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Friday, July 19, 2024

Boakai, Billionaire Robert Friedland Enter New Railway Deal

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Billionaire Robert Friedland concluded his meeting with Liberian President Joseph Boakai agreeing on plans to massively invest in the West African country’s mining sector and rail network.

Following the Monrovia engagement, High Power Exploration Inc (HPX), a US company announced Saturday the signing of a letter of intent with the Government of Liberia and the Guma Africa Group Ltd to negotiate a deal to own, design, finance, develop, and operate The Liberty Corridor.

This new infrastructure corridor will connect Guinea and Liberia and include a world-class rail system, a deep-water port, an extension of the hydropower network, upgrades to existing road networks, and the implementation of fiber optic telecommunication cable, the company said in a statement shared with the Oracle News Daily.

The Liberty Corridor is a joint development between the Government of Liberia, HPX, and the Guma Africa Group.

The parties have entered into an exclusive 30-day negotiation period, with the possibility of an extension, to finalize the framework agreement. Upon completion, the agreement will be presented to the Liberian legislature for ratification.

The Liberty Corridor has the potential to transform the mineral-rich Nimba region and spur economic activity in sectors such as mining, agriculture, manufacturing, health, and education. The project aims to improve the quality of life for residents in the region and create sustainable employment opportunities.

President Joseph Nyuma Boakai Sr. of Liberia expressed his enthusiasm for the project, emphasizing its positive impact on the country’s economy.

He highlighted how the project aligns with his administration’s agenda and commitment to sectors such as agriculture, road development, rule of law, education, sanitation, and tourism. President Boakai also expressed gratitude to HPX for their dedication to operating in Liberia and contributing to its economic viability.

HPX’s CEO, Bronwyn Barnes, commended President Boakai’s proactive approach to building Liberia’s economy and expressed delight in partnering with the Government of Liberia and the Guma Africa Group.

Barnes noted that HPX looks forward to collaborating with the government to expand the mining sector and foster infrastructure opportunities within The Liberty Corridor.

The Chairman of the Guma Africa Group, Robert Gumede, expressed his excitement about partnering with HPX to transform the economies of Guinea and Liberia.

Gumede emphasized the project’s potential to unlock opportunities in mining, agriculture, and industrialization, ultimately creating sustainable jobs.

He emphasized the need for action rather than mere promises in advancing long-term investment policies in Liberia.

Retired Ambassador J. Peter Pham, Chairman of HPX, highlighted the encouraging consideration of the Liberia-Guinea Corridor by the US government.

He emphasized how the project aligns with the objectives outlined in the United States’ strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa and the commitments made by President Biden and the G7 in the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI) initiative.

The PGI initiative aims to foster transformative economic corridors globally and promote infrastructure investments that connect and boost economic development across countries and sectors.

Pham cited the Lobito Atlantic Railway Corridor, a project launched by President Biden at the G7 Summit in Japan, as an example.

The Lobito Railway Corridor, connecting Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia, has already facilitated economic integration and improved trade opportunities.

In related news, Ivanhoe Mines, a prominent mining company co-chaired by Robert Friedland, announced its involvement within the existing Lobito Corridor.

The company will transport up to 240,000 tons of copper concentrate along the corridor, highlighting the potential for increased economic activity and trade partnerships.


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