Liberia: Africa’s Richest Man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Pays Courtesy Call on President Sirleaf; Proposed Cement and Coal-Burning Power Plants among Topics Discussed

Alhaji Aliko Dangote briefs President Sirleaf  on his cement plant investment in Liberia.DSC_2305
Africa’s richest man, billionaire Alhaji Aliko Dangote, paid a courtesy call, Thursday, on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at her Foreign Ministry Office, where he briefed her on the progress of his investment in Liberia.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the two discussed ongoing arrangements for a cement plant which the billionaire’s company, Dangote Cement Liberia Ltd., intends to commence building in Liberia shortly, as well as plans for a coal-based power plant that would greatly reduce the cost of, and access to, electricity in the country.

Mr. Dangote, a Nigerian, is ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 43rd richest person in the world, and the richest man in Africa.

Concerning the cement processing plant, Mr. Dangote informed the President that seven acres of land have been identified at the Freeport of Monrovia for its construction and a jetty. After a three-year delay, it was time to move ahead with the project, he said. He assured the President that the limestone needed for the cement – which Liberia does not produce – would be brought in, and crushed and ground for the manufacture of cement locally.

As for electricity, Mr. Dangote said that his proposed coal-burning power plant would produce some 20 megawatts of power, but his operations would require only 1.2 megawatts. The excess could be sold to the government at no more than12 cents per kilowatt hour. “Tell us what you need, and we will produce it,” he said of the power-generation capacity of the plant, which he said could be operational in 15 months. Approximately 30 acres of land are needed for such a facility, which includes huge boilers and cooling plants, along with access to a source of sweet water – where the water table is high.


Seccom Director Sam Blango to serve on the State of New Jersey NAACP


Seccom Director Sam Blango has been selected to serve on the State of New Jersey NAACP  Economic Development Committee.

The Committee on Economic Development shall implement local efforts and support national programs to preserve and expand economic empowerment among African-Americans and other communities of color by:

  1. researching and establishing relationships with private and public entities; supporting the work of the National Office in monitoring the progress and
  2. activity of private and public efforts entities designated by national programs; and
  3. implementing local efforts to promote the growth of business ownership;
  4. increasing employment and job creation; and
  5. encouraging business development and home ownership.

South Africa: President Zuma Arrives in Addis Ababa to Attend the 22nd AU Summit

The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma, has arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, scheduled to take place on 30 and 31st January 2014.

The theme of the Summit is “2014 – Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa, Marking the 10th Anniversary of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme”.

The Summit agenda includes issues of food security, the status of peace and security in Africa, Africa’s relations with the International Criminal Court, the implementation of NEPAD projects, the African Common Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

Among the highlights of the visit, President Zuma will present South Africa’s APRM report for the period October 2010 – January 2013, in pursuit of the objectives enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union.




Former Exit Port for a Wave of Cubans Hopes to Attract Global Shipping

MARIEL, Cuba — The images of desperate refugees crammed onto boats have defined this bay outside Havana for decades. About 125,000 Cubans left from here in 1980 after Fidel Castro, facing growing discontent, announced that anyone who wanted to leave should just go to Mariel and get out.

But on Monday, Raúl Castro, Cuba’s president, stood alongside the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, to unveil a new Mariel: a state-of-the-art port that both leaders said would lead to a new era of commercial integration, connecting Cuba and the world.

The terminal is “a transcendent project for the national economy,” Mr. Castro said, standing by towering container lifts adorned with Cuban flags. He added that the port and the adjacent development zone, where foreign companies will enjoy tax breaks and other advantages, “are a concrete example of the optimism and confidence with which we Cubans see a socialist and prosperous future.”

Read the entire article at THE NEW YORK TIMES

Liberia: World Bank Supports Road and Bridge Works


The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a total of US$29 million in additional funds for the Urban and Rural Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project (URIRP) in order to continue to support road and bridge improvements in Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia and surrounding rural areas, and improve the government’s institutional capacity to manage the country’s road sector.

The Urban and Rural Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project (URIRP) was approved in 2009 to support the government’s goal of ensuring that Liberians nationwide have reliable, safe, affordable and efficient transport services by upgrading existing roads, rehabilitating or replacing unsafe bridges and completing roads along the Monrovia-Buchanan corridor. To date, the project has benefitted some 744,980 individuals and provides 90 percent of the rural population in the targeted areas with access to an all-season road.



Africa: White House On U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

Photo: Premium Times

President Goodluck Jonathan discusses with US President Barack Obama (file photo).

The White House is pleased to announce that the United States will host the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC on August 5 and 6, 2014.

President Obama looks forward to welcoming leaders from across the African continent to the Nation’s Capital to further strengthen ties with one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing regions. The Summit will build on the progress made since the President’s trip to Africa last summer, advance the Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people.

