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AfDB announced US$4 million grant for Liberia

By Lewis S Teh

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a grant of approximately US$4 million for Liberia, AfDB Country Manager to Liberia Mr. Benedict Kanu has announced.

Mr. Kanu said the Bank’s decision is in response to a letter written last year by the governing authority of the bank requesting assistance to the Central Bank of Liberia to upgrade which is in line with the government’s desire to promote private sector development and financial inclusion. The approval was given on the 17th of March by the Board of Directors.

The AfDB Country Manager said as country manager for Liberia, it was his duty to share the good news with the people of Liberia.

The AfDB Country Manager made the pronouncement on Monday, March 20, at the Ministry of Finance when a visiting AfDB team paid a courtesy call on officials at the ministry where they held closed doors round table discussions.

Last weekend six (6) Executive Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group arrived in the country for consultation with local authorities.

The consultation mission, which is part of the annual work program of the Executive Directors, is aimed at visiting selected regional member countries of the Bank Group.

According to him, the AfDB visiting team will meet with officials of the CBL, but the Liberian Government will receive an official communication from his office to announce the grant.

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For his part, Deputy Finance Minister for Economic Management Mr. Augustus Flomo termed the visit of the officials from the African Development Bank as a significant boost to the infrastructure development of Liberia.

“We are grateful to the team from the AfDB despite their many activities to have come to Liberia. We think this visit is a significant boost to our infrastructure development.” He said.

“I can remember sometime last year, we had a lot of discussion with the Bank surrounding how the Bank can help in the rebuilding process of Liberia, and today, luckily for us, they are here. We want to appreciate every one of you for coming to Liberia,” he added.

He said in time past, countries like Togo, Ghana among others used to visit Liberia to learn from them in terms of some of its infrastructure developmental programs to have them replicated in their development agenda. But expressed sadness that Liberia is in no such position because of the impact of the 14 years of civil war.

He noted that those are things that the president is trying to resolve, saying imagine out of 15 counties, we have 5 connected with paved roads, while others are lacking behind. This country is challenged, and the president is under pressure to deliver health services, education, and even infrastructure.

“We need your support as a country because we can’t excel or make progress as a country if we do not address the challenges we are facing,” Deputy Minister Flomo continued.

Also speaking, acting Minister of Finance Dr. Samora P.Z. Wolokollie extolled the bank delegation for visiting Liberia to hold a consultative meeting with officials of the government on key issues that surrounds the growth of the country.

“I want to convey the sentiments on behalf of the Minister of Finance Samuel Tweah who would have loved to be here but traveled out of the country. But again, we like to say we can’t overly emphasize the importance of the bank delegation to Liberia to have a consultative meeting with the government of Liberia. We truly appreciate it, and we look forward to having more external conversations with different line ministries and agencies,” he adds.

Speaking on behalf of the visiting AfDB team, Mr. Ahmed Zayed who’s the Executive Director and Dean of the Board said the delegation has come to help Liberia in its developmental agenda.

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