German Mr. Ralph Timmermann, has told an audience of foreign diplomats and senior Liberian Government officials, including Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, that the Federal Republic of Germany will continue to support Liberia in its development process.
Amb. Timmermann made the statement while delivering a speech on his country’s 25th Unity Day, which fell on Saturday, but was celebrated on Monday, October 5. A Foreign Ministry release quoted the German Envoy as saying that Germans still remember their own devastating post-World War II destruction, and that without help from outside, it would have been impossible to get back on course, reiterating Germany’s preparedness to continue to help Liberia to help itself.
He, however, noted that from their historical experiences no amount of external assistance can replace strong democratic institutions and good governance. “That is why I welcome the steps taken by the Government of Liberia to fight corruption in all of its forms; and I urge the government to deepen and strengthen this fight,” he stated.
Amb. Timmermann further said that no amount of external assistance can be a substitute for inclusive growth, which is a driver of sustainable development. While stating that investment conditions in Liberia for foreign and domestic investors have improved in recent years, he, however, cautioned that much still needed to be done, praising the good historical track record of German companies in Liberia.
“There exists is a good legacy from the past, which we can build on. It is my conviction that Liberia, as well as my own country would benefit greatly from increased trade and investment links with my country, and as German Ambassador, I will do my best to promote them,” he indicated.
Touching on the bilateral relationship between Liberia and Germany, Mr. Timmermann added that it has not been stronger in recent years. “Apart from the massive engagement of Germany in the fight of Ebola, Madam President, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited my country no less than 3 times in the past 18 months – twice upon invitation of the German Chancellor, Mrs. Angela Merkel in the G7-outreach conferences, which Germany chairs this year. There was also a high level joint visit to Monrovia in April of this year of the German Ministers for Health and for Economic Cooperation, accompanied by a large delegation of parliamentarians from the German Bundestag and German media,” the German Ambassador is quoted by the Foreign Ministry as saying.
Responding, Vice President Boakai praised and thanked the German Embassy near Monrovia for calming off the celebration of their Unity Day in 2014 as a mark of solidarity with Liberia, which was still battling the Ebola virus disease.
Vice President Boakai recalled that approximately 28 years ago, the Berlin Wall – constructed in 1961, divided the German people, thereby creating East and West Germany. He noted that since becoming a united Germany, it has become one of the largest economic powers of Europe, and that Liberia can learn many good things from a united Germany’s experiences.
According to Vice President Boakai, the German government demonstrated “strong solidarity with the Government of Liberia during and after Liberia’s civil war; and in particular, during the critical time of need as the country battled the unprecedented outbreak of the Ebola virus disease.” The Vice President also indicated that Germany’s benevolence has further strengthened the ties between the two nations.
Both Vice President Boakai and Amb. Timmerman, along with other guests gracing the occasion, toasted to the long-standing ties subsisting between both nations and for the good health of both Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Joachim Gauck. -Press release