Salone News

Building Homes, SHELTERing Lives: Transforming a Nation

21 April 2007 at 23:49 | 302 views

Ezeulu: “I want one of my sons to join these people and be my eye there. If there is nothing in it you will come
back. But if there is something there you will bring home my share. The world is like a Mask dancing. If you
want to see it well you do not stand in one place. My spirit tells me that those who do not befriend the white
man today will be saying ’had we known’ tomorrow." (Chinua Achebe, Arrow of God, 45-46).

1. Executive Summary

This project to manufacture 200,000 homes in Sierra Leone by 2020 occurs in the context of sharing
finite resources and, with the advent of rapid communication, travel and trade globalization, two
touchstones of the cooperation between two companies, Canadian Rockport Homes International, Inc
(Rockport) and TIDES (Trade, Intercontinental Development, Enterprises/Services).

The planned venture is not one of patronage or condescension but of collaboration in a spirit of partnership whereby an
agency, Rockport, that has developed or acquired proprietary technology, harnesses that technology for
the preponderant use of populations in countries and communities that are far away from its shores by
people whose cultures are vastly different, and in ways that promote wealth both for the sharer and the

Like Ezeulu’s son in the novel by Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe, TIDES is intent, not on
gaining market share from knowledge through associating with the white man as a hand-out, but on its
own robust programme that will bring hundreds of millions-even billions-of dollars in revenue to it as
to Rockport and thus, for Sierra Leone, to reverse the trend from a bread basket case to a breadwinning

When fully deployed, the project will have as another outcome another good reversal: a change
from the brain drain spiral that saw the devolution of some of the best minds from African and other
developing nations to the West which, having reached its surfeit, morphed into a brain ban in which
citizens desirous of fleeing their impoverished nations use desperate measures to gain access to the
more affluent nations of the West. Instead, with growing affluence, an expected outcome of this process
of building modern homes that would beautify the country and give pride of ownership to its buyers, in
a culture of growing affluence, will be to encourage the willing return of vast numbers of expatriate
Sierra Leoneans for business, for visits and, most important, for resettling in their country of origin.

Pilot and Full Implementation Plan and Funding Needed for 200,000 Homes by 2020.

TIDES, a start-up US, Sierra Leonean-owned company registered in Delaware, USA sets out to
manufacture 200,000 well structured affordable homes for placement throughout Sierra Leone. The cost
of building and outfitting 12 factories to produce the homes is approximately $ 147,418,200 but, so
robust is the method of creating the structures by pouring concrete into moulds that are then left to set
within 24 hours to be rolled down an assembly-line and fitted within a day, that the programme
becomes self-financing after installation of just two 48-mould factories that roll off 12 homes of 4 17.1
moulds each per day, at a cost of $36.4 million.

This plan is for a $36.4 million project financed in three
stages with $6.5 million, $11.7 million and $18.2 million respectively for a total of $36.4 million with the
primary lender financing 60%. The cost of a full factory of 48 moulds is $18.2 million or $36.4 million for
two. The actual cost of the 48-module factory is $13.4 million and there is an additional $4.8 million
reserve fund for procuring inputs into the production brings the price of each factory and start-up to
$18.2 million.

3. Strategic Cities-at Mile 47/Rokel River, Mano River & Sulima Beach to Reduce Housing Shortfall
The shortage of suitable housing is a chronic fact throughout the developing world. China and India, the
two countries that have populations of over a billion each, need, combined, hundreds of millions of
homes. In Mexico where Rockport will focus its expansion, the need stands at 40 million and is growing every year.

Nigeria has a deficit of tens of millions. Sierra Leone’s shortage is in excess of 500,000. While
the SHELTER Programme will build 200,000, it expects to market 25-40 percent of its homes outside the
three planned cities to developers who will place most of them in freehold towns and neighbourhoods
in the 12 provinces. TIDES will focus its attention and resources on 3 of what it calls “strategic planned
cities”: the Mile 47 hub area extending to the Rokel River; the Sulima Beach area extending along the
border towards Zimmi; and the area at the hub where the Mano River countries all meet just south of
Gueckedou in Guinea.

These three cities, each situated at a river or ocean or, in the case of the hub
around Gueckedou at a lake to be created, will be tourist centres, will have huge agricultural industrial
complexes, and will each have its unique or niche market-a port city for the Mile 47 area; diamond
cutting/polishing for value added and counteracting smuggling and blood diamonds, an integrating
feature of the Mano River Union (MRU) concept in addition to enhancing previously alienated locals
prone to rebel influence; and a beach resort focus away from the hustle and bustle of Freetown.
18% for Pilot and 37% Profit for Full Regime, 2010-2020 Without Taxes & Land Purchase

The financials for the Expected Outcomes for the Pilot Phase which will last from the actual start-up
manufacturing date not later than 1st January 2009 and last for 12 to 21 months show a profit of
$12,994,786 over a period of 21 months, an average of 18% for the period with no deductions for
income taxes. Expected Outcomes for the Full Implementation disclose an end profit aggregate of
$3,157,816,277. Even though this represents a sum that is somewhat inflated on account of some
unknown factors connected with building cities without slums in an impoverished nation and with no
set aside for land acquisition or interest specifically included for land purchase, it is hard to deny that
such a scenario is not an impressive one. A pessimistic scenario will reduce this margin of profit
somewhat while an optimistic outcome will have even higher levels of profit. Only when studies have
been conducted that confirm the prognoses for the South American operations extrapolated to apply to

Sierra Leone can these profits be fully attested to. Still, recalling that the original investment was less
than $30 million for the construction of two factories with loans payable in 5 years makes this outcome
of using the latest technology a sign of the times in the twenty-first century especially since the United
Nations is fully committed to the transfer of technology from the affluent nations to developing nations.
Living Wage and UN MDG Support Will Bring Homes Within Reach of the Poor of Sierra Leone

Apart from Rockport’s breakthrough technology, application of the planned cities concept, “Cities
Without Slums”, will help qualify Sierra Leone to receive donor help to fulfil the UN’s Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) that call for such measures as free primary education, the right to suitable
housing, relieving 100 million people living in slum housing and transfer of technology. Its application
will also allow TIDES to set the minimum wage at a rate that will provide a living wage. The practicability
of setting a minimum wage within the SHELTER locales at $3 a day (3-4 times the standard) will be
determined during a field study that will test the applicability of some of Rockport’s criteria to Sierra
Leone. After many decades of living in the West, the Oduches of Sierra Leone, including TIDES President
Jonathan Peters will be moving back to their motherland taking back their share of what they have
learned from the West. Although there are inherent risks, these are set against huge potential gains.
TIDES Management Team

The TIDES team includes Jonathan Peters, President, Samuel Atere-Roberts , an engineer who is general
consultant , Amadu Massally, a CPA, John Aruna, an architect, and two young people in Information
Technology whose presence emphasises that The TIDES/SHELTER Programme will focus on youth
advancement in a country where their growth has been stunted by a protracted fratricidal war.