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Friday, June 14, 2024

AFDB MOBILIZES $3.5 TO $5 BILLION FOR LIBERTY CORRIDOR LINKING LIBERIA AND GUINEA

Date:

MONROVIA – In a stunning revelation during his opening speech at the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) 2024 Annual Meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, the Bank’s President, announced that the AfDB is mobilizing $3.5 billion to $5 billion for the development of the Liberty Corridor, linking Liberia and the Republic of Guinea. His speech was delivered on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at the Kenyatta International Conference Center.

Among other initiatives outlined by Dr. Adesina were the raising of $3.2 billion by the AfDB for the East Africa standard gauge railway connecting Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi; providing $500 million towards the development of the Lobito corridor to link Zambia, Angola, and the DRC; and mobilizing $375 million for financing the railway linking Nigeria to the Niger Republic.

Additionally, the Bank is engaging with partners of the Africa Investment Forum to mobilize $15.6 billion of investment commitments towards the development of the Lagos-Abidjan corridor.

Touting the AfDB as a solution and impact-driven institution, Dr. Adesina declared that the African Development Bank Group is in strong financial shape and ready to contribute to major development projects on the continent. He projected that Africa’s real GDP growth will rise from 3.1% in 2023 to 3.7% in 2024, and up to 4.3% in 2025, noting that “African economies are showing resilience, despite the challenges posed by climate change, geopolitical tensions, global inflation, and rising debt, among others.”

The resources being raised by the Bank for the Liberty Corridor Project will heavily impact the consortium of investors led by HPX and Guma Group, which are champions of the undertaking. The project envisages the construction of a multi-user railway line connecting the Buchanan Port with HPX’s iron ore mining concession in Guinea. It will also include the expansion of the Port facilities in Buchanan.

Both during and after the construction phase, the project is expected to create thousands of high-paying jobs for Liberians. The project is an integrated rail with a deep seaport, energy, telecommunications, and fiber optic development corridor. It is anticipated that the Government of Liberia will generate resources in tax revenue from this project upon completion. As a multi-user facility, it is expected to serve as a harbinger for regional trade between Liberia, Guinea, and land-locked Mali.

This announcement serves as a significant boost and major support to President Boakai’s Infrastructural Pillar of the ARREST Agenda.

On the margins of the AfDB Annual Meeting, members of the Liberian delegation engaged with the Chairman and CEO of the GUMA Group, Robert Gumede, as well as senior representatives of key multilateral financial institutions such as the Kuwaiti Fund for Economic Development, the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development, and the Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA).

These meetings with international financial institutions were preliminary discussions on the financing of the Gbarnga-Salayea-Voinjama Road Pavement Project. Bilateral talks were also held with officials of the United States Treasury Department.

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