In West Africa, Liberia has engaged in two financing agreements worth a total of €59 million ($6,655 million) with the European Union (EU) to supply cheap electricity in the country.

The country’s finance and development planning minister, Amara Konneh, confirmed this on Monday, stating that the two agreements will support Liberia’s electricity programme as well as strengthen institutional capacity at the National Authorising Office for coordination programme.

According to local media, Konneh stated that the Mount Coffee Hydro Dam, which will light up Monrovia by December this year, is an indication that Liberia is on the verge of making strides in transforming the economy.

Cheap electricity to benefit Liberia’s small enterprises

The minister stated: “The essence of making cheap electricity the centre piece of our development strategy is for economic transformation.”

Konneh further stated that the EU’s support is essential to facilitating Liberia’s economic growth, with emphasis on the component that includes investment in the energy sector.

The media reported that the minister highlighted that with regards to the economy; small and medium size enterprises stand to gain the most from the availability of affordable electricity in Liberia.

“When factories have the power to operate for 16 hours, more people will get employed, and when other businesses are able to operate beyond eight hours, people will also get employment. This means that Liberians can work both in the day and night hours,” Konneh explained.

He also revealed that the Liberian government is currently implementing the Agenda for Transformation (AFT), which is a five-year medium-term strategy for the country’s National Vision 2030 aspirations.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, EU Ambassador to Liberia Tiina Intelmann said the EU is committed to working with the Liberian government to deliver the Agenda for Transformation.

In addition, Intelmann said the EU support to Liberia is a European taxpayers’ gift to the Government and People of Liberia and there is no need to pay back.

The media reported that Mount Coffee Hydro Electric Power Dam is expected to be operational by 25 December 2016 following years of repairs and rehabilitation works.