Germany was one of those nations whose military and civilian personnel set up medical centers in Liberia during the deadly Ebola crisis in 2014. The efforts of all of Liberia’s international partners helped beat back the virus and stop its transmission.
After all of his country’s contributions, the German Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Ralph Timmermann, told an audience comprising foreign diplomats and senior Liberian Government officials, including Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai that the Federal Republic of Germany will continue to support Liberia in its forward march.
Amb. Timmermann made the statement when he delivered a speech on his country’s 25th Unity Day, which fell on Saturday, but was celebrated on Monday, October 5.
The German Envoy said Germans still remember their own devastating post- World War II destruction and that without help from outside it would have been impossible for his country to get back on its feet. He declared, “Germany will continue to help Liberia to help itself.”
He stated however that from their historical experience no amount of external assistance can replace strong democratic institutions and good governance. “That is why I welcome the steps taken by the Government of Liberia to fight corruption in all its forms and urge it to deepen and strengthen this fight.”
No amount of external assistance can be a substitute for inclusive growth, which is a driver of sustainable development, Amb. Timmermann further stated.
While stating that investment conditions in Liberia for foreign and domestic investors have improved in recent years, he, however, cautioned that much still remains to be done. He praised the good historical track record of German companies in Liberia.
“There exists a good legacy from the past which we can build on. It is my conviction that Liberia as well as my own country would benefit greatly from increased trade and investment links with my country and as German Ambassador, I will do my best to promote them.”
Touching on the bilateral relationship between Liberia and Germany, Mr. Timmermann stated that it has never been stronger than in recent years.
“Apart from the massive engagement of Germany in the fight against Ebola, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited my country no less than 3 times in the past 18 months, twice upon the invitation of the German Chancellor Mrs. Angela Merkel in the G7-outreach conferences, which Germany chairs this year. There was also a high level joint visit to Monrovia in April of this year of the German Ministers for Health and for Economic Cooperation, accompanied by a large delegation of parliamentarians from the German Bundestag and German media,” Amb. Timmerman recalled.
Responding, Vice President Boakai praised and thanked the German Embassy for putting off celebrating their Unity Day in 2014 as a mark of solidarity with Liberia, which was still battling the Ebola virus disease.
Regarding German Unity Day celebration, Vice President Boakai recalled that approximately 28 years ago, the Berlin Wall was torn down. The wall which was constructed in 1961, divided the German people into East and West Germany.
The Vice President acknowledged that since becoming a united Germany, the country has become one of the largest economic powers in Europe and that Liberia can learn many positive things from a united Germany’s experiences.
He stated that the German government has demonstrated “strong solidarity with the Government of Liberia during and after its civil war and in particular during the critical time of need as Liberians battled with the unprecedented outbreak of the Ebola virus disease.”
The Vice President stated that Germany’s benevolence has further strengthened the ties between the two nations.