Last updated in March 2012
Until the outbreak of the civl war in late 1989, Liberia was one of Germany’s principal development cooperation partners and German companies also had a strong presence in the country. The BONG MINING COMPANY held by Thyssen, Krupp and Hoesch was the single largest investment in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1970s. With its wealth of natural resources (in particular iron ore, timber, rubber, gold and diamonds as well as potential oil reserves), Liberia is still an attractive prospective market for German investors.
Germany has since become one of Liberia’s principal bilateral partners. The visit to Liberia by the Federal Chancellor in 2007, the various visits to Germany by Liberia’s President (the most recent in 2008) and the visits to Liberia by the Federal Chancellor’s G8 Personal Representative for Africa Nooke (in February 2011) and by Federal Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Niebel (in May 2011) have helped intensify political relations between the two countries. Until the end of 2008, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) – now renamed the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) – was active in Liberia on behalf of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in programmes to rehabilitate the following sectors: vocational training, health care, water supply and sanitation and agriculture. It now advises the Liberian government on rebuilding the transport sector and on commodities management as well as conducting an agricultural project in the north-west of the country.
Since late 2005, German Agro Action has, together with Medica Mondiale and the Danish NGO IBIS, been engaged in a project to rebuild infrastructure in three counties in the south-east of Liberia. Further funding has just been agreed upon through the KfW Development Bank, which has been active in Liberia since 1961. During Federal Minister Niebel’s visit, Germany pledged special funds to help deal with the refugee flows from Ivory Coast. In addition, Germany is helping rebuild the Liberian police force and judiciary. The German Federal Government has also played a leading role in the country’s now successfully completed debt cancellation, most recently on 16 September 2010 under the auspices of the Paris Club. The Liberian government’s poverty reduction programme, in particular the priority of improving the country’s infrastructure, is being supported by contributions to the World Bank-administered Reconstruction Trust Fund. Germany has also pledged Financial Cooperation funding to rebuild the Mount Coffee hydroelectric power station and expand the West African Power Pool (WAPP).