President Alpha Condé of Guinea will on Tuesday arrive Lagos for a five-day working visit to Nigeria.
President Condé will meet with top Nigerian captains of industry in Lagos in an attempt to lure investments to his mineral-rich country. He is also expected to hold a private session with the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu. The visit will culminate with his attendance at the presidential inauguration ceremony of Buhari Muhammadu in Abuja on Friday, May 29.
Guinea is the world’s largest producer of bauxite, used to make aluminium, and boasts vast iron ore deposits as well as diamonds, gold and uranium, a primary component for producing nuclear energy.
President Alpha Condé
In December 2010, after 30 years of being the arrowhead of the opposition, President Condé was declared winner in Guinea’s first democratic election since gaining independence from France in 1958. Before then, he had spent considerable time in exile and prison while the despotic reign of the former leader, Lansana Conte, wore on. Since then, the 75-year-old leader has committed himself to ensuring the fair distribution of wealth in his 12.5 million strong nation. His government has taken far-reaching steps to stamp out corruption in government and has undertaken an ambitious mining reform programme to restore the credibility in the process of securing mining licences.
Before President Condé took over, the military had become a burden to the country as most officers earned more than usual. He took the hard decisions required to balance the budget, cutting the military funds by 75 per cent and reducing the size of the military from 20,000 to 16,000. His actions are considered necessary for the well-being of the economy and critical to the maintenance of democracy in a country where the military have been a regular threat to stability.
In 2011, he enlisted former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and billionaire philanthropist, George Soros, as unpaid advisers. He seeks to assure investors that the country boasting the second biggest mining reserves in Africa and fifth biggest in the world is open for business. President Condé is also seeking a strategic partnership with Nigeria as he believes in the ideology of ‘Africa for Africans.’
Experts say the country is ready for massive investment. The potential project cost for the Simandou Mine, a mountainous area in southern Guineamine, is $20 billion. This makes it Africa’s largest ever proposed mining venture.
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