Liberia President George Weah has praised France for continuous contribution to the growth of Liberia’s post-war recovery.
Welcoming Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Mr. Weah thanked the French delegation for coming into the country, noting that such a visit will bring more benefit to both countries.
Speaking at a program marking the laying of the foundation of the Alliance Française Institute in Monrovia ,President Weah said, he is pleased to know that the first batch of students of the Institute is several employees of the Liberian Government including senior officials of various Ministries, aspiring young diplomats and the Armed Force of Liberia (AFL).
He mentioned that the successful initiation of collaboration between French Financial Development Institution PROPARCO (Promotion et Participation pour la Cooperation Economique) and ECOBANK Liberia has resulted in the first French-backed Bank guarantee to Liberian Bank in the tune of ten million US Dollars, noting that it is very significant because it has the potential to boost the Liberia private sector in efforts to secure funding from financial institutions.
Mr. Weah added that Liberia as an ECOWAS member conducts cross-border trade with her French-speaking neighbors. Updating his guest, President Weah said, in 2012, under the Paris Club, France signed a debt relief agreement in favor of Liberia.
He added that a Liberian contingent joined French forces to restore peace in Mali, and noted that Liberia participated in the United Nations Framework on Climate Change conference in Paris and continues to shower praises on the French Nation for her support during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.
The Liberian leader said, the security assistance to the Liberia National Police through the form of equipment and training is outstanding, including the role they play in peace and security in the sub-region and the Gulf of Guinea is laudable.
In recommitting Liberia’s partnership with France, President Weah extends good health and appreciation to France President Emmanuel Macron for his government support to the government and people of Liberia.
Also speaking, French foreign affairs Minister Jean –Yves Le Drian, has revealed that since Liberia joined the list of priority countries for French official development in 2018, France has provided 23 million euros to support three projects to foster youth employment in Liberia.
Giving his speech at the Alliance Francaise Branch Friday in Monrovia, Foreign Minister Drian, said France is committed through acts of confidence and solidarity, to Liberia’s future and stability. He named the three projects the Liberia empowerment and entrepreneurship program with three centers guiling and training of almost 10,000 young people.
He also spoke of a grant of 10 million to support the Liberian national technical and vocational training policy ,and the scholarship enables dozen of young Liberians to study for four years at the Institute National Polytechnique Felix Houphouet Boigny in Yamoussoukro, cote d Ivoire.
It has been 30 years since France Foreign Minister visited Liberia, but foreign minister Drian said Liberia and France share a responsibility that must be deemed .
He due to all these initiative France is intensifying it economic relations to Liberia and its neighbors in ensuring in facing the very serious threat represented by the progression off Sahel terrorist group in the gulf of guinea.
“Yesterday morning I visited the International Counter-Terrorism Academy which we have launched with our Ivorian partners, in the face of this scourge, regional action is true.” Foreign Minister Drian noted.
The France Foreign Minister said the reopening of an Alliance Francaise branch in Monrovia is part of France Liberian renaissance, noting that the renaissance is all precious.
According to Minister, Jean –Yves Le Drian as France has conceived Francophonie, they have intended to practice it in Liberia at the Alliance Francaise and at our lady of Grace International School which has received France Education.
He stressed that speaking French means a new generation for Liberians, noting that having more than one string to one bow is something that can be very useful in the world.
Meanwhile, Liberia Foreign Affairs Minister, Amb. Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian signed an eight million Euros agreement to support urban infrastructure development, particularly Monrovia and Paynesville Municipalities.
At the same time, EcoBank Liberia and PROPARCO (Promotion et Participation pour la Cooperation Economique) also signed a trade finance guarantee agreement value at ten million United States dollars to support small and medium enterprises, SMEs in Liberia through EcoBank Liberia.