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Weah Launches $40m LIFT-P Project

By Alex Yomah
President George Manneh Weah has launched the US$40 Million Investment, Finance, and Trade Project (LIFT-P) which is being implemented by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry with support from the World Bank.
The Liberia Investment, Finance and Trade Project is intended to improve the investment climate, expand access to finance, and increase the efficiency of trade in Liberia.
The President envisaged that when the project shall have been completed, it will further improve trade and business environment in Liberia which is crucial for job creation and the economic empowerment of the people.
“I would like to express profound gratitude to the World Bank Group for the approval of the amount of $40 Million United States Dollars to support and implement the LIFT-P Project,” Weah stated.
He went further once again to demonstrate government’s commitment to making groundbreaking reforms across all sectors of the economy stating, “As we continue to receive the necessary support from donors and development partners, I believe that this support continues to be given more frequently, and in greater magnitudes, because my Administration continues to exhibit fiscal discipline and financial prudence in the implementation of these projects,” Weah stated.
He asserted that the project incorporates features that seek to address gaps that have been identified between men and women with respect to their participation in economic activities in the Liberian economy.
Weah stated further that it will monitor the extent to which activities are contributing towards closing gender gaps by measuring, among other things: the number of women-led Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) who will get trained under the program; the number of women-led SMEs that will get a loan through this project; and the number of National Single Window users who are women.
The President added that to assist with the facilitation of private investment, trade, and access to finance, “I am also told that the Project will support activities organized under three complementary components; Investment Climate and Trade; SME Access to Markets and Finance, and Digital Financial Services infrastructure.”
“There will also be a fourth component for project management, monitoring, and evaluation, as well as contingency emergency response,” he stated.
According to Weah, with the procurement of a new digital platform for the Liberia Business Registry under this Project, “I am also informed that the challenges faced with the registration of businesses and renewal of certificates will soon be over, as new businesses will now be able to be registered within a matter of hours, something which currently takes weeks to complete. This should considerably enhance the ease-of-doing-business index for Liberia.”
” I am further informed that the LIFT-P Project will support the National Single Window and the provision of a National Electronic Payment Switch. These new trading platforms will allow you to transact your business online, even if you are in your village or out of this country, and make instant payments between banks,” he stated.
He boasted that the project when completed; it would be the promise made to the Liberian people that they will not be mere spectators within their own economy.
‘We knew that we would have to create the enabling environment to enable them to contribute meaningfully and participate fully in every aspect of business, trade, and commerce. I am grateful that my promise becomes easier to fulfill through projects such as this,” Weah boasted.
He noted further that his government is fully committed to the implementation of this project, and intoned, “I trust that its success will inspire the World Bank to commit more resources in support of our national development plan, the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.”
“We will continue to provide the necessary political support, so that we create an environment that is so conducive for investment, trade, and commerce, that a clear message can be sent to the World that Liberia is open for exciting and profitable business opportunities for Liberians and foreigners alike,” he assured.
Meanwhile, the President has also signed a Book of Condolence of the late Yoram Cohen, describing him as a brother who was Chairman Emeritus of the Liberia Shipping and Corporate Registry (LISCR).
Cohen, who is credited for the establishment of LISCR, died recently following a period of illness. Minutes after signing the book of condolence, President Weah told reporters that the deceased was not just a friend to him but that he was also a brother.
“I am saddened by his passing,” the President said, adding, “He was a brother to me and our friendship, spanned many years. I will certainly miss him. God knows everything.”
The President was accompanied by an array of government officials who also signed the Book of Condolence in Mr. Cohen’s memory.
In a statement earlier issued following Mr. Cohen’s passing, the President fondly recalled the cooperation and assistance he received from the fallen LISCR’s founder during his soccer career.
“He was really a friend and a brother and we came long way after way after we developed a bond during the twilight of my football career,” President Weah stressed urging the bereaved family, as well as friends and coworkers of the late Cohen, to take solace in the Lord during this difficult time.

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