The Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Liberia, Laurent Delahousse, has said that the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) under the leadership of President George M. Weah is the best development strategy for Liberia.
He also said the PAPD is the right framework for Liberia’s many dedicated and motivated development partners to set their actions.
Amb. Delahousse has further reaffirmed that the EU is here to deliver to the people of Liberia, with the Government of Liberia, the policies set in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
The EU envoy was speaking on Tuesday in Congo Town outside Monrovia during the commissioning ceremony of the Congo Town LEC Sub-station.
“I commend the action of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning to develop and implement a new era of dialogue and coordination with development partners,” said Amb. Delahousse.
He noted that the EU is an enthusiastic actor in this process, it is at the side of the Government to implement the policies set in the PAPD.
Commenting on the new LEC Sub-station, the EU Ambassador stated that all the citizens of Monrovia who have been waiting to receive electricity can now steadily see their communities being legally connected to the electrical grid.
He stressed that illegal connections to the electrical grid are unjustifiable and that stealing electricity is an offence punishable by law.
Illegal connection, according to him, “puts in danger the lives of many, with the risk of explosions and fires caused by the illegal overloading of the grid.”
He observed that in some communities, LEC teams are attacked by people who steal power, adding that it is therefore essential that the Government provides more support to LEC to fight power theft.
Amb. Delahousse disclosed that the Government has called for all development projects to put an emphasis on training and technical education and, as such, the Congo Town LEC project has already funded a traineeship for more than 40 young engineers, boys and girls, working with the contractor on a daily basis, for a minimum of six months and many of whom., he said, have secured employment following the traineeship.
“In addition, with the extension of the electricity grid and the need for further connections, there will also be a need for more electricians in the country. To cover this, the European Union is funding TVET schools in each of the 15 counties of Liberia which will deliver the required skills,” he disclosed.
Amb. Delahousse noted that the EU believes that the expansion of the electricity sector must be affordable, and for this to become true, a solid private sector is necessary.
Since a stable and well-regulated environment in the energy sector is a precondition to attract the private sector, Amb. Delahousse stated the EU is also funding a Technical Assistance to support the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
“Let’s not forget that the European Union financed, via the European Investment Bank, a major part of the 1350 km of the Transco-CLSG transmission power line. Linking Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, this line brings the integration of high-quality electricity networks in the region,” he cited.
The EU Ambassador maintained that constant, stable, and affordable electricity supply to the people of Liberia and the entire region is of utmost importance for the quality of life and work of all citizens.