- Liberian entrepreneurs and businesses are waiting to be showered with financial and technical resources to rejuvenate Liberia's economy and foster long-term stability in a country plagued by more than a decade of civil war.
The funds, which have been made possible by an American businessman, Robert L. Johnson, the Chairman of RLJ Companies, will be operated by CHF International.
Johnson is providing an initial capital of US $3 million needed to open a non-bank finance institution called RLJ Liberian Enterprise Development Fund (LEDF).
The project is expected to receive up to $20 million in loan capital from the U.S. Overseas Privat Investment Corporation (OPIC) that can ultimately be used to meet the credit needs of more than an estimated 1,500 Liberian businesses.
CHF International has been working in line with the African Development Foundations’ (ADF) efforts to provide business development services to Liberian enterprises. The group [CHF] and its partners believed that the short- and medium-term impact of the LEDF depends on the direct provision of credit, select equity investments and targeted technical assistance.
But, in the long-term, the program is expected to strengthen functional commercial linkages between Liberia's business and financial sectors - and will result in the creation of a stable, commercially-viable business sector.
"Our experience in post-conflict settings around the world has made it abundantly clear that the best chances for political and social stability are achieved when there is economic stability, and the commercial sector has adequate access to credit," said Michael E. Doyle, President of CHF International in a statement.
"Given our specific experience in Liberia working to mitigate conflict in some of the most devastated areas of the country, I am convinced this initiative is exactly what the country needs to move forward to achieve lasting peace and prosperity."
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