Why Has Liberia Become Africa’s Newest Member Of China-led Development Bank

image illustrates China and Liberia relationship
Photo Source: Belt and Road News

The Asian Infrastructural Investment Bank(AIIB) has announced the acceptance of Liberia as its new African member. A formal application was made on 13 April 2020 by the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

Liberia’s admission was resolved during the Bank’s fifth Annual Meeting in Beijing, China. During the virtual annual meeting, Minister Tweah of Liberia, who attended stated that “the country’s membership in the AIIB will definitely bring huge benefits and opportunities in terms of external resource mobilization to boost the country’s infrastructure and economic transformation in line with the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).” As a member, Liberia stands to benefit from the announced US$ 10 billion COVID-19 pandemic support package for member countries, The New Dawn opined. 

The country is also expected to 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. Also, according to The New Dawn, Liberia, through its membership, is expected to explore opportunities to meet major development and infrastructure challenges confronting other African countries, in the form of large road and electricity infrastructure deficits, climate change, and challenges to perfecting the digital economic frontier.

The $100 billion international financial institution (AIIB) currently has ten members and 9 prospective members from Africa and 103 approved members globally. The bank’s ten African members include Algeria, Ghana, Egypt, Guinea, Benin, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ethiopia. According to the AIIB, these approved African members are responsible for over 60 percent of Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and represent over 46 percent of Africa’s population. U.S former president Barack Obama had said that China may steer AIIB loans to meet political or strategic considerations rather than economic.

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