“COMPARED TO OTHER COUNTRIES LIBERIA IS DOING BETTER” WORLD BANK REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT SAYS
Monrovia, February 20, 2023 (Daily Watch) – Ousmane DIAGANA, World Bank regional Vice President for Western and Central Africa has ended a state visit in Liberia during which he had a discussion with President George Weah, The World Bank official told this paper at the end of his visit that Liberia is doing better compared to other nations in terms of economic recovery.
“Liberia has shown some resilience in this context of multiple crisis Covid 19, Ukraine war, climate change, etc. Compared to other nations Liberia is doing better.” Ousmane Diagana said.
For the World Bank regional Vice President, the number of projects supported by the World Bank in Liberia has significantly increased based on efforts made by the country’s officials.
“Liberia is a partner of the World Bank, we have been in this country since 1962, and it is a long time, it is a country that is coming from a very difficult civil war, the country has been doing very well when it comes to democracy, as result the number of projects that we are financing in Liberia have increased significantly. In Liberia today it is a net commitment of 1.3 billion US dollars, it is a huge amount.” World Bank regional Vice President said.
Talking about the big challenges Liberia is facing, Ousmane Diagana that the access to energy in Liberia is very weak.
“Energy access in Liberia is very weak, maximum 30% of the population are have access to electricity. We are ready to increase our support in that area. One of big challenge that everybody can see and I have witnessed from the airport is that the number of the youths, young people, are out of job, so job creation is a big challenge here. So finding way to invest on economic transformation that will create more jobs is fundamental.” Ousmane Diagana told this paper.
In terms of development and developmental agenda, the World Bank official said that Liberia is coming from a low base and consequently whatever the World Bank can mobilize will not be sufficient. He recommended a stronger private sector as one of the key players in making developmental activities a success.
“Liberia comes from a low base in terms of development’s agenda. Whatever the World Bank can mobilize will not be sufficient as well as the international community have the moral obligation to mobilize funding. Development is not the responsibility of only the public sectors, it is also the responsibility of the private sector. This is an area where lots of efforts need to be made.”
However, concerning Liberia being on the right track for economic recovery, Ousmane Diagana told this paper that Liberia is making progress.
“Is Liberia on the right tract for economic recovery, I can say the country is making progress. They need to redouble their efforts, they also need to be accompany by the international community and the World Bank, and this is why we are doing our best.” He said.
About the management of the various World Bank supported projects in Liberia, Ousmane Diagana thinks Liberia could do better, though they are making progress.
“For countries aspiring to development, time is vital in terms of implementing financed projects. For me if the project is to be implemented in three years, I will do my best to implement it in two years, not four or five years. This is something we have brought the attention of the government on, we have been supporting the government but we are not in charge of the implementation aspect. To be candid, in terms of implementation the country could do better.” The World Bank Vice President for Western and Central Africa said.