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Gov’t Signs US$40M Loan Agreement With AFDB

The Liberian Government and the African Development Bank (AFDB) have signed a whooping $40 million loan agreement for the Mano River Road Development Transport Facilitation Phase 1 project, aimed to enhance road infrastructure and boost intra-community trade in the Mano River Union area.
The loan, according to a Finance Ministry release, will support the upgrading of 48.5 km of roads in Liberia and 39 km in Sierra Leone to bitumen standard, along with feasibility studies for an additional 97 kilometers of roads in Liberia.
Finance and Development Planning Minister, Boima S. Kamara, signing on behalf of the Government of Liberia, thanked the Bank for the level of support to road infrastructure and other areas of development.
“Today, we are signing a loan support from the African Development Bank through the African Development Bank fund to support financing the fourth phase of the road development and Transport Facilitation Program for Sierra and Liberia,” Minister Kamara asserted.
It can be recalled that the Bank signed the Road Development and Transport Facilitation program in 2012 under a special initiative to boost the cost-conflict recovery of the Mano River Union area by improving road infrastructure and promoting intra-community trade.
Minister Kamara noted that the approval of the loan by the Bank covers an ADF grant worth US$40 million for Sierra Leone and a US$24 million for Liberia, adding that Liberia will also receive an additional US$16 million loan from the Transitional Support Facility (TSF) pillars 1.
For his part, the AFDB Country Manager to Liberia, Benedict Sorie Kanu, underscored the timeliness, relevance, and value of the program, as it builds on the ongoing phases aimed at boosting regional integration and trade in the Mano River Union.
He explained that the project also includes rehabilitating cross-border infrastructure, developing socio-economic facilities, and supporting women and youth associations to promote private enterprise.
According to him, the program is expected to create over 2000 jobs during the construction phase, with a focus on empowering 30 percent women and improving regional integration and trade.
Kanu noted that the program is intended to help improve the standard of the roads connecting Beudu to Koindu in Sierra Leone, linking Liberia and Guinea, and the John Davies Town to Zwedru section on the Fish Town-Zwedru axis in Liberia.
“This signing today will boost the safety and trade of the regional corridor and accessibility and quality of life for local communities’’ he added.
Meanwhile, the Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone, Halima Hashi, indicated that in addition to opening the region, the project will generate many urgently needed jobs for young men and women during the construction and maintenance phases.
Earlier, Public Works Minister, Roland L. Giddings, narrated how the program is being financed in phases, of which Phase I is near completion, covering Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, and Guinea, while Phase II will cover Liberia and Cote D’Ivoire, and phase III, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
Minister Giddings added that on December 14, 2023, the Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), through the African Development Bank Group, in the city of Abidjan, approved US$80 million to finance IV of the Mano River Union Road Development and Transport Facilitation Program (MRU/RDTFP).

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