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EditorialGeneralLiberia news

Editorial: The MRU basin and roads connectivity

News that the Government of Liberia and the African Development Bank over the weekend signed two loan agreements in Monrovia, totaling US$40 million to enhance road infrastructure and boost inter-community trading within the Mano River Union Basing is both welcoming and laudable.

Lack of road connectivity among member countries of the MRU has impeded both movements across borders and trade, subjecting citizens within the subregion to poverty, misery, and disease.

Specifically, the loans seek to support upgrading of 48.5 kilometers road in Liberia and 39 kilometers road in neighboring Sierra Leone, respectively, along with feasibility studies for an additional 97 kilometers stretch of roads in Liberia.

Liberia and Sierra Leone are one of the three founding members of the MRU. Guinea and Liberia gave birth to the subregional bloc. Ivory Coast joined subsequently, bringing the membership to four neighboring countries that continue to collaborate in many areas, including common security, economic cooperation, and good neighborliness, among others.

Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning Boimah Kamara, who signed on behalf of the government, described the agreement as a landmark endeavor to extend infrastructure support that Liberia urgently needs to have an enabling environment for the expansion of growth and betterment of its people.

“We think that this is an expression of support from the MRU between the two nations; this will also finance feasibility studies for building 97 kilometers of roads in Liberia and other project components include rehabilitating cross-border infrastructure between Liberia and Sierra Leone, development of social economic infrastructure, and provide support to the development agenda of the two countries”, Minister Kamara said.

The Country Manager of the AfDB, Benedict Kanu, who signed on behalf of the Bank, underscored the timeliness, and relevance of the agreement, noting that the program will upgrade the ongoing phase that is aimed at boosting regional integration and trade within the MRU Basing.

President Joseph Nyuma Boakai is very passionate about road connectivity in Liberia and beyond, announcing his ambitious goal of “NO CAR STUCK IN THE MUD” 100 DAY DELIVERABLE to make all major primary corridors across the country pliable.

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“Our flagship road delivery program will include the Freeport to St. Paul Bridge Road. Having received funding through the Government of Japan, we will begin construction of a 4-lane road from the Gabriel Tucker Bridge to the Freeport of Monrovia. Additionally, the Government of Japan is expected to provide funds to expand the Gabriel Tucker Bridge to 4 lanes. The Government has also secured additional support from Japan for the conduct of feasibility studies for the expansion of the Freeport to St. Paul Bridge corridor. My Government will allocate funds to complete the 6.5 km Freeport to St. Paul Bridge Road”, the President in his first State of the Nation Address, immediately after taking office in January.

It is in this vein that we hail the signing of the loan agreement with the AfBD to improve movement and trade within the MRU Basin just as President Boakia is determined to make roads across the country pliable for easy access and promotion of economic activities. 

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