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 IIP in helping developing countries like Togo and Gabon.
As a trusted partner of governments and communities in Africa, ARISE IIP is committed to partner with African governments on their development agenda, focusing on job creation, education and health. To stimulate the emergence of industrial ecosystems, they create logistical hubs in tune with local public policies and aligned with the partner country’s development strategy.
With Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Africa Transformation and Industrialization Fund (ATIF) as its two shareholders, ARISE IIP identifies industrial gaps in African countries and helps unlocking the bottlenecks by creating complete industrial ecosystems. 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.
Their trusted partnerships with governments and investors across the African continent have enabled them to execute large-scale projects that transform local value chains and industrialise countries in an environmentally sustainable way.
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.
According to the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Kabba, this agreement is part of the bigger reforms in the mining sector, where the government intends to open the space for more players to participate.
He furthered that ARISE IIP is a credible company with a reputation for developing and managing infrastructure in Africa.
“This agreement is taking a government asset from monopoly to be more accessible,” he added.
Minister Kabba furthered that the revival of the mining operation requires significant investment in infrastructure for Sierra Leone to fully benefit from the growth of its mining output.
The 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.
As part of their investment portfolio, ARISE IIP 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.
In Sierra Leone, 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 IIP 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.