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Liberia's Private Sector Revival
For decades, Liberia suffered economic stagnation.
Today, supported by the World Bank Group, the country is looking to a brighter future, building a strong private sector that is attracting investment and allowing smaller businesses to thrive.
IFC’s Liberia Private Sector Development Program is helping the country reform its investment climate, attract and promote quality investment, and galvanize the growth of small and medium enterprises.
Now in its third phase, which is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency, the program has helped Liberia achieve a number of important goals, including successfully passing an investment code , launching a business registry, and establishing the Liberia Better Business Forum to support public-private dialogue.
These reforms have helped Liberia attract quality investment and are encouraging transparency in its business environment.
Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s country representative in Liberia, said, “This phase of the Liberia program will continue to address crucial challenges to private sector development in Liberia, especially the key constraints of access to finance and SME capacity. The program is supporting Liberia’s efforts to grow its economy by strengthening local businesses and encouraging more local and international investment.”
With the support of IFC and IFC’s partners, Liberia has made 47 changes to its investment climate -- improvements that are helping ease trade, streamline business start-up and property registration, and ease access to finance -- making it easier for businesses to do business.
As a result of its continued efforts to improve the investment climate, Liberia was recognized by the World Bank Group as a Top Ten Global Reformer in the 2010 Doing Business Survey
Reforms supported by the first two phases of the Liberia program have generated $ 11-13 million investment in the private sector; led to a 20 percent increase in the number of formal businesses; created about 20,000 new jobs, and led to savings worth $4.7 million for the private sector.
Dr. Gun Eriksson Skoog, Country Manager for Development Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden, said, “The IFC-supported program in Liberia has a good track record, which reflects not only Liberian stakeholders’ need for and willingness to implement reforms, but also IFC flexibility and innovation. The third phase will focus more strongly on creating linkages and opportunities for broad-based, inclusive economic development. These efforts are fully in line with Sweden’s development co-operation strategy for Liberia,”
Donors Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway are contributing to the World Bank Group's efforts to strengthen Liberia's private sector through the Conflict Affected States in Africa (CASA) Program.
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