Liberia: U.S. Business Tycoon Offers to Serve As Bridge for Liberia

Robert Johnson, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BET Entertainment Television has offered to serve as a bridge between the Liberian Business Community and that of the U.S.

Mr. Johnson, who is the richest black man in the United States, made the statement when he met President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at the Blair House, the Guest House of U.S. President, during her recent visit to the United States of America.

During the visit, Mr. Johnson said he was very impressed with Madam Sirleaf and her delegation.

Because of the confidence he developed in the Liberia presidency, he said, he was working out modalities to lead a delegation of U.S. businesses to Monrovia shortly. No date was given.

He did not say what business he would start in Liberia or whether he would start one here but indicated that following years of war, any support to the Sirleaf Administration would go a long way in jumpstarting the economy and ensuring the success of the ongoing peace and reconciliation process.

He believes that when the private sector was strengthened through the establishment of U.S. businesses in Liberia, that would create the jobs needed to improve the living condition of the average Liberian household thereby speeding up the peace and reconciliation process.

Mr. Johnson's visit, which was facilitated by Mr. Derek Saleeby son of former Central Bank Governor Elias Saleeby who runs of one of Mr. Johnson's companies, was arranged by Investment Commission Chairman Richard V. Tolbert.

In attendance was the Minister of Finance Ms. Antoinette Sayeh.

Mr. Johnson who began his business adventure in the entertainment business is now the owner of 100 hotels in America with progressive entrance into the banking sector.

He created the first black entertainment center 20 years ago and sold it in 2001 for $3 billion to VIACOM, making him the richest black man in America.

Currently, he also affiliates with the Carlyle Group, a $30 billion high-power investment group in the United States.

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