Liberia Fosters Ties with Korea -Emphasizes Leveraging Africa’s Vast Natural and Human Resources By: Julius Konton

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The Government of Liberia through the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sara Beysolow Nyanti has disclosed plans to forge a mutually beneficial partnership that fosters growth and development for both Africa and Korea regions. During the just ended Korea-Africa Summit which was convened under the Theme: The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth, Sustainability, and Solidarity’’, the discussions emphasized leveraging Africa’s vast natural and human resources alongside the Republic of Korea’s expertise in industrialization and technology. Speaking during a Special Press briefing at the Ministry of Information, Minister Nyanti said, the Korea-Africa submit sought to elevate both regions to new heights, focusing on mutual prosperity and collaboration to address global challenges such as climate change, food insecurity, health crisis, energy crisis and supply chain disruptions.  She recalled Liberia’s relationship with South Korea which dates far back when Liberia provided logistics support to Korea during the war.  Minister Nyanti at the same time recognized the huge support from the Korean government in facilitating the Liberian delegation trip to the Korea-Africa Summit ranging from air flights to public accommodation. Highlighting Liberia’s quest to regain its pre-war status, the Foreign Minister said, keen on the meaningful engagement with Korea is to establish mutually beneficial collaborations. Representing the government of Liberia at the Korea-Africa submit were, Liberia National Investment Commission, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. High during the visit was the signing of seven Memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Korean Multinational companies. These MOUs aim to improve key sectors identified by the ARREST AGENDA. According to a Foreign Ministry release, the details of these MOUs and the Key sectors they address are as follows: Energy Sector Enhancement, Agriculture Research and Food Productivity, Water Supply Accessibility, Financial Sector Investments and Job Creation. While,  Companies that have committed to these MOUs include Daehan Smart Meter Company, Samdo Electric Energy, Korea-Agro Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation, Korea SOiVA, R&D, The Africa Korea Economic Development Association and the MAKE Group. These companies she pointed out are aligned in their commitment to making a substantial difference in Liberia’s development. The Foreign Minister expressed optimism that the MOUs are indispensable and poised to bring about significant improvements in key sectors, thereby improving the livelihood of Liberians. Minister Nyanti reassured the public that the leadership under President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., is committed to the successful implementation of these MOUs.  Among other things, The commitment aims to create job opportunities, positively impact the livelihoods of the people, and open up the country’s economy, thereby establishing Liberia as a key investment and tourism destination. Additionally, Minister Nyanti pointed out that, the government anticipates increased investment and partnership between Korea and Liberia, especially in areas where Liberia offers strategic advantages, such as its young population, vast resources and administration’s focus on creating a business-friendly climate. On the issue of Liberians Returning from Ghana’s Buduburam Refugee Camp, The Government of Liberia, in collaboration with the Liberia Refugee, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), disclosed the successful repatriation of over 1300 Liberians who have been residing at the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana.  “This significant milestone marks a crucial step in the ongoing efforts to reintegrate and support Liberians displaced by past conflicts”, she noted. According to Foreign Minister Nyanti, the returnees were warmly welcomed at the Lougatou border by government officials, representatives from the LRRRC, and various humanitarian organizations. The repatriation process was meticulously planned to ensure the safety, dignity, and well-being of each returnee. She furthered, that the Comprehensive support services have been arranged for the returnees, including temporary housing, medical care, and access to educational and vocational training programs.  These efforts aim to facilitate a smooth transition and help the returnees become self-sufficient and active members of their communities.

The Buduburam Refugee Camp, established in 1990, became a temporary home for thousands of Liberians fleeing the civil wars. Over the years, numerous efforts have been made to either integrate refugees locally in Ghana or facilitate their voluntary repatriation to Liberia. The successful repatriation underscores the commitment of the Liberian government and international partners to uphold the rights and dignity of refugees.

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