Liberia's Landmark Commercial Code to Strengthen the Economy
With support from IFC, Liberia has approved its first comprehensive
commercial code, a landmark piece of legislation that will strengthen
the country’s business environment, helping to attract foreign
investment and boosting the local economy.
The code sets out provisions for sales, leases, financial leases,
mortgages, secured transactions and commercial arbitration, bringing
consistency to Liberia’s business environment by replacing sometimes
confusing current legal arrangements.
Drafted after long consultations involving representatives from
Liberia’s public and private sectors and representatives from IFC and
the World Bank, the new laws should boost investor confidence in a
country working hard to recover and rebuild following a crippling civil
war that ended in 2003.
The new laws will be backed by a commercial court based on an existing
model in Ghana. Together, Liberia’s new code and court should go a long
way to tackling corruption in Liberia, which suffers from high levels of
poverty and unemployment.
IFC’s Acting Representative in Liberia, Kobina Egyir Daniel, said,
“Extensive stakeholder engagement led by IFC ensured the final code was
in line with international best practices, but also suited specifically
for the needs of the Liberian market. This code will improve the
business climate, give greater security for commercial transactions, and
inspire greater confidence in Liberia as an investment destination."
Finance Lease Law
Among the laws set out in the commercial code is a finance lease law
that was developed with the support of IFC’s Advisory Services Africa
Leasing Facility. Another law, Liberia’s new mortgage law, was modeled
after the Ghana Home Mortgage Finance Bill that Ghana developed with
Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected
female head of state, was a driving force behind the passage of the
commercial code as a means to boost the long-term prospects for
Liberia’s Ministry of State in the Office of the President for Legal and
Economic Affairs, the Central Bank of Liberia, the Chamber of Commerce,
the Bankers' Association and the Bar Association were also closely
involved in the process.
IFC Advisory Services' Conflict Affected States in Africa program
supported development of the commercial code in partnership with the
World Bank’s Low-Income Countries Under Stress Program, which will fund
the refurbishment of the premises designated for the new commercial
For more information contact:
Tel: +221 33 859 7126