Liberia, AfDB Sign Two Grant Agreements For Agric, Tourism Sectors
The Government of Liberia represented by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed two grant agreements to support the country’s agriculture and tourism sectors.
The agreements, according to Mrs. Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, AfDB Director General for West Africa Region, demonstrates the bank’s desire to always work with the Government and people of Liberia.In a press statement from AfDB Thursday, she said that the joint signing ceremony is intended to support the pursuit of Liberia’s development aspiration as contained in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
The AfDB regional director said with the first grant, the bank will have the opportunity to support the country’s agriculture sector Value Chain Development, which is one of the pillars of the PAPD.
She explained that the second grant is a Technical Advisory Assistance for Capacity Building support to the Liberia Revenue Authority that will support the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to look into developing the tourism sector to help broaden the revenue base of Liberia.
The Director General said the first grant supporting the agriculture value chain development is funded by the Korean Development Fund; and is in the amount of $274,000.00, while the second grant is US$155,000.00 supporting the tourism sector which is critical to making sure that domestic resource mobilized from the tourism sector is enhanced.
She hoped that the grants will clearly identify productive areas in the agriculture value chain in Liberia and provide a platform for the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to develop legal and organizational framework to ensure that the tourism sector can reap real benefits.
Augustus Flomo, Deputy Minister for Economic Management at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and an Alternate Governor for the African Development Bank for Liberia, represented Liberia at the African Development Bank Annual Meeting and signing ceremony.
Deputy Minister Flomo praised the bank for its continuous support to Liberia’s initiatives, especially the PAPD, citing that the bank’s engagement with Liberia has increased through its assistance and willingness to support the PAPD of President George Manneh Weah.
“Our development plan is the PAPD, approved last year, and since then, we have seen lot of commitment to achieving what we laid out in the plan,” Flomo said
He pointed out that the bank’s support to the agriculture sector is critical; because it is the sector that is going to turn the country’s economy into a positive direction.
Flomo noted that for many years the agriculture sector has been trying to make gains, but more work must be done, especially in value chain development which would help structure the agriculture sector for maximum results.
“When we achieve on these structural frameworks of the program, more results will be expected, so the bank support to the agriculture sector value chain development is commendable,” he said
The Deputy Minister believes that supporting the LRA to focus on potential revenue generation from the tourism sector is good and domestic resource mobilization is essential, stressing that without a strong revenue base, it would be challenging for government to meet its development agenda.
He added that the AFDB understands the real issues and hoped that Liberia could get more funding during the bank’s next funding circle in order to achieve its development.
He explained that with the bank helping to alleviate development challenges, it will not be difficult for growth to take place over time, stressing that Liberia will support the capital increase of the bank so that the bank raises more money to help countries in need.
On the PAPD, Flomo said Liberia is looking at infrastructure, especially roads, agriculture and others to move the country forward as Liberia has lot of potential for growth.