German Ambassador to Liberia, Ralph Timmermann, has declared that Liberia owes no debt to the Federal Republic of Gemany. He explained all amounts his country has contributed to the development of Liberia have been in the form of grants.
Ambassador Timmermann’s comment came following concerns from some corners of the public over whether Liberia’s current debt still stands following the waiving of about US$2 billion debt; giving the country the chance to pursue further loans.
Germany’s relationship with Liberia has a long history, dating as far back as the 1800s when Liberia got her independence in 1847.
This relationship puts Liberia in a better position to get loans from Germany since the country (Liberia) now has a respectable standing in the world financial sector.
In an interview with the Daily Observer, Ambassador Timmermann said the debt Liberia had for Germany was cancelled, and that all funds coming from the German Government to the country are intended to assist recovery from the civil conflict and help Liberians have a better standard of living.
Outlining some projects to which Germany has contributed funds; Ambassador Timmermann named the West Africa Power Pool, the Mount Coffee Hydro Project and other areas in Agriculture and Solar Energy as key priority areas his country is investing in.
He underscored that the German NGO GIZ provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Lands, Mines & Energy, and also works with the Liberia Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (LEITI) to create a better resource governance system.
Aside from these undertakings, he said Germany provides logistical assistance to Liberia’s security sector; including the Liberian National Police.
He explained that prior to the Liberian civil crisis; Germany was in a long standing relationship with Liberia, with German companies like the Bong Mining Company operating in the country. He noted that his country was one of the first to recognize Liberia’s independence in the 19th century, which is the foundation of their relationship.
Sharing his impression of how funds provided by Germany are used, Ambassador Timmermann noted that more still needed to be done. He, however, lauded the efforts of Lands, Mines & Energy Minister, Patrick Sendolo, for the role he plays to ensure that the hydro project be completed and Liberians receive cheap electricity.
Germany has contributed US$75 million for the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee hydro plant, which is expected to be completed by 2015.
Some German companies are currently engaged in developing the energy sector by providing technical knowledge to locals to build new models of coal pots for cooking and share knowledge on how to harness solar energy under the program, “Energizing Development Partnership.”