Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia‘s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Hon. Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., speaking at the opening of the 9th Annual ROAC-FED regional meeting when he assumed on behalf of Liberia the Presidency of the Network of National Authorizing Officers Support Unit in West Africa of the European Development Fund (ROAC-FED) has pledged to continue the great work that has already been started.
“We will build on the experiences gained since 2006 when the first ROAC-FED meeting was held in Conakry, Guinea’’, Minister Tweah assured.
The 9th Annual ROAC-FED meeting kicked off on Monday, January 16, 2019 and is expected to run up to Friday, January 18, 2019 at the Millennium Guest House in Monrovia.
The annual gathering is intended to provide the National Authorizing Offices and Regional Integration Organizations within the ECOWAS Region a platform to exchange knowledge and experiences and deliberate on issues arising from the implementation of the European Development Fund’s projects.
Minister Tweah who is also the National Authorizing Officer of Liberia said Liberia’s leadership of the ROAC –FED will work closely with other West African countries and with the European Union to stretch the impact of EDF resources in member countries through stronger collaboration and technical meetings.
Honorable Tweah then used the occasion to recognize the numerous contributions of the European Union. He described the EU as a critical partner in West Africa especially in consideration of the vital role it continues to play in the transformation of the sub-region’s infrastructure space.
The Finance Minister also informed his colleagues that at the just-ended Economic Conservatives and Reformist Group Africa Summit held in Brussels, he made a plea to the continent’s international development partners to move faster to closing the infrastructure gap in Africa something, he said, without which there is no hope for sustained private sector-led growth.
Minister Tweah called on West African Governments to redefine their partnership with the European Union to ensure sustained private sector led growth.
Liberia’s Finance Minister named roads and electricity infrastructures as binding constraints to Africa’s transformation and the resource requirements for addressing these constraints are huge.
Honorable Tweah revealed that the European External Investment Program has allocated around 1 billion euros to support businesses and infrastructure in Africa.
Minister Tweah called on his colleagues to remain in the driving seat for their own development and focus on technical issues that can enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of development programming and delivery under the European Development Fund and deepening EU-West Africa Partnership.
Meanwhile, Finance and Development Planning Minister Hon. Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. has disclosed that Liberia has been able to address some of the critical reasons that led to EU withdrawal from road financing. He named the setting up of an operational Road Fund (which generates about US$35 million annually) as one of those critical issues addressed.
He added that the government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development focuses on roads development to enhance economic transformation.
The ROAC-FED was established to enable National Authorizing Offices of the European Development Fund to share and communicate technical and development experiences in order to enhance the effectiveness and impact of EDF.