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Liberia Secures $80 Million in Financing for Governance and Energy Initiatives

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Monrovia, Liberia - The government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning (MFDP), and the world bank have signed two separate financing agreements worth 80 million us dollars.

Thirty million ($30 million) US dollars from the International Development Association (IDA) credit will be allocated to enhancing governance reform and accountability in the public sector, while forty-five million ($45 million) U.S. dollars will finance the strengthening and expansion of the Liberia Electricity Sector to the leeward counties. In addition, the country has also been awarded a Trust Fund grant of $5 million.

Speaking at the signing ceremony on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima S. Kamara emphasized the importance of energy, calling it the driving force behind the National Development Agenda (ARREST Agenda for Inclusive Development). Minister Kamara explained that energy impacts agriculture, the rule of law, rural infrastructure, sanitation, and tourism development, all for the benefit of the people. He also highlighted that the signing of the two agreements is a foundation for further support. He encouraged his colleagues across the government to compete for the $190 billion approved by the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) Board earlier in March 2024 to benefit the country and encourage the World Bank to invest in fiscal management.

World Bank Country Manager Georgia Wallen emphasized that the financing agreements aim to enhance transparency and boost domestic resource mobilization. Ms. Wallen noted that the Liberia Electricity Sector Strengthening and Access Expansion Project is designed to provide energy access to 500,000 people in rural areas.

Also speaking at the event, Mines and Energy Minister J. Wilmot Paye described the signing as a significant expansion of the energy sector. Minister Paye encouraged government agencies to prepare for the transition from a post-pay to a pre-pay regime for the purchase of electricity.

Providing an overview of the project, Deputy Finance Minister for Economic Management, Dehpue Y. Zuo, stated that governance reform and transparency are central to the effort. He emphasized that developing capacity within the civil service is essential to reducing Liberia's dependence on external expertise. Minister Zuo asserted that by the project's conclusion, the use of local Liberian talent will increase significantly to utilize donor funding, while reliance on foreign expertise will decline sharply.

For their parts, the Executive Director of Rural Renewable Energy, Samuel D. Nagbe, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), Monnie R. Captain, emphasized the importance of government intervention in the energy sector. They highlighted that such involvement is crucial for providing affordable energy to schools, healthcare centers, and other public facilities, where it is a scarce resource.

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