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Reading: ARISE IIP: Sierra Leone’s Hope Project to Boost the Economy, provides over 34,000 Jobs
Reading: ARISE IIP: Sierra Leone’s Hope Project to Boost the Economy, provides over 34,000 Jobs

ARISE IIP: Sierra Leone’s Hope Project to Boost the Economy, provides over 34,000 Jobs

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Sallu Kamuskay
By Sallu Kamuskay 11 Min Read
11 Min Read
ARISE IIP Industrial Zone in Sierra Leone
ARISE IIP Industrial Zone in Sierra Leone

Koya, 20, October 2023 – ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) has commenced construction of a multimillion-dollar sustainable development project; which includes plans for large-scale industrial manufacturing, railways, job creation, enhancing the country’s economic growth strategy.

The ongoing construction work is part of the project, which was launched by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio on 26th April 2023, marking a pivotal moment for the foundation of the Special Koya Industrial Zone (SIZ-Koya) in Koya Chiefdom, Port Loko District.  The SIZ project is one of a number of plans that are part of the ongoing ARISE IIP US$ 1.2 billion investment aiming to boost the economy of Sierra Leone.  The investment that will be connected to the rail and ports corridor is expected to create over thirty-four thousand (34,000) jobs in the country.

ARISE IIP, a developer and operator of world-class industrial ecosystems across Africa, in partnership with the Republic of Sierra Leone, is building the SIZ – Koya industrial zone. This asset, in line with ARISE IIP’s ambition to unlock Africa’s industrial potential, will support the Republic of Sierra Leone in advancing the country’s industrialisation agenda. This ambitious initiative represents a joint venture between Sierra Leone and ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP). The Special Koya Industrial Zone, designed to span 1,600 hectares, boasts a dedicated area for exports, setting it apart with its strong commitment to environmental sustainability, including plans to harness 100 megawatts of solar power.

In efforts to ensure transparency and keep the public updated on ongoing work, ARISE IIP together with a group of journalists, community stakeholders, and leading experts have been taken on a conducted tour of the Koya Industrial Zone. ARISE IIP invited journalists from various media houses across the country, with a view to provide them with an exclusive look at the development progress of the Industrial Zone. The delegation was welcomed by Paramount Chief Sorie Bomboli Kanu of Koya Chiefdom, Port Loko District.  The visit offered valuable insights into the ongoing infrastructure development within the Special Koya Industrial Zone, shedding light on the remarkable strides being taken in Sierra Leone’s industrialization journey. The massive infrastructure project aims to expand local and global trade links.

Community stakeholders and workers who are mostly residents of the community have expressed their excitement about gaining employment and the prospect of investment in the country’s development plans. Paramount Chief Bai Bompa Komboli III, has expressed profound gratitude to the communities and institutions that participated in the program.  The Paramount Chief reflected on President Bio’s commissioning of the project back in April 2023, acknowledging the crucial role played by ARISE IIP in this transformative journey.  Paramount Chief Komboli III extended his heartfelt gratitude to President Bio for facilitating this opportunity, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future. Chief Komboli III reiterated his commitment to fostering unity and collaboration among all stakeholders. The Chief commended the Local Partner of ARISE IIP, Amb. Anthony Navo Jr, for his instrumental role in the project. The Chief highlighted the positive impact of the project on employment opportunities and the reduction of crime rates in the community.

 ’We want to thank the government and ARISE IIP for this initiative. At first I was kind of worried, but when I consider the strategic location of our chiefdom – sharing boundaries with the south, east, north and west I felt it is a great project for our people and entire country. I welcome this project as it would provide jobs for my people, especially for the youth. The project will reduce crime rate and unemployment. I thank President Bio for the opportunity presented to our country,’’ Paramount Chief Komboli III stated.

Paramount Chief Bai Bompa Komboli III
Paramount Chief Bai Bompa Komboli III

ARISE’s Local Partner, Amb Anthony Navo; Jr describes the project as a “new hope for Sierra Leone and a fulfilment of President Bio’s commitment to job creation, investment and sustainable development.” Speaking at the Koya industrial Zone site, Amb. Navo Jr, emphasised the monumental significance of the Special Koya Industrial Zone (SIZ-Koya) in Sierra Leone.

Amb. Anthony Navo Jr, said;

‘’The project aims to stimulate local production, reduce dependence on imports, and create various factories, including a Pharmaceutical Facility, Rice Meal Factory, Tile Production, Paint Manufacturing, and a power plant to provide electricity to the Industrial Zone, the community, and the country. The ultimate goal is import substitution, where goods are produced locally and made available for sale both domestically and abroad.’’

ARISE’s Local Partner, Amb Anthony Navo; Jr
ARISE’s Local Partner, Amb Anthony Navo; Jr

 Experts estimate the first phase of the project to cost approximately $410 million, encompasses over 40 factories, contributing significantly to the economic growth of the region.  The first phase of the project is expected to generate approximately 34,000 job opportunities within 24 months. As the project progresses into its second and third phases, employment opportunities are set to increase, underscoring the crucial role of collaborative efforts in bringing the project to fruition.  Amb. Navo Jr, stated that the cooperation and support of the government, community stakeholders, and the local population were vital in achieving this milestone.

 Shruthi James, the Environmental Social Governance Manager at ARISE IIP Sierra Leone, emphasised the company’s commitment to international environmental and social standards.  She highlighted the completion of ARISE IIP’s Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and efforts to conduct an additional ESIA in accordance with International Finance Corporation standards. James also spoke about ongoing projects, including a mangrove conservation initiative in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These endeavors, aligned with government support, aim to meet international standards in environmental and social aspects.

