USAID Director Attributes Economic Growth to Poverty Reduction

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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director to Liberia, John Mark Winfield, has observed that inclusive economic growth is paramount to reducing poverty.
Mr. Winfield told a cross section of Liberians that an inclusive and sustained market driven economy is key to reducing poverty and providing stability in the country.
Mr. Winfield made the comment when he delivered a statement during the signing ceremony of USAID-Liberia’s Investing for Business Expansion (IBEX) over the weekend in Monrovia.
The signing was between the USAID-funded Liberia IBEX with partner banks that included Ecobank-Liberia Limited and International Bank Liberia Limited (IB).
IBEX-Liberia is an implementing partner of USAID and other organizations in the country.
The project is intended to expand and provide financial assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
At the signing ceremony on Friday, March 14, USAID Mission Director further explained that his institution through it IBEX project program is intended to empower Liberian small businesses.
According to him, the new program would address issues of transportation, construction, merchandise trade, hospitality, and Infrastructure development among others.
He added that Liberian entrepreneurs are doing well, but lack access to financial credit in the country.
Mr. Winfield promised that USAID would continue to provide more opportunities for Liberians in several areas of development.
For his part, Ecobank Managing Director, Kola Adeleke, lauded USAID-IBEX for taking great steps in providing financial solutions for Liberian businesses.
Mr. Adeleke said the agreement being signed is intended to empower Liberian businesses and give them the opportunity to access loans from various banks across the country.
According to him Ecobank, which is the largest banking institution in Africa, has the responsibility to develop the economy.
He also promised various partners that Ecobank would ensure that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) get developed.
Also speaking at the ceremony was International Bank Managing Director, Henry Saamoi, who acknowledged USAID-IBEX for signing up for such a program with his organization.
Mr. Saamoi told delegates that the only way Liberia can grow is when Liberians are involved in their country’s economic development.
“We will make sure that we improve the economic system of the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Party for USAID-IBEX, Watchen Harris Bruce, said technical support and capacity building provided by her organization for SMEs focus on coaching, advising and mentoring in business management while facilitating the preparation of loan applications and other financial documents.
Madam Bruce also indicated that the organization helps to creates awareness of finance options and opportunities to increase the number of bankable deals in the country.
“We have been providing financial support to SMEs and local banks that are actively engaged in Liberia’s agriculture and renewable energy sectors,” she added.
 

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