President George Weah has been wooing a cross-section of business people and organizations in the State of Israel to Liberia’s diverse business opportunities, accentuating his determination to explore every available means that will pull the impoverished majority of Liberians out of poverty, a dispatch from Israel has said.
According to the dispatch, President Weah informed Israel’s senior officials and business executives that his mission to cement relations with Liberia’s traditional allies, including the State of Israel, is aimed at actualizing his government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Development (PAPD).
The PADP which seeks to give power to the people, create jobs and improve the economy and sustain the peace through good governance and transparency.
Weah’s sayings were contained in a statement delivered Tuesday, February 26, 2019, when he visited Israeli’s Agency for International Development, MASHAV in Tel Aviv, the Capital.
He hailed the people of Israel for the support rendered to Liberia’s agriculture, health and other sectors, including business.
President Weah reiterated his unwavering quest to improve the lives of every Liberia. He termed his election and the democratic formalities preceding it as a clear evidence of the strength of Liberia’s nascent democracy, respect for the rule of law, and the willingness of Liberians to live in harmony with each other.
“A sustainable and lasting peace can only be maintained when it is buttressed and underpinned by growth and prosperity for all,” the President said. He continued: “even as we realize this, and begin to formulate policies that would reduce poverty and improve the economic well-being of our people, we find our economy negatively impacted by external economic shocks, including reduction in global market prices for our major export commodities such an iron ore and rubber.”
The President added that this has led to an adverse balance-of-payment situation which has seen a depreciation of the Liberian dollar to the US dollar.
He told the assembly of Israeli business people and diplomats that agriculture and infrastructure development remain key to Liberia’s economy revitalization as the country is blessed with a small population and a significant endowment of natural resources.
He added, “Liberia has one of the highest rainforests in the world.” With MASHAV, the President said, Liberia needs the “Israeli experience.”
He said Israel over the years since its founding, has improved its infrastructures, increased food production through agriculture, and is now the leading technology hub. He noted further: “we are here at MASHAV, the Israel Agency for International Development and Cooperation; we are informed that MASHAV was established to assist friendly nations to overcome development challenges by sharing the know-how and technologies which provided the basis for Israel’s own development.”
As head of the Liberian Government, President weah said, “we can make tangible millions of dollars pumped in the country’s agriculture sector with shared knowledge in the areas of research and development of improved seeds, adaptation of new high-yield species and varieties, development and implementation of post-harvest practices.”
He said Liberia now seeks Israel’s collaboration and support for the purpose of introducing modern technologies and aggro-technical methods in the country. “Such knowledge and skills transfer would increase the levels and quality of agricultural production, and ensure food security and sustainable development,” Weah said.
“We are of the strongest conviction that the most effective means to a rapid reduction of poverty in our country is to develop our potential in the field of agricultural,” he said.
He also called for agro-financing to the private sector in major priority commodities such as rice, cocoa, coffee, and oil palm, saying, “Israel’s leadership in aggro-technology could also assist Liberia in the rapid transformation of the sector through the use of smart technologies.”
Following an overview of MASHAV’s ongoing activities in Liberia, its Director Ambassador, Gil Haskel, has offered to train qualified Liberians at its facilities in Israel in various areas of agriculture.
Haskel assured the President Weah and delegation that his organization would prioritize the interests of Liberia.