March 23, 2023

GoL, World Bank Sign USD$40M LIFT- Project, aims To Strengthen Private Sector Capacity

With a focus on the immerse importance that the private sector contributes to expanding the economy and creating more opportunities including jobs for most of the population of nearly five million people with boost for a vibrant economy, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning signed 40 million World Bank’s grant and loan for the implementation of the Liberia Investment, Finance and Trade Project (LIFT-P).

The project aimed to improve the investment climate, expand sustainable trade and access to finance, and increase the efficiency of trade in Liberia. The project also incorporates features that seek to address the identified gap between men and women with respect to the participation in economic activities in the country, especially around differential constraints and performance between women and men’s own funds.   

Monday, April 4, 2022, the signing ceremony was held in the conference room of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Monrovia. World Bank Country Manager Dr. Khwima Nthara signed on behalf of the World Bank while Minister Samue D. Tweah Jr signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia.

World Bank Country Manager Dr. Khwima Nthara

Laying the basis, World Bank Country Manager Dr. Khwima Nthara said the Financing Agreement for Liberia Investment, Finance, and Trade (LIFT) Project in the amount of $40 million United States Dollars which $20 million is in an International Development Association (IDA) grant and $20 million is a concessional International Development Association (IDA) credit and added that the financing was approved by the Board on February 9, 2022.

“The signing of the Financing Agreement marks yet another important milestone in the development partnership between the World Bank and Liberia. This is the first time the World Bank is providing such a significant amount of financing to support programs for improving the investment climate for the private sector.

“This is in recognition of the significant progress that the Government has made in stabilizing the macro-economy over the past three years. This resulted in Liberia being removed from the World Bank list of countries categorized as Fragile and Conflict-affected Situation (FCS) after an improvement in the country’s overall rating under the World Bank’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA).”

Dr. Nthara noted that by facilitating private sector investment, the project will contribute towards the creation of more and better jobs which is why they believe that it’s a project that every Liberian should have an interest in, adding that as a matter of fact, a robust and dynamic private sector does not only create more and better jobs but through the payment of taxes is also the main source of revenue that the government needs to improve public service.

“The Executive Branch of Government has done its parts in mobilizing the simple sustainable amount of resource that will transform the lives of Liberian and it’s now up to the Legislature to ratify the financing agreement as soon as possible so that implementation can begin and the people of Liberia can start reaping the benefits. We look forward to the successful implementation of the LIFT- Project and can count on the World Bank’s continued support’’ the World Bank Country Manager noted.

The World Bank Country Manager statement was followed by Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah Jr., who expressed excitement and appreciation to the World Bank through the Country Manager Dr. Khwima Nthara for the signing ceremony, noting that it is a great relief to the country.

According to Minister Tweah, the impact of the project will be felt in terms of its monitoring and evaluation as he squarely explained that the benefits are key and support the PAPD and assured that the Government is going to spend lots of energy in ensuring the implementation of the project deliverable, target, and the Government will have to stay consistent in delivering on those targets.

Minister Samue D. Tweah Jr., Finance Minister Republic of Liberia.

“The monitoring and project management unit has a lot of work to do because this is an intangible thing and one of the difficulties of it, is people do not feel the impact immediately therefore, we have to make deliberate efforts to make sure people feel the impact and that means the project has to work. We have to allay the challenges in the sector with the deliverable of the project and ensure that we meet our target’’ Minister Tweah said.

The Deputy Governor for Economic Policy at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Musa Dukuly said the LIFT project is in the right direction as indicated by the World Bank Liberia Country Manager, emphasizing that it is a charge for Liberia and the CBL as part of the Technical Committee, is fully in support of the project to have it ongoing.

Mr. Dukuly said, “We believe that this project significantly will support the economy, and to a greater extend help to make RCFI in the rural communities more efficient.”

Minister of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) Madam Mawine Diggs, thanked the World Bank for the project and said the Ministry looks forward to further enhancing its partnership with the World Bank as the Government takes a step forward to the next stages of the project.

Minister of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), Madam Mawine Diggs,

Madam Mawine G. Diggs said when she took over (MOCI), she stressed and made a commitment to ensure that the President’s vision as laid out in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) to improve the business climate, support the development of the Country’s SME, increase participation of Liberian own business in the trading commerce of the country, strengthening and increasing the capacity of trade facilitation and institution are delivered.

“Today is a manifestation that we have gone beyond not just that commitment to taking an essential step to making the lives of our people better following the massive disruption to trade and economy as the result of the COVID-19. The LIFT-P and other projects implemented by this Ministry will complement Government’s economic recovery program and policy aimed at promoting SMEs’’ Minister Diggs noted.

The signing took place in the presence of other Government ministries and agencies including the Central Bank of Liberia, the Liberia Revenue Authority and the National Investment Commission, Minister of Information, Culture Affairs, and Tourism.

Reported by: Stephan Cole

Phone number: +231777015294

WhatsApp: +231777015294


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