Liberia moves to have her first shopping mall in many years, as Vice President Chief Jewel Howard Taylor, leading an array of government officials, dignitaries, international guests, business and diaspora communities, investors and members of the Diplomatic Corps broke ground here on Wednesday, 16 November for a multi-million-dollar investment.
Lead facilitator, the West African Development Company (WADCO) under the supervision of Loita Capital Partners International and Era Trade Corporation, said construction works for the US$47.4 million mall project commenced immediately after the groundbreaking ceremony.
Vice President Taylor stressed a need to make Liberia a world-class reputable avenue for investment and praised Loita Capital Partners and ERA Corporation for what she describes as a laudable initiative.
She encouraged Liberians, especially women, to venture into entrepreneurship to improve their economic well-being, noting that when women are empowered economically, peace is guaranteed at the home front.
Also Speaking, the Vice President of ERA Trade Corporation, Elie Abou Jaoude, said the mall initiative was also driven by a need to improve sustainable quality enterprise by the corporation while contributing to national development.
He commended Loita Capital Partners and the Government of Liberia for their support toward the project saying, “Today’s event marks an important landmark in the history of ERA family, our partners and the good people of Liberia.”
Mr. Jaoude revealed how the organization has transformed over decades from a small group to an internationally-recognized humanitarian organization, impacting so many lives.
According to a press release, the ‘Monrovia Mall’ project had been a topic of interest on social media for some time, though details were not entirely clear. Few images of designs were also circulated to generate public interest, including potential investors.
The investment is being promoted by West African Development Company (WADCO), owned by Loita Capital Partners International and Era Trade Corporation.
Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. reaffirmed government’s commitment to infrastructure development.
“It is worthy to state that, currently the Government of Liberia is contributing considerably to the socio-economic life and well-being of Liberians by providing quality education, vocational training, charitable activities and empowerment, amongst others.
The release says this is not Loita Capital’s first intervention in the Liberian economy. In 2020, the group assisted in opening the investment banking unit of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI).
Loita’s initial intervention in Liberia was the successful creation of a discount facility for the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP), which was, inter alia, to refinance the Jahmale Diagnostic Medical Centre in Paynesville City, the release says.
The firm has also been instrumental in advising on, structuring and placing the US$52 million facility for the Liberian Bankers Association, which benefits the Commercial Banking Sector of Liberia through Afrexim Bank.
Besides Loita is advising the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) on various disposal strategies for PUTU mine, as well as development of Rail and Port infrastructure in Liberia.
Construction works for the Monrovia Mall project kicked off immediately after the groundbreaking and works are expected to be finished within eighteen months.
It will sit on a total land area of 18,500 square meters; 10,600 m to be developed under phase 1, with apartments and a conference/casino/hotel development under a second phase. Press Release