10 January 2014

Liberia: President Sirleaf Renews Commitment to Sisterly Relations With Equatorial Guinea, As Delegation Arrives to Follow-Up On Construction of Housing Units, Ria Financing

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has renewed her administration's commitment to the sisterly relationship between Liberia and Equatorial Guinea, and believes it will go a long way in benefiting the two peoples.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the comment on Thursday, January 9, when a delegation from Equatorial Guinea, on a follow-up mission, met with her at her Foreign Ministry Office.

The delegation is in Monrovia to present to the Liberian Government the concept for the construction of social housing units, as part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two governments in May last year. At the request of the Liberian Government, Equatorial Guinea agreed to arrange the financing and construction of the Roberts International Airport and of social housing.

At a presentation, by the delegation, of the project concept, the Liberian President said she was impressed with the progress made so far, and was pleased with her decision to enter into agreement with Equatorial Guinea, and describing it as an example for African countries to follow where one African country will fund such a huge project in another sisterly country.

President Sirleaf was speaking in response to a message of commitment to the project from President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, delivered by his Special Advisor on Ceremonial Issues Mr. Armando Dougan Champion.

Oh behalf of his President, Mr. Champion said Equatorial Guinea was pleased and committed to the construction of the Roberts International Airport and the social housing units. On the airport, he said the architectural designs were still ongoing, and promised to inform Monrovia as soon as they are finalized.

The housing units project for was well on course, Mr. Champion said, and construction would begin following the finalization of the formalities. Displaying the concept of the units, he listed such facilities as a police station, primary and secondary schools, a church, a car park, a shopping mall and a two-storey hospital which he said would be named in President Sirleaf's honor.

Mr. Champion promised to convey to his President the high level of cooperation and eagerness from the Government and people of Liberia in getting the projects started. The delegation was expected to make a detailed concept presentation on Friday, January 10, before officials of the Ministry of Public Works and the National Housing Authority.

Accompanying Mr. Champion was Mr. Ibrahim Mabrouk, Managing Director of Arab Contractors, who disclosed that the company was ready to jump-start the project in terms of manpower and equipment, and was awaiting a signal from the two governments. He said his company had begun identifying a suitable site for the construction using satellite pictures, and would share that information as soon as the search was completed.

The delegation is in town until Sunday, and will hold another round of discussions with President Sirleaf Saturday evening, after she returns from the ECOWAS Summit in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

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