The European Union has provided initial funding of €6 million (USD 6.87m) to help Liberia pave the road connection from Sanniquelle to Loguato with asphalt. The EU regional envelope for West Africa also allocated €14.2 million to this project. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is expected to contribute €17 million.
Liberia has approximately 500 km of asphalted roads, most of which were recently upgraded with co-funding from the EU. Of the international connecting roads, only the road to Sierra Leone is asphalted on the Liberian side. All other international links are gravel roads that need to be improved.
The Sanniquelle- Loguatuo road section of 47 km, which links to Côte d’Ivoire is the only remaining non-asphalted section of the West African Highway, linking Nouakchott-Dakar-Lagos and is part of the ECOWAS and Mano River Union (MRU) regional corridor. The project also includes the building of a one stop border post to facilitate the rapid processing of cross-border trade.
The Sanniquelle- Loguatuo road project is expected to be implemented within 48 months.
“This is a vital contribution to a project costing in excess of EUR 52 million. I am proud that, with an effort spanning several years, my team has achieved to leverage significant additional loans and convincing the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank to partner in this initiative, which will dramatically improve regional connectivity, trade, electricity transmission and, last but not least the wellbeing of women, men and children living in the area”, said Madam Hélène Cavé, Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation in Liberia.
This latest support from the EU is part of a broader development portfolio for Liberia in support of the achievement of Government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, especially Pillar Two which focuses on improving the economy and jobs though investment in infrastructure development.
Speaking at the signing ceremony on Thursday October 25, 2018, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., conveyed on behalf of President Weah and the people of Liberia profoundest appreciation to the EU for its ongoing and continuous support to the Government in actualizing its development agenda.
According to Minister Tweah, Liberia will get better through a robust domestic resource mobilization, where the Government of Liberia will take aggressive steps to grow revenue. “We also have to make road development work better for the private sectorin term of growth and development”, Minister Tweah asserted.
Minister Tweah also described EU gesture as a milestone towards monitoring cross-border trade flows and capturing the maximum share of revenues from road development works across the country.
He also indicated that it was in the right direction of generating revenues through the one stop shop, so that the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development can be delivering its objectives and meeting the aspirations of the Liberian people.
Minister Tweah reaffirmed government’s commitment in meeting its share in all of these obligations. He further indicated that government was working and ensuring that its partners realize the dividends of development initiatives, and assured of government’s resolve to reduce poverty through the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
Minister Tweah further disclosed that the World Bank has agreed to scale up and bring One Hundred Million youth’s money to the President’s road agenda. The idea of our road program is to ensure that roads generate economic and social rate of return, said Minister Tweah.
He also used the occasion to convey President Weah’s request to the European Commission and other development partners to shorten the implementation cycle, especially in the execution of critical development projects, describing road construction as national development aspirations of the government.
Minister Tweah said that the government of President George M. Weah remains committed to improving the country’s road infrastructure, and therefore looks up to the European Commission, the World Bank and other partners to scale-up the financing for roads development in Liberia.