GoL, AFDB sign US$40M Loan Project

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The Government of Liberia and the African Development Bank have signed a $40 million loan agreement for the Mano River Road Development Transport Facilitation Phase 1 project. The agreement aims to enhance road infrastructure and boost intra-community trade in 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 standard, along with feasibility studies for an additional 97 kilometers of roads in Liberia. Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima S. Kamara, who signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia, thanked the Bank for the level of support to road infrastructure and other areas of development. “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,” he said. It can be recalled that the Bank signed the Road Development and Transport Facilitation program in 2012 under a special initiative to boost the cost-conflict recovery of the Mano River Union area by improving road infrastructure and promoting intra-community trade.

Minister Kamara said the approval of the loan by the Bank covers an ADF grant worth US$40 million for Sierra Leone and a US$24 million for Liberia, adding that Liberia will also receive an additional US$16 million loan from the Transitional Support Facility (TSF) Pillars 1. For his part, the African Development Bank Country Manager to Liberia, Benedict Sorie Kanu, underscored the timeliness, relevance and value-added of the program as it builds on the ongoing phases  aimed at boosting regional integration and trade in the Mano River Union. He explained that the project also includes rehabilitating cross-border infrastructure, developing socio-economic facilities, and supporting women and youth associations to promote private enterprise.

He also said  the program is expected to create over 2000 jobs during the construction phase, with a focus on empowering 30 percent women and improving regional integration and trade. Moreover, he  noted that the program is intended to help improve the standard of the roads connecting Beudu to Koindu in Sierra Leone linking Liberia and Guinea and the John Davies Town to Zwedru section on the Fish Town-Zwedru axis in Liberia. “This signing today will boost the safety and trade of the regional corridor and accessibility and quality of life for local communities,’’ he added. In a statement, the African Development Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone, Halima Hashi, indicated that in addition to opening the region, the project will generate many urgently needed jobs for young men and women during the construction and maintenance phases. Public Works Minister Roland L. Giddings also explained how the program is being financed in phases of which Phase I is near completion covering Cote d’ivoire, Liberia and Guinea, while Phase II will cover Liberia and Cote d’ivoire and Phase III will cover Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Minister Giddings noted that on December 14, 2023, the Board of Directors of African Development Fund (ADF) through the African Development Bank Group, in the city of Abidjan, approved US$80 million to finance IV of the Mano River Union Road development and transport facilitation program (MRU/RDTFP). Friday’s signing ceremony was attended by key officials from Liberia, the African Development Bank, and the Public Works Ministry, highlighting the significance of this development initiative.

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