Germany and Liberia: Bilateral relations

23.06.2020 - Article

Bilateral relations between Germany and Liberia go back a long way. The Hanseatic cities of Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg recognised Liberia’s independence back in 1855 (after the UK) and opened a joint consulate in Monrovia.

After closing in 1990 due to the civil war, the German Embassy recommenced its work in Monrovia in 2005. Bilateral relations intensified during the term of office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, (visits include that by Chancellor Merkel to Liberia in 2007 and the visits to Germany by Liberian President Johnson Sirleaf in 2008 and 2015).

The German private sector had a strong presence in the country until the outbreak of the civil war in late 1989. In contrast, there are only a few German companies operating in Liberia today.

Liberia is a partner country of German development cooperation, which is mainly concentrated in the sphere of infrastructure support. Acting on behalf of the German Government, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is advising the Liberian Government on the reconstruction of the country’s transport sector, the governance of raw materials, renewable energies, as well as the healthcare sector. Environmental cooperation focuses on providing support for the Taï-Sapo National Park (also involving Côte d’Ivoire).

The rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee hydroelectric power plant and the expansion of the Liberian section of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), as well as other projects, are being realised with the help of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).

Germany also played a major role in providing debt relief to Liberia through the Paris Club.

To fight the Ebola epidemic, Germany provided extensive humanitarian, medical, logistical and technical support to Liberia. It continues to provide support, especially in the healthcare sector, in the ongoing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

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