European Union Delegation Ambassador to Liberia Tiina Intelmann says the Union’s 60th anniversary comes with progressive achievements in Liberia.
In extemporaneous remarks on last Tuesday, Ambassador Intelmann said the EU came into existence when European nations decided to put their resources together for economic integration.
She said the decision resulted in the formation of a strong and progressive multilateral institution, which in turn contributes to the sustenance of democracy and socio-economic developments in other countries, including Liberia.
In Liberia, Ambassador Intelmann said EU has over the years contributed significantly to socio-economic development, especially in energy, agriculture, education, forestry and culture.
She cited the Mount Coffee Hydro Dam project as one area to which the EU made a major contribution, with subset support to solar energy projects implemented by Mercy Corps.
In agriculture, the EU is providing funds to support vegetable production along with other crops implemented by ZOA, a non-governmental organization.
She used the occasion to introduce Liberian food processors that produce their own fruits and vegetables and process them for the markets.
In education, Ambassador Intelmann said EU supported the certification of junior high school teachers.
She extended thanks and appreciation to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for presiding over ECOWAS and achieving some major goals, including the situation in The Gambia.
Intelmann also launched a book about Liberian culture and said Liberians themselves need to appreciate their rich culture. She meanwhile revealed that the May 9 celebration in Liberia is her last as EU Ambassador as she will be leaving sometime this year.
She urged Liberians to handle the electoral process with care and elect leaders that are credible with good intent for the country.
In response, Vice President Joseph Boakai said the Treaties of Rome and the Schuman Declaration have achieved their intended objectives. “These still continue to be the foundation on which the countries of Europe relentlessly pursue the increase of solidarity, peace and prosperity that is worth emulating by other continents of the world,” he said.
VP Boakai recalled EU’s support that enhanced the road project from Gbarnga to Ganta and then the Guinea Border, the maintenance of the Monrovia – Buchanan and Monrovia – Sierra Leone border roads, and the testing of innovative sealing technique for laterite roads that is currently ongoing.
Furthermore, the Vice President mentioned the 35 million Euros the EU has given to support agricultural development and the General Auditing Commission (GAC) in Liberia.
The launch of “Land Rights for Liberia” in March this year in an effort to encourage the passage of the Land Rights Act as another of the many contributions of the EU.
He said with the existing relations between the EU and Liberia on the one hand, and the EU and Africa on the other hand, it is his hope that at the 5th EU-Africa Summit slated for November this year, Africa and Europe will enhance cooperation to address many of the evolving issues affecting both continents.