Liberia: Weah Administration Turns Back to Riva Levinson, KRL to Build Leverage in DC; Push Development Agenda

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BACK ON BOARD: KRL, a DC-based consultancy, headed by Riva Levinson, which specializes in emerging markets with an unrivaled expertise in West Africa, announced Friday that it has signed up the government of the Republic of Liberia in a one-year agreement to support President George Weah and his administration’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

Washington – The George Weah-led government has resigned with Riva Levinson’s KRL International LLC (KRL), in a bid to improve its lobbying efforts in Washington, DC.

KRL, a DC-based consultancy specializes in emerging markets with an unrivaled expertise in West Africa, announced Friday that it has signed up the government of the Republic of Liberia in a one-year agreement to support President George Weah and his administration’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD). “The remit includes increasing donor support and foreign direct investment in critical economic sectors. The contract is signed by the country’s information and finance ministers,” the release said.

At the start of the administration in January 2018, the government struck a three-month deal which was consummated on August 22, 2018. That deal was however not renewed and the administration, looking to find more leeway in the Trump White House hired a former operative for Pro-Trump Super Pac to lobby for his administration in Washington.

“The remit includes increasing donor support and foreign direct investment in critical economic sectors. The contract is signed by the country’s information and finance ministers.”

KRL International LLC (KRL)

Jake Menges was paid $25,000 a month. He worked for a super PAC backing President Donald Trump during the 2016 election, will lobby on the administration’s behalf in Washington. Menges, a former aide to Rudy Giuliani who worked for Great America PAC in 2016, has also worked as a senior director at Greenberg Traurig, the law and lobbying firm.

It is still unclear why that arrangement was terminated but returning to Levinson, multiple sources told FPA Friday could be an acknowledgement that the administration may be looking for a familiar face to turn things around in Washington.

KRL was the company of record for the two terms of the previous Liberian administration of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and is credited with facilitating hundreds of millions of dollars of donor assistance and foreign direct investment to the post-conflict nation which enabled the rebuilding of Liberia’s security forces, energy, agriculture, healthcare and education infrastructure.

KRL also led the global advocacy push during the Ebola health emergency of 2014 when the U.S. approved an unprecedented US$500 million urgent supplemental appropriations and deployed the 101st Airborne to Liberia to assist in building a logistical bridge to fight the disease.

Given the country’s current economic and fiscal challenges, KRL aims to play a similar catalytical role in mobilizing U.S. and international support in the public and private sectors.

KRL’s CEO Riva Levinson has been active in Liberia and West Africa for 30 years and wrote an award-winning book about her journey: Choosing the Hero: My Improbable Journey and the Rise of Africa’s First Woman President. She is also a regular contributor to the Hill writing on development, Africa and foreign policy.

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