The US$32.64M is a grant and loan agreement between the Liberian government and the bank and is intended to improve and increase electricity supply through the Renewable Energy for Electrification in Liberia (REEL) and support to investment promotion agencies.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Monrovia, the Country Manager of AfDB to Liberia, Dr. Orison M. Amu, said agreement is in demonstration of the Bank’s desire to continue working with the government and people of Liberia in achieving their development aspirations.
According to him, the objectives of the financial instrument are to increase access to reliable electricity and to foster the use of renewable energy sources, improve annual electricity generation, contribute to the reduction of electricity generation cost, increase hydropower generation, reduce fossil energy consumption, and create jobs.
“In front of us are Loan and Grant agreements for two projects that are critical in attaining the objective of the Government of Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD): (i) The Renewable Energy for the Electrification in Liberia, and (ii) Support to Investment Promotion Agencies in Transition Countries. Whereas as the former is financed by both the African Development Bank and the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program of the Strategic Climate Fund, the latter is financed entirely by the Transition Support Facility of the Bank,” said Dr. Amu.
“This will be achieved by developing the Gbedin hydropower Falls with a total capacity of 9.34 MW, constructing an 8km 33kV evacuation line, improving access to electricity to 7000 new households, building the capacity of the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency (RREA) and creating 52 permanent jobs and over 1000 jobs during construction phase,” he stated.
He noted that the initiative is in response to the Liberian government’s request to the Bank, noting that on an exceptional basis, the Bank will be financing from its resources the Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP), the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), the Livelihood Restoration Program and Gender Action Plan (GAP).
“The entire project is planned to be completed by 2024. With this signing, the Energy sector will now account for 26% of the Bank’s total commitment of US$ 413 million in Liberia. The Bank’s effort in supporting the Government of Liberia to achieve its ambitions in increasing power generation and energy access remains critical in achieving the development objectives of the PAPD,” the Bank official stated.
He asserted that the project will strengthen the institutional and human capacity of each Investment Promotion Agency, in the case of Liberia, the National Investment Commission, to identify and assess the most promising investment opportunities and provide tailored facilitation and investor services to attract increased levels of investment to the country.
He maintained that this will be achieved over a period of three years by reaching out to all stakeholders engaged in supporting Foreign Direct Investment in the country, including development partners, philanthropic organizations and embassies, while also engaging with civil society.
“As a Bank we understand the challenges faced by Governments and the efforts underway to attract Foreign Direct Investment both in terms of volume and quality, so as to create more employment, diversify the economy, and reduce dependence on primary sectors and commodity exports. This project aims at contributing to those ongoing efforts by Government,” Dr. Amu, among other things, added.
Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Mr. Samuel D. Tweah Jr., extended the thanks and appreciation to the continental bank for the huge support towards the country’s developmental agenda.
Tweah asserted that with the latest support and previous ones, the Bank remains a key player at every level of Liberia’s development drive, especially in the area of road construction, electricity and water.
“This project is a great one, because without electricity, our country will not go anywhere in achieving its developmental goals,” the Finance and Development Planning Minister stated.
“This instrument will be ratified in the soonest shortest possible period of time so that we can start to reap the benefits of it,” he added.