President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has departed the country for official visits to Tunis, Tunisia, and Freetown, Sierra Leone, where she will attend the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Meeting, and on Friday, February 22, the Inauguration of the President-elect of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr. Ernest T. Bai Koroma.
An Executive Mansion release said the President will leave today Wednesday, February 20,for Tunis, the AfDB's temporary headquarters, and will meet with the Bank's President, Mr. Donald Kaberuka.
They will hold discussions on the Bank's support to fragile States, most especially Liberia, as well as the Bank's Mano River Union (MRU) trade corridor program. President Sirleaf is current Chair of the MRU.
During his visit to Liberia last September, Mr. Kaberuka committed the Bank to financing the full asphalt pavement of the Fish Town-Harper Highway in southeastern Liberia, estimated at nearly US$50 million. In 2011, the AfDB financed the rehabilitation of the Fish Town-Harper Highway into an all-weather road. It was dedicated by Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Sr.
Following the meeting with the AfDB President, the Liberian leader will address the Bank's Board of Executive Directors, which comprises representatives of all the member countries of the Bank - both African and non-African countries. They approve the Bank's policies and operations.
On Thursday, February 21, President Sirleaf will address Deputies of the African Development Fund (ADF) - the representatives of those countries that contribute to the ADF. They are the concessional window of the Bank, which lends money to least-developed countries like Liberia.
Following these engagements, President Sirleaf will depart Tunis for Freetown, to participate in the inaugural ceremonies of Sierra Leonean President-elect, His Excellency Dr. Ernest T. Bai Koroma, on Friday, February 22. She returns to Liberia later in the evening. While President Sirleaf is away from the country, the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Christiana Tah, will chair the Cabinet in consultation with Vice President Boakai.