Africa: Obama Promises U.S. $7 Billion Investment in Power Grids

Photo: Pete Souza/White House

President Obama answers questions at a Young African Leaders Initiative town hall meeting in Soweto.

An excerpt from President Obama’s speech at the University of Cape Town:

[We] believe that nations must have the power to connect their people to the promise of the 21st century. Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity in this age. It’s the light that children study by; the energy that allows an idea to be transformed into a real business.

Seccom paves the way for Hill International in Liberia

Mr. Samuel T. Blango of Seccom has introduced Mr. Irvin E. Richter, Chairman and CEO of Hill International (, a prospective American investor in the Liberian housing sector who met recently with President Sirleaf in the USA and expressed a keen interest in working with the Liberian Government to build up to 5,000 homes.

President Sirleaf

Her Excellency instructed the NHA to invite the Chairman to Liberia and this was done for the period July 7-19, 2013.  Mr. Richter and his party will be in Liberia as of July 7th as a guest of the Government. A US-Liberia Business Development Summit is being organized by some US and Liberian partners in collaboration with the Embassy of Liberia  Trade Office in the USA between July 8-15, 2013 at the Royal Hotel and Mr. Richter will be speaking on the 10th.  Ambassador Sulunteh and Ms. Gibson will facilitate the Hill Int’l visit.Mr. Blango will be assisting to schedule meetings with the President, key government officials, plus selected business leaders, and assist the delegation to Liberia to help create a relationship between Hill and his offices in Monrovia, as well as to make the introductions necessary to create this great opportunity for a partnership.

Sam Blango becomes Chairman of the International Business & Trade Commission

International Business & Trade Commission of Camden, NJ and Region (NEWPENNDEL)

Mission Statement: To be a conduit for economic development, trade and investment, cultural exchange and market penetration


  1. To extol the benefits of democratic values, good governance, and human rights in all African and Caribbean countries, Eastern Europe and Asia, Europe and Latin America and all peoples of the World represented at the Commission.
  2. Promote Import/Export, Trade and Investment opportunities between City of Camden, State of New Jersey and region, and all Commission member countries;
  3. To facilitate mutually beneficial cultural exchange in the areas of education, the arts, science, commerce, housing, health and business communications.
  4. To promote harmonious relationships between the City of Camden and region, Africa countries, the Caribbean Islands, Eastern Europe and Asia, Europe and Latin America and all peoples of the world.
  5. To provide a platform for promotion of cultural activities, tourism, and other economic discussions within the City of Camden and region.

Range and Scope of Commission Activities

  1. Host monthly interactive Commission Meetings to promote and inform the African and Caribbean Immigrants, Eastern Europe and Asia, Europe and Latin America and all peoples of the world represented at the Commission of activities occurring within the Camden Immigrant and region community.
  2. Collaborate with affiliated organizations represented by the Commission in providing support to events such as; health fairs, college fairs, cultural programs, political events, galas, and roundtable discussions on current issues.
  3. Make representation at conferences locally, state-wide, nation-wide and internationally to promote, education, job security, cultural, enrichment and immigration issues.
  4. Promote business and trade agreements on behalf of the African and Caribbean Communities, Eastern Europe and Asia, Europe and Latin America and all peoples of the world represented at the Commission.
  5. Organize Trade Missions, International Trade and Business Shows and Forums an promote import/export
  6. Establish an “International Chamber of Commerce” to be comprised by chamber of commerce from countries throughout the world with the purpose of deepening commerce.
  7. Engage in neighborhood improvements and revitalization programs, domestically and internationally.
  8. Assist Immigrants with accessing services through the local, county and state government

Organizational Structure:

International Business & Trade Commission

Seven (7) Commissioners

  1. Samuel Blango Chairman & President
  2. Rudiger Z. Ellis-Vice-President
  3. Loretta Winters-Secretary/Treasurer
  4. Mayors Office (designee)
  5. City Council-Brian Coleman
  6. Business Representative-Agnes Robinson-Ahmad
  7. Community Representative-Ron Green

Five (5) Advisors to the Commission will function per committee chairs to facilitate the identification of “capital” resources and for the strategic engagement in business development. These capital areas include: finance, human resource, technology, organizational, building and equipment, and marketing.

Recommendations: (Individuals/Enterprises/Organizations with international focus)

  • Cynthia Primas-
    • Arts & Culture
  • Dr. Quartey
    • International Business & Trade
  • Dr. Azuka Anyiam
    • Energy & Technology
  • Angela N. Cooper, Esq
    • Legal
  • Phillip Warner
    • Laison for regional local/state/federal agencies
  • David Bullock-
    • Local/International CEOs and Organization Leaders
  • Darlene Hunter
    • Local/Internatioal colleges and other education institutions
  • Faith Based community
    • TBD
  • Others TBD