Liberia, EU Sign 6M Euros Agreement
-To Pave Sanniquelle To Loguatuo Road
The government of Liberia and the European Union (EU) on Thursday, October 25, 2018 singed an initial funding of six million Euros (US$ 6.87m) to pave the road connecting Sanniquelle to Loguatuo with asphalt.
The Sanniquelle-to-Loguatuo border road project is expected to be completed within 48 months at the cost of €6 million (about US$6.9 million), according to the Head of EU Delegation, Ambassador Hélène Cavé. The EU diplomat said that the amount is in addition to another €14.2 million that has already been galvanized from EU West African regional funds, bringing the total grant from EU to €20.2 million.
“The road will connect Côte d’Ivoire and facilitate and improve regional connectivity and trade between the two countries. Of course it will improve living conditions and the wellbeing of the population living in the area,” the EU envoy stated during the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in Monrovia on Thursday.
She further disclosed that the European Investment Bank has also committed €20 million so that the overall European contribution is €40.2 million.
The Loguatuo border road is the only remaining corridor of the West African Highway linking Nouakchott to Lagos via Dakar that had not yet secured a financing.
“The rest will be co-financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) who will be also the lead financing institution having the overall responsibility for the implementation of the project,” said Amb. Cavé.
She told Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and other officials of government that: “I would like to underline the good collaboration between the European Union Delegation and the AfDB concerning road construction in Liberia, but also in the region.”
EU’s collaboration with the AfDB also focuses on the other side of Liberia in Sierra Leone just after the border where the parties are partnering to complete the gap of 145 kilometers of road to facilitate Liberia’s connection to both neighboring countries.
Excited about the deal, Finance and Development Planning Minister Tweah, on behalf of the government, lauded the EU and AfDB for their continued support to road development in the country which, according to him, was a hallmark issue on the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
Minister Tweah reiterated that road connectivity is a key step for Liberia to attract a viable private sector that will create more jobs for the population, enabling the economy to take a skyward trend.
“Today, the economy is failing basically because we have not been able to develop a robust private sector that is resilient to shocks, that can grow jobs,” said Tweah.
With several national recovery efforts as well as the intervention of international partners underway, said Tweah, there’s hope for strong road infrastructure for Liberia under the CDC-led government.
He added that the government has already settled its obligation under the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), a program by which persons whose structures are affected by road construction can be compensated to relocate.
Liberia has only 500 kilometers of asphalted roads, most of which were recently upgraded with co-funding from the EU.
Of the international connecting roads, only the road to Sierra Leone is paved on the Liberian side, while all other international links are gravel roads that need to be improved, according to the EU Delegation to Liberia.