(By Mr. Boswell Sumo)
Recent history of Liberia is depleted and engulfed with pool of infrastructure devastation and loose of human lives spanning over two decades.During said ear, heavily armed men believed to be liberator fighters stormed and roamed the corridors ofthe country in arms all in the name of demanding peace; yet stability in the oldest African State still remains fragile.
Despite a relatively ten years of uninterrupted fragile peace, the nation bags huge unemployment rate, entrenched poverty, rampant corruption among others. Seen all odds and rising to the realties, Africa’s first female President Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2006 to 2010,upon her election,announced vision 2030 agenda.
The much-publicized governmental development plan provides a road map to which government vowed to make the third-world nation a middle-income state by the year 2030. Despite the pronouncement, the economy of the state remains polarized with repeated fiscal budgetary shortfalls in the face of multiple bilateral assistance and loans.
But being overwhelmed by the unfolding challenges ahead, the Liberian leader opted to lead an investment crusade of both multi-national concessioners, who will help repair the devastating mess caused by selfish armed giants.
In the words of the president, these multi-national investment firms would help lift Liberia from the dungeon of despair to a buoyancy of new hope.Interestingly, among these investing firms came Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL), a world class Oil Palm producing Company.
Being signed under the watchful eyes of Dr. Richard Tolbert, former Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC), GVL stepped its boots on the Liberian soil in 2010, opting to invest in the country’s South East, a portion of the state badly devastated by the barrels of the guns.
With primary focus in Sinoe and Grand Kru counties, GVLis poised to invest in Liberia for the next 65 years with future extension to Maryland, River Cess and River-Gee counties. Commencing its operations, the company rose to the occasion from a minimal work force of about 50 to a current work base of over 3,500 employees.
Being cognizant of international best practices, the company managed to institute an environmentally sound policy with locals using its Free Prior Informed Consent road map in areas of planting interest.
Buttressing government efforts in redeeming a messy educational system, the company instituted an annual educational US$100,000, to the Liberian government, via the Ministry of Agriculture. As of 2015, the total contributed is $500,000, United State dollars.Conducted through an open application and competitive process, it also provides local and international scholarships, for Liberian engineers and chemists as well as agronomy (Agriculture),a move which has landed several promising Liberians in foreign learning institutions and home colleges.Investing in the construction of schools, hand pumps, latrines and booming the local economies in Sinoe and Grand Kru, the oil palm company has transformed that potion of the country to what many style as “God’s Vein Yard in Liberia (GVL).”
An environment surrounded by fresh palm trees couple with the rehabilitation of several feeder roads, sets the county in motion for the first time in 15 years, with modern aircrafts landing on it respective airstrips, sandwiched by huge employment opportunities.
With more continuous strives being proffered in the face of current economy realities, thousands of oil palm trees continue to wave its branches daily as a sign of renewed hope, while modern housing estates are now being occupied by locals, electricity restored; something that recently provoked central government to select the South East, as host for this year’s National Independence DayCelebrations.
This colorful event, which presents a moment of national reflection, would showcase to local and international partners and visiting friends, the unbending transformation being carried out by the oil palm company.The event which coincides with a winning Ebola fight, would further grant citizens and visitors an opportunity to refresh in an environment filled with bearingfresh palms;whose when well-managed, will be a proven eradicator of poverty and bringer of rural prosperity.
It’s being envisioned by GVL, that is would become a major contributor to poverty eradication, while building a profitable business especially as the nation draws toward 2017 general and presidential elections-where a sustained peaceful political power transition is pivotal. Indeed, GVL is booming hub in the South East.