Billionaire answers call to action, invests in Liberia

By BlackEnterprise.com – June 12, 2009 kendeja

Two years ago, billionaire Robert L. Johnson was inspired by a call to action from Liberia’s president to increase investments in her country. Earlier this week, the chairman of RLJ Companies announced the grand opening of his latest venture — a luxury resort in Monrovia, Liberia.

Johnson expects his RLJ Kendeja Resort & Villas to play a critical role in economic development efforts led by the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

“I believe passionately that African Americans have a responsibility to support Liberia and it is important to ensure that President Sirleaf succeeds in her ongoing effort in rebuilding the country,” Johnson said.

Located on 13-acres of oceanfront property, the 76-room, villa-style hotel features an on-site restaurant and a full-service spa, among other amenities. Rooms start at $220 per night.

Johnson said this project, which is valued upwards of $8 million, will help lay the foundation for advocacy efforts in the United States, on Liberia’s behalf. The resort is part of a larger commitment to Africa under the RLJ Liberia Enterprise Development Finance Co.
“This is the first steps to strengthen and broaden the ongoing business relationship between Africa and the United States,” said Johnson, who owns RLJ Development LLC, a B.E. 100s company, and also founded Black Entertainment Television.

Just this week, Delta Air Lines launched weekly service between Monrovia’s Roberts International Airport, which is the nearest airport, and New York City.

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