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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

GOL, AFDB SIGN US$40 MILLION LOAN FOR MANO RIVER ROAD DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSPORT FACILITATION PROJECT

Date:

–Boosting Regional Integration And Trade In The Mano River Union

MONROVIA – The Government of Liberia (GoL) and the African Development Bank (AFDB) have joined hands in a milestone agreement, signing a $40 million loan for the Mano River Road Development Transport Facilitation Phase 1 project. This initiative aims to enhance road infrastructure and promote intra-community trade within the Mano River Union area.

The loan will support the upgrading of 48.5 km of roads in Liberia and 39 km in Sierra Leone to bitumen standards. Additionally, feasibility studies will be conducted for an additional 97 kilometers of roads in Liberia, further advancing the region’s transportation network.

Finance and Development Planning Minister, Boima S. Kamara, expressed his gratitude to the AFDB for their support in road infrastructure and other areas of development. He emphasized the significance of the loan agreement, stating, “Today we are signing a loan support from the African Development Bank through the African Development Bank fund to support financing the fourth phase of the road development and Transport Facilitation Program for Sierra and Liberia.”

The Road Development and Transport Facilitation program was initially signed by the AFDB in 2012 as part of a special initiative to bolster the post-conflict recovery of the Mano River Union area. The program aims to improve road infrastructure and promote intra-community trade, fostering regional integration.

Minister Kamara highlighted that the approved loan covers an ADF grant worth US$40 million for Sierra Leone and a US$24 million grant for Liberia. Moreover, Liberia will receive an additional US$16 million loan from the Transitional Support Facility (TSF) pillars 1.

Mr. Benedict Sorie Kanu, the African Development Bank Country Manager to Liberia, emphasized the timeliness and value-added nature of the project. He explained that the program includes not only road rehabilitation but also the development of socio-economic facilities and support for women and youth associations to promote private enterprise. The project is expected to create over 2000 jobs during the construction phase, with a focus on empowering 30 percent women and enhancing regional integration and trade.

The program aims to improve the standard of the roads connecting Beudu to Koindu in Sierra Leone, linking Liberia and Guinea, as well as the John Davies Town to Zwedru section on the Fish Town-Zwedru axis in Liberia. By boosting the safety and trade of the regional corridor, the project will enhance accessibility and the quality of life for local communities.

Halima Hashi, the African Development Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone, highlighted that the project will not only open up the region but also generate much-needed jobs for young men and women during the construction and maintenance phases.

The signing ceremony, attended by key officials from Liberia, the African Development Bank, and the Public Works Ministry, signifies the significant progress made in advancing regional integration and trade in the Mano River Union. The collaboration between the GoL and AFDB sets the stage for a brighter future, fostering economic growth and development in the region.

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