President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Emphasizes Continuity In Development Drive
By Wilfred Gortor
MONROVIA, December 15 (LINA) – As the Government of Liberia dedicated the long-awaited Mount Coffee Power Plant, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has stressed the need for continuity in furthering Liberia's development agenda.
The Liberian leader believes that it is the responsibility of succeeding governments to continue with major development projects and agendas of their predecessors to achieve the overall growth and development agenda of the nation.
"The point is this, government is continuous, and what we do not finish will be left to a successor who has the responsibility to finish it," President Sirleaf said Thursday at a program marking the official dedication of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant outside Monrovia.
Making specific reference to key projects reconstructed and expanded by the Sirleaf-led regime, the President cited the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant which was constructed by President William V.S. Tubman, but was badly damaged as a result of the country's civil upheaval as a key expansion project of her government.
She also named facilities of the University of Liberia, constructed by former President William R. Tolbert and the Technical Vocational College of the University of Liberia in Sinji, Grand Cape Mount Count which was constructed by former President Samuel K. Doe, among others, as projects of former regimes that her government rehabilitated.
President Sirleaf sees the dedication of the Hydro as an "historic moment and occasion," describing it as "A historic day when big light in a small way replaces the small light of yesterday."
Constructed in 1966, the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant was ravaged during Liberia's protracted civil crisis in 1990, leaving the facility and its 64 megawatt capacity to lie dormant for more than a decade.
With the inception of the Unity Party-led Government in 2005, President Sirleaf in her inaugural address to the nation promised to restore electricity to the nation, something which subsequently led to the identification of the Mt. Coffee facility as the cornerstone of government's objective to expand access to sustainable, affordable and reliable electricity.
In 2012, with the formation of the Mt Coffee Project Implement Unit, the project which cost over US$300 million commenced.
On-site construction began in 2014, but the Ebola crisis which occasioned a period of force majeure brought the project to a standstill.
Co-financed by the Governments of Norway and Germany, European Investment Bank and the US Government (Millennium Challenge Corporation) as well as the Government of Liberia, the hydro upon its overall completion in 2017 will generate a total of 88 megawatts, 24 megawatts more than its pre-war output.