Chinese and local engineers are busy constructing the Chinese-funded ministerial complex in Liberia. Demolition of the old, incomplete Defense Ministry building on Tubman Boulevard in Congo Town is already underway to make room for the new ministerial structure. Concerns about traffic on the already congested Tubman Boulevard arose, since the building will house up to ten of Liberia’s government ministries and agencies. Liberia’s Ministry of Public Works is considering options to ease the traffic congestion.
After diplomatic ties between the two countries were reestablished in 1993 with the signing of the Communiqué on the Resumption of Diplomatic Relations, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) began providing generous amounts of foreign aid to Liberia. The $60 million USD, long-awaited ministerial complex is the second-largest building constructed by the Chinese government in Africa, and it is a significant component of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Agenda for Transformation, which includes improving the working conditions for civil servants. The PRC had promised the funding in 2012; however the outbreak of Ebola and the need to evict squatters from the area delayed the project.
Chinese firms Kuangdu Construction Company, which is enlarging of the Capitol Building, and the Hebei Engineering Group, which is overseeing the ministerial complex construction, are employing local workers. The Liberian government, not China, is taking care of relocating and compensating displaced residents. According to newspaper editorials, Liberians consider the ministerial complex an invaluable gift that represents cooperation and friendship between the two countries.
Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua says that funding for the complex, which should be finished in three and half years, comes under the Economic and Technical Corporation Agreement signed by the Chinese and the Liberian Governments. The PRC also funded other projects in the West African nation, including the Jackson Fiah Doe Memorial Hospital, the Monrovia Vocational Training Center and three high schools. The PRC also plans to build a new highway along the coast as part of their post-war reconstruction aid.