France Pledges 10M Euros to Liberia

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President Weah's first visit off the African continent was to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, breaking an age-old tradition of first preference to the United States by a new Liberian president.

Places Liberia on France’s Bilateral Official Development Assistance; World Bank to give US$20M to GOL in June

As a result of his plea to the France government for support “in any way to help jump start the Liberian economy,” President George Manneh Weah has succeeded in putting Liberia on French President Emmanuel Macron’s shortlist of Bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) effective February 6, 2018.

As a result, President Macron has pledged an initial grant of €10 million Euros to Liberia for immediate road maintenance while modalities are worked out for a more comprehensive and sustainable development assistance package for Liberia.

He named the construction of roads, agriculture, education, healthcare and the high unemployment of Liberian youths as key priorities of his leadership.

He also initiated discussions leading to the front-loading of US$45 million of additional financing from Liberia’s 3-year allocation of $210 million to help stabilize the Liberian economy.

President Macron also announced he will meet with European Union’s officials in Brussels in two weeks along with a technical team from Liberia to rally support for the construction of Liberia’s road network.

President Weah met French President Emmanuel Macron on his first official State visit to France, on Wednesday, February 21 and was received at the Palace Elysee.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Weah during his meeting with President Macron recalled the enormous tasks he has been entrusted with since his inauguration as the 24th President of Africa’s oldest independent nation to lead the Liberian people from poverty to peace and prosperity.

However, he was quick to remind his French counterpart that peace without prosperity is an “unfinished agenda” and acknowledged that this will be the greatest challenge of his administration.

President Weah told his counterpart that he inherited an economy that is in ‘stagnation’ and still bleeding from the recovery of the devastating Ebola outbreak that took place 4 years ago.

He further informed his colleague about the deplorable state of the Liberian economy and said while Liberia remains one of the poorest countries in the world it is endowed with abundant natural resources but the country remains one of the poorest in the world due to decades of mismanagement of the resources by past leaders.

He said the poor state of Liberia’s economy is due in part to the failure of previous leaders to exploit the natural resources for the empowerment of the Liberian people instead of a selected few, though he did not name names.

He said it was due to mismanagement of the natural resources and the marginalization of the majority of Liberians that his government has placed “Pro-Poor Policy” at the center of development.

President Weah said he inherited a broke government plagued with unemployment, which is at an unprecedented high; inflation on the rise, the Liberian currency in a free fall state; and  foreign reserves  at an all-time low, though he did not say how much reserves there are.

President Weah and World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region Makhtar Diop

He said expectations for the easing of tough economic conditions in the country remain high, and he is concerned that his government may not be able to deliver on the promise of change for the betterment of the Liberian people without urgent and significant assistance from friendly governments such as France.

President Weah used his meeting with several French businesses, investors and private institutions to rally support for his government in an effort to encourage investments and revive the Liberian economy.

While on his official State visit to France, President Weah also met with the Vice President of the World Bank, Makhtar Diop and the meeting concluded that an additional budget support of US$20 million will be provided to the Liberian government in June of 2018.

This is in addition to the US$24.7 million grant earlier given to Liberia by the World Bank.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you, France. You are very generous.
    Your 10m Euro will go a long way. We wish you’ll open the doors of your universities so that our best and brightest kids would learn medicine, electronics, math, microbiology, economics, etc.

    World Bank….
    You too have done well. We thank you greatly. Some of us are not sure if this is a loan. Well, whatever it is, be informed that the 20m bucks will be spent well. Unlike previous occasions, we will be transparent. If we decide to build roads, we will tell the people of Liberia how it is being spent. When we say we will be transparent, we mean it in the real sense of the world.
    We will transform Liberia. That’s our hope. With God’s guidance, we will prevail.

    • You’re either a paid poster, a total ignorant or both–either way because of people like you, the country doesn’t progress.

      https://www.liberianobserver.com/news/liberia-more-corrupt-now-than-in-2012/

      What do you thing is France getting in return, when a French or any other foreign company would actually build roads? Even if they get contracted, i.e., subsidized by their government, they still need to make a profit. Apparently, that profit must be way higher than just covering their costs.
      So, the question is: how can recover from the investment in the midterm and make profit in the long term? You have toll the roads. That’s common practice even in some European countries, like France, for instance. And by the way, among European countries, France (75%) is third after Italy (86%) and Norway (100 %) in terms of motorway network under concession. Interestingly, the only country with none of its motorways tolled is the one with the strongest economy: Germany.

      http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/266081468746678028/127527322_20041117151607/additional/multi0page.pdf

      But there’s is more involved. Tolling roads creates a bureaucratic overhead…,which again, is a breeding ground for corruption, especially in a country like Liberia.

