From Africa Review.
Japan and Liberia have signed a $50 million grant agreement for the reconstruction and expansion of a major road in the West Africa country’s trade corridor that is expected to reduce the cost of doing business there, according to a report in Africa Review.
Somalia Drive, which links the commercial district of Red Light in northern Monrovia to the National Port Authority, will undergo major upgrading, the report says.
“It is expected that the completion of this project will alleviate traffic congestion and improve roadworthiness in Monrovia and its environs, and reduce transaction costs for the production and movement of goods and services, and ultimately contribute to the overall economic development of Liberia,” Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan said Monday following a signing ceremony.
The commute at peak hours between Freeport and Red Light is expected to go from the one hour to about 20 minutes once the four-lane road project is completed in about three years, the report said.
Ngafuan said that with the end of the Liberian civil war, Japanese-backed projects have been implemented including food and petroleum aid, a $9 million education grant, rehabilitation of the Liberian-Japanese Friendship Maternity Center, medical equipment and health expert support and training in Japan for more than 100 government officials.
He cited other benefits of the Liberia-Japan relationship including purchase and distribution of rice to smallholder farmers and the ongoing rehabilitation of the Monrovia power system, the report said.
A soon-to-be launched Japan-Liberia Partnership Dialogue is expected to establish a framework for trade and investment.