France to Invest Significantly in Liberia

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Liberian President George Manneh Weah in bilateral talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drain in Accra, Ghana

— As ​President Weah meets French Foreign Minister

President George Manneh Weah has held bilateral talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drain on the margins of the inaugural ceremonies of Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo in Accra. 

During the meeting yesterday, President Weah and the Minister stressed the importance of the strong ties that exist between their nations and discussed ways of improving the Franco-Liberian relationship. According to a press release from MICAT, Minister Le Drain thanked the Liberian government for its continuous efforts at consolidating the democratic gains the country has made under the Weah administration.

He cited the just ended Senatorial elections as a testament to the country’s strong democratic credentials. The Minister also committed on behalf of the French government and people, to make “significant” investments in Liberia. He assured President Weah of French support through the strong francophone bloc it has on the African continent.

The French Foreign Minister emphasized that the presence of Air France in Liberia is symbolic of the Franco-Liberian cooperation, which he said needs to be expanded. Also discussed was the need for “practical French support” to Liberia alongside the realm of multilateral institutions, such as the IMF.

While praising the Liberian government’s efforts at ensuring macroeconomic stability, Minister le Drain said that the country’s huge debt stock inherited by President Weah remains a huge constraint and an economic albatross hindering development. 

He said President Emmanuel Macron has committed to leading a strong effort on the part of the French government to ensure the reduction through the cancellation of Liberia’s debt portfolio.

On the security front, Foreign Minister le Drain and President Weah discussed the insurrection in the Sahel region of West Africa, Maritime security in the wake of an increase in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and Liberia’s role in Mali. They also explored enhanced security cooperation through a similar military pact the French have with Cote d’Ivoire. They agreed a firm commitment on this will be made when the Minister visits Liberia in April.

President Weah assured the French government through Minister le Drain that both countries have the same desire to see peace in the region and therefore welcomed the possibility of collaboration on that front. He informed the Minister that Liberia is taking “practical steps” to fight terrorism.

The Liberian Leader then highlighted the need for more support to the Armed Forces of Liberia and other security apparatuses. He said such support and cooperation should come in the form of training and logistical support. Foreign Minister Dee-Maxwell Kemayah, Maritime Commissioner Eugene Nagbe and NPA Managing Director Bill Twehway also formed a part of the discussions.

21 COMMENTS

  1. My fellow compatriots, please put your hatred or vexation aside momentously and take a listen……the French Foreign Minister’s recent visit to Liberia should not be underrated in anyway or construed as a waste of time. Please consider the following bullet points:

    *. Mr. le Drain’s visit means that democracy (although it needs minor improvement in Liberia) is alive and well under Weah’s leadership. Example, the French Foreign Minister states unequivocally that the recent Senatorial elections went well. Please let’s not have any argument here. Weah’s party didn’t do too well, but at the same time, Weah did not cheat any of the Senatorial contenders neither did he motivate or encourage insurrectionists to disrupt peace and tranquility nationwide.

    *. Because of the fact that Democracy in Liberia is sailing almost 100% smoothly, the French Foreign Minister states that French investors will be encouraged to do their part in terms of investing in Liberia.

    *. Mr. le Drain states very clearly that the Weah government inherited humongous amount of foreign debt.

    There are tough times in Liberia. Jobs are in short supply and because of that, unemployment is high on the charts. Hospitals are needed. Competent doctors are needed. Running water and electricity are an absolute must. Schools need improvement.

    Slice it anyway you prefer.
    But progress is being made under Weah.

    ☮️

    • Don’t be naive, and let not Liberia be naive! This is the same France that is still shamelessly pulling billions of dollars out of Africa in the name of paying for the de-colonization of some African countries, including some that are Liberia’s own neighbours. Without Africa, France will become a penniless ‘highly indebted poor third world’ country as they refer to much of Africa today. We have more than enough human and natural resources to aid our own development. Why do we continue to sell and bastardise Liberia and our future to nations who clearly don’t care about us??? China is cutting in deep. A South Korean company is now rummaging our forests for loot! Likewise, France is on its way. Not to mention other rogues who came before them, and mostly likely to follow! When will we learn to stand for ourselves as a nation richly endowed by Almighty God? Let’s stop begging and taking pan-in-hand to every conference and meeting of nations where we should be taking our rightful place as co-equals. Shameful and utterly disgraceful to be a nation begging for aid even at another nation’s presidential inauguration ceremony! Don’t forget why we were invited to Ghana and let’s stop being naive…France will never save or develop Liberia – we should and we can by God’s grace. Let’s get to work and stop begging and stop being corrupt!! Let’s love ourselves and love our country…that’s all we’ve got!

