Liberia Becomes AIIB 84th Member

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AIIB headquarters

Liberia has become the 84th member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), after being admitted as a non-regional member by the Board of Governors of the bank, and having completed the terms and conditions of membership set out in Resolution 96 of the AIIB’s Board of Governors on January 4, 2021.

   Becoming the Bank’s 84th member and non-regional member followed Liberia’s membership approval at its Fifth Annual Meeting, held in Beijing, China, on July 28, 2020.

   It can be recalled that Liberia made a formal application on April 13, 2020 through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

   Joining the AIIB presents an opportunity for Liberia to continue to expand its cooperation with the community of Development Finance institutions (DFIs) around the world.

   This approval comes as President George Manneh Weah seeks to expand Liberia’s global economic leadership and presence to foster regional cooperation, economic development and integration. 

    Liberia as a member is expected to benefit from projects financing that has a value of more than 20 to 30 times the total value of the investment the country makes in the bank, as the AIIB could hold equity share in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) venture in roads or energy development or in projects of similar nature.

   It is also expected that the country will also leverage its membership within the bank to attract Asian investors and development financing into the country, especially at a time the country needs all the investments it can get in the post-COVID-19 era.

   The country’s accession is subject to the National Legislature’s ratification. 

   However, the country is looking forward to working with the bank to explore opportunities for resolving major development and infrastructure challenges and confronting other African countries, in the form of large road and electricity infrastructure deficits, climate change and challenges to perfecting digital economic frontier.

   In addition, the AIIB is also expected to partner with the MDBs to develop regional projects in the Mano River Union region. Liberia is presently exploring possibilities for regional projects with Guinea, Sierra Leone or the Ivory Coast.

   The bank currently has 102 countries as members, including Ghana, Guinea, Rwanda, Benin, Togo, Senegal, China, Canada, United Kingdom, etc. Since its inception, the bank has spent over US$19.14 billion on development project financing.

   AIIB’s sovereign loan program, like those of other MDBs, is tailored to developing countries like Liberia that cannot afford borrowing from the international market at higher commercial non-concessionary lending rates. Loan maturity runs from 20 to 35 years.

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