His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio will today, 26th April, 2023 formally launch the Koya Industrial Zone (SIZ – Koya), a joint venture between the Republic of Sierra Leone and ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) at Mile 36, Koya Chiefdom, Port Loko district.
On Thursday 20th April 2023, the Parliament of Sierra Leone debated and ratified the Framework agreement between the Republic of Sierra Leone Arise Integrated Industrial platforms for the implementation of a special economic zone in Sierra Leone.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Hinga Sandy in his submission for the ratification of the agreements said these agreements would enhance economic growth, and provide huge employment for the people of Sierra Leone.
Members of Parliament who spoke to the debate acknowledged the importance of the agreements, whilst the Acting Leaders of the House applauded the initiatives of the Government and hoped it will yield dividends for the growth and development of the State.
As part of their investment portfolio, ARISE has a Public, Private, Partnership with the Government of Gabon for the establishment of the Gabon Special Economic Zone, a multi-sectoral industrial park located 27 km from Libreville. On 1126 ha, it includes an industrial zone, a commercial zone and a residential zone.
The Special Economic Zone brings together 144 companies from 16 countries operating in 22 industrial sectors, including a cluster dedicated to wood processing which brings together 84 companies.
This is the same model that ARISE is embarking in Sierra Leone, to open up the investment market with more opportunities for value addition for export and the domestic value chain.
It could be recalled that as part of their investment portfolio in Sierra Leone, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) on Tuesday, 17th January 2023 signed the Pepel Port and Pepel-Tonkolili Railway development, expansion and management lease agreement with ARISE integrated Industrial Platforms Ltd.
The agreement has been described as a landmark in the history of the mining sector in the small West African country, and has been commended in the development sphere in the country and the African continent considering the investment portfolio of ARISE in helping developing countries like Togo and Gabon.
With Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Africa Transformation and Industrialization Fund (ATIF) as their two shareholders, ARISE identifies industrial gaps in African countries that unlock value and create new industries.
The company’s aim is to industrialize key sectors by creating local transformation, maximizing production, efficiency and cost, which in turn generates local value addition.
ARISE tailor-made special economic zones in Gabon, Benin and Togo seek to boost exports, enable the local transformation of raw materials and promote trade, and these are opportunities that Sierra Leone can tap from with its new relationship with a reputable company that has proven record in their work.
The Pepel Port and Pepel-Tonkolili Railway development, expansion and management lease agreement will give a 10% free Carry to the GoSL and provide access to rail and port facilities to other bulk mineral producers in the northern corridor of the country.
ARISE is estimating a total investment of 476 million dollars covering the refurbishment of the Pepel Tonkolili Railway work, Pepel Port, Railway connectivity to Marampa mines, the introduction of passenger rail services and the rail connection to Guinea.
With a track record and vast knowledge in investing in Africa, ARISE is a company that should be embraced in Sierra Leone and be provided with the support to be able to succeed in developing the country’s economy and create jobs in a country whose unemployment rate continues to rise.