MONROVIA – The Government of Liberia, represented by Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah Jr., and the European Union Head of Delegation Ambassador Helene Cave on Friday May 22, signed two financing agreements totaling US$ 59 million.
Finance Minister Tweah, at the signing lauded Ambassador Helene Cave for what he termed as “consummate relationship” she provided to the government and people of Liberia.
“We heard that your mission here is over, but we want to say that you have provided enormous leadership to Liberia; you have taken EU-Liberia partnership to another level, and we see you as a Liberian,” Minister Tweah said, in recognition of Ambassador Cave’s work.
Minister Tweah said the EU has always reached out to Liberia in difficult circumstances, and their partnership has been excellent with Liberia. The two financing agreements, he added, signified a manifestation of the EU continuous support to Liberia.
The Finance Minister stated, the electrification project in the Southeast will relax Liberia binding constraints to growth.
Referencing an economy analysis carried out years ago, Minister Tweah said, “Without electricity and roads infrastructure, we can forget about economic transformation, and we know this funding is valid”.
For her part, EU Ambassador, Head of Delegation Helene Cave, speaking via WebEx said the projects are intended to improve the living conditions of rural communities, and to ensure that Liberians are trained with the right skills to meet the real needs of the economy.
“It is important that Liberia get human skills for the future, and this project will run for over six years,” Ambassador Cave said.
She disclosed that access to water and electricity remain paramount importance for any long term socioeconomic development, and the rural electrification will increase access to reliable renewable energy.
The EU delegation head said that the Union’s overall development envelope under the 11th European Development Fund for Liberia, has been committed.
However, the agreements are the Rural Electrification Programme prioritizing Liberia’s Southeast, valued at Euros 42 million and the EU support to demand- driven Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET), for young people in the country, valued also at Euros 12 million. The two projects are equivalent to over 59 million United States dollars.
The Rural Electrification Programme seeks to increase prosperity and to accelerate development in the country, through availability of sustainable Electricity in the Southeast of Liberia.
The EU TVET programme is geared towards improving the quality, relevance and modernization of TVET by strengthening links with the private sector, and by improving the governance, planning, management, and delivery capacity at government and TVET provider levels through the promotion of equitable and gender balanced access to TVET in target.