‘From Importer To Exporter’ – High-Level UAE Delegation Holds Talks With President Weah on Production of Rice on Industrialized Scale
A Technical Assessment Delegation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has ended talks with President George M. Weah in Monrovia on the production of rice on an industrialized scale across Liberia. The UAE Technical visiting delegation also visited the Free Port of Monrovia, the Port of Buchanan, the Ministry of Agriculture offices on the Japan Free Way, and Bushrod Island in the suburbs of Monrovia.
The purpose of the visit was to discuss the technical details of the production of rice on an industrialized scale in Liberia, with the hope of making Liberia one of the largest exporters of rice across Africa and the world. The team also held separate talks with National Port Authority Managing (NPA) Director Bill Tweahway on potential investment in port development.
Last month President Weah led a Liberian delegation to Abu Dhabi, UAE to meet with authorities on potential investment into the Liberian economy. The Liberian Leader emphasized rice production, ports, and hospitals as areas Liberia was focused on developing. During their meeting President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan assured the Liberian Leader of his country’s firm commitment to invest in different sectors of the Liberian economy.
The Tuesday, June 21, 2022 meeting was a follow-up to the commitment of the Emariti’s Leader. Rice is Liberia’s staple and has even led to the overthrow of a sitting President- William R. Tolbert in the aftermath of the infamous 1979 rice riot. However, Liberia only produces 40% of its local rice needs, importing more than 300,000 metric tons a year, at a cost of US$ 200 million.
The Liberian leader has vowed to change this narrative and make Liberia not only self-sufficient in food production but a major exporter of the commodity. Trokon Kpui, Minister of State without Portfolio said the UAE technical team is on a fact-finding mission to see and assess possible challenges to the implementation of the UAE projects in Liberia. UAE has a strong track record of development across Africa, including Liberia where it completed an ultra-modern 100-bed hospital in Gbarpolu County, Western Liberia, Kpui told New Liberia.
He explained that during President Weah’s visit, the UAE government also promised to work with the Liberian government to supply and distribute modern rice produce and high-valued technology to Liberia. He said the technical team was in the country to meet with the two sector leads, the Minister of Agriculture, and the Managing Director of the National Port of Authority. He said, “instead of us importing rice, Liberia will be exporting rice to other countries.”