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GOL and AfDB sign US$40M loan agreements

The Government of Liberia and the African Development Bank have signed two loan agreements here, totaling US$40 million for road construction in Liberia and Sierra Leone, respectively.

The agreements, according to officials, are aimed at enhancing road infrastructure and boosting inter-community trading within the Mano River Union Basing.

By Lewis S. Teh & Naneka A. Hoffman

Monrovia, Liberia, March 5, 2024 – The Government of Liberia and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed two loan agreements, totaling US$40 million for Phase Four of the Mano River Union Road development and the transport facilitating project.

The agreements, according to officials, are aimed at enhancing road infrastructure and boosting inter-community trading within the Mano River Union Basing.

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

Other project components include cross-border infrastructures between Liberia and Sierra Leone, developing socio-economic infrastructure and providing support to women and youth associations to promote much needed private enterprise.

The signing ceremony was held over the weekend on the 10th Floor of t the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in Monrovia. 

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Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning Boimah Kamara, who signed on behalf of the government, describes the ceremony 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 lives.

According to the Minister Kamara, Phase Four of the project is a very important step beyond what one could see with intent to upgrade standard roads in the two MRU countries.

“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 projects 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”, the Minister says.

The Country Manager of the AfDB, Benedict Kanu, who signed on behalf of the Bank, underscores the timeliness, and relevance of the agreement.

Mr. Kanu notes that the program will upgrade the ongoing phase that is aimed at boosting regional integration and trade within the MRU basing.

He further indicates that 67 percent of the financial assistance under which the agreements are signed, covers the total cost of the Mano River Union and the transport facility program.

According the AFDB Country Manager, Phase Four of the program is estimated at US$60 million, and the program will be implemented from 2024 to 2027 when the facility will be ready for use.

Accordingly, he noted that the sustainability of the transport project is key, so the Bank looks forward to Liberia’s sector reforms initiative that ends in 2030.

Mr. Kanu further reveals that the program is intended to help improve roads connecting Beudu to Koindu in Sierra Leone, linking Liberia and Guinea and the John Davies Town to Zwedru section on the Fish Town-Zwedru axis inside Liberia.

The ADB says the project will empower women in program coverage area through stimulation of agricultural production and marketing, income-generating activities.

Mr. Kanu also points to indirect outcome, including creation of more than 2,000 jobs during the construction phase, of which 30 percent will be women.  

The signing ceremony brought together scores of government officials from line ministries and agencies, including the Minister of Public Works Roland Giddings, Deputy Finance Minister for Economic Management Dekpue Zao and senior management from the ministry, and a high-power delegation from the ADB, among others. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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