17 January 2013

Liberia: U.S. Zooms On Liberia's Growth

The United States government, Liberia's traditional partner, has agreed to assist Liberia in addressing major components of its development programs ranging from agriculture, food to security.

In a statement by US Secretary of State when she signed a partnership agreement with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "This agreement establishes working groups in three key areas - first, agriculture and food security; helping Liberian farmers use their land more effectively and get their crops to markets more efficiently will be critical to improving the health and prosperity of people throughout Liberia."

"We know that access to affordable, reliable energy is essential to creating jobs and sparking growth that helps build a strong economy. So we will take stock of outstanding needs for the generation, transmission, and distribution of energy, promote a regulatory environment that's friendly to new investments in energy, and look for ways to accelerate the development of a well-governed and inclusive energy sector," she added.

The US Secretary of State said the group that will work on the assistance will review progress under the Feed the Future Initiative, look for new opportunities to attract private investment in the agriculture sector, and recommend policies to promote food security and better nutrition.

Clinton said the Liberia people "have emerged from a time of violence and lawlessness and have made tremendous commitments to both economic and political reform. The United States has stood by Liberia during this challenging process, but I think it is also more than fair to say it was aided considerably by the leadership, the determination of a woman who understood in every fiber of her being what was at stake."

She thanked President Sirleaf on behalf of the United States for the great progress under her leadership, pledging US continuing support and partnership and friendship to the people of Liberia.

For her part, President Sirleaf expressed thanks and appreciation to the US Government saying "I'm especially pleased that we were recently declared eligible for compact status by the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Coming just two years after being awarded a threshold program and seven years after the reestablishment of democracy in Liberia, this is one of Liberia's proudest achievements."

"You've been a true friend of Liberia and to me personally. We are pleased that in the history of our bilateral relationship, which spans more than a century and a half, you made two trips to Liberia while in office as Secretary of State," President Sirleaf said.

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