UK-LIBERIA INVESTMENT FORUM ON COURSE
Forum aims to deliver key economic, trade and investment goals which are necessary for accelerating the transformation of Liberia into a wealth generating economy, and create a beacon of hope for all Liberians.
Douglas Farngalo, Freelance Journalist
The Liberian Embassy accredited near London has announced the hosting of an investment forum to be held from the 14th to 15th of June, 2011. The forum, the first of its kind to be held outside by the Liberian diplomatic mission, is expected to be held in London under the theme: “Enhancing Economic Growth through Competitiveness, Diversification and Infrastructure Development”.
The UK-Liberia First Investment Forum will be held under the auspices of the Liberian Government in collaboration with the Development Marketing Associates Limited (DMA) and Africa Matters Limited (AML). These two entities are renowned and have vast experiences in working with governments, according to the announcement.
The announcement further states that the purpose and objectives of the forum is to deliver key economic, trade and investment goals which are necessary for accelerating the transformation of Liberia into a wealth generating economy, and create a beacon of hope for all Liberians.
Speaking in an interview in Gent, Belgium, the Liberian Ambassador accredited to the Court of St. James, his Excellency Wesley M. Johnson said it has taken him two years to develop the idea aimed at showcasing areas of investment in Liberia to potential investors, with huge capitals hoping to develop various sectors ranging from transport, agriculture, human resources, telecommunications, medical, educational, natural resources etc. He said the president of the Republic of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who will be visiting the UK from the 13-15 June 2011, will grace the occasion with her presence and deliver the opening remarks.
Speaking in detail about the planning of the event, Ambassador Johnson explained that the forum will include power point presentations by various heads of agencies of the Liberian government followed by brief speeches made to invited guests and members of the Liberian community in attendance.
The Embassy’s announcement details that those attending the forum will be drawn from the chamber of commerce and industry as well as private sector associations, businesses targeted from key sectors, key support and partner industries such as commercial banks, financial service providers, institutional investors and management consultants.
Other guests invited to attend will include international development and donor agencies, representatives from the Liberian government and successful Liberian industry figures, members of the press and the Liberia Diaspora.
His Excellency Johnson therefore appeals to all Liberians in the UK to be in attendance and also invite investors and business houses interested in investing in the Liberian economy to attend the forum.
The government of Liberia has embarked on a massive reconstruction initiative since the country was scarred by a devastating civil war, which lasted over 15 years. The first post war election was held in October 2005, bringing into office Africa’s first female president Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Many international investment companies have since entered agreements with the Liberian government, two of which include the Chevron Corporation to explore deepwater blocks of offshore oil over a combined area of 9,600 square km, together with the acquisition of a one billion dollar deal by one of the world’s largest steel companies Mittal Steel Company N.V., based in the UK, to explore iron ore in Northern Liberia.