Liberia: Weah Hails Strong Ties With France

-Following visit by French Foreign Minister

President George Manneh Weah has expressed appreciation on the efforts of the French Embassy accredited near Monrovia, together with French companies and non-governmental organizations, eager to develop and sustain a new relationship with Liberia.

"In this regard, my Government is pleased to note that French investment interest in Liberia has grown rapidly and in an encouraging manner. These investments are making significant contributions to our economic recovery, especially as they create jobs and present new opportunities for employment," President Weah said at a program marking the laying of the foundation stone of the Alliance Française Institute on 11 June 2021.

"I am informed that the French Business Club is already active in Monrovia, and provides helpful advice to new French investors in Liberia. French NGO's, such as MSF-France, Action Contre la Faim, and Medicin Du Monde, for example, are already playing a useful role. Their work in Liberia speaks to the cordiality of friendship that Liberia and France continue to enjoy," he added.

President Weah said he remains confident that, given the diversity and strength of "our relationship," Liberia and France will continue to engage and explore wide-ranging areas of increased cooperation.

"Be assured, Your Excellency,that Liberia remains committed to our shared values; including the advancement of democracy, global peace and security, international prosperity, and the promotion of gender equality, among others. And, like France, we will remain steadfast in championing the cause of humanity, and advocating for social justice and the exercise of inalienable rights without precondition," he added.

He mentioned the recent successful initiation of collaboration between the French financial development institution PROPARCO (Promotion et Participation pour la Coopération Économique) and ECOBANK Liberia, which has resulted in the first French-backed bank guarantee to a Liberian bank in the tune of Ten Million United States Dollars.

According to President Weah, this is a significant development which is very welcome, because it has the potential to give a major boost to the Liberian private sector in its efforts to secure funding from financial institutions.

He stated that Liberia as a Member State of ECOWAS conducts cross-border trade on a daily basis with its French-speaking neighbors, stressing that it is very important that as many Liberians as possible should have the opportunity to learn to speak French.

"It is in this spirit that I am personally pleased that the Alliance Française Institute, which was re-opened in 2020, is now being further upgraded with its own purpose-built facilities. And today, I proudly join the French Europe and Foreign Minister and the rest of you here to lay the historic cornerstone of its foundation," he noted.

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