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General News Tue, 11 Mar 2008

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Liberia to tap Ghana's experiences

From: Lawrence Quartey, GNA Special Correspondent, Monrovia

Monrovia, March 11, GNA - The Liberian Government on Monday said it was willing and ready to tap Ghana's experiences in her development strides to resuscitate some of its key economic sectors.

Dr Eugene Shannon, Liberian Minister of Energy, Mines and Land who expressed the desire in Monrovia, said both countries shared a lot in common and it would be necessary to learn from Ghana's achievements in the energy, mining, education and agricultural sectors.

He expressed the sentiments when receiving a Ghanaian delegation led by Mr Kwame Ampofo-Twumasi, Deputy Minister of Energy that participated in the official closing of the Liberian Emergency Power Programme (EPP), which began two years ago.

The EPP was funded by Ghana through the Volta River Authority (VRA), Libyan Government and Liberia's development partners, including the European Union and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

VRA, Ghana's flagship public utility company, provided the technical assistance with project design and construction engineering for both civil and electro-mechanical works and implementation of the construction phase.

Dr Shannon said the capacity building training provided by VRA for officials of Liberian Electricity Company (LEC) was enormous and would be pleased for further training.

"All our experts left this country and now some are coming back and therefore the Liberian economy is gradually improving. "We are hoping to see Ghanaians come to Liberia to engage not only in the mining sector but also in the productive sectors of the Liberian economy.

"It is important that we begin to realise that we can help ourselves because there is a great need for us to build a relationship," Dr Shannon said.

He said about 4.6 million dollars worth of contracts had so far been awarded in the mining sector at the north and west coast of Liberia, opening job opportunities for the citizens. Dr Shannon said Ghana had some of the world's known reputable universities such as the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Tarkwa School of Mines which had immensely assisted the Sub-Region and Africa to build their human resource base. "We must begin to partner with ourselves because its one way to get out of this debt and poverty trap. Exchange programmes at our universities will help us to grow," he added.

Dr Shannon said with mining, Liberians through exchange programmes could build their capacity and skills at the Tarkwa School of Mines to help them develop the sector at home especially in the area of geology, mining engineering and all aspects of land reclamation. "Even in the area of agriculture, Ghana has comparatively come far and we can benefit by learning some of the modern methods and practices to help our farmers," he said.

Mr Ampofo-Twumasi, said both countries had common developmental challenges, which placed them in a position to share experiences. 11 March 08

Source: GNA

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