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French Foreign Minister Le Drian Visits Liberia After 40 Years



Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs will visit Liberia on June 10 and 11, 2021. This is the first visit by a French Minister of Foreign Affairs to Liberia after 40 years.




The Minister will have audience with H.E. Mr. George Weah, the President of the Republic of Liberia and Mr. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Minister of Foreign Affairs during which the strengthening of Franco-Liberian relations, development, economy, security and Francophonie will be discussed. The Minister will also discuss regional issues with his interlocutors as well as the role that Liberia could play particularly within ECOWAS and the African Union.




Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian will inaugurate the new location of the Alliance Française in Monrovia, symbol of the strengthening of the relationship between Liberia and the French-speaking world. He will meet young Liberians who are beneficiaries of French Development Agency projects aimed at helping them enter the labor market as well as pupils and students learning French. Finally, the Minister will discuss with French companies established in Liberia the prospects for strengthening Franco-Liberian economic relations.


The French  Language Interpretation:

Libéria – Déplacement de M. Jean-Yves Le Drian (10 et 11 juin 2021)


M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, ministre de l'Europe et des affaires étrangères, se rend au Liberia les 10 et 11 juin 2021. Il s'agit de la première visite d'un ministre des affaires étrangères français au Liberia depuis plus de 40 ans.


Le ministre sera reçu en audience par le Président de la République, M. George Weah, et s'entretiendra avec le ministre des affaires étrangères, M. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah. Ces entretiens permettront d'évoquer le renforcement des relations franco-libériennes, en particulier dans les domaines du développement, de l'économie, de la sécurité et de la francophonie. Le ministre évoquera également avec ses interlocuteurs les enjeux régionaux, ainsi que le rôle que pourra jouer le Liberia, notamment au sein de la CEDEAO et de l'Union africaine.


M. Jean-Yves Le Drian inaugurera le nouveau site de l'Alliance française de Monrovia, symbole du renforcement de la relation entre le Libéria et le monde francophone. Il rencontrera de jeunes Libériens bénéficiaires de projets de l'Agence française de développement visant à favoriser leur entrée sur le marché du travail, ainsi que des élèves et étudiants apprenant le français. Le ministre évoquera enfin, avec les entreprises françaises installées au Liberia, les perspectives de renforcement des relations économiques franco-libériennes.




President Weah Briefs UNGA on GoL’s Anti-Corruption Strides

Monrovia, Liberia -The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 updated the United Nations General Assembly on progress being made by his Government in the fight against corruption and graft. Acknowledging that corruption constitutes a huge challenge in Liberia, the Liberian Leader told the UNGA via zoom that his administration has made enormous strides in purging the country of corruption. He said his commitment in the fight against corruption remains unwavering, evidenced by several anti-corruption measures instituted since assuming office nearly four years ago. President Weah told the UNGA that he reconstituted the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission in 2019 to assess the framework of Liberia’s fight against corruption, with a mandate to submit proposals to his office that can lead to a more effective national regime. He reaffirmed his zero tolerance stance on corruption, vowing to ensure transparency and accountability across his administration. The two-day UNGA Session is being convened to discuss challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation. Besides reconstituting the anti-corruption commission, the President disclosed that several proposals to reform the inadequate legal framework were submitted to the national legislature in late 2020. “For example, the national Anti-Corruption Commission does not possess powers to exclusively prosecute acts of corruption, and cannot independently compile and verify assets declared by public officials,” President Weah said, noting that it was against that backdrop bills were submitted to the Legislature to strengthen integrity institutions. “In response to these severely binding constraints on the fight against corruption, I have recently submitted several legal instruments to the National Legislature, seeking to drastically improve the Anti-Corruption Legal Framework in Liberia,” the President briefed the United Nations General Assembly. He added: “The passage into law of these proposals will make it easier to prevent acts of corruption, and if corruption is committed, easier to ensure accountability.” Other legal instruments submitted to the National Legislature, the President said, included Vest Direct Prosecution Powers for Acts of Corruption solely in the LACC, Vest Powers to Compile, Verify and Recommend Sanctions in regards to Assets Declarations by Public Officials solely in the LACC, as well as the passage of a Whistleblower’s Act and Establish a Witness Protection Program, amongst many others. As part of the government’s anti-graft measures, President Weah said, his government ensured that monies stolen from the national coffers were restituted coupled with the convictions of former high-level government officials for acts of grand corruption while in office. “Most of these positive strides do not get to make the international media," President Weah said, assuring the UN that his government will continue to re-intensify support to the major anti-graft institutions and engender increased coordination and collaboration. He declared: “We will also begin to aggressively court international support and collaboration now that we have set into motion the proper legal framework that can lead to a successful anti-corruption fight.” The Liberian Leader said he was pleased to participate in the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly by virtual to discuss challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation. He said since the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUPCC were adopted in 2003, the dangerous effects of corruption have been widely documented in various forms across the globe. The President acknowledged that it has been proven that corruption can have long-term undermining effects on the vibrancy of governance, the stability of economies, and the primacy of the rule of law. He used the occasion to thank the US Government for the support provided in investigating allegations of missing 16 billion Liberian dollars which was later found to be untrue.

