President George Weah Friday, June 11, 2021, laid the first bricks to mark the commencement for construction of the Alliance Francaise Institute Project in Monrovia. Speaking at the ceremony the Liberian leader said he was personally pleased that the Alliance Francaise Institute which was reopened in 2020 is now being further upgraded with its own purpose-built facilities.
He said he was proud on Friday to join French Europe and Foreign Minister and the rest of the delegation to lay the historic cornerstone for the significant project. Expressing great satisfaction in some citizens mainly senior government officials who are aspiring to be young diplomats as well as members of the Armed Forces who have taken a keen interest in learning French and to make it their second language, he encouraged them to put the time into their studies. He extolled France for being a true friend and diplomatic partner to Liberia.
“Given the diversity and strength of our relationship, Liberia and France will continue to engage and explore wide-ranging areas of increased cooperation. Be assured, Your Excellency, that Liberia remains committed to our shared values; including the advancement of democracy, global peace and security, international prosperity, and the promotion of gender equality, among others. And, like France, we will remain steadfast in championing the cause of humanity and advocating for social justice and the exercise of inalienable rights without precondition”, President Weah said.
Recounting the rapid growth and investment that France has made in Liberia, Dr. Weah was also quick to appreciate the efforts of the French Embassy accredited near Monrovia together with French companies and non-governmental organizations for their eagerness to develop and sustain a new relationship with Liberia.
Additionally, he registered that these investments from France are making significant contributions to Liberia’s economic recovery, especially as they create jobs and present new opportunities for employment.
“ I am informed that the French Business Club is already active in Monrovia, and provides helpful advice to new French investors in Liberia. French NGOs, such as MSF-France, Action Contre la Faim, and Medicin Du Monde, for example, are already playing a useful role. Their work in Liberia speaks to the cordiality of friendship that Liberia and France continue to enjoy”, he noted.
Speaking further he pointed out the recent successful initiation of collaboration between the French financial development institution PROPARCO (Promotion et Participation pour la Coopération Économique) and ECOBANK Liberia, which has resulted in the first French-backed bank guarantee to a Liberian bank in the tune of Ten Million United States Dollars. This is a significant development that is very welcoming because it has the potential to give a major boost to the Liberian private sector in its efforts to secure funding from financial institutions.
He reflected that after the new nation of Liberia was born in 1847, France was one of the first major countries, in 1852, to recognize our independence.
We are therefore very proud of the cordial ties of friendship that have existed between Liberia and France for almost 170 years now. We stressed that France has continued to demonstrate its friendship and support for Liberia, and over the years we have seen our engagements heightened, even at the summit level. France continues to make numerous contributions to Liberia’s post-war recovery, for which Liberians remain ever grateful.
Moreover and In 2012 under the auspices of the Paris Club, France signed a debt relief agreement in favor of Liberia. The next year, for the first time, a Liberian contingent marched alongside French forces on the Champs-Ēlysées in celebration of Bastille Day in 2013. Today, even as we speak, a contingent of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia is engaged alongside French troops in an endeavor to restore peace in Mali.
Additionally, In 2015, Liberia participated in the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Conference in Paris. And in response to the deadly Ebola outbreak which recently occurred in Liberia, France was the co-sponsor of the UN Resolution which established the United Nations Mission Ebola Response. It also mobilized and joined other partners of the international community in order to actively tackle the Ebola virus in Liberia, and even now, France continues to support projects which contribute to the recovery of the Liberian health system.
At the same time and In the interest of maintaining law and order in Liberia, France continuous to provide assistance to the Liberian National Police in the form of equipment and training, and plays an important role in peace and security in the sub-region, especially in combating the rise of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. The ceremony he stated came following a significant and historic first international visit outside of Africa to Paris, France.
“Today we are witnesses to the presence of French Europe and Foreign Minister on our soil as a sign of reciprocity from that visit”, he noted. President Weah made the special remakes Friday, June 11, 2021, when Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of France as part of their official visit to Liberia for the enhancement of diplomatic, cultural, and economic ties joined him to lay the first bricks to commemorate the historic construction project of the Alliance Francaise Institute in Monrovia.