The endeavor of President George M. Weah to court international support for Liberia’s development is yielding results with yet another bilateral assistance from the United Arab Emirates.
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has announced that it is to spend a grant of U.S.$5 Million for projects in Liberia that will “enhance social service for the population”.
The ADFD said the grant will support the development of modern integrated sports and leisure infrastructure in the country, in an effort to help mode the minds of the youth. The UAE development body announced that the scope of the project will include the construction of a soccer stadium and a beach volleyball field with support facilities, such as car parks, as well as beach and boardwalk protections sites.
The grant announcement was made at AFDB’s headquarter in Abu Dhabi during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. ADFD’s Director General, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, signed on behalf of his organization while Liberia’s Minister of State Without Portfolio and Head of the President’s Delivery Unit (PDU) Trokon Kpui, did for the country.
The MOU outlined the terms of the funding agreement between both countries.
This grant from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, worth US$5 million (AED18.3 million) is for a vital project that aims to enhance social services for the Liberian population.
Located in the capital Monrovia, the grant will support the development of modern integrated sports and leisure infrastructure.
The signing ceremony drew the participation of senior representatives of the two parties.
Commenting on the announcement, Al Suwaidi said, “ADFD has enjoyed strong relations with multiple African governments since 1974. Today, we are delighted to expand our sustainable development efforts on the continent through cooperating with the Liberian government for the first time and supporting the execution of this priority social services venture.”
“In line with its overarching mission of helping beneficiary countries achieve their national development objectives, ADFD is proud to support the advancement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, in Liberia. Through constructing the integrated sports complex in Monrovia, we aim to drive the implementation of SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-being,” he added.
For his part, Trokon T. Kpui thanked the UAE, represented by ADFD, for financing the project, which was conceived by President Weah, that will go a long way in enabling community development, nurturing sporting talent, and encouraging residents of the capital and surrounding areas to frequent sports and leisure facilities.
He credited both President Weah and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the strong and productive relationship between the two countries.
Minister Kpui said the UAE and Liberia will continue to kindle the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation for the bilateral benefits of the two countries.
The Liberian Minister also commended the UAE for its continued support to Liberia. He cited the support of millions of dollars worth of Amored Personal Carriers and other equipment to the AFL, funding for entrepreneurship for Liberian women and support to Liberia’s infrastructural development by the UAE.
The UAE government also thanked Liberia on the signing of two bilateral agreements- the Investment Incentive Agreement and the Agreement to halt Double Taxation between the two countries.
During his recent visits to the UAE, President Weah encouraged prospective investors to target Liberia as an investment haven. He said Liberia is open for business and that Emirati businesses coming to Liberia would be a win-win for both countries.
Since its inception in 1971, ADFD has funded development projects in 95 countries, including 40 African nations, to the tune of AED92 billion through concessionary loans, government grants, and investments. The Fund’s total expenditure in Africa amounts to an estimated AED23 billion. ADFD has also invested in eight companies and two private equity funds to boost a variety of sectors on the African continent.
Implementation of this Special Presidential Project in Monrovia will begin in a few months.