-Says VP Taylor
Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor says the Chinese-built ministerial complex in Congo Town, outside Monrovia signifies “special relations” between Liberia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
VP Taylor made the statement on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at souvenir program marking the official dedication of the facility.
“This building signifies a very special relationship that has existed between the PRC and the people of Liberia for many years,” the Vice President said, thus affirming Liberia’s commitment to upholding the “One China Policy.”
Accordingly, the facility is expected to host the ministries of Education, Commerce, Gender, Children and Social Protection, Labor, Agriculture, and the Civil Service Agency, thereby reducing rental cost on government.
VP Taylor continued: “As we celebrate this monumental achievement, it is proper to give thanks to President George Weah and the government for ensuring that this project ended successfully.”
She also expressed gratitude to former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for initiating the construction of the Ministerial Complex, stating, “President Sirleaf’s legacies remain as they are, and we are happy that you are here to witness the formal dedication of this facility.”
“As we look at our skyline building, we know that there are more beautiful buildings in the making. But let us maintain this building by keeping it tidy as the way we have received it,” VP Taylor said.
Zhou Yuxiao, Chinese Ambassador for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Affairs, said the ministerial complex, constructed by the Jiangsu Construction Engineering Group, is another large-scale China-aided infrastructure after the completion of the annexes of the Capitol Building in Monrovia. Amb. Zhou also served as Ambassador of China to Liberia from June 2007 to April 2011, and Ambassador to Zambia from April 2011 to August 2014.
FOCAC concluded its third summit meeting in Beijing in September, 2018, reflecting on the key tenets of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which guides China’s foreign policy objectives.
According to him, the facility will enable the government to save a significant amount of rental fees, relieve the chronic headache of office space shortages and provides a decent environment for its functionaries.
“I believe that the Liberian government can better advance the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, and better serve its people under the leadership of President Weah. Again, this project could not be possible without the devoted efforts of our governments, our engineers and our workers,” Amb. Zhou declared to the delight of many of his compatriots in at the occasion.
He said the construction of the building writes a new chapter in both countries’ bilateral relations, and serves as a new milestone in the promotion of the traditional friendship and common development.
Amb. Zhou reaffirmed the Chinese Government’s commitment to uphold China-Africa unity and friendship through concrete actions.
“Standing firmly by the Liberian people, we will take the opportunity of implementing the eight major initiatives announced at the FOCAC Beijing Summit and promoting the Belt and Road Initiative to support the Liberian government, and expand our cooperation through infrastructure, agriculture, and health,” Amb. Zhou said.
The Minister of Public Works, Mabutu V. Nyenpan, recounted that on September 27, 2011, the Liberian government and the PRC entered into and signed an agreement based on economic and technical cooperation, through which the two countries have their collaborative agenda on trade, infrastructure and capacity-building.
In the same vein, he said a supplementary technical support coordination agreement for the ministerial complex was signed on September 2012 between both parties for the construction of the ministerial complex,” Nyenpan said.
The total construction area of the China-aided project of the ministerial complex is about 24,000 square meters, which includes offices, meeting rooms, lecture halls, multifunctional conference hall, archive room, administration rooms, and dining hall. It also has 255 parking spaces.
There are also other auxiliary facilities, which include water pump room (reservoir), substations and distribution room, generator room. Some parts of the building are already well-furnished.