Togba-Nah Tipoteh (born 1941 in Monrovia, Liberia) is an economist, educator and politician, having been a presidential candidate in three elections. For more than three decades, he has been actively involved with democratic activities in promotion of human rights, liberties, constitutional rule and growth with development in Liberia and throughout Africa. He is President of the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA); was founding Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), an alliance of Liberian political parties; was founder and Director-General of Susukuu Incorporated (1971- ), Liberia's oldest non-governmental development organization, which was credited by the West Africa Peacekeeping Force (ECOMOG) as helping to disarm over 10,000 combatants and child soldiers in Liberia during the 1997 disarmament program through a school for gun program; and was former Chairman of the Interest Groups of Liberia, a consortium of 32 national organizations with a collective membership of well over one million persons. He has worked in international development in the United States, the Netherlands, Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa and other countries, as well as for the United Nations system: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Economic Community (ECA) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), among others.
Togba-Nah Tipoteh was born in Monrovia in 1941 to Rev. and Mrs. Samuel Togba Roberts of Grand Kru County. He was educated at the College of West Africa (high school) and at the University of Liberia. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from Ohio University (Athens) and Ohio State University in Columbus, USA in June 1963 and 1964 respectively. In 1969, he earned a doctorate degree in economics while studying as a Harvard University/United Nations Special Fund Fellow in Economic Development at the University of Nebraska. In the early 1970s, Dr. Tipoteh was Associate Professor of Economics, Chair of the Economics Department and Director of the Management Research Institute at the University of Liberia (1971-1974). He was Liberia's national Tennis Champion for 30 unbroken years (1964-1994)
In 1973 Dr. Tipoteh founded the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA), a leftist pan-African political organization which played a pivotal role in the struggle for social justice and democracy in Liberia in the 1970s. He served as a Budget Advisor to Liberian President William R. Tolbert, in which position he expressed concerns about government waste and advocated public management reforms.
He was the first Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs (1980-1981) under the regime of Samuel K. Doe which overthrew President Tolbert, but resigned after 15 months in office, citing human rights abuses by the government as his reason for leaving.
In 1983 the Liberian People's Party (LPP) was formed as the electoral wing of MOJA. In Liberia's 1997 elections Tipoteh ran as the presidential candidate of the LPP, winning 1.61% of the vote. In Liberia's 2005 elections, Tipoteh was the candidate for the Alliance for Peace and Democracy, an alliance of the LPP and another veteran opposition movement, the United People's Party (UPP), winning 2.3%. In Liberia's 2011 elections, he was the candidate of the Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia (FAPL).
Dr. Tipoteh is also a businessman, and serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Kukatornon Reconstruction Corporation. Through his scholarship program, he mentors and sends hundreds of students (mainly children) from all counties of Liberia to schools and colleges in Liberia. He married the former Ms. Fatu Kanneh of Lofa County and they have an adopted son, a former child soldier from war lord Charles Taylor's NPFL. To his admirers he is known as "the only man on the ground" - the only presidential candidate to remain in Liberia after the 1997 election victory of Taylor. Tipoteh, wearing an Obama T-shirt the last weekend of the US Presidential election, endorsed Barack Obama of the Democratic Party, predicting that Obama would win the election.
- University of Liberia
- Ohio University (bachelor's degree)
- Ohio State University (master's degree)
- University of Nebraska (Ph.D in economics)
- Harvard University-United Nations Special Fund Fellow
- Democracy: The Call of the Liberian People (1981)
- More than 600 articles on economic growth and development
For Courage: by the National Internally Displaced People Association (NIDPA), a Liberian Civil society organization with membership from nine displaced camps; For work on Justice, Democracy and Peace: The Golden Image Award of Liberia; Member, Omicron Delta Epsilon, Economics Honor Society of the United States of America; Inaugural Lecturer of the African Academy of Sciences Lecture Series; Inducted into the Order of African Redemption with the Rank of Grand Band; Man of the Year,as selected by media entities; Politician of the Year,as selected by media entities Honored as Undefeated Retired Tennis Champion of Liberia for thirty consecutive years (1964-1994),
2005 Presidential elections
- More info (including other candidates): Liberia elections, 2005
2011 Presidential elections
- More info (including other candidates): Liberian general election, 2011
Dr. Tipoteh endorsed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the second-round election, saying in a statement that his party’s decision followed observation and evaluation of the two parties in the run-off, based on the issue of societal transparency. The FAPL Standard Bearer, and renowned Liberian politician, said their evaluation showed that the ruling Unity Party has a better record for transparency, and noted that the high level of transparency under UP’s leadership provides the opportunity for the FAPL and other parties to freely critique government’s performance. Dr. Tipoteh stressed that the choice was made freely, as the FAPL places the highest value on freedom in the process of rebuilding Liberia.
In response, the Unity Party Standard Bearer said she was accepting the endorsement with pleasure and pride. According to an Executive Mansion release, President Johnson said the endorsement was a sign that the Unity Party has reached a place where it can be dedicated to peace, transparency and integrity for the development of Liberia, as it comes from a person who has demonstrated integrity and consistence in principles. “Dr. Tipoteh never wavers in what he believes in. He has spoken out; he has criticized; he has praised; he has taken issues. But in all of those, it was because of the belief that he has. Very few people can show this kind of consistency over the period of forty years,” said the President, in appreciation of the work of the FAPL Standard Bearer. Madam Johnson Sirleaf said she believes that Dr. Tipoteh and the FAPL would not have endorsed the Unity Party if they did not believe that the party shares the same ideals and can deliver. She described the endorsement as a partnership that will be carried forward with the aim of trying to unite the people, to reconcile the Liberian people in order to keep Liberia on the right course for peace and development. The Unity Party Standard Bearer urged partisans and supporters of the Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia to reach out to their friends and associates to ensure victory in the second round and for a lasting partnership. “Our first challenge is to win the election, so we will work with you and you will work with us in that regard to bring all under this umbrella toward the achievement of that goal” the President concluded.
The endorsement ceremony took place at the FAPL headquarters in Sinkor. Endorsements of President Sirleaf and her Unity Party have also come from other parties that contested the October 11 Presidential Elections, most prominent among them being the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) party of Senator Prince Y. Johnson. Following the program in which she received the FAPL endorsement, President Sirleaf resumed campaigning by visiting several communities in Montserrado County, interacting with residents in the run-up to the November 8 run-off election.