Remarks by Dr. Khwima Nthara, World Bank Liberia Country Manager
At the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Expansion of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) Highway
Unification Town, Margibi County
February 20, 2020
President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah;
Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Hon. Samuel Tweah;
Minister of Public Works, Hon. Mobutu Nyenpan;
Other Officials of the Liberian Government;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of the World Bank Group, I am honoured to participate in this groundbreaking ceremony for the Expansion of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) to ELWA Junction Highway. This groundbreaking ceremony is yet another major step in underscoring the government’s commitment to the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) which was launched by His excellency at the beginning of his term of office. The second pillar of the PAPD emphasizes the maintenance of macroeconomic stability, building of good infrastructure, and providing a business-friendly environment that can stimulate private productive investments and create more and better-quality jobs that are critical to sustaining the peace and to future economic growth.
We at the World Bank Group are honoured to have a part in the unfolding story. In particular, our history with this road makes this occasion special, since it was one of the first road infrastructure links to be rehabilitated with World Bank funding in the immediate post-conflict era.
This road link is very important to the economy of Liberia. From a spatial perspective, the city of Monrovia is gradually expanding in this direction and recent improvements to the aviation infrastructure will stimulate a greater utility of this highway. Therefore, it is heartening to see that appropriate steps are being taken to ensure that the transport infrastructure can support the expected demand in the next few years.
Your excellency, we would also like to congratulate your Government for launching the Liberia Road Safety Action Plan in October 2018. Given the recent spate of accidents on this corridor, we hope that as the road is being expanded, appropriate road safety measures will also be incorporated into the design.
Similarly, now that we have a functional National Road Fund, we are hopeful that this will provide the required funding to ensure that roads are not only constructed but are also maintained.
Your excellency, I would like to commend the Government of Liberia for its continued commitment towards addressing the infrastructure challenges of the country. Under your leadership, we look forward with optimism to continued progress of the people of Liberia, and you can count on the support of the World Bank and other development partners.
I thank you all for your attention.