      • Thank, you, Theanu!
        Speak out loud to our people.

        Le Drain’s visit being described as a sign of democracy? Laughable, compatriot Hney! Do you see democracy in the African countries le Drain’s visits all the time? The Togo dynasty? The Guinean Conte? Cameroun and Biya? Cote d’Ivoire and 3rd term? Etc.?

        If you want to gauge his visit to democracy and you stand for it, you must begin to cry because wherever they show their face in Africa, they must instate dictatorship. A French president has said loud and clear, “Africa is not mature for democracy”.

        Liberia will start nation building as of January 2024, don’t worry! Weah has nothing to propose, but to sell our land to dodgy economic operators.

    • With His Excellency President Dr. George Forky Klon Jlaleh Gbah Ku GbehTarpeh Manneh Weah having “made such much infrastructural developments and other social capitals ranging from post modern roads throughout the country, building of hospitals, in just under three years amid his regular payments of inherited debts within an inherited deteriorated economy“ as..

      (1) extolled and cherish by every single Liberian, and as reverberated by renowned public international civil servants of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and now resounded by the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drain, we are ..

      (2) supremely confident that with the pouring in of significant and massive French trade and investments into Liberia, juxtaposed with the already international agreements towards tumultuous trade and investments into Liberia from the UAE, with

      (3) RACIST DONALD TRUMP THE STUMBLING BLOCK OF SUCH DEVELOPMENTS FROM AMERICA NOW OUT OF THE WAY FOR GOOD, U.S. MULTINATIONALS which are

      (4) currently sitting on more than 2 trillion dollars in cash inside the US prevented by racist Trump from investing in what racist Trump insulted as “shithole countries“, , SHALL..

      (5) NOW be encouraged by the peoples President Joe Biden to make, like France and the UAE,, massive and significant trade and investments towards Liberia’s major sources of economy such as mining, agriculture, fishing, rubber, iron ore, diamond, gold, maritime, timber, logging, etc.

  2. Mr. Theanu,
    According to le Drain, Weah inherited IMF debt from his predecessor. France is one of the countries that lends money to poorer African countries. If Liberia’s debt is not forgiven, there’ll be no way in which the Liberian economy will rebound.

    What Do We Have?
    I am not naive! I know we’ve got mountains of iron ore and other rich minerals. We’ve got Nimba Mountain, for instance. I also know that France does not have iron ore mountains. So who do the French people rely on for iron ore? Africans, of course!

    Questions…..
    Does Liberia have the capability/manpower to do a mining work at Mount Nimba?

    Does Liberia have good schools?

    Do Liberians have a 24-hour electricity and a good running water system?

    When did Liberia declared independence?

    Do Liberians have good gas stations? I am a proud Marylander. In 2014, a cousin of mine who visited Pleebo in Maryland county told me that there was no gas station there! There could be a few gas stations there today.

    Sir Theanu, like you, I am a proud Liberian. But we’ve got humongous problems of our own in Liberia. In a poor country like Liberia, politicians sign concessions, build public schools in their respective counties and earn over $100,000 per year. How on Earth are we going to stop the French, South Koreans, Indians, Chinese and others from pillaging our country?

    We don’t have a thing to brag about! You can say we have timber….but students who attend Liberian schools do not have enough desks!!!!!!!! I have seen it first hand!!!!

    In order for teachers to be paid, it’s okay for poor Weah to entice investors. The country is cash-strapped. Something has to be done. Poor Weah is trying!

    I am knowledgeable. I see what the French do in Africa. I don’t see all of it, but I Know very well that France cannot survive without Africa. So let’s reason together. The French are using their heads. What on earth are we doing? Brag?

    As old as we are, we can’t build a bike in Liberia.
    Government officials ride in expensive cars, eat cow meat every day and chase little girls in order to satisfy their sex drive. Is this any form of progress? Lawmakers go to Ghana for medical treatment. Why can’t we train our boys and girls? VP Howard-Taylor went to Ghana last year for treatment. Isn’t that shameful.

