Africa: HPX, Liberia and Guma Africa to Invest in New Multi-User Railroad, Deep Water Port

— President Boakai assures new development partner transparent deal; President and CEO says Over 2 Million people to benefit

The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of US Company High Power Exploration Inc. (HPX), Bronwyn Barnes, has announced the signing of a letter of intent with the Liberian Government and the Guma Africa Group Ltd. to enter into negotiations to own, design, finance, develop, and operate The Liberty Corridor — a brand new multi-user infrastructure corridor connecting Guinea and Liberia.

The Liberty Corridor will comprise a brand-new world-class rail system connecting Guinea to a brand-new deep-water port at Didia, Liberia, an extension of the existing hydropower network from Côte d’Ivoire into the Nimba districts of Liberia and Guinea, an upgrade of existing road networks in the Nimba district to all-weather roads and the implementation of fiber optic telecommunication cable connecting Liberia to the Nimba district and potentially beyond.

The Liberty Corridor would be a joint development between the Government of Liberia, HPX, and the Guma Africa Group, with the three parties who, on Friday, February 9, entered into an exclusive 30-day period (which can be extended) during which the final framework agreement will be negotiated. On completion of the final agreement, the document will be presented to the Liberian legislature for ratification.

A Liberia-Guinea multi-user infrastructure corridor has the potential to transform the mineral-rich Nimba region and for projects along the railway and road corridor in Liberia. The Liberty Corridor will stimulate economic activity in mining, as well as agriculture, manufacturing, health, and education. The Liberty Corridor will dramatically improve the quality of life for the millions of people living in the region and create sustainable regional employment.

President Joseph Nyuma Boakai indicated his delight in having this major project with the potential for a profound positive impact on the Liberian economy and the region.

Furthermore, the Project is consistent with the Boakai administration’s ARREST (Agriculture, Road, Rule of Law, Education, Sanitation, & Tourism) agenda, which will positively impact those sectors, including electricity, telecommunication, and the movement of goods and services.

The President noted that the project comes less than a month into his term, which presents good news for the country, especially for young people, which will provide job opportunities.

“We are happy with the relationship with our American and South African counterparts, especially seeing this project coming in less than a month into my new administration,” he said.

“We have to prove to our partners that we are serious, accountable, and honest, and that corruption will not be a hindrance to this administration,” stated President Boakai.

The President also thanked HPX management for the determination expressed to operate in Liberia, to provide employment opportunities for Liberians and to contribute to the economic viability of the country. He also assured Liberians that there are prospects and good news on the horizon for the country.

President Joseph Nyuma Boakai said it has been less than a month since his inauguration and today, sitting here to discuss the investment package, not just the benefit of the railway but the social and economic development along it, it is a big blessing to Liberia.

“We have come with a new authority in this country to prove to our partners that we are serious about business in this country. We are serious about being accountable, being honest and that corruption will not be a hindrance to this administration,” Boakai said.

He expressed gratitude to government officials who have been involved in this exercise because they have proven to the world that Liberia is ready for business.

“HPX is delighted to have formed this partnership with the Government of Liberia and the Guma Africa Group to develop The Liberty Corridor in Guinea and Liberia,” said HPX’s CEO Bronwyn Barnes. “President Joseph Boakai has started his Presidency on a strong footing, engaging with industry to build Liberia’s economy. We are delighted to have signed this Letter of Intent with the Government of Liberia as we seek to build Liberia’s mining sector in an open and transparent relationship that also delivers benefits to broader industry and community. HPX looks forward to being part of the growth of Liberia’s mining industry and working collaboratively with the Government of Liberia to expand both the mining sector and multi-user infrastructure opportunities centered around The Liberty Corridor.

“The Liberty Corridor will be a world-class infrastructure development that will include a brand new rail system constructed within the existing Yekepa-Buchanan infrastructure corridor, a new deep-water port to be constructed at Didia, an upgrade to the existing road connecting the Nimba district to Didia, an expansion of existing renewable power systems from Liberia to Guinea, and high-speed telecommunications infrastructure.

Guma Africa Group’s Pan-African serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert Gumede said: “I am delighted to partner with HPX as we pool our resources to transform both Guinea and Liberia’s economies through the development of the Liberty Corridor can unlock the mining, agriculture, and industrialization of the two countries and the creation of sustainable jobs.

“The time for lip service is gone,” he continued. “Our joint partnership with HPX will support Liberia’s long-term investment policies.”

HPX Chairman, Retired Ambassador J. Peter Pham, also commented: “The U.S. Government’s consideration of the potential for the Liberia-Guinea Corridor is extremely encouraging. This project has the potential to transform the mineral-rich Nimba region and for projects along the railway in Liberia, stimulating further economic activity not only in mining but also in agriculture, manufacturing, health, and education. The Liberty Corridor will enhance the quality of life for the citizens of both countries through improved access to energy, transportation, and telecommunications.”