ARISE IIP CEO Assures Sierra Leone of Massive Infrastructure & Industrial Investments

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

ARISE Integrated, Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) CEO, Gagan Gupta, has assured Sierra Leoneans of massive Industrial Zone investment portfolios just like his company continues to do  in Benin, Gabon and other parts of Africa maintaining that in Sierra Leone there will be massive infrastructural and other developments in line with its mission and vision within 24 months through the intervention of his company.

Sierra Leonean journalists on a special assignment related to thorough assess the activities and the scope of works of the company that designs, finances, conceives and operates industrial ecosystems across Africa, were in Gabon after departing Benin, where the company is also operating and visited the country’s Special Economic Zone in Nkok and one Special Investment Zone in Ikolo.

From what was understood, the Nkok Special Economic Zone, which was launched in 2010 is a multi-sectoral industrial park located 27 km from Libreville.

On 1126 hectare, it has an industrial zone, a commercial zone and a residential zone bringing together 144 companies from 16 countries operating in 22 industrial sectors, including a cluster dedicated to wood processing which brings together 84 companies.

The Economic Zone or GSEZ is a Public Private Partnership between ARISE IIP and the Government of Gabon.

The Ikolo Special Economic Zone benefits from its strategic location, accessible by both land and river, and  its proximity to the forests of the region and neighbouring provinces. Presently, Greenply, Kengi Timber Manufacturing, Acewood and Gabon Sustainable Wood are the key operational units in the zone, recruiting over 100 employees. The zone will create 750 jobs by the end of 2022 and is expected to export between 150 and 200 containers of processed wood per month, generating added value to Gabon’s economy.

The Mpassa Lebombi Economic Zone was created in May 2022 and it  is an industrial zone specializing in wood transformation. With a total area of 1432.5 ha, the zone includes a cluster dedicated to wood processing and eucalyptus plantations. By mid-2023, it is expected that the zone will provide around 850 direct jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs through the various service providers operating in and around the area. In the zone, Jaguar Wood Products is the key operational unit specializing in saw-mill production.

In Gabon they have what is known as Akiba which is a premium wood furniture brand that focuses on a conservative strategy to commercialize the rich Gabonese forests. Akiba Furniture embodies contemporary designs with a functional aspect, developed by the talented furniture experts. Akiba acknowledges the traditional artistic sensibilities of local carpenters and demonstrates them effectively through every design and pattern. From live edge tables to outfoot furniture and fixtures, the Akiba experts spend days searching for the finest wood quality and refining their process to offer sustainably sourced furniture to consumers.

Covered 85% by forest, on 22 million hectares, Gabon has a stock of exploitable wood of 130 million m3 of Okoumé and 270 million m3 of other species. GSEZ has enabled the country to develop and modernise a wood sector that was previously not very promising by relying on specialisation, one-stop services and alignment with the national development strategy. With 3.4 million m3 produced each year, Gabon has become Africa’s leading producer and exporter of tropical plywood, and the world’s second largest exporter. The country intends to go further in adding value to its wood products by transforming GSEZ into a centre for the manufacture of “Made in Gabon” furniture.

All of Gabon’s forest concessions are operated according to the sustainable forest management practices prescribed by the Gabonese Forest Code. In terms of traceability, since October 2018, GSEZ has benefited from the services of the Tracer-Nkok agency, which ensures that all logs entering the special economic zone are traceable. In the near future, the Government of Gabon will ensure that all the country’s forest concessions will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)and PAFC / PEFC Gabon in order to improve the traceability of the wood and respect for communities and workers.

In terms of direct and indirect jobs created it is 25,000 with $265M worth of products exported annually and 620,000m of timber processed in 2019 with $1.7 Billion generated in direct foreign investments

Speaking during the tour, the Communications Director of Arise IIP, Sarah Adnan revealed how the three companies do specialize in designing, financing, building and managing state-of-the art infrastructure across Africa.

According to her, ARISE IIP started from an humble beginning and succeeded in creating three specialized verticals, making it one of the largest infrastructure investment platforms in Africa in less than 10 years.

She disclosed that investment cumulated to USD 2bn+ (USD 4bn+ committed to date) has been made to develop a portfolio of 15 large-scale infrastructure projects across Africa.

The Communications Director maintained that sustainability has been put at the core of all the companies’ operations and strategy, promoting traceability, use of renewable energy, biodiversity preservation, and carbon neutrality.

“In 2021, ARISE IIP’s Gabon Special Economic Zone became the first carbon-neutral industrial zone in Africa, a year after being ranked the world’s best industrial zone in the wood sector by FDI Intelligence-Financial Times,” she said with pride.

It could be recalled that few weeks back, the Government of Sierra Leone, through the Ministry of Mines, signed a huge contract with ARISE Industrial Platform for the management of the Pepel Port and facilitate major agricultural development in Sierra Leone.

According to the terms of the agreement, ARISE will invest over 400 M Dollars in Sierra Leone for three years and they will give Government 10% free carriage.

It is crystal clear that with ARISE now surfacing in Sierra Leone, the lives of farmers across the country will definitely be transformed like those in Benin, as the rail project will be extended to agricultural districts and neighboring countries.

According to the Founder and CEO of ARISE IIP, Gagan Gupta, with the operations of the company in Sierra Leone, the country will transform in 24 months.

Gagan Gupta is a seasoned entrepreneur, boasting 20+ years of professional experience, of which 12+ as a top executive. He is the Founder and CEO of ARISE IIP, ARISE IS and ARISE P&L, three companies specialized in designing, financing, building and managing state-of-the art infrastructure across Africa. years.
Gagan Gupta’s success derives from his unique ability to structure win-win partnerships (both public and private, including with world-class international groups), his unparalleled operational and execution capacity (all projects delivered on-time and on-cost, with successful and growing operations), his ability to manage all stakeholders effectively (States, private sector, civil society, etc.), and his talent for building and leading top-notch management teams. To support ARISE development, Gagan has secured solid partnerships with top-tier private and public shareholders, at both holding and assets level.

Gagan graduated from the University of Delhi, the ICAI and is a gold medallist chartered accountant.






  1. Wonders never end when it comes to the land that we love-Sierra Leone.

    In many countries, the fourth estate is the last bacon of home for the people.

    A business company that has come to compete for the meagre resources in our country started first dislodging another country that had invested to run the country mineral railway in circumstances that is not ethical and unclear from the government. Now the management of this same company invited, paid for and took a sizeable number of our journalist to two countries in West Africa and central Africa, paid the DSA of these journalists and God knows what else transpired. Has anyone take a step backward to ask whether or not it is ethical for our journalist to accept the offer of an investment firm to travel to two countries at the expense of the investment firm? What is the Return on Investment for the tickets, hotel bills and per diem paid for by ARISE IIP? Definitely it is going to come from free exploitation of our country’s resources. With the executive branch that is opaque now in the pocket of ARISE IIP, what better way to further their exploitation unhindered, now that they have the journalist as well on their pay checks. It is unethical. This trip organized by and paid for by ARISE IIP is unethical. The world is a global village, our journalist do not need to travel at the expense of ARISE IIP to know about the activities of the company in Benin and Gabon.
    By the way, did our journalist learn that Gabon Government get ten million dollars every year from Norway to not exploit their rain forest for export? I won’t be surprise if ARISE IIP would not take over the export of all our timber in the country. Climate change here we come. Greedy country and its greedy people!


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