The government of Liberia has announced a new investment package valued at $10 billion in the mining, agriculture and forestry sectors.
The pronouncement comes few months following the World Bank’s rating of Liberia as the 5th best reformer worldwide in 2009 and 2nd best on the continent in terms of starting a business, according to its Doing Business survey.
The Doing Business Survey provides a snapshot of life for small and medium-sized enterprises. It looks at the laws, regulations, policies and procedures in a given country and determines the amount of time, number of steps and costs associated with performing 10 standard business operations.
The survey is compiled by gathering data from local practitioners who respond to questionnaires detailing the local experience. The Doing Business Survey thus measures the investment climate from the perspective of the local entrepreneur
Delivering her state of the nation address Monday, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said the $10 billion package includes reactivation of the Yekepa and Bong Mining operations in Nimba and Bong Counties and the Guthrie and Cavalla agricultural operations in Bomi and Maryland Counties.
She said similar operations will touch every county within the next two years. President Sirleaf: “Our oil exploration program is well advanced with support from Norway for a regional program of collaboration with Sierra Leone, and an effort underway to extend our territorial waters from 200 to 250 miles thereby significantly increasing our scope of oil exploration.
We continue to be concerned about the delay in the jobs that are to be created from the opening of our concessions and we try to find the means to address this issue.
Thus, with support of $40,000 from the Lebanese Cultural Union and $25,000 from the Indian community and a total of US$231,000 from several public corporations and institutions, we commenced, during the holiday season, a program to create 8,000 jobs over the next 6 months.
The Ministries of Labor, Public Works, Youth and Sports together with the Monrovia City Corporation are implementing this program, focusing on the youth. We expect that by the end of this period, jobs will be available in Bomi and Bong and Gbarpolu and Cape Mount and Nimba and Grand Bassa and Grand Gedeh.”