Ties in Focus : Liberia

Hon’ble Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises and Special Envoy of Prime Minister Shri G.M. Siddeshwara inviting HE John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana to India-Africa Forum Summit 2015


President of Liberia HE Ellen Johnson Sirleaf being conferred with the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development 2012 by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi in September 2013

India & Liberia: Partners in nation-building

Woman Power: All-female police force

As Liberia continues to rebuild itself from the lost years of civil war, it sees India as an indispensable partner. India is one of the major contributors among the peacekeeping forces in Liberia under the UN Mission in Liberia. India has the singular distinction of contributing a 125 member all-women police force as part of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
The Indian Female Formed Police Unit (FFPU), which first reached Liberia in 2007, comprising 125 female peacekeepers, played an important role in stabilising Liberia and preventing crime and sexual abuses, which were once endemic in a country of just three million people. This has earned India praise of the UN as well as gratitude of the people of Liberia. Johnson-Sirleaf has generously commended the initiative and has spoken warmly of how the presence of the Indian policewomen had led to a surge in Liberian women applying to join their police force.

Economic Ties

The goodwill for India in this West African country, home to around 3000 Indians, is spontaneous, and is reflected in burgeoning economic ties and development partnership.  Bilateral trade stood at USD 264 million (as of 2014-15), with India’s exports valued at USD 207 million and India’s imports stood at USD 57 million.
Liberia is rich in resources such as iron ore, gold and timber. The country is also encouraging oil exploration. Some of the companies such as Arcelor Mittal have collaborated with Liberia to explore iron ore. Vedanta, JSPL, etc. are some of the other Indian companies to have tied up with Liberia to in the resource sector.

Skill-building

Capacity building forms an enduring pillar of India-Liberia relations. Under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme, India has provided 30 training slots to Liberia in 2015-16. The ICCR has granted 6 fully paid scholarships in 2015-16 for post graduate studies.
The PAN African e-network project, which provides tele-medicine and tele-education, is now operational in Liberia. Under IAFS I and II, India has agreed to set up an Information Technology Centre, a Farm Science Centre and a training centre for women in the Solar Energy sector. India gifted 15 buses to Liberia in 2014, which is seen by Liberians as an eloquent expression of India’s unflinching commitment to improving daily lives of thousands of Liberians. This was in addition to India’s gift of 25 buses in 2010.

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Highlights

Bilateral trade:

USD 264 million (as of 2014-15)
India’s exports: USD 207 million;
India’s imports: USD 57 million

Investments:

There are 150 Indian companies in Liberia, including small and medium enterprises to manufacturing companies.

Key India-assisted Projects

- Under ITEC programme, India has provided 30 training slots. ICCR provided 6 scholarships to Liberia in 2015-16.
- Under IAFS I and II, India has agreed to set up an Information Technology Centre, a Farm Science Centre and a training centre for women in the Solar Energy sector.
- India gifted 15 buses to Liberia in 2014.

Diaspora

3,000 Indians

References

- Joint Statement on the Visit of President of Liberia to India
- List of Documents signed during the State Visit of President of Liberia to India, September 9-13, 2013
- India Liberia Joint Statement on the visit of Dr. Shashi Taroor, Minister of State for External Affairs to Liberia (16-19 September 09)
- Prime Minister’s media statement during the State Visit of President of Liberia to India (September 9-13, 2013)
- Dreaming big: Africa’s first female president on India journey

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