From Monrovia To Banjul: David Belgrove Departing After Five-Year Run As UK Ambassador
Monrovia – Mr David Belgrove is ending his tenure as British Ambassador to Liberia following his appointment as British High Commissioner to The Gambia.
Mr. Belgrove, who previously served in Liberia as Chargé d’Affaires in 2010, succeeds Ms. Sharon Wardle who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Mr Belgrove will take up his appointment during August 2020.
Mr Belgrove joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1982 and has served in the Czech Republic, Kuwait, India, Canada, Afghanistan and Liberia.
Mr. Belgrove previously served in Khartoum, as Deputy Head of Mission( from 2012 to 2015). From 2009 to 2010, he was Deputy Head of Afghan Interdepartmental Drug Unit for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office(FCO), a member of the FCO’s Counter Narcotics Team in Kabul from 2007 to 2009; and team leader of the Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Section, Conflict Issues Group. From 2002 to 2004, he was head of Section and Security Sector Reform Manager, for the FCO’s Carribean team and from 2000 to 2002 he served in Ottawa, Canada as First Secretary and head of Media and Public Affairs.
In April 2015, on his return to Liberia, Ambassador Belgrove replaced former Ambassador Fergus Cochrane-Dyet.
Relationship between Liberia and Great Britain goes as far back as 1848 when Britain became the first country that recognized Liberia’s independence. “Liberia never forgets that Great Britain in 1848 recognized our declaration of independence just one year after our independence when our key principle partner, the United States had not even done that,” former President Sirleaf told the Ambassador when he took over in 2015, right after the deadly Ebola virus pandemic.
At the time, President Sirleaf praised Belgrove for his roles in Liberia’s immediate past when he helped in relieving the country of its debts. She made particular reference to the role the UK Government played when Liberia appealed for debt waiver.
During his stay in Liberia, Ambassador Belgrove has been supportive of Liberia’s fight against corruption, gender and education issues.
In 2017, the Ambassador expressed his government’s preparedness to aid Liberia in the corruption investigation surrounding Sable Mining Company and some Liberian officials including House Speaker, Alex Tyler and Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman.
He told a gathering at a program marking the 90th birth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II that tackling corruption at all levels will help to shape Liberia’s future, “because UK stands ready to support the initiative.”
The Ambassador’s comments came after the London-based Global Witness unveiled that Sable Mining Company went into dubious deal with some government officials to make the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) Law vulnerable so that Sable Mining would have the opportunity to take over.
In April last year, Ambassador Belgrove emphasized the importance of promoting education in Liberia and how gender-responsive education in Liberia was a top priority of his government’s.
The Ambassador was also instrumental in securing the donation of a fisheries patrol vessel (FPV) to bolster Liberia’s effort to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities, particularly in the Southeastern region of Liberia.