AfDB joins forces with the EIF to support Liberia's trading future

AfDB joins forces with the EIF to support Liberia's trading future

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) programme marked the start of a new partnership with a joint mission to Liberia from 15 to 18 September with a view to promoting opportunities for Liberia to trade its way out of poverty.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Liberia hosted the delegation who met with Ministers from the Ministries of Finance, Agriculture and Commerce and held discussions with representatives from Customs, the National Port Authority, the Chamber of Commerce and the World Bank.

Following the mission, the AfDB and EIF are working together to look at where the AfDB can provide additional assistance to strengthen Liberia's trade support institutions, building on EIF current and future support to Liberia's own trade and development projects now under design.

The EIF is working in partnership with 47 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to give them tools and assistance needed to tackle supply‐side constraints to trade, which will promote economic growth, sustainable development and bring greater prosperity to the wider population. In addition to the AfDB, the EIF is also building strong links with partners such as the Common Market for East and Southern Africa, the Trade Facilitation Facility and TradeMark Southern Africa so that together even more support will go to LDCs to boost their trading future.

The AfDB has been supporting Liberia through an Agriculture Sector Rehabilitation Project that aims to contribute to food security and poverty reduction by increasing the income of smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs, including women. In addition, the Bank has been supporting road and water projects as well as directly assisting the Government of Liberia in developing the competencies and skills of its public servants in areas such as macro‐fiscal policy, revenue collection, budgeting and the rule of law through an Institutional Support Project for Economic Management and Good Governance.

Moono Mupotola, Manager, Regional Integration and Trade Division at the AfDB, remarks, "Strategic partnerships are a major feature of how we work. The EIF, through its Diagnostic Trade Integrated Studies and Action Matrices, provides the Bank with an entry point in which to render trade‐related support to Liberia. For us, building institutional capacity is a key pillar of the Bank Group’s regional integration strategy because we realise that without strong and functioning trade support institutions, a conducive environment for trading cannot be created."

Dorothy Tembo, Executive Director of the EIF Secretariat, comments, "The joint mission of the EIF and the AfDB to Liberia marks a vital first step in the strong partnership we are building to promote a better future for Liberia and for other LDCs in the region. Together we saw firsthand the potential of local entrepreneurship but also the challenges people face in earning a living through trade. We need to back the strong political commitment of the Government to turn this situation around and create opportunities for all Liberians to prosper."

Notes to editors:

1. The Enhanced Integrated Framework is a multi‐donor programme that supports Least Developed Countries to be more active players in the global trading system by helping them tackle supply‐side constraints to trade.

2. The programme is currently helping 47 of the poorest countries worldwide, supported by a Multi‐Donor Trust Fund with contributions from 23 donors. 21 projects are already under way since 2009.

3. The Enhanced Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat, housed in the WTO, and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) as EIF Trust Fund Manager work in support of the programme.

For further information, please contact the Enhanced Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat, Trade and Communications Adviser, on +41 22 739 5421 or +4176 788 5537 or visit www.integratedframework.org. African Development Bank: NEPAD, Regional Integration Department, +216 7110 2884, or visit www.afdb.org or www.regionalintegrationinafrica.com.