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January 24, 2023

Ambassador’s Participation in Rotary Club Meeting

 Bonjour! It’s a pleasure to be part of your Rotary Club meeting today. Thank you for the invitation.  

The United States has supported Guinean-led economic development since independence. The Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee began developing their operation in 1963.  

Over 60 years, the United States has invested an average of 50 million dollars in Guinea per year.  

In just the past year, we have helped more than 50 American companies and investors start or continue their work in Guinea.   

West Africa LNG is finalizing agreements to open a liquified natural gas terminal and power plant in Kamsar.   

Water Life Systems is ready to start bringing advanced hydrogen energy technology to Guinea.   

Banknote Corporation of America wants to strengthen its partnership with Guinea’s Central Bank.   

Wabtec is ready to supply locomotives and equipment to the TransGuinean Company’s railway for the Simandou iron ore project, building on existing signaling work with the multiuser railway in the Boke.   

High Power Exploration completed the feasibility study for developing the first phase of the Mount Nimba iron ore project last year and continues preparations to commence mining.  

The American business model is based on the transfer of technology, local content, and local leadership.  From the American perspective, these are not requirements imposed by a host government, these are best practices.  

Visit any American company here.  What do you see?  Guineans operating in senior roles.  Visit the companies from any other country.  

What else do you see when you visit an American company?  A company that follows local law, pays dividends and taxes, invests in its workforce, and protects the environment.  

The people of Guinea, its institutions, and its businesses have crucial roles to play in contributing to the global economy, in close partnership with U.S. companies and investors.    

80 percent of Guinea’s economy is the mining sector, but 80 percent of the population are involved in agriculture.  There is a separation between the people and the economy, but this is an opportunity.    

The infrastructure that the mining sector needs is also necessary for agriculture and other economic sectors.  Electricity, transportation, and finance are critical.  

But there is another type of infrastructure that is even more important. The state itself. Transparency, governance, and rule of law make up a state infrastructure that Guinea’s economy needs.  

The American companies that declare their operations accurately, pay their taxes, and refuse to pay bribes contribute to a business environment that can and must work for the Guinean people.    

Guinea is ranked 156 in the world on the ease of doing business.  To allow Guinea’s resources to benefit Guineans, that needs to improve.  And U.S. investors are the model.  

As Secretary of State Blinken said when he announced the United States’ new Africa Strategy, we are laying “the foundation for broad-based, sustainable economic opportunity” by supporting U.S. companies “working with African partners to try to unlock innovation and growth.”  

Together, we will continue to accelerate economic growth in Guinea and expand U.S.-Guinea commercial ties.