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Bilateral Brief: India-Liberia

Political: India-Liberia relations have been warm and friendly. Ambassador of India to Cote d’Ivoire has been concurrently accredited to Liberia with residence in Abidjan. Liberia too does not have a resident Mission in New Delhi.

H.E. George Manneh Weah took over as the 24th President of Liberia on 22 January, 2018 riding on a popular vote and hope for change. Former President of Liberia, H.E. Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize 2012 for Peace, Disarmament and Development by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.

President Johnson Sirleaf visited India in 2013 when four Agreements / MOUs were signed. These include the establishment of Joint Commission between the Foreign Ministries of two countries; cooperation between the Foreign Service Institutes; MOU to establish a cooperative institutional framework to facilitate enhancement of bilateral cooperation in the oil and gas sector, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit; and Line of Credit of US$ 144 million for transmission and distribution project (which was later canceled at the Liberia’s request). President Sirleaf made a categorical statement on Liberia’s support to India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council. President of Liberia, H.E. Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf accompanied by a high-level delegation visited India again in October 2015 to participate at the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit.

India’s contribution to UNML was well appreciated by Liberia. The Female Formed Police Unit (FFPU) of the CRPF to the United Nations Mission in Liberia, represented the first-ever women contingent in the history of UN peacekeeping. This contingent has not only generated enormous goodwill but has also been a source of inspiration for Liberian women.

Important Visits from India to Liberia:

MOS (External Affairs) Shri M.J. Akbar visited Liberia on 1-2 March, 2018. During the visit, MoS reiterated India’s offer to build a Convention Centre in the honor of Mahatma Gandhi. MoS also conveyed India’s decision to supply to Liberia 50 vehicles including fire engine vehicles on grant basis.

MOS, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Shri G M Siddeshwara visited Monrovia on 10-11 September 2015 to personally hand over Prime Minister’s invitation for the third India Africa Forum Summit at New Delhi.

The then MOS (External Affairs) Dr. Shashi Tharoor visited Liberia from 16-19 September 2009, accompanied by a CII business delegation. It was the first visit by an Indian Foreign Minister since Sardar Swaran Singh’s visit to the country 38 years ago in 1971. President Sirleaf characterized the visit of Dr. Tharoor as “a landmark visit” which was closely followed by another official visit by Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Shri Valayar Ravi in February 2010.

Other Important Visits from Liberia to India:

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gbehzohngar M. Findley visited India to attend First International Solar Alliance Summit on 10-11 March, 2018.

Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai led the Liberian delegation, including Minister for Public Works, to the 9th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave held in New Delhi from 17-19 March 2013. This was the first visit to India by a Vice President of Liberia. Earlier, Liberian Commerce Minister Ms. Miata Beysolow participated in the 8th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave and the 2nd India-Africa Trade Ministers’ Conference in March 2012. Dr. Richard Tolbert, Chairman of the National Investment Commission of Liberia, and Dr. Frederick Norkey, Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry attended the 5th CII-EXIM Bank conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership in Delhi in March 2009.

Trade and Commerce:

The bilateral trade figures during the last three years are as follows:




Total(In million US$)













(Data Source: MOC GOI)

The overall bilateral trade has seen substantial rise during 2017-18. The fall in bilateral trade during 2015-17 could be largely due to the factors related to Ebola epidemic & aftermath. The main items of export from India are food stuff particularly rice, engineering goods, pharmaceuticals products, two wheelers, transport equipment, steel and iron, and plastic and rubber products. Imports from Liberia mainly include wood and articles of wood, metals scrap and natural rubber. In 2012, Liberia acceded to India’s Duty-Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme for Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Under the scheme, India provided preferential market access for Liberia’s exports, covering 94% of total tariff lines.

Liberia has signed the Framework Agreement in International Solar Alliance (ISA). The process of ratification by the Liberian Parliament is also underway.

Indian Investment:

Arcelor Mittal, a PIO company invested in mining started exporting iron ore from Liminco mine since July 2011. During President Sirleaf’s visit to India of, JSPL signed a MoU to build 175 MW Power Plant in Liberia, which is yet to take off. There are many Indian companies operating in Liberia ranging from small trading firms to medium manufacturing enterprises.

Assistance to Liberia:

India contributed SDR 11.15 million towards the IMF’s Financial Package for Liberia’s Debt Relief in October 2007. India had gifted 25 buses in 2010 which was a visible example of India's assistance for improving daily lives of thousands of Liberians. In December 2014, India gifted 15 buses to Liberia which were formally received by the Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan in the presence President Sirleaf. India provided agricultural assistance package consisting of pesticides and sprayers to the Liberian government in 2009 to help combat emergency situation caused by caterpillar infestation. India announced gifting of a CT scan machine to JFK Medical Centre in Monrovia, Barefoot Vocational Training Centre, a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology and a Farm Science Centre to augmenting the medical and educational sectors in Liberia. The CT Scan machine has already been ordered and is expected to reach Liberia in few months.

Liberia was severely affected by Ebola during 2014-15. It was declared Ebola free by WHO on 9 May 2015. GOI extended bilateral assistance of over US$ 50,000 to Liberia to fight Ebola. In addition, GOI provided cash assistance of US$ 500,000 to WHO as well as contribution of US$ 10 million to UN Fund for Ebola and additional US$ 2 million for purchase of protective gear to tackle Ebola for the three Ebola affected countries of West Africa including Liberia and Guinea. In August 2014, the Indian Community in Liberia also donated assorted anti-Ebola related material worth more than US$ 200,000 to the National Task Force on Ebola. The donation was received by the Liberian President personally. This was in addition to the GOI assistance. Hyderabad based L. V. Prasad Eye Institute had set up a modern eye clinic at JFK Memorial Hospital in Monrovia.

Government of India will be constructing Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in Monrovia under grant assistance and has also contributed US$ 2 million as grant for construction of a military hospital in Liberia. GOI has also granted Liberia 45 passenger buses and 5 Firetrucks recently in December 2019.

Capacity Building and Human Resource Development:

India has been contributing towards human resource development, capacity building and skills up-gradation of Liberians. Under IAFS I and II, India has committed to set up an Information Technology Centre, a Farm Science Centre and a Training Centre for Women in the Solar Energy sector. A Vocational Training Centre for Women is being set up at Bucannan County near capital Monrovia by Barefoot College Tilonia. Liberia has been a beneficiary country of the PAN African e-network project and is appreciative of the project. GOI has offered the upgraded programme of e-VBAB to Liberia. India provides 70 training slots under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) & six ICCR scholarships for post graduate studies. Liberians have also been benefiting from other capacity building trainings in India under the IAFS as well as under the US-Liberia-India trilateral cooperation programme.

Indian Community:

There are about 2000 Indian nationals residing in Liberia. The Indian community was mainly engaged in trading and providing services. However, few of them have now started manufacturing ventures too. Liberia government recognized the community substantial contribution to the Liberian economy. There is a Sikh Gurudwara, a Hindu Temple and also a cremation ground in Liberia.


(last updated 14 October 2020)


Useful Resources:


1.      https://www.eoiabidjan.gov.in/page/india-liberia-relations/

2.      https://www.eoiabidjan.gov.in/news_letter_detail/?id=34

3.      https://twitter.com/EOIIvoryCoast

4.      https://www.facebook.com/EOICOTEDIVOIRE/