President Sirleaf Describes British Continued Partnership as Strategic

Sunday, 4th December 2016

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London, United Kingdom-Friday December 4, 2016: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has described the continued partnership of the British Government in helping Liberia's development as strategic while making the critical push for the UK to absorb the 20 million funding gap in the proposed Ganta to Saclepae stretch of the country’s ongoing road connectivity aimed at linking Liberia's growth corridors.

According to a dispatch from London, the Liberian leader spoke Friday in London when she led a government of Liberia delegation to the British Parliament. She informed British Government officials that a concentrated pool fund of donor partner has been mobilized and that focuses on roads and other infrastructural projects, which are pivotal to unlocking Liberia's growth potential.

President Sirleaf asserted that Liberia’s relentless drive to connect the country, deliver greater power generation, as well as give agriculture the ultimate lift as Liberia’s most productive economic pathway.

Present Sirleaf stressed that value addition is a crucial layer of Liberia’s economic diversification program with fisheries and oil palm having great potential for exports to the European Union and within West Africa.

The Liberian leader who is also Chair of the West Africa regional bloc ECOWAS, reminded the British Government representatives that road connectivity across neighboring countries and the larger sub-region, is a major catalyst to driving economic transformation. Regarding the 2017 elections, President Sirleaf, credited for presiding over Liberia’s exemplary transition to democratic governance, emphasized that the 2017 presidential and legislative elections represent a ‘historically significant‘ epoch in Liberia’s history.

“Liberians have come a long way and as such they are committed to a peaceful and democratic contest despite the intensity that is being witnessed in the political discourse.” President Sirleaf added.

Commenting on gains made around legislation against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), President Sirleaf highlighted the significant progress recorded to ensure Liberia maintains its rich cultural heritage while ensuring children of school-going age do not lose time simply due to adherence to traditional norms.

President Sirleaf hailed the role of traditional leaders, stressing additional collaboration will be key towards eventually outlawing Female Genital Mutilation.

Speaking earlier, the British Minister for Africa at the Department for International Development (DFID), James Wharton, reaffirmed his government's commitment to Liberia’s sustained developmental drive under a healthy climate of open and democratic governance.

Mr. Wharton re-committed the British Government’s support for Liberia post-Ebola economic reordering with a central focus on value-addition. He referenced the lead role of the British Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, David Belgrove in coordinating support for Liberia’s agricultural transformation program.

Minister Wharton also emphasized his government's role in concert with the global community in deepening Liberia’s democratic system with support to the 2017 elections. Mr. Wharton then emphasized that President Sirleaf has set a shining example by her commitment to keeping within the term limits of the Liberian Constitution.