Foreign Minister Brende to visit Liberia
Foreign Minister Børge Brende will visit Liberia on 15 December. Mr Brende will be present when President Johnson Sirleaf opens the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant, which has been rehabilitated with support from Norway.
‘Electricity is vital to growth and development. With the opening of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant, more than a hundred thousand Liberian households will have access to the grid in the near future. This means light for doing homework, street lights for security and electricity for companies that invest in new jobs. Norway’s support for the energy sector in Liberia is a concrete example of aid that yields results,’ said Mr Brende.
During the civil war in Liberia, the country’s electricity supply was destroyed and the Mt. Coffee plant was plundered and left in ruins. Energy cooperation between Norway and Liberia was launched after President Johnson Sirleaf won the election in 2005 with the pledge ‘Small light today, big light tomorrow’. Norway has invested some NOK 600 million in the rehabilitation of Mt. Coffee and is a key contributor to the energy sector in Liberia.
Foreign Minister Brende last visited Liberia during the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Liberia has now been declared Ebola-free, but the country is still suffering from its aftermath. This will be one of the topics Mr Brende will address in his talks with President Johnson Sirleaf. Since 2003, Norway has deployed a police contingent to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and has helped to build up Liberia’s police force and legal system. These efforts, and Liberia’s participation in the Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative, will also be topics of discussion during Mr Brende’s visit.