    If we’re not going to fess up, the French will use us. Weah is dealing with the French in order to get something done. I think it’s a genius idea.

    • Thanks, Hney. I thoroughly understand where you’re coming from, and appreciate your position. Thanks also for being so civil and understanding in your response here. It’s a good thing that we (Liberians) are beginning to at least talk about issues that concern our nation. I think our real enemy is corruption and bad leadership / governance. Maybe, that’s where we should start so that others can take us seriously. And maybe when this is first taken care of, we will be able to break even in business dealings with other nations and investors no matter their ulterior motives. Thanks again. Theanu.

  3. We need to work on education for ourselves!
    The Koreans did it, we must do it.
    Stop calling in people who will exploit us all the time.

  4. What a good gesture on the part of Mr. Le Drain! Nevertheless, the ball is right in President Weah’s court, since a major perception of him in the global community is he is considered as an extremely corrupt leader.

    Quite recently Germany and some other European countries that have their presence in Liberia had to scale their activities down. According to statements that came from these embassies, monies that were often donated to the Liberian government were diverted to causes for which they were not intended.

    Anyway, all things considered, this is what the Liberian people have been expecting, and that is a president who would translate these expensive trips to foreign countries into tangibles. Making none value added trips with large entourages and indulging in wasteful spending, while the people cannot afford to send their children to school and neither government cannot meet its payroll obligations to its employees, just wouldn’t cut it.

    No one takes the job of the presidency lightly; the citizens know that it is a job that is grueling and it demands a lot of intellectual input from the incumbent (current) president and his coterie of qualified cabinet ministers. And when I use the word “incumbent” I am relating to the fact that many of the decisions that affect the citizens in profound ways are in his hands now, and no no longer in the hands of the past leaders.

    Liberians of all walks of life do agree on the many faults of Tubman, Tolbert, Samuel Doe, Charles Taylor, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and so forth. But one fact we need not to always ignore is in the same token, they expect the incumbent President Weah to live-up to his constitutional oath and deliver on his promises.

    The verdict that was just rendered at the ballot boxes quite recently by the people was a testament against how President Weah is running the country and not Ellen because no matter what, her days are gone. The buck now stops at Weah’s office and so they feel he should step up to the plate and lead! This is fair enough.
    .

  5. all liberians presidents do is beg for money and these stupid first world nations give it away to the leaders and not the people

  6. George Manneh Weah has a special place in the heart of France. Some of his Liberian critics may deny this fact, but it is true. George was introduced to the world as Africa’s most hopeful up and coming sensation in international soccer, the world’s most populous sport, in France by French Division One teams. Manneh did not disappoint! From Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain Football Clubs in France, he also took his craft to Italy and Great Britain and declared to the world that he was not a fake. The rest is history.

    Many well-meaning Liberians who supported Weah for president since 2004 and stuck with him at various times, during the long period of his quest for the presidency, till his inauguration on January 22, 2018 did so because they knew that he is not a fake. They also knew that one day, Weah would become President of Liberia, in the face of numerous naysayings!

    For most of us Liberians who travelled around the world, we learned that George Weah became the best known Liberian around the world. His name, Weah, became synanymous with that of Liberia. This black African kid had endeared himself to millions, across the board, around the globe based on his humility, prowess, and savvy on the soccer field.

    The French have certainly not forgotten Weah, no, not so soon. It has never done on them to forget the most brilliant African soccer player, ever, whose genius they have unearthed and ushered on to the world scene. It was with this prestine record, in the eyes of the world, that George Weah finally won his way to the Presidency of Liberia. His problems began, when he traded the friends that helped him through all these years, with the ones he now has, hand picked by himself. You are the judge.

    The French are making him an offer. It depends on what the economic advisors, and others, around Weah will advise for the common good of Liberia and all Liberians.

