Pres. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf cutting the ribbon in July for the official opening of the Monrovia-Gbarnga highway. China direct investment in Africa reached $10 billion by 2010, according to a World Bank recent index report. The Chinese Government is not slowing down, and these investments which are accompanied by tangible development aid packages of significant value, have given China a special place in the heart of Liberians.
China’s Chongqing International Construction Company or CICO, acclaimed for its specialized engineering performance in road network construction around the world, has renewed its commitment and support to Liberia’s recovery drive.
CICO Liberia, through its General Manager, Mr. Yang Zetao, expressed thanks and gratitude to the Government and people of Liberia for the level of cordial working relationship during construction and rehabilitation work on the Red Light-Gbarnga Road Project as well as the smooth and peaceful atmosphere afforded the company’s management since it resumed operations in Liberia.
The successful completion of the new super highway which was turned over to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Public Works and formerly dedicated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is a clear testimony of CICO’s continuous commitment in providing quality service to a nation in dare need of road connectivity.
The new highway is named in honor of the late Madam Suakoko, a legendary female Paramount Chief from Bong County who was revered for her role in galvanizing natives of her land to support the expansion and integration of Liberia into the hinterland. It is now easier, smoother and safer to travel from Monrovia to the Mount Coffee Hydro through Caldwell which connects to the new super highway.
The World Bank and the EU are among major funders of the project under the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund, geared towards achieving the Liberia Urban and Rural infrastructure Rehabilitation Project.
Under the output and performance based contract (payments are done based on specified satisfactory completion of segments) the construction companies will spend up to 10 years rehabilitating and maintaining the road. The rehabilitation phase is expected to elapse in 2017.
The entire project is about 250 kilometers. LOT 1 runs from Redlight (Cocola Factory) to Gbarnga City, while LOT 2, contracted to CHICO, another Chinese firm, stretches from Gbarnga to Ganta and to the Liberian border with Guinea.
Since the company started its operations in Liberia, CICO has remained a major employer, complementing the government’s efforts in balancing the Labor Sector. Many extended families in Liberia and elsewhere depend on employment opportunities offered by the company.
CICO has experienced rapid development which today puts it at the forefront of construction companies in Liberia and certainly among the most important in Africa. For several years now, the company has built a solid reputation in the construction of roads, and civil engineering.
With several years of expertise in the sectors of construction, public works and civil engineering, CICO is one of the few companies in Liberia to have a fleet of machinery and industrial equipment which meet the diverse requirements of harsh environments.
Bulldozers, excavators, shovel loaders, tractors, compactors, dump trucks, graders, asphalt plants and concrete plants guarantee reactivity and mobility on all the territories of execution, thanks to a fleet of trucks conveying machinery to construction sites.
-Editing by Jonathan Browne