Agreement to Boost Liberia's Power Sector Signed In Washington

Sunday, 18th February 2007
Lands, Mines & Energy Minister, Dr. Eugene Shannon and US Trade and Development Agency Director, Thelma Askey signing the agreement.
Lands, Mines & Energy Minister, Dr. Eugene Shannon and US Trade and Development Agency Director, Thelma Askey signing the agreement.
Photo Credit: Ousman Diallo/Executive Mansion
Washington DC, USA - The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), has agreed to provide Liberia with a grant of US$4-hundred thousand dollars to assist in developing the country’s power sector. Under the agreement, the grant will fund the technical and economic feasibility of the reconstruction and expansion of the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant, which was destroyed during the civil conflict in Liberia.

According to an Executive Mansion dispatch from the Office of the Press Secretary, the grant agreement was signed in Washington, DC, on Thursday, February 15, during the Liberia Private Sector Investment Forum.

Lands, Mines & Energy Minister, Dr. Eugene Shannon, signed on behalf of the Liberian government, while the US Trade and Development Agency Director, Thelma Askey, signed on behalf of her Agency.

The grant agreement, Director Askey said, reflects her government’s commitment to work with the government and people of Liberia as partners. “It is important for many reasons, but perhaps fundamentally, because it will help to supply the power necessary for economic growth and job creation,” The USTDA official emphasized.

The USTDA-funded assistance will examine the potential for a 100-megawatt power generation facility that would support all of the electricity demands in greater Monrovia, and fill a critical gap in planning for the development of the electricity sector in Liberia.

The agreement was one of three agreements signed between Liberia and the United States, during the just ended Liberia Partnership Forum in Washington, DC.

A Trade and Investment Frame Agreement was signed, paving the way for increased international trade and Investment between the two countries, thereby promoting an attractive investment climate and expand and diversify trade in products and services between the United States and Liberia.

Liberia and the United States also signed an Open Skies Agreement which will pave the way for the resumption of direct flights between the two countries.

Rounding up her visit to the United States, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf thanked the government and people of the United States for their support toward the growth and development of Liberia. The President who met with a number of senators and representatives, including the first female speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi and a 12-member bipartisan delegagation, assured the US lawmakers that Liberia is on an irreversible course of progress and development. The President urged the bipartisan Congressional members to speed up all legislations aimed at facilating Liberia’s recovery process. “The expectations of our people are high; you must help us meet those expectations in time,” the President urged the Congressional delegation at the meeting on Capitol Hill.

House Speaker, Pelosi, praised President Sirleaf for the progress she has made thus far in her first year in office. The Speaker assured the Liberian leader of Congress’ continuous support in the recovery efforts of Liberia.

President Johnson Sirleaf, prior to her departure for home, was hosted to a lunch meeting by the American First lady, Laura Bush over the weekend. The President thanked the first lady for her friendship and personal support toward government’s development programs, particularly in education.

Prior to the meeting, the President was guest at two media events – the VOA Newsmakers Press Conference and the National Press Club Media event. At both gatherings, the President addressed a number of domestic and other international issues including Liberia’s debt burden and moves by bilateral and multi-lateral partners to address the problem.