Liberia: Sweden Gives Five Million to Liberia for Financial Reform

By: Augustine N. Myers – The Governments of Liberia and Sweden have signed a grant agreement valued at five Million United States Dollars (5,000000.00).The grant will support Liberia’s implementation of the Integrated Financial Management Information Systems(IFMIS).

Three key government institutions are to benefit from the grant. They include the Ministry of Finance, General Auditing Commission and the Civil Service Agency.

The grant agreement was signed over the weekend and was witnessed by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and Civil Service Agency (CSA), and Deputy Finance Minister for Revenue Elfreda Stewart Tamba signed for Liberia while Mr. Klas Gierow, Charge ’d’ Affairs of Sweden to Liberia signed for his Government.

Out of the 5 million United States Dollars being provided by Sweden for the IFMIS Project, 2.87 million will go toward capacity development and change management activities while 2.12 million will go toward the purchase of hardware and software for the Ministry of Finance, Civil Service Agency and the General Auditing Commission.

In remarks during the signing ceremony, Sweden’s Charge’d’Affairs Mr.Klas Gierow said the signing of the agreement in support of IFMIS, represents a milestone in his country’s support to Public financial management in Liberia.

According to him, the agreement also marks a deeper cooperation between Sweden and Liberia on public financial management that is key to the successful implementation of Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. He said his Country is pleased to support Liberia in its continued reform efforts and pointed out that the support to IFMIS should be viewed in such context and also in the context of Sweden’s overall intentions to support PFM-reforms within the framework of Sweden’s strategy for development cooperation with Liberia.

Charge ’d’ Affairs Gierow then commended Liberia for the Country’s strong development progress and for successfully reaching the HIPC Completion Point which followed a USD 4.6 billion debt relief in June this year.

He further said this shows that Liberia is on the right path with its economic reforms including reforms in public financial management. Going forward, the Swedish Envoy said there are intentions from his Government to increase support to PFM-reforms in the areas of budgeting, cash and debt management, oversight of state-owned companies and fiscal reporting and comprehensive capacity development in public financial management.

Deputy Finance Minister for Revenue Mrs. Elfreda Tamba who signed on behalf of the Liberian Government said the signing of the agreement signifies Government’s strong commitment to public financial management reform. Mrs. Tamba said such strong commitment is underpinned by the key pillars of integrity and automation.  She said Sweden through its development agency SIDA has been making key interventions in Liberia mainly in health, agriculture, rule of law, education and the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund. The Deputy Finance Minister for Revenue said Liberia was thankful to Sweden for its grant support in public financial management especially for the IFMIS project.

Mrs. Tamba expressed the Liberian Government’s commitment to the principles of good public financial governance and said the three institutions benefiting from the grant are pillars of the reform. Mrs.Tamba is hoping Sweden will continue to support reforms initiative in Liberia and expressed optimism that Sweden’s intervention in the Liberian economy will continue to grow. Remarks were also made by the Director General of the Civil Service Agency Dr.William Allen, the OIC of the project at the General Auditing Commission, Janga Kowo.

The overall objective of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS)  Project is to strengthen the Government of Liberia financial management system through the provision, installation and commissioning of a computerized financial management information at the Ministry of Finance and through strengthening mutual accounting systems in all line ministries, agencies and counties.