By Precious D. Freeman
Guinea and Liberia bilateral talks on the Railway Corridor Project aimed at promoting Regional Integrations and Economic Co-operations get underway in Monrovia.
In the overview of the project, Foreign Affairs Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah explained that in 2019, the continent achieved a significant milestone with the entry into force of the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement on May 30, 2019, this was accomplished in a timely manner through the strong, focused and African decisive leadership.
According to Min. Kemayah a key challenge in achieving these objectives included the lack of adequate trade enabling infrastructure on the continent noting that, “The African Development Bank estimated the railway infrastructure deficit to be between US$130 billion to US$170 billion per annum and given the railway infrastructure gap, no institution can bridge this gap alone.”
He stated that development of railway infrastructure in West Africa has a rich economic, strategic, and political history, adding that the discussion between the two countries to regional integration vis-à-vis shipping of mining products through Liberia has been ongoing for the last 38-years.
However, Kemayah said this interaction sets a fine image for the engagement and the memento to improve the social and economic world bank of the two countries.
He reported that Liberia through the Legislature has rectified the Implementation Agreement which President George Manneh Weah has signed into law and is now being published and printed into handbills and added, “This is to further demonstrate to our Guinea counterparts that Liberia takes seriously its commitment to the implementations of the agreement.”
“The Government of Liberia believes its national development plan is the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development which fulfils the benchmark set forth for school, economic, job and sustaining the peace respectively,” he mentioned.
Appreciating the friendship between the two countries, Kemayah reiterated that Guinea and Liberia shares common borders which are hardly distinguishable and have facilitated in large measures associated trades and commerce across national countries.
Meanwhile, according to the Foreign Affairs Minister for Guinea, Ibrahim Kalil Kaba, the project involves the implementations of railway infrastructure and operations of an integrated corridor, with the objective to significantly enhance the flow of trader’s goods and services along the two West African Countries.
He mentioned that it is their desire to realize this very great project and the two parties will have been persuaded for unbeginning that realization of this project will favor the opportunities of the youths of Liberia and Guinea.
“It is a very great opportunity for the development economy in our sub region, and we are hopeful that this project will be very successful and it will be the realization of the very old dream of our two countries” he said.
The joint International Ministerial conference between Liberia and neighboring Guinea which began in Monrovia on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 is expected to end on Friday, June 11, 2021.
The 3-day gathering is intended to discuss the development of a rail corridor to transport Guinean mining products using Liberian port infrastructure which will also facilitate the transport of agriculture products, people, good and services.
The Guinean delegation consists of nine senior ministers including the Heads of Guinean financial institutions and headed by the country’s Foreign Minister, Ibrahim K. Kaba, is leading Guinea’s bilateral engagements.
While the Foreign Minister, Dee Maxwell Kemayah, is also leading the Liberian team consisting of the same number of Ministers while the Guinea Minister of Mines and Geology, Abdoulaye Magassouba, led the country’s Ministerial Committee on the Implementation Agreement and Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah Jr. leads Liberia’s.
The agreement represents a legal, institutional and operational framework between the two countries and is meant to secure the use of current and future infrastructure and/or transport services in Liberia by Guinean mining operators and also facilitates the importation to Guinea by mining operators of goods used for mining projects in Guinea
Guinea, Liberia Railway Corridor Project Discussion Kicks Off
By Precious D. Freeman