The Federal Republic of Germany has committed to provide more support to Liberia, including the attraction of private investments that will help the country in its post Ebola recovery efforts.
German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Muller, who led a 30-member German delegation to Liberia, made the commitment during a press briefing jointly held with Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan over the weekend at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill.
The Dr. Muller-led delegation, which was co-led by the German Minister of Health, Herr Hermann Groehe, was in the country primarily to assess the impact of German contribution to the Government of Liberia’s fight against Ebola and to discuss the possibilities for strengthening German-Liberian financial and technical cooperation.
"As I told the President, this country must not fall into depression now or after the Ebola crisis; that is why we need to make considerable investment in infrastructure and in the agricultural sector… That is why we have taken the decision to double our support in the coming years,” the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development said through an interpreter.
Dr. Muller, who emphasized that private investment is paramount to the development of any nation, disclosed that his government will lobby with private sector actors in Germany to attract private investments to Liberia.
Dr. Muller and delegation, which also included two members of the German Parliament, met and held talks with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf prior to the stakeout and indicated that as a result of the excellent relationship subsisting between President Sirleaf and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, two important development issues have been included on the agenda of the forthcoming Group of Seven (G7) Conference.
The two issues, said Dr. Muller, are creating a fair value chain aimed at producing a fair standard of production in developing countries and empowering women through technical vocational education.
Dr. Muller urged Liberians to continue the fight against corruption by engaging in efficient governance and to further strengthen the rule of law, adding, “These are the bases and required bureaucracy which attract private investment.”
He also gave assurance that the German government will solidify its diplomatic and bilateral ties with Liberia by increasing support to the country's energy, agriculture and education sectors.
The 30-member German team also included two members of the German Parliament and several German journalists and civil society actors.
Liberian Foreign Minister Ngafuan, on behalf of President Sirleaf and the Government and People of Liberia, conveyed profound gratitude to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Government and people of Germany for their unswerving support to Liberia both during good and bad times.
"We in Liberia are not only grateful that officials of the German Government could visit Liberia, but also we take positive note of the size and composition of the delegation, which speaks volumes about the strength of the bilateral relations between our two countries and Germany’s firm commitment to being a stronger partner with our country in good as well as in bad times."
The 30-member German delegation is the largest to visit Liberia in recent times.
A foreign Ministry release said Minister Ngafuan praised the German Government and people for their demonstration of strong solidarity with the Liberian Government during and after the Liberia civil war and in particular during the critical time of the Ebola Virus pandemic.
"Not only did the Government of Germany keep its diplomatic mission operational throughout and including the peak of the pandemic, but we were honored to have been visited in September 2014 by Ambassador George Wilfried Schmidt, Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel and by Mr.Walter J. Lindner, German Ebola Coordinator to West Africa in October 2014. It is good to have Ambassador Lindner, back again."