As neighbouring countries whose ties and good relations date way back in the early 1900’s, this bilateral agreement is a great reinforcement. Liberia’s railway deal with Guinea, although a benefit to both sides would benefit the Liberian country immensely. The railway will be majorly in Liberia but it will be a link between both countries. The railway corridor will transport mining materials and products from Guinea using Liberian port infrastructure. Furthermore, this railway corridor will assist the transportation of people and goods and services.
The agreement represents a legal, institutional and operational framework between the two countries, meant to secure the use of current and future infrastructure and/or transport services in Liberia by Guinean mining operators. It also facilitates the importation to Guinea by mining operators of goods used for mining projects in the neighbouring country. The cost of developing the mine and building the rail line, which will traverse difficult terrain and virgin rainforest, has been estimated to be around US$20 billion.
Earlier this month, both countries brought forth delegates for an international conference to discuss the development of the railway corridor. On one hand was the Guinean delegation, led by the Foreign Minister, Ibrahim K. Kaba. There were nine members in all. On the other hand, the Liberian group was also led by their Foreign Minister, Maxwell Kemayah. The Guinea Minister of Mines and Geology, Hon. Abdoulaye Magassouba, led the country’s Ministerial Committee on the Implementation Agreement, while Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah Jr. led Liberia’s.
During the formal opening session, both parties made remarks about the long bond of friendship, cultural ties and cross border trade. They are optimistic about this engagement becoming a major drive to improving the social and economic relations between both nations. Again, that this engagement will pave way for opportunities for the youths of Guinea and Liberia. They also added that the agreement between them would pave way for opportunities for a corporation and economic development in the sub region.
Liberia’s railway deal with Guinea, if approved would facilitate a cheaper export of ore mined from the Guinean side of the Nimba Mountain. The export would be made through the Port of Buchanan inside Liberia which; in turn would generate revenue for both countries. The Guinean mine, situated approximately 800km from the country’s capital, Conakry. The mine is also 26km away from the existing railway at Tokadeh in Liberia.