The Government of Liberia and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed Financing Agreements for two Projects valued over US$33 million. The two projects are the “Renewable Energy for Electrification of Liberia (REEL Project) and Support to Investment Promotion Agencies in Transition Countries”.
The signing ceremony took place on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. signed for the Government of Liberia, while the AfDB’s Liberia Country Manager, Dr. Orison M. Amu signed for the Bank.
According to the Agreement, the value of the REEL Project is US$33.74 million and is expected to be implemented over a 4-year period.
The Agreement mentions the development of a hydro power plant on the Gbedin Falls on the St. John River in Nimba County as the main objective of the REEL Project. The dam is expected to have a capacity of 9.34 megawatts and will serve as a source of reliable, sustainable and affordable power in the region thus enabling the power grid expansion to isolated localities and remote areas, and encourage the connection of an increased number of households, schools, health centers, businesses and industries to the national grid.
It also named increased access to electricity and fostering the use of renewable energy sources; improved annual electricity generation; increased access to reliable electricity; contribution to the reduction of electricity generation cost; reducing fossil energy consumption; and jobs creation as expected outcomes of the Project.
Additionally, according to the Agreement for the “Support to Investment Promotion Agencies in Transition Countries Project” supported by the AfDB under its “ADF-14 Transition Support Facility (TSF)” it is valued at US$1 million and is expected to be implemented over the course of three years. The TSF Project will support the Government of Liberia’s efforts in improving the business environment and investment climate.
Specifically, the Bank’s financing under this Project is intended to support the National Investment Commission (NIC) investment promotion efforts and position the institution in achieving some of its critical goals and targets.
Speaking during the Signing Ceremony, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah Jr., lauded the African Development Bank for supporting the government’s development agenda. He added that the Bank’s support to the administration of President Weah remains strong.
Minister Tweah also revealed that the AfDB continues to be a key player in electricity, roads, governance and other sectors of the country.
The Finance Minister who also expressed delight about the signing of the Agreements said that electricity and roads connectivity are significant factors for economic growth and are crucial to the success of the PAPD vision of President Weah.
He told the gathering that budget support discussed with the Bank will be used for key areas in the agriculture sector of the country. He also praised the Bank for passing the Country Paper for Liberia, and disclosed that the Paper which focuses on roads, energy and agriculture will see the country moving in the right direction.
For his part, AfDB Country Manager, Dr. Orison M. Amu underscored that the Projects are in support of Liberia’s development agenda.