The African Development Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, has praised Liberia’s impressive economic achievements in recent years and expressed the Bank’s determination to continue to provide needed support to the country in its quest for inclusive and shared growth.
“Liberia is a shining example of what happens in terms of development when a country has good leadership,” President Kaberuka said during a brief interaction with Liberian officials and the media on arrival at the Roberts International Airport in Monrovia on Tuesday evening.
Mr. Kaberuka, who led a high-level Bank delegation, said they were in the country to commend the government and people of Liberia for their remarkable resilience in the face of global economic problems, adding that the country was on the right path towards economic progress.
He also said the Bank and the Liberian government will work together with the country’s development partners to ensure the success of the New Medium-Term Expenditure Framework budget.
During the two-day visit, the delegation reviewed the progress the Bank has made during the past few years and discussed how to do more in line with Liberia’s development agenda.
Speaking further at an official dinner hosted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in honour of the delegation at the Monrovia City Hall on Tuesday night, President Kaberuka called for greater cooperation among the Mano River Basin countries. He noted that a good partnership in the region would help combat poverty and drug trafficking, as well as strengthen regional integration.
For her part, President Johnson Sirleaf thanked the visiting Bank delegation for their partnership and help in the areas of governance, water and sanitation, and agriculture, amongst others. She thanked the Bank’s President for his trust in the leadership of Liberia and called for more Bank assistance to enable the government to improve the living conditions of all Liberians.
Also addressing the gathering, Finance Minister Amara Konneh described the African Development Bank as a key partner in the nation’s quest for economic improvement. “The Government of Liberia is committed to improving the country’s infrastructure, which we have begun, over the medium to long term and the African Development Bank is a key partner in the process,” he said.
According to the minister, the Bank’s current portfolio in Liberia comprises eleven projects, totalling US $163.4 million. Of this amount, $85.2 million or 52 per cent of the portfolio were invested in infrastructure.
During the visit, the Bank signed a US $4.5-million Public Financial Management Program support loan agreement with the Liberian government.
The AfDB delegation also met the leadership of the Liberian Senate and the National Legislature and discussed ways and means of strengthening the partnership with the body, whose role is critical in the approval of Bank loans for development projects in the country.
Members of the AfDB President’s delegation to Liberia included the Bank’s Executive Director for Liberia, El Fatih Mohamed Khalid; Operations Vice-President, Zondo Sakala; ORWB Director, Franck Perrault; and Special Adviser to the President, Youssouf Ouedraogo.