    • YES george weah is a great man surrounded by fools. Liberia is now the poorest nation of the planet.. Who cares about the soccer player those days are over. What is he doing to help the Liberian people to get out of poverty. PRO POOR IS NOW JUST A MONIKER. weah aint sh*t. but a butthead leader who goes around building mansions but not improving the economy show me ONE AREA OF IMPROVEMENT IN THE LIBERIAN ECONOMY………………………………………

  7. Thanks conrade Theanu,
    I appreciate the civility in you and your intellectualism.

    I’m the kind of Marylander who reasons with my fellow compatriots. It’s not my style to bomb or blow people out of the water who disagree with me. But I will re-visit my way of life pretty soon.

    Corruption….
    As matters relate to corruption, you’re right!
    My belief is that corruptionn is ingrained in the DNA of most Liberian politicians. Corruption started in 1847 when the settlers declared independence. Sadly because of survival, corruption in Liberia has matastisized all over the country.
    Corruption can be found:
    * In the streets of Liberia,
    *. At the schools of Liberia,
    *. In the corridors of government Ministries,
    *. In the Chambers of the National Assembly,
    *. At the drinking Wells,
    *. In the bedrooms (funny, but true & serious)
    *. At the banks,
    *. At the markets,
    *. In the taxi cabs, on the buses. Even, bike & Kekeh riders are a little corrupt,

    *. “Some” girls and women are corrupt,
    * The ladies will ask…”but how’s about the men”? Anh they corrupt too?

    Response:. Yeah! Ladies, I am on your side. But please for heaven’s sake, I ain’t no gay! The men are also corrupt. “Most men, (but not all men) are so corrupt they some sometimes sound like bullfrogs”!

    *. Corruption can be found in the kitchens,
    *. Corruption can be found in the trees & grass,
    and just about everywhere in the republic.

    Yes, comrade Theanu, this is the opportune time for us to begin a serious discussion about our country. There are hundreds, if not thousands of educated Liberians who live in the diaspora. Some of them would like to contribute to the development process of our country. But they are stuck because things aren’t looking too good in the motherland.

    A Nigerian guy said this to me a few years ago, “if you can’t change them, join them”.

    Problem: As I said earlier, a very good number of talented Liberians would like to go home. But the talented Liberians cannot change them (the perfidious citizens who weld considerable power) and therefore a problem exists. The problem is this…..if you can’t change them, join them!

    There is a known African who thinks he’s got all the answers. Pretty soon, that particular African will show up. Watch it!

    Hang in there!

  8. Cummings has NEVER said he has all the answers.
    He is proposing a new way of doing things in Liberia to change the country. The old ways, since 1847, has left the country undeveloped for almost 2 centuries.

    Liberians are too “don”, too “czar”, etc. Cummings is telling Liberians to try the “gbeleh” lifestyle of the Ivorians, Ghanaians, Rwandans, Tanzanians, etc. for the lives of our people to change.

    Dear Liberians, try to be “gbeleh” in 2023. We are very rich; we need to live on our riches. Let’s stop begging for bread, America is not all to it; get your education from there and come back home to live comfortably like other Africans.

    Liberia will rise from the ashes of self-destruction!

  9. Charlse Anders

    The last paragraph of your comments in which you said, ” The French are making him an offer. It depends on what the economic advisors, and others, around Weah will advise for the common good of Liberia and all Liberians,” says everything.

    Just recently some of Weah’s top advisors have publicly admitted, the time has arrived for some members of his cabinet to either shape up or ship out; but, the question is: Is he able to summon the testicular fortitude to do what is right by putting the national interest before friends? Simply put, does he have the balls to summon the courage and perform his constitutional duties like he should? Only time will tell.

    And so I conclude by going back to an old parable, which origin I do not know, but it goes like this, “A carpenter is only as good as his tools.” If Weah wishes to turn things around, then he will have to make some tough decisions both for his political survival and for the good of the nation.

  10. why do these first world countries continue to invest in sharlatons and thieves like Tweah and Weah. the money is not given to the people but to the greedy politicians. Why doesnt France send a monitor from their country to ensure that the money is used wisely? the money goes into the general fund and therefore Tweah and Weah have easy access to it

  11. Absolutely! I’m glad, Britain, France and The United States are once again showing interests in Liberia. Let’s not forget. These are infact the three world power-Nations that established today’s Liberia in Africa. They should not; just let Liberia slip into total “ECONOMIC RUIN”. Let’s very much welcome Britain, France and The United States. They are Liberia’s best hope for recovery.

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