Thousands of Marketers in Duala are expected to benefit from a state-of-the-art market complex in 11 months as the President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, broke ground for the project on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
Marketers of Duala and its environs, including the highly populated Borough of New Kru Town, have been without a decent place to carry out their businesses, leaving many of them to clog the main route linking three major rural counties with their market stalls and goods.
The groundbreaking for the Duala Market Complex followed the dedication of another state-of-the-art market building three days ago by the President in the Omega Community in Paynesville.
Since ascending to the presidency of Liberia in 2018, President Weah has left no stone unturned in touching the lives of marketers by erecting spacious first-class market structures for thousands of Liberians who make a living from petit trade but were enduring unsanitary and bad weather conditions.
When completed, the modern market complex will give the extremely crowded Duala area a facelift, remove marketers from the sun and rain and from the main highway.
Making remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony, President Weah said he was proud and glad that the construction of the Duala Market would now begin in earnest as a realization of the dreams and aspirations of marketers who are desperate for a spacious and decent place to conduct their various businesses.
The President recounted: "Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, just four days ago, last week Friday, I had the privilege to dedicate the newly built 14 Gobachop Market in Paynesville. That modern facility, the largest in Liberia, was a result of the promise that I made to the hardworking members of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) that I would build them adequate markets to shelter them from the sun and rains as they sell their goods to the public."
He informed the gathering of cheering and enthusiastic marketers, supporters and well-wishers of the promise he had made to build a modern market building for residents of Duala community.
"Today, I am here to keep that promise," President Weah declared, and added: "The Duala market, when completed, will be one of the largest and modern markets in the Republic of Liberia."
He indicated that his administration has decided to proceed with the construction of the modern markets across the country in spite of huge financial and economic constraint, noting that he sees it an imperative due to the untidy, overcrowded and poor conditions of present market facilities.
"There is no shelter for marketers selling their goods there. There are no toilet facilities for the men and women in there. This is so an unfortunate situation they no longer can bear," the President lamented.
He further told the cheering crowd: "By tomorrow, you will see materials arriving on this site, and by God's grace the project will soon be completed."
President Weah told the thrilled marketers that they should not praise him but rather glorify God for electing him as President, as he was elected to work in order to meet the wishes of the people.
"I promised you that I would not fail you, and that is exactly what I am doing," the President told the crowd. "Despite the tough economic difficulties brought to bear by Covid-19, our development plans did not stop. I am working to build your roads, build your marketers and pay the school fees."
"This is our time. We were brought here to do the work of the Liberian people. So, I thank God for the wisdom and strength, waking up every day to work in the interest of the nation."
President Weah said he was aware that he did not become President to satisfy his personal wishes, but rather to change Liberia and the conditions of Liberians.
He also used the occasion to appeal for constructive political engagement in order to make Liberia an oasis of development and prosperity, noting that there was no time for blame-games and political agitation.
The Duala market project, jointly financed by the governments of Japan and Liberia, is put at the cost of US$3.8 Million. It will contain parking lots, warehouses, water towels, generator room as well as stores.
The Liberia Agency for Community Development (LACE) is implementing the project.