U.S.-Liberia Business Roundtable with President-Elect Joseph Boakai

In coordination with CCA member KRL International, Corporate Council on Africa was privileged to host the President-elect of the Republic of Liberia Mr. Joseph Boakai for a Business Roundtable in the CCA office on December 19th. Boakai, who was declared the winner of Liberia’s presidential election on November 20th, defeated incumbent President George Weah in a hard-fought campaign with 50.64% of the vote. Weah conceded defeat on November 18th in a call to Boakai, who will be inaugurated on January 22, 2024.  

 

In her welcoming remarks, CCA President & CEO Florie Liser remarked that Mr. Boakai’s campaign platform included important promises to “transform Liberia for the good of all its citizens, including specific reference to foundational reform across multiple business sectors” in which the private sector representatives at the meeting were engaged. “The United States and Liberia are inextricably intertwined,” noted Ms. Liser, and “U.S. business is eager to see reforms that create incentives to make Liberia a more attractive destination for capital, for investment.”   

 

President-elect Boakai thanked Corporate Council on Africa for hosting the event and underscored his intent to create a more business friendly investment climate. “We are together, Liberia and the United States,” said Boakai. “It is a priority for my administration to improve the business climate – a big part of that is improving our infrastructure – road and transportation networks; sanitation and water systems; energy and telecommunications; and of course, our education system – building opportunities for our youth.”   

 

Co-Vice Chairman of the Boad at CCA, General (retired) William “Kip” Ward noted that he had traveled to Liberia many times, and agreed with President-elect Boakai’s emphasis on creating better conditions for the Liberian people. “I’m encouraged you emphasized the young people – creating something that I call the ‘horizon of hope’ through economic and social advancement is so important – I look forward to supporting those objectives,” remarked Co-Vice Chair Ward. 

 

Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Sarah Morgenthau, underscored the Biden Administration’s commitment to promoting private sector-led trade and investment between the United States and Africa. “At the heart of this is the simple notion that American and African business shares a spirit of entrepreneurship, a willingness to take risks, and the ability to innovate that will shape a quintessential 21st century partnership,” said Morgenthau. 

 

In sum, this closed-door session offered an opportunity to jump-start a relationship with President-elect Boakai and his team of senior advisors to promote private sector business relationships. Ms. Liser provided to Boakai a letter of invitation to attend Corporate Council on Africa’s U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Dallas, Texas, May 6-9, 2024. “Honorable President-elect, I and my team would be delighted to work with you and your administration to leverage the Summit to promote your vision for reform, and for attracting investment,” said Ms. Liser while handing the letter to the President-elect. 

 

With a population of 5.2 million and a large Liberian diaspora community in the United States, historical connections with the United States as well as notable natural resources, the potential for profitable investment relationships exists. Liberia offers opportunities for investment, especially in natural resources such as mining, agriculture, fishing, and forestry, but also in more specialized sectors such as energy, telecommunications, tourism, and financial services.  CCA looks forward to working with the Government of Liberia, and the Liberian, broader African, and U.S. business communities and governments to advance sustainable, mutually-beneficial trade and investment relationships. 

 

 

U.S.-Liberia Business Roundtable with President-Elect Joseph Boakai