UK to continue engagement with Liberia

From left: Ambassador Gibson, Minister Baldwin and Ambassador Balgrove

The United Kingdom (UK) has recommitted its continued engagement with Liberia, emphasizing education, health and sustainable development.

Speaking recently when she hosted Liberian Ambassador to the UK Gurly T. Gibson, Minister for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Harriet Baldwin outlined development aid and private sector financing that continue to shape the UK’s support for Liberia.

Minister Baldwin indicated that the UK remains dedicated to its annual development support to Liberia, along with another £40 million through the Global Partnership for Education.

The UK export finance coordinates trade hovering around £50 million, providing the guarantee to expand trade with Liberia.

Minister Baldwin said the United Kingdom is moving to expand its trade and development partnership and seeking to become the biggest investor in Africa from the G7 group of wealthy nations.

According to the UK top official for Africa, her government support for sustainable development is another major policy area. Consequently, it has also earmarked £7 billion for international climate change finance. This will support polices that deliver clean power, solar energy for rural   communities- inspiring growth and development.

She also pledged the UK’s government support to the upcoming UK – Liberia trade forum.

The forum will drive trade and benefit the Liberian economy. Minister Baldwin mentioned the UK government’s support for similar event held by the government of Sierra Leone in London.

In remarks, Ambassador Gibson said the UK is a strategic partner to Liberia’s institutional development and democratic transformation.

She hailed efforts to increase the number of Chevening scholarship to Liberian students, stressing the crucial need for trained manpower.

Ambassador Gibson spoke of the need to increase the focus on healthcare in Liberia-inspired by support from key development partners like the United Kingdom.

She said “for example the U.K could take a hospital, and have it brought to the standard where equipment, medical supplies and trained doctors are in place – stressing this will also boost investors’ confidence”.

The Liberian diplomat made the case for linkages between health professionals in the UK and key facilities in Liberia.

Ambassador Gibson said there is a need to introduce SheTrade, a program  that is implemented in  other African countries ( Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria) to help boost the role of Liberian women in international trade.

She commended the British Ambassador to Liberia David Balgrove, also present at the meeting, for leading the UK presence in Liberia. 

On the upcoming UK-Liberia Trade Forum, Ambassador Gibson asserted that the forum will formalize the path via which British companies and their investment will be channeled and aligned with Liberia’s huge investment possibilities.

The forum, earmarked to take place in London at the end of 2019, aspires to bring together major industry players along with policy and decision makers from Liberia and the UK.

Albert K. Jaja