Liberia joins World Trade Organization

NAIROBI, Kenya – Ebola-ravaged Liberia on Wednesday joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the body's first ministerial conference in Africa.

Liberia's membership came after formal approval by the WTO ministers in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

"Liberia intends to serve as an active member, to use trade as a tool for investment that will cause development and reduce poverty," Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said.

Liberia earlier this month released its last two known Ebola cases from hospital and started the countdown to being declared free of the virus for a third time.

WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo welcomed Liberia in the organisation and promising to support the west African nation.

"It is particularly appropriate that at this first ministerial conference in Africa, we are welcoming a new African Member," said Azevedo said.

War-torn Afghanistan is expected to join the WTO at a separate ceremony on Thursday in Nairobi at the conference, which wraps up on Friday. –