President Weah Vows to Ramp Up Efforts Towards improving Investment, Business Climate

Monrovia, Liberia - The President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has emphasized the importance of overhauling the Liberian business and investment climate as the surest way in fighting poverty and sustaining national growth.


He said in addition to policy measures put into place in easing challenges faced by investors and businesspeople in Liberia since his leadership, he was poised to ramp up efforts to completely overhaul the processes involved in starting and maintaining a business and simplifying them.


“I will shortly appoint a high-level Cabinet sub-committee on the investment and business climate,” the President promised as he delivered a statement during the ongoing Judiciary Conference Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Congo Town. “This Committee will be chaired by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, and will include the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Liberia Revenue Authority, the National Investment Commission, the Liberia Business Registry, the Liberia Electricity Corporation and other agencies as may be necessary.”


The Liberian Chief Executive said the cabinet sub-committee will be tasked to present a roadmap after this Judiciary Conference that will track the recommended actions and changes needed for improvement and that the Committee would present a report in six months to show credible progress on the business climate in a range of areas.


Speaking further on the matter, the President asserted: “Mr. Chief Justice, you will agree with me that if we make it difficult for businesses to register, to get electricity, or to pay their taxes, we affect the economy. If businesses cannot get timely legal redress from the courts, or if contracts cannot be effectively or fairly enforced, we affect the investment climate. If commercial banks cannot enforce judgement on collateral when people default on their loans, these banks may not be able lend money into our economy.”


Dr. Weah therefore called on the Liberian Judiciary to join ranks with other branches of Government to re-brand Liberia through impressive reforms and actions affecting the business climate, adding: “I have no doubt that this Conference will contribute meaningfully toward this end.”


He said if the law is the problem, “then let us reform the law. If processes and systems are the problem, let us change those processes. If the lack of funding is a problem, let us find ways to provide more resources. If certain people are the problem because, for selfish motives, they stand in the way of fair and transparent processes, then let us kick those people out of our systems to improve our investment and business climate.”

President Weah said rebranding the business and investment climate is of urgent necessity if the country is to be on par with countries with better business and investment climate outlooks.


Liberia ranks 175 out of 190 countries, the President observed, adding that that neighboring Sierra Leone ranks 163 out of 190, and that Cote d’Ivoire, another neighbor of Liberia, ranks 118 out of 190 countries.


The President said “this indicates that we as a Government and country have some serious work to do.” He said the National Judiciary Conference provides greater opportunity for the Judiciary to look at its contribution to changing these numbers through the application of the law, in key areas such as enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, getting credit.


Though the Executive and Legislative Branches have huge role to play in driving the business and investment climate, the President thinks the Judicial Branch is critical in the realization of this goal.


He said: “And so to say that Liberia is a just society, we do not turn to the Executive Branch of Government, neither do we turn to the Legislative Branch of Government. Only one branch of Government holds the key to people’s and institutions’ perception and sense of justice in Liberia. That branch is the Judiciary branch of Government.”


According to him, Liberia’s business and investment climate has been a subject of great importance in recent years, and that government’s drive to provide jobs for the people and to grow the economy by increasing the flow of both domestic and private investments are all dependent on the structure of our business climate.


“That very structure depends on the body of laws and policies which we have in place to regulate the free flow of investments and commerce, the process and time it takes to resolve legal disputes arising from the application of these laws, and the sense or perception of justice that arises from this adjudication process,” the Liberian Leader declared.


He informed the gathering of lawyers that his government has been concerned with how to structure business and investment climate he took office in 2018.


President Weah recalled that the government in October 2018 established a Business Climate Working Group to look into ways of improving the business climate in Liberia, thus resulting into holding series of workshops and meetings across the Government and with Development Partners after which they were able to identify key challenges affecting the business climate and opportunities for improving it.


“These challenges are largely summarized by the World Bank’s Doing Business Indicators, which include indicators such as: starting a business, getting electricity, getting credit, paying taxes, enforcing contracts, registering property, protecting minority investors, trading across border, and resolving insolvency,” the Liberian leader noted.


President Weah however used the occasion to remind the Chief Justice, Associate Justices, counselors and lawyers of the powers they hold in Liberia’s democracy and over the people, saying that he is impressed that they have chosen to assess the impact of this power on “our national polity and economy through this Judiciary Conference.”


“It is also commendable that, on this Fourth day of the conference, you have also chosen to specifically assess how this power may be impacting businesses, corporations and investors,” the Chief Executive asserted.

President Weah Hails Millennium Challenge Compact’s Impact on Liberia

(Monrovia, Liberia):  The President of the Republic, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, says is administration and the people of Liberia are satisfied with the impact of the Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC). The Compact, implemented by the Millennium Challenge Account Liberia, has ended its work after jumpstarting the country’s electricity and road sectors.