  2. The world will be watching to see how these funds are used. One small misstep or corrupt act and it’s all over for us. With millions of poor mouths to feed everywhere, only one bite of the apple may be possible. The new regime would be well advised therefore to exercise maximum discipline and restraint in the management of public resources generally. The conventional wisdom is that we begin with some serious housecleaning, careful planning, strict budgeting, and sound manpower deployment at home before launching out with cap in hand to beg a Senegal, Morocco, France or any other nation on earth for help. In this regard, it would be a huge risk or downright mistake to insist on following in Sirleaf’s footsteps.

  3. The president was excoriated during the campaign by some of his adversaries as “not being burnished” to represent Liberia on international stage. I also remembered him responding to this particular criticism when he stated in one of his speeches that “my critics say that I am not bright, I don’t know people but believe me, I have connections”. President Weah has proven his critics wrong with this trip and the results so far. Any fair minded person will congruent that the President does indeed look presidential. If my math is right, that’s a sum of $107,000,000 plus. Considering the projected budget pitfall, this is a very good start.

  4. Well, we thank them all but I am not too sure whether foreign aids will ever help to develop Liberia if Liberians themselves do not desire development and prosperity. Accruing all of these moneys out of begging should not be celebrated as if it is freely handout to the government, or even if it is not a loan, it does not merry an applauds until it benefits the common Liberians.
    However, I suggest that these foreign aids should not be given directly to the government. The givers of those moneys should come and supervise the project the said money was lobbied for to ensure such project is truly done and dedicated for public use. For example, a 35 KM road was built by the US government in Accra, known as the N 1 Motor Way or the George Highway from 2008-2012. The then US government did not give cash out to the Ghanaians government but rather supervised the implementations of the road construction. Today, Ghanaians are proud of that road. An attempt to put any 10m euros or $20m dollars to any body’s hands in Liberia, two things: either they spend that money anyhow or they do a substandard work that will not worth the among dedicated.
    Therefore, Liberia’s government should only identify projects and then let those foreign partners come and carry on the development.

  5. Well, we thank them all but I am not too sure whether foreign aids will ever help to develop Liberia if Liberians themselves do not desire development and prosperity. Accruing all of these moneys out of begging should not be celebrated as if it is freely handout to the government, or even if it is not a loan, it does not merry an applauds until it benefits the common Liberians.
    However, I suggest that these foreign aids should not be given directly to the government. The givers of those moneys should come and carry on the project the said money was lobbied for to ensure such project is truly done and dedicated for public use. For example, a 35 KM road was built by the US government in Accra, known as the N 1 Motor Way or the George Bush’s Highway from 2008-2012. The then US government did not give cash out to the Ghanaians government but rather supervised the implementations of the road construction. Today, Ghanaians are proud of that road. An attempt to put any 10m euros or $20m dollars to any body’s hands in Liberia, two things: either they spend that money anyhow or they do a substandard work that will not worth the amount dedicated.
    Therefore, Liberia’s government should only identify projects and then let those foreign partners come and carry on the development.

    Sorry for the previous comment.

  6. Thank God and thank God for Liberia newly elected president a God sent as we Liberian awaited over the years, now we will see that Liberia will come back to normal days as in the 80s, thanks to the French government for there support and the world Bank once again, truly you will not be lead down, Liberia now have a God fearing president that we can assure you that every things will be well, this government is the last hope we have

  7. Thank you France.
    As it is always said, loan, financial aids and other grants to African countries, are not the solution. Our solution is well equipped universities, train human resources. We need well train doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc….The junta government of 1980 to 1990 received 500 hundred millons dollars from the Reagan administration. The government received the money in May of 1980. By 1984, Liberian government went default on civil servants payrolls. 400 hundred million was squandered in just in just 48 months.

    Our people think receiving loan, aids and grants will solve our problem?

    Most of our government employees or inspiring government employees see government jobs as a mean to enriched themselves. Some Liberians around the world are rushing down to Monrovia to get in government, to saphon cash back to their spouses and acquaintances in the diasporas.

    Until we can change the way we think towards our country, no amount of financial handouts will solve our problem. This is my opinion, I stand corrected.

  8. The above comments are fantastic.
    I have not seen a situation on this blog where a majority of respondents have spoken so unanimously.

  9. Arithematic to Liberia’s Money Management (My contribution)
    I did a simple arithematic in MM that could increase yearly donors revenue (domestic and foreign Liberians) to $100,000,000.00 by using pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.
    BRIEF:
    1. Increases will depend on the number of quantity per day and participants leaving days per month and number of months/yr. constant
    2. The administrative and economic remedies must depend on incentive to donors, cutback in top officials salaries and benefits and other measures for motivation. 3. Allocation of projects and effective and efficient auditing
    4. Ways to encourage participation that will reduce government borrowing and 5. More
    Now, when it comes to taxes; I presented a chart and a brief explanation few years ago but will do so again with more details.
    “WE CANNOT SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS WITH THE SAME THINKING WHEN WE CREATED THEM.” –Albert Einstein

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