Monrovia-March-7-TNR:Liberia’s Foreign Minister Sara Beysolow Nyanti has hailed the Government and People of Japan for the Exchange of Notes and the 43-million-yen Grant Agreement for the extension of the Japan Freeway, the road corridor between the Freeport of Monrovia and the Gabriel Tucker Bridge.

Foreign Minister Beysolow Nyanti expressed how intrigued she was when she listened to Ambassador George W. Wallace that the table was not superficial rather it was a table reflects diplomacy at the heart where they are speaking to decades of relationship, decades of impacts that Japan has made on Liberia.

Foreign Minister Beysolow Nyanti pointed that the fact that they have season diplomats or leaders who have benefited from the investment that Japan has made in Liberia and toady they are witnessing the signing of infrastructure development which is a manifestation of the fact that Japan is interested in Liberia holistically. She assured the ambassador and his delegation that the existing relationship between Liberia and Japan will be further deepened.

The Dean of the Cabinet informed the delegation that H.E. President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has further articulated that the priorities which include, agriculture, roads, rule of law, education, sanitation, and tourism. At the heart of all of these, if women do not have access to roads agriculture will be meaningless.

The Liberian chief diplomat noted that the Government of Japan has demonstrated that she is not here for the short-term rather the long-term and the signing is the manifestation of that and Liberia look forward to deepening that relationship.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the Exchange of Notes and the Grant Agreement for the extension of the Japan Freeway—the road corridor between the Freeport of Monrovia and the Gabriel Tucker Bridge on Monday, March 5, 2024 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Beysolow Nyantimentioned that these social economic infrastructures are geared toward jobs creation, income generation and sustainable livelihood beyond just aids.

For his part, the Ambassador of Japan to Liberia, H.E. Mr. Mochizuki Hisanobu said the government of Japan understands the importance of this project to Liberia, adding that this is why the Japanese Parliament is doing everything necessary to complete the final processes so that the project can begin.

Ambassador Hisanobu said today’s signing ceremony for the detailed design is required so that both JICA and the project’s consultant have all of the information they need to assist the Parliament in completing its internal procedures, noting that Japan understands the importance of establishing a robust infrastructure foundation and the role it may play in promoting and stimulating the economy.

Ambassador Hisanobu intoned that infrastructure development has been a major theme at the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) where they have continuously pledged Japan’s commitment to aiding Africa’s Infrastructure development.

On the bilateral level, Ambassador Hisanobu indicated that improving infrastructure is one of the key pillars of Japanese-Liberia cooperation. “We began construction on Phases 1 and 2 of the former Somali Drive, which has now been renamed the Japan Freeway, in 2013 and 2016, respectively. These two phases were successfully finished thatks to the cooperation of both sides, particularly JICA and Liberia’s Ministry of Public Works. Today, we are formalizing another procedure that will build upon the Japan Freeway’s high-quality Phases 1and 2”, Ambassador Hisanobu noted.

The Japanese Ambassador said the bilateral cooperation between Japan-Liberia has witness the actualization of various key technical support and infrastructure development over the years, stating that as Liberia continue to meet its development targets, there will be the need for more technical support and development projects which are necessary to realize this vision.

The Chief Representative of JICA, Ms. SUZUKI, Momoko said this project covers rehabilitation of 1.9km section from the west end of Japan Freeway to the north intersection of the Gabriel Tucker Bridge, noting that this section is crucial for logistics in Liberia because it connects the downtown and the Freeport.

Madam SUZUKI said now that the project moves to the phase of the detailed design, she would like to request the Liberian colleagues involved in this project to ensure the timely execution of the project’s major undertakings or commitments, which are stipulated in the grant agreement for the successful implementation of the project.

In attendance during the signing ceremony were, Amb. George W. Wallace, Advisor to the President on Foreign Affairs; Mr. Roland L. Gidddings, Minister of Public Works; Amb. Sylvester Grigsby, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, among others.

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