Supporting Liberia’s Commitment to an Independent Operator, Multi-User Rail Model

Following years of negotiations and policy debate, President George Weah on October 17, 2022, signed an executive order directing the establishment of a National Railway Authority, which would appoint an independent rail operator and ensure multiple eligible user rail access, among other duties.

The U.S. Embassy welcomed this decision and the much-needed clarity it has provided for development of an independent operator, multi-user rail model. Such a system could lead to significant investments by multiple mining companies in the rail corridor, and to significant economic benefit for the people of Liberia.

In response to President Weah’s policy decision to open the rail to multiple users, the Embassy has been exploring U.S. private and public sector investment options that could directly support the Liberian government’s goals of independent, professional rail operatorship as well as broader rail access that could include cargo and passenger service.

The Embassy’s attention has been drawn to potentially misleading information purporting to represent the Embassy’s position on the above issues, put forth by those who may favor one company’s interests over those of another.

Because government and private stakeholders are now deliberating next steps in the rail and mining development process, we believe it is timely and necessary to restate our long-held position that multiple corporate interests can and should be accommodated on the rail, in line with the Liberian government’s stated policy. In this new policy environment, any deal that favors one corporate interest at the expense of others is only likely to set back the rail and mining development process rather than move it forward through the parliamentary approval process.