Ellen Dedicates Japanese Funded US$584k Bridge in Cape Mt.

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Diah Bridge, Grand Cape Mt. County

The  newly reconstructed 108 year-old Diah Bridge in Tewor District, Grand Cape Mount County was dedicated over the weekend by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Japan’s Ambassador to Liberia, Kaoru Yoshimura.

The bridge project costing US584K was funded at the by the Government of Japan through its Commodity Value Fund (CVF), which Ambassador Yoshimura said is from the people of Japan as a token of friendship and cooperation between Liberia and Japan.

At the dedicatory ceremony in Diah Town, President Sirleaf lauded the Japanese Government for their ‘immense contributions’ to Liberia, including the projects that boost the country’s development programs.

She called on Liberians to make wise use of the bridge to carry on their farming activities to better the lives of all. The President further encouraged Liberians, specifically residents of the nearby communities, to maintain the country’s peace, which she described as the most important process to the building of any nation.
“The next government will continue from where I will stop, ensuring that the growth we made is maintained,” said the President.

Ambassador Yoshimura described the project as “the beginning of development for the people of Grand Cape Mount County after many years.”  He thanked the Liberian government and citizens for the level of corporation over the years.

The Diah Bridge which was constructed by the Association of Builders and Contractors, will make the distance to Robertsport City from Bo-Water Side, Tieni and other parts of the county shorter, boost the free movement of citizens and also improve farm to market trade in the area, said Acting Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf who served as lead supervisor of the project.

President Sirleaf, Japan Ambassador Yoshimura and other guests at the dedication of the Diah Bridge, Grand Cape Mt. County

He praised President Sirleaf and the Japanese government, adding, “when we sit in Monrovia, we talk nothing but negative things, while some of those in the rural settlements appreciate your good work, Madam President.”

Tenneh Kpadebah, Superintendent of Grand Cape Mount County said, “This is a dream come true for us because the bridge is surrounded by over 30 towns and villages. It was established 108 years ago, but was damaged and after many years we are now happy that the burden of the trade link here is now something of the past,” said Supt. Kpadebah  in thanking the two governments for undertaking the reconstruction of the bridge.

The program was also attended by Magdalene Fahnbulleh, Commissioner of Tewor District, Senator Edward Dagoseh and an array of government officials, who also expressed their appreciation for the successful completion of the bridge.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. When it comes to technological advances and engineering construction, I would prefer hiring the Japanese over the speedy low quality Chinese workers.

    For too long, Liberia has been too dependent on foreign aid for its existence as an Independent Nation. This habit of dependency is corrosive to the development of Africa as a whole….as explained by a fellow African Economist born in Lusaka, Zambia name Dambisa Moyo. She worked for Goldman Sachs as a consultant and the World Bank for many years and obtained her Ph.D. in economics from Oxford University.

    In her book, ‘DEAD AID’, Dambisa Moyo talked about African countries over- reliant on foreign aid which is not sustainable. She writes, “In the past fifty years, more than $1 trillion in development–related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. Has this assistance improved the lives of Africans? No. In fact, across the continent, the recipients of this aid are not better off as a result of it, but worse–much worse.”

    She further stated, “The mismanagement of foreign aid sent from wealthy countries to developing countries has not reduced poverty nor has it increase Africa’s economic growth.”

    This overreliance on aid has trapped developing nations like Liberia in vicious circle of aid dependency, corruption: by creating a cartel of government elites, market distortion and further poverty.

    Liberia and many African countries should wane themselves from this over-reliance on foreign aid and copy the economic models of countries like Singapore and South Korea that went from once depressed economies to becoming highly developed economies. These countries do not depend on foreign aid for sustainability. They became self-sufficient by revamping their educational system to produce skilled workers; they curbed corruption; created jobs; encouraged entrepreneurship; rebuilt their health care system; encouraged savings and investments; rebuilt their infrastructure; and respect the rule of laws.

    If Liberia refuses to develop its economy by creating a suitable climate for foreign investment; refuses to develop its educational system to train skilled workers; refuses to develop its health care system; curb corruption; create jobs; strengthen the rule of law; refuses to develop its human resources; and if Liberia refuses to invest heavily in its infrastructure in conjunction with foreign partnership, no matter who is elected President of Liberia the foreign aid dependency syndrome will continue unabated.

    We need more cooperation with the People of Japan, Singapore and South Korea to help train more skilled workers in Liberia……to reach a level of self-dependency and break the vicious circle of aid dependency as Dambisa Moyo stated. These policies if implemented would have been an accomplished legacy for President Sirleaf to boast of.

    Nevertheless, President Sirleaf made some major infrastructure accomplishments under the difficult post-war climate she inherited.

  2. Sadly, this poorly constructed bridge was contracted to a Liberian construction company and the Japanese provided the funds. Given the amount mentioned above, this bridge does not represent its value. On another note, I sincerely agreed with the commentary above and urge Liberians to do a better job of constructing structures contracted to them.

  3. Wow, this picture can’t be true. It is a complete disgrace to a country that has been around for over 150 years and as long Liberia will continue to receive foreign aids, Liberia will forever end up with sub standard business practices. Moreover, I am surprise at the officials of Cape Mount to allow such low class deal. It is a mess and stupid. It is a myth, Liberia is not rising. As some African countries are trying to graduate from receiving foreign aids, Liberia keeps burying its self deeper. One writer above made mentioned of Singapore and South Korea but I wouldn’t go that far. Let’s take Rwanda. Rwanda had serious war during the same time with Liberia. Today Rwanda is way ahead of everyone’s imagination. But the way, it will take a love for country and good education to bring greater opportunities.

    FYI, we only have a president with no vp. Everything is done by her.

    #Liberia is in peril.

  4. Wow!!!!!!!
    Didn’t even read others comments and said that this bridge cannot cost 584 million USD. This is a disgrace to Liberia and an insult to the Liberian people. Clear example of CORRUPTION.

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