Renegotiating Sustainable Agricultural Concession Agreements: The case of Liberia

Stories of Change

By Ciata Bishop on November 10, 2021
  • A model template agreement was created through which to give structure to our negotiation process by setting out clear parameters for potential investments and "red lines" that could not be deviated from.

  • A landmark administrative reform was the creation of the National Concessions Portal of Liberia. This is an online platform that maps every concession and identifies the affected communities.

  • Meaningful community involvement should be a prerequisite before negotiations go any further.

When a democratically elected government was installed in 2006 after years of civil war, Liberia was in disarray. The new government decided to promote large-scale land deals as a tool to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Ciata Bishop (former Executive Director of Liberia’s National Investment Commission and Director General of the National Bureau of Concessions) was an integral part of the team responsible for negotiating and renegotiating large-scale agricultural contracts in the immediate post-war period. In this first instalment of IISD’s Stories of Change series, we speak with Ciata to understand how concession agreements and the laws governing them were used to enhance sustainable investment in agriculture.