Santosh Goham, the Construction Manager of ARISE IIP, spoke about the potential of ARISE IIP’s investments to create a robust and sustainable economy for Sierra Leone and its local communities. Santosh took the delegation on a conducted tour of the construction of a boundary wall covering 150 acres, a significant milestone in the project. The 150 hectares -long boundary wall marked the beginning of the first phase, focused on developing international standard infrastructure. This part of the initial phase, which includes the establishment of roads, water and electricity supply systems, as well as storage and warehouse facilities. Additionally, the project included the creation of a logistic Inland Container Depot in collaboration with the Freetown Port Authority.

In another development, ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) has announced that it is expecting the arrival of Passenger Railcars in the country. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to revamp the mining sector, offering improved access to rail and port facilities and stimulating economic activities. The Government of Sierra Leone has signed the Pepel Port and Pepel – Tonkolili Railway Development, Expansion and Management agreement with ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms Ltd.

For the past few years, ARISE IIP has experienced a remarkable expansion across more than a dozen African countries. For reference, in Gabon, ARISE IIP manages the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ) which focuses on the timber industry, and has created 16,000 jobs, attracted 120 investors, and enabled Gabon to move from being an exporter of logs to the world’s 2nd largest producer and exporter of veneer, as well as the first in Africa. Across the continent, ARISE IIP’s primary drive has always been the creation of industrial ecosystems committed to generating high local added value along with sustainable growth.

This ARISE IIP project signifies a crucial step towards Sierra Leone’s industrialization, fostering economic growth, job opportunities, and local development. It underlines the importance of collaborative efforts and environmentally responsible practices in realizing a prosperous future for the nation and its people. ARISE IIP is poised to provide hundreds of thousands of jobs directly and indirectly as it plans to bring in the broader investment model to Sierra Leone just like in countries like Benin where it has established an Industrial Zone.

ARISE IIP identifies industrial gaps in African countries that unlock value and create new industries. Its aim is to industrialise key sectors by creating local transformation, maximising production, efficiency and cost, which in turn generates local value addition. ARISE IIP is committed to building a sustainable future by creating job opportunities, empowering local communities, and promoting economic growth through industrial development.

ARISE IIP partnership with the Republic of Sierra Leone is a testament of a commitment to making a positive impact in Africa. Through the SIZ – Koya project, ARISE IIP aims to create world-class industrial infrastructure that will attract local and international investors to the region. ARISE IIP local partners are confident that this integrated infrastructure will not only lead to job creation, but also contribute more broadly to the industrialization of Sierra Leone in a sustainable and responsible way.

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Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean communication strategist, fixer, blogger, youth organiser, event manager, spokesperson, and public relations expert. His work has been regularly referenced and published by national and international media and public policy institutions. Sallu Kamuskay was a child during the brutal war in Sierra Leone. Growing up in the midst of conflict, Sallu witnessed unimaginable abuse of children and gross violations of human rights. The horrors he witnessed during the Civil War had a terrible impact on him at a very tender age. But despite the shock of the war, Sallu never lost hope. He started on a journey of recovery, studying, and working for a better future. At age 15, Sallu entered into the world of activism and advocacy. Sallu Kamuskay was the Vice President of the Young Leaders Organisation, a member of the National Youth Council. The Young Leaders is one of the oldest youth-led organisations in West Africa. The organisation was formed by a group of young leaders, and launched by the then Head of State/President of Sierra Leone. Sallu was part of the group of young leaders who participated in and contributed to the establishment of the National Youth Council. The Commonwealth supported the training for trainers programme with line ministries and youth stakeholders in which key, representatives of youth council, student union and civil society/private sector youth platforms were engaged and empowered in the effective engagement and inclusion of youth. Sallu is co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global multimedia and public relations firm based In Sierra Leone. Sallu has worked on various developmental and policy issues such as Poverty, Climate Change, Human rights, Child Rights, Education, Health, Gender Equality, Civic Engagement, Government policies, Information Communication Technology for Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, and has also been contributing to various global events and advocacy campaigns. Sallu Kamuskay is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global Multimedia and Public Relations Firm based in Sierra Leone with the latest news and information, on top stories, business, politics, entertainment, and more. Sallu is working with a leading technology company in Africa, Techfrica, that has recently developed and launched a social media, messaging Supfrica with over 150,000 downloads on the Google play store in less than 4 days. He is the Adviser and Media coordinator for the App to give people the platform to connect and communicate to help shape their future with a very fast internet that allows users that live in deprived and hard-to-reach areas with poor internet facility to be able to communicate as it allows and stronger on 2 and 3 G network reception. Sallu has over 9 years of experience in youth engagement, inclusion, and coordination both at local and global levels, giving voice to young people and engaging young people to build a better world. He has served as coordinator for the Wave Alliance which brought together youth-led organisations who attended an international training in South Africa organized by the International Organization – Waves for Change. Sallu is working with the MLT, Waves For Change, and the Government to develop safe spaces for young people, with a view to contributing to the overall development goals of young people including health, as well as to community rebuilding. Sallu is currently the Programme Director for the Wave Alliance, which is a coalition of youth-led and community-based organisations that have successfully introduced evidence-based Surf Therapy programs to young people in communities, with a focus on mental health, peace building and sustainable development. Sallu is currently the focal point and face of Africa’s Faces Social media platform which is a global Social media platform that brings together people from across the world to share their moments, connect, share videos, and interact with friends giving more preference to excluded continents like Africa. Sallu Kamuskay has devoted his time to working for or contributing to a number of national and international organizations and companies, including the Techfrica Technology Company, United Nations, ECOWAS, European Union, Commonwealth Africa Initiatives. This work has led him to travel to a number of countries to contribute to global youth platforms. Sallu is the lead Coordinator for Peace Tour programme, an initiative supported by the European Union, Africa Union, ECOWAS focusing on uniting and empowering young people and local communities. Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.