Wednesday, 6 April 2011

GOL-Kuwait Sign Pact Value Put At 16.8 Million

The Government of Liberia and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development have signed three separate agreements aimed at enhancing the country’s post-war economic recovery. The agreements were signed on Sunday April 3, 2011 in the Kuwaiti Capital, Kuwait City with Finance Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan signing for Liberia while the Director General of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (Kuwait Fund) Abdulwahab Ahmed Al-Bader signing for the Kuwait Fund.
The three agreements signed include an agreement for the provision of a grant of approximately US$3 million from the Government of Kuwait to be utilized for the clearance of Liberia’s debt obligation to the Kuwaiti Fund, a Debt Relief Agreement that ensures that Liberia’s debt burden of US$12M to the Kuwait Fund is reduced consistent with the Heavily Indebted Poor Country’s (HIPC) Initiative, and an agreement for the provision of a grant of approximately US$1.8 million to fund the technical and economic feasibility study and the preliminary design for the construction of the highway from Gbarnga to Mendicorma along the Sierra Leone Border linking the major cities of Gbargnga, Zorzor, Voinjama, Kolahun and Foya.
The signing of three agreements in Kuwait followed a two-day visit to Liberia by a three-man Kuwaiti Fund delegation in early March 2011 headed by the  Director General of the Kuwait Fund, Mr. Abdulwahab Ahmed Al-Bader  and the subsequent approval of the three draft agreements  by the Board of Directors of the Kuwaiti Fund.
Speaking during the signing ceremony at the Fund’s head office in Kuwait City, the Director General of the Fund Abdulwahab Ahmed Al-Bader said he was excited by the signing of the agreement and is looking forward to restart operations in Liberia. Mr.Al-Bader said the penning of the agreement also opens a new chapter in the financial relations between Liberia and the Kuwait Fund. The Kuwait Fund Executive praised President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for reengaging Kuwait during her visit to the country last year.
 Mr.Al-Bader disclosed that the Kuwait Fund is interested in helping Liberia rebuild its infrastructures, especially roads. He said the fund will also be interested in helping programs in agriculture, education and health. Mr. Al-Bader wants enhanced economic, social and political cooperation between Liberia and Kuwait.

In his brief statement after the signing of the three agreements, Finance Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan said the event represents a giant leap forward in Liberia’s march toward development and full recovery. Minister Ngafuan said the signing ceremony represented the culmination of more than two years of tough but productive discussions.  Minister Ngafuan said he was particularly elated because the signing of the US$1.8M grant agreement represented the first giant step towards the construction of the vital Gbarnga –Mendicorma Highway and brings hope to many ordinary Liberians.
He expressed thanks to his Royal Highness the Amir and the good people of the State of Kuwait for the remarkable gesture of generosity and partnership on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the people of Liberia and the people of Kuwait.
The signing ceremony was attended by the members of the Liberian government delegation, the Ambassador of Liberia accredited to Kuwait H.E. Konah Blackett and other senior members of Liberia’s diplomatic mission accredited to Kuwait and executives of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.