LIBERIA: Local Village Benefits From Social Agreement

…AKEWA Group of Companies Prioritizes Development – By: Augustine N. Myers  – As part of efforts to buttress development efforts of the Liberian Government and partners, an Investment Company operating in Liberia, “AKEWA Group of Companies” has extended its investment activities to Compound # 1 in Grand Bassa County, as part of efforts to join the Liberian Government in the growth development of post-conflict Liberia.

Partial view of the local village to benefit
Partial view of the local village to benefit

The AKEWA Group of Companies which has met all requirements of the Liberian Government under the laws of the Country, is investing in the forestry sector.

After meeting all requirements of Government, through the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), and after reaching an agreement with citizens of Compound # 1, Grand Bassa County who are the custodians of the forest, a Social Agreement was officially signed between the AKEWA Group of Companies and the people.

The areas known as the affected Communities were represented by the County Forest Development Committee (CFDC), TSC “A – 3”, Compound # 1, Grand Bassa County.

AKEWA Group of Companies, under the agreement and in partnership with the people, will construct and rehabilitate roads, bridges, schools and health centers in areas of operation.

The Social agreement was signed by Mrs. Funke Abigail

Officials of GOL, EKEWA, and County
Officials of GOL, EKEWA, and County

Odebunmi, representing the AKEWA Group of Companies, and Mr. Garsayweh B. Harris, representing the County Forest Development Committee, and that the ceremony which was well attended, was witnessed by cross section of the citizens, the Bassa Legislative Caucus, Grand Bassa County Authority, the Forestry Development Authority, local and international partners of the forest sector, the security apparatus from both UNMIL and the Liberian Police, and the Press.

The Company’s Managing Director for Operations, Mrs. Funke Abigail Odebunmi speaking over the week-end after the Social Agreement was signed, reiterated their commitment to the full implement of the Agreement.

She said the AKEWA Group of Companies sees itself as part of the people of Compound # 1, and that all will be done to enhance a cordial relationship with the people to ensure economic viability and development.

Mrs. Odebunmi disclosed that the citizens will have the first

A local women’s Group gracing the Program
A local women’s Group gracing the Program

preference in terms of employment opportunities, and that young people, especially the women will benefit from economic empowerment programs as well.

She commended Government for providing the environment attractive to investors, and also commanded the FDA was efforts to encourage the Company to invest in the area.

For his part, the Chairman of the CFDC, Garsayweh B. Harris praised the AKEWA Group of Companies for its interest to invest in the Forest Sector of Liberia, with consideration of the Compound # 1 area.

Mr. Harris assured that they will fully cooperate with the Company in ensuring the success of its investment, and the development of their area.

He challenged young people to remain focused, because according to him, it is the young people that will really benefit from the investment.

Observers at the Program
Observers at the Program

During the program which was held in Gargar Town, Compound # 1 in Grand Bassa County, separate remarks were made by the Representative of the Area, Hon. Samuel D. Page, Sr., FDA Assistant Managing Director, Kederick F. Johnson, the Head of Elders, Lifey Page, the Women Leader, Mary Zoegar, Mr. Cooke representing the Superintendent of Grand Bassa County, and the Youth leader, Alexander Norris, among others.

They all commanded the AKEWA Group of Companies for showing interest in their forest, and for complementing Government’s efforts to empower the people of Compound # 1 and develop the District.

They also described the investment of the AKEWA Group of Companies as part of efforts of the Liberian Government and partners to enhance the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS).