ARISE IIP’s Special Industrial Zone Ongoing Construction Project Showcased in Media Tour

By Foday Moriba Conteh

In an unprecedented move towards Sierra Leone’s industrialization, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, in April 2023, laid the foundation for the groundbreaking Special Koya Industrial Zone (SIZ-Koya) in Koya Chiefdom, Port Loko District. This visionary endeavour, a collaboration between Sierra Leone and ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP), is set to span an impressive 1,500 hectares and is marked by a steadfast commitment to environmental sustainability, including the implementation of a 100-megawatt solar power system.

Fast forward to September 2023, ARISE IIP initiated a monumental infrastructure development project, aligning perfectly with President Bio’s vision for industrialization in the country. To keep the public and stakeholders informed about this significant initiative, ARISE IIP organized an exclusive media tour of the Special Koya Industrial Zone (SIZ-Koya) on Friday, October 20, 2023.

The media tour featured journalists from various media outlets across the nation, offering them a firsthand look at the impressive progress of the Koya Industrial Zone, providing essential insights into Sierra Leone’s ongoing industrialization journey.

ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) has commenced the construction of a multimillion-dollar sustainable development project, which encompasses extensive industrial manufacturing, railway networks and the creation of job opportunities, all of which will contribute to the nation’s economic growth strategy.

This ongoing construction work is a pivotal part of the project which was launched by President Julius Maada Bio on April 26, 2023, represents a cornerstone in the Special Koya Industrial Zone (SIZ-Koya). The SIZ project forms an integral component of the comprehensive ARISE IIP investment of US$1.2 billion, aim at boosting Sierra Leone’s economy. This massive investment, connected to rail and ports, is anticipated to generate over 34,000 jobs in the country.

ARISE IIP, a globally renowned developer and operator of industrial ecosystems throughout Africa, is partnering with the Republic of Sierra Leone to build the SIZ-Koya industrial zone. This endeavour aligns with ARISE IIP’s mission to unlock Africa’s industrial potential and bolster Sierra Leone’s industrialization agenda.

Demonstration of their commitment to transparency and public awareness, formed part of the rationale why ARISE IIP organized the guided tour of the Koya Industrial Zone, welcoming journalists, community stakeholders and leading experts. The delegation was greeted by Paramount Chief Sorie Bomboli Kanu of Koya Chiefdom, Port Loko District, as they delved into the ongoing infrastructure development within the Special Koya Industrial Zone.

Community stakeholders, predominantly local residents, expressed their enthusiasm for the employment opportunities and the positive impact the investment will have on the country’s development plans.

Paramount Chief Bai Bompa Komboli III extended his gratitude to President Bio for his role in facilitating this transformative project and commended the efforts of ARISE IIP and its Local Partner, Amb. Anthony Navo Jr.

The Paramount 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 the 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.’’

ARISE’s Local Partner, Amb. Anthony Navo Jr., described the project as a beacon of hope for Sierra Leone and a realization of President Bio’s commitment to job creation, investment, and sustainable development.

Amb. Anthony Navo Jr stated: “The Project aims to stimulate local production, reduce dependency 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 and the community. The ultimate goal is import substitution where goods are produced locally and made available for sale both domestically and abroad.”

Experts estimate that the first phase of the project, costing approximately $410 million, will incorporate over 40 factories and generate approximately 34,000 job opportunities within 24 months. As the project progresses into subsequent phases, employment opportunities are expected to multiply, highlighting the vital role of collaborative efforts in bringing this project to fruition.

The Environmental Social Governance Manager at ARISE IIP Sierra Leone, Shruthi James, emphasized the company’s dedication to international environmental and social standards, including ongoing initiatives such as mangrove conservation in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency. She highlighted the completion of ARISE’s IIP’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and efforts to conduct an additional ESIA in accordance with International Finance Cooperation standards. These endeavours aligned with Government’s support, aim to meet international standards in environmental and social aspects.

Santosh Goham, the Construction Manager of ARISE IIP, showcased the potential of ARISE IIP’s investments in creating a robust and sustainable economy for Sierra Leone and its local communities. He led the delegation on a tour of a boundary wall covering 150 acres, a significant milestone in the project that will feature international-standard infrastructure, including roads, water and electricity supply systems, storage and warehouse facilities, and a logistic Inland Container Depot in collaboration with the Freetown Port Authority.

In an additional development, ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) has announced the forthcoming arrival of Passenger Railcars, part of a broader strategy to revitalize the mining sector and boost economic activities.

ARISE IIP has experienced remarkable expansion across more than a dozen African countries in recent years, creating industrial ecosystems that prioritize local value addition and sustainable growth. The Special Koya Industrial Zone project signifies a crucial step towards Sierra Leone’s industrialization, underlining the importance of collaborative efforts and environmentally responsible practices.

ARISE IIP is committed to creating job opportunities, empowering local communities and promoting economic growth through industrial development. Their partnership with the Republic of Sierra Leone exemplifies their commitment to making a positive impact in Africa and fostering a sustainable and prosperous future for the nation and its people.



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