President Weah acknowledged that Liberia was fortunate to have been among a very few countries that was eligible for a Millennium Challenge Compact.

The President said Liberia’s selection puts it in what he terms a “privileged group of beneficiary countries that have performed with distinction,” in terms of democratic rights and the control of corruption as reflected in the MCC country scorecard.

He spoke Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at the closing program of the Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) and the commissioning of the new Raw Water Pipeline in White Plains, Mount Coffee.

He highlighted significant impact the Compact has had on the Liberian economy such as major growth in the energy sector with increased access from 4% to 12 percent, with over 82,000 customers being connected to the national grid.

He recalled: "As direct impact of the Compact, which provided funding to the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission  (LERC), mainly the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant, the country's  generation capacity has more than doubled, while LEC staff are better trained to meet the demands of a modern electrical network and a demanding customer base.”


As a direct result of the Compact, the President indicated that the LERC is fully functioning, promising that it will have full budgetary support provided by the Government of Liberia in the next fiscal year.

“The establishment of this Commission marks a turning point in our energy sector as it creates an enabling environment for private sector participation,” Dr. Weah noted, adding, “We see the private sector as an engine for growth and as a means to meet the future energy demands of our economy."

He said the support of the Compact to the electricity sector, mainly the LEC, has been critical.

President stated: "As a country we have struggled since the end of the civil conflict to put the LEC back on its feet and to make the LEC commercially successful. The Compact support to the Management Services Contract with the Irish company ESBI aims to making LEC more viable. Government will continue to work with ESBI for the duration of its contract to ensure that this happens."


President Weah indicated that the Compact also facilitated a new approach to road maintenance by enabling evidence-based maintenance planning.

“We now have a Road Asset Management System that will be regularly updated with data on our roads, which will allow us to develop annual road maintenance plans. Our road maintenance program will be funded by the National Road Fund, which will ensure sustainable financing of our road projects,” said the Chief Executive.

He continued: “Today, we will commission the raw water pipeline, an $18.5 Million component of the Compact that will deliver raw water from Mount Coffee to the water treatment plant at White Plains. This raw water I understand will be free of salt intrusion that takes place in the St. Paul River basin, thus improving the quality of water that will be supplied by the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation to Monrovia and its environs.”

He however bemoaned commercial losses LEC is enduring due to power theft, while also recounting progress made to combat the situation through the power theft law that makes stealing power a criminal offence.

“We are working to enforce this law, and I must use this opportunity to inform all Liberians and communities that stealing power is illegal and criminal and the Government will not hesitate to prosecute those who are in violation of the law,” said Dr. Weah.

He also directed the LEC management and the Ministry of Justice to cooperate in enforcing the power theft law, stressing “It is my understanding that the LEC has organized community programs to prevent power theft.”

He called on all Liberians to play their parts to stop the leakage of revenue to the LEC, pledging that the Government is committed to doing its part.


President Weah also said the Millennium Challenge Compact grant of $257 Million marked a significant high point in US-Liberia relations, stressing that it represents the largest non-emergency assistance ever given to Liberia by the United States.

According to the President, the Millennium Challenge Corporation enjoys broad-based bi-partisan support within the US Congress, stressing that it makes the compact a true reflection of the support of the American people to the people of Liberia.

“This significant support brings along with it an urgent responsibility to build upon the gifts of the American people by ensuring that the projects undertaken are protected, used for their intended purposes, and managed in a sustainable manner," he asserted further.

He assured the people of America that his government would prioritize the due care required of the investments made under the Compact.

President Weah declared that Liberia would not remain complacent with only one Compact, but will make it its mission to strive for a second compact, as other countries have done before.

The President said he has directed the MCC Compact Eligibility Committee to work closely with the US Government and MCC to enable us to qualify for another Compact in the future.

As Liberia moves toward a new compact, he said there is a need for the current Compact to come to a successful close by addressing all outstanding challenges. 

He named the lack of transformers and meters as two of several challenges hampering distribution of power,  stating that the Government, through the LEC, is now providing transformers to various communities and meters to many homes.

He urged the LEC Management to move very fast on installing the new meters because this lack of meters is part of the power theft story.

The President used the occasion to recognize the efforts of the government's teams in successfully implementing the compact, under the able leadership of the MCC Resident Country Director and the Chief Executive Officer of the Liberia Millennium Challenge Account.

He extended profound appreciation to the People of the United States for what he calls "gracious and transformative gift, which is in full alignment with our national development program."

He pledged that that the government will continue to work diligently until every Liberian is lifted out of the cycle of poverty which is the hallmark of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) in keeping with the focus of the Compact.

He thanked current Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the 53rd Legislature for initiating and rectifying the compact.

The President also recognized the efforts of former US Ambassador to Liberia, Linda Thomas Greenfield and former Ambassador of the United States of America, Madam Christine Elder.