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IMF delegation to meet with Lawmakers

Christine Lagarde NDThe House of Representatives Tuesday unanimously agreed to honor a request by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund or IMF, Christine Lagarde to meet with that august body.

The House plenary reached the decision following reading of a letter from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Speaker J. Alex Tyler, dated June 29, and read in Session on Tuesday, informing the Lower House about the visit of Madam Lagarde to Liberia from July 16 to17.

In the letter, President Sirleaf told the legislators that Madam Lagarde will use the visit to gain a deeper understanding of Liberia’s post-Ebola challenges, and discuss with key stakeholders opportunities for partnership support to the country.

According to the Liberian leader, the IMF Managing Director has expressed a particular desire to engage the Liberian Legislature, adding, “In view of the above, I ask that you honorMs.Lagarde’s request by convening a Joint Session of the 53rd Legislature to provide her the opportunity for this engagement.”

President Sirleaf also indicated that the IMF is a key international financial institution, with Liberia’s membership dating back to the 1960s.

“It is a key partner to Liberia, working through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Central Bank of Liberia or CBL. This support is largely achieved through programs that provide Balance of Payment support to CBL”, she emphasized.

President Sirleaf also noted that the IMF provided exceptional support to Liberia during the Ebola crisis.

In another development, the House of Representatives has concurred with the Liberian Senate in ratifying the “Agreement for the Establishment of Africa Corporation” based on recommendation by the House Committee on Foreign Relations on Tuesday, July 7.

The agreement signed by all African Heads of State on May 28, 2007 in Abuja, Nigeria, was turned over to the Liberian Senate for ratification on July 11, 2011.

After thorough analysis, the Liberian Senate ratified the agreement and forwarded it to the House of Representatives in September, 2013 for concurrence.

In its submission to Plenary Tuesday, the Committee said it conducted a number of consultations with key stakeholders in an attempt to establish the veracity of the agreement and the benefits that would accrue to the people of Africa during deliberations on the instrument.

According to the House Committee on Foreign Relations, benefits African States and their residents stand to accrue from the agreement include trade and commerce, industry, technology, agriculture, and general economic cooperation, among others.

The Committee therefore recommended that Plenary concurs with the Liberian Senate to ratify the agreement to ensure that the social and economic benefits to the people of Africa come into full swing.

African Heads of State have already signed the protocol, which has been awaiting ratification by their respective Legislatures before it comes into effect, the House Committee on Foreign Relations disclosed. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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