AfDB Inaugurates Liberia Field Office

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At Sophie, Old Congo Town, in Monrovia on Wednesday, AfDB President Donald Kaberuka and Liberia’s Finance Minister and AfDB Governor Amara Konneh jointly unveiled the plaque and cut the ribbon to inaugurate the Bank’s Liberia Field Office (LRFO). The office will bring the Bank’s services closer to its client, speed up its development assistance and deepen its involvement in aid coordination in the county.

Speaking at the ceremony attended by prominent Liberian personalities, the diplomatic corps and donor community, President Kaberuka described the event as an important step in furthering the relations between the Bank Group and Liberia, and the promotion of regional economic integration, especially within the Mano River Basin countries (Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone).

He said LRFO was part of the Bank’s decentralization roadmap approved by the Board in April 2011, which has seen the expansion of the Bank’s presence in 35 countries and the opening of two Regional Resource Centres in Nairobi and Pretoria.

“I am particularly keen that, through this enhanced decentralization, the Bank increases its effectiveness, is closer to its Regional Member Countries and reinforces coordination with development partners on the ground,” Kaberuka said.

The President added that the Bank’s operations team will commence the preparation of a new Assistance Strategy for 2013-2017, which will be very closely coordinated with development partners, such the World Bank, European Union and USAID, especially in the areas of governance and infrastructure.

During the coming months, in particular, the Bank will work with the Liberian Government to carry out studies of the Ganta to Harper City Road, and will pave the Fishtown to Harper City portion of the road for greater sustainability as well as to secure investments already made. This, Kaberuka explained, will enable the Bank to fully support the government’s desire to see the country connected by a vital road network.

“The challenges facing Liberia will not be overcome by government alone, nor without very close coordination on the part of development partners. The Agenda for Transformation that has been prepared by the government provides an excellent opportunity for collaboration to support the government,” he emphasized.

President Kaberuka also paid special tribute to the late Romeo Horton, who pioneered the establishment of the AfDB, represented at the ceremony by his widow, Mary, and some of his children and grandchildren.

For his part, Minister Konneh reiterated the Liberian Government’s appreciation of the Bank’s support to Liberia and appealed for even more support in the area of infrastructure, especially road transport and energy.

LRFO began operations in August 2011 with Mrs. Margaret Kilo as its first Resident Representative.