market' - for which you should read 'international' - rate regardless of the skills and experience of the local partner and whether or not they actually do any work). You would therefore be well advised to check out whether the situation is similar in your field.
Also be aware that 'facilitation fees' (aka bribes) are endemic in Liberia - are you prepared for this eventuality, and even if you are prepared to make such a payment - in which case, it will probably be the first request of many - how will you recoup the funds outlayed (for which there is very unlikely to be any suppoorting documentation or invoice)?
My husband was moderately comfortable, but that was because his in-country logistics were handled by the client company with whom he'd worked previously elsewhere. Costs of accommodation, transportation and eating out in Monrovia are astronomical due to the shortage of decent service providers, so I would strongly suggest that your client handles this side and ensures that these costs are for his/her own account, as they will be almost impossible for you to budget for (and, being local, they'll get much better rates). Just check the arrangements that they have made before you confirm so that you don't get dumped in some flea pit to save costs.
Going by your travel map, you don't appear to have visited the developing world, let alone worked there (and please excuse me if this is an incorrect assumption). If this is indeed the case, then Liberia is most certainly not the sort of place to be conducting your first developing world assignment!
You also don't mention how such an opportunity came your way. If you were approached out of the blue by someone that you haven't previously done business with, then there is a very good chance that this is the commercial equivalent of a 419 scam (you know, "I am the widow of the late so-and-so and when he died he leftXXXXXX in a bank account which I am willing to share with you ..."). If the company you're thinking of working with are part of an international organisation, then check their bona fides with their head office: if they are a solely Liberian outfit, then obviously you'll have no comeback through a parent organisation.
Also, refuse point blank to put down deposits of any sort - I would imagine that if you're presenting a training course, you might be asked to advance funds for a venue or reproduction of training materials, which should ring warning bells.
If I were in your situation, quite frankly I'd pass on the opportunity.
Sorry to be so negative, but you did ask!
Thank you very much for your extremely informative and helpful response. It is so valuable to get this first-hand experience. Many thanks. The company requesting the work is one that we have done work for in the UK and who have an office in the UK - mining industry again. We are currently checking out security arrangements.
Thanks to others too for their responses. The "jury" is still out.