The Liberian government has renewed a new lobbying contract with American lobbying firm KRL International.
Liberian minister of foreign affairs, Gbehzohngar Findley, extended the contract between Monrovia and the American lobbying firm this weekend according to an article published by Africa Intelligence https://www.africaintelligence.com/lce/business-circles/2018/09/05/an-extension-for-krl-international-in-monrovia,108322405-gra.
The dollar amount associated with the contract was never published but sources close to the Foreign Ministry puts the amount around five hundred thousand United State dollars. In America, lobbying firms working for foreign governments must submit details of their deals under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
Well-established in Africa, this firm founded by K. Riva Levinson has been representing Liberia’s interests in the United States since Ellen Johnson Sirleaf came to power. During her presidency (2006-2018), KRL International played a decisive role in securing a contribution of $1.8 billion in aid for the country. It was also one of the major drivers behind Africom, the US Africa Command, establishing itself in Monrovia.
Founded by veteran international consultant K. Riva Levinson in 2007, KRL International is a boutique-consulting firm providing comprehensive, custom-fit services to bridge the divide between Washington D.C. and the world’s emerging markets according to the company’s website.
It is not clear how the recently signed contract is going to benefit Liberia with the diminishing impact of lobbyist in Washington. Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump signed a lifetime foreign-lobbying ban for members of his administration as well as a five-year ban for all other lobbying.
The lobbying ban was a central component of Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C., though his commitment to the slogan has wavered. Trump has hired top donors to his campaign for administration jobs while relying on industry lobbyists for both his transition and administration staff.
“This was something, the five-year ban, that I was talking a lot about on the campaign trail and we will now put it into effect,” Trump said as he signed the order in the Oval Office in January 2017.
KRL International has tasked its partners Gyude Moore a strong member of the opposition Unity Party and Edwina Lebbie Manyeh with overseeing this new contract. They will be the point of contact with the Liberian authorities and will be responsible for attracting private American investment.