African Development Bank President Commits to Paving Fish Town-Harper Highway;
President Sirleaf Expresses Warm Appreciation
(MONROVIA, LIBERIA – Wednesday, September 19, 2012) The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Donald Kaberuka, says the Bank has committed itself to financing the full asphalt pavement of the Fish Town-Harper Highway in southeastern Liberia. The project, estimated at nearly US$50 million, will commence this Dry Season.
Speaking during a media stakeout in the foyer of the Foreign Ministry following a working lunch with the President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and members of her Cabinet, Dr. Kaberuka said, “We will begin without delay, except normal technical delays, the pavement of that particular piece of infrastructure, and I look forward, in the coming months, to working with other partners to be able to extend the road to other parts of the country.” He noted that the road is extremely important for the country and the region.
According to an Executive Mansion release, last year, the AfDB financed the rehabilitation of the Fish Town-Harper Highway into an all-weather road. It was dedicated by Vice President Joseph N. Boakai this year.
Highlighting other issues, the AfDB President said that his institution will also look at a number of regional projects that they would undertake to link Liberia with its neighbors, to exploit the country’s full potential.
Dr. Kaberuka commended President Sirleaf for what her Government has achieved since his last visit to Liberia in 2006. He indicated that Liberia’s economy, which will grow by nearly 8 percent, is a major achievement. “I was here in 2006, and I saw the beginning of the long road of reconstruction. I can see that Liberia has come a long way,” he said, adding that even with the global financial crisis, Liberia’s progress has continued. He indicated that though Liberia’s progress will be gradual and will take some time, Liberia is on the right path, and the AfDB is happy to provide modest support to these achievements.
Concluding, Dr. Kaberuka said, “I take back memories of encouragement for all of us to continue working together to ensure that the country continues moving on.”
Speaking earlier, President Sirleaf expressed warm appreciation to Dr. Kaberuka for the visit, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia. She said it was the ingenuity and performance of Dr. Kaberuka, while serving as Finance and Economic Planning Minister of Rwanda, that that country is now considered exemplary and a model.
President Sirleaf noted that, based on his performance, he was chosen to serve as President of the AfDB and he has brought to that institution the dynamism and commitment that has led the Bank to be one of the startling financial institutions today.
She observed that, since his visit to Liberia in 2006, Dr. Kaberuka, through the AfDB, has provided budgetary support in the areas of governance, infrastructure and agriculture, among other sectors. “The AfDB has proven to be a great partner and, on behalf of the Liberian people, we want to tell him how much we appreciate the support he has brought that has enabled us achieve the progress we have made over the years.”
During his two-day visit to Liberia to assess the level of development in the country, Dr. Kaberuka also held discussions with the Minister of Finance, other government officials, and the leadership of the Houses of Senate and Representatives. He was hosted to a dinner at the Monrovia City Hall on Tuesday evening, and had a working lunch with President Sirleaf on Wednesday. Before his departure, Dr. Kaberuka officially dedicated the AfDB’s Field Office in Oldest Congo Town.
The AfDB’s operations in Liberia date back to 1972, but were disrupted during the civil war. It is focused on poverty reduction, revitalizing economic activities and rehabilitating infrastructure for basic service delivery. Since the restoration of civility in Liberia, the Bank has made significant progress in helping to restore peace and stability, paving the way for increased economic and development activities in the country.