The People’s Republic of China in line with its cordial diplomatic relations with Liberia and vow to assist in the post-Ebola recovery effort has donated 16 vehicles valued at about US$1.2 million to Liberia.
Twelve of the vehicles are sedans to be used exclusively by the Protocol Division for visiting diplomats attending conferences or other missions. The rest are buses to be used for other purposes as required.
Chinese Ambassador ZHANG Yue presented the vehicles to MOFA authorities in the presence of Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan and his principle deputies.
The donation indicates that China’s assistance to Liberia has not stopped, he said.
The protocol vehicles will help increase the reception capacity to foreign guests of the Liberian Government and better contribute to cooperation and partnership between the two countries as well as between Liberia and other countries, said Ambassador ZHANG.
The brand of the sedan cars is “Red Flag,” which the Ambassador said is an image and witness of the development of China that represents the very beginning of the country’s manufacturing industry.
The “Red Flag” vehicles according to the Chinese Ambassador is made with high technology and good quality. He put the cost of the vehicles at US$1.2 million.
China will continue to provide assistance to support Liberia’s efforts in infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing industry, education and public health. He also disclosed that a Chinese working team has already launched the renovation of the SKD Sports Complex and resumed the construction of the Monrovia Vocational Training Center.
Furthermore, Ambassador ZHANG said designing team for the ministerial complex and annexes of the Capitol Building will arrive in Liberia by next week.
He assured China’s commitment to provide government scholarships and training opportunities to Liberian professionals from all sectors.
“We will assign more experts to Liberia, especially experts in health to help rebuild the public health system,” Ambassador ZHANG said.
“We are to open six training courses exclusively for people from Liberia in the second half of 2015, and these training courses are covering Epidemic Prevention and Control Technology; Public Health Management and Disease Control and Prevention;
Construction, Elevator Maintenance and Operation; and Vocational Training faculty building,” said ZHANG .
He said 155 persons from Liberia will be invited to China to benefit from these trainings.
In his statement of acceptance, Foreign Minister Ngafuan recounted contributions of China to Liberia especially during the Ebola crisis.
He said before Liberia could begin to receive international response when the crisis escalated, China was the first to bring in Ebola materials and supplies on a cargo plane.
He commended China for the gesture and said it relieves Liberia of one of the constraints it has when the diplomatic community is evaluating the country to determine whether it has the capacity to host important conferences.
He said because Liberia lacks some basic infrastructures and vehicles to transport people, the country can be sidelined.
With the vehicles on the ground, Minister Ngafuan said, it has reduced part of the constraint, stressing that the cars are not for the MOFA, but for the Government of Liberia.
He said the vehicles are sophisticated and need trained drivers, and should be well maintained.