A feasibility study for the historic restoration and development of Goree Island, a former colonial settlement and slave trading post two miles off the coast of Senegal, is being funded by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, Jacob R. (Jake) Henderson Jr. of Atlanta, director of the African Business Development Center (ABDC), and DIRECO, a Senegalese firm.

The $300,000 study will provide architectural and engineering designs as well as marketing support necessary for the development of the project which is estimated to cost some $16 million.  Signing ceremonies took place in Dakar, Senegal’s capital, in February and were attended by the U.S. ambassador, Mark Johnson, and Mansour Seck, the Senegalese ambassador to the U.S.

According to Mr. Henderson, a consortium of Georgia firms including Julius Hollis Associates, Circle Development Corp., Law Engineering and the McMeadoy Group Ltd., have expressed interest in the project.

John Richter, the U.S. agency’s regional director for Africa, said companies from    around the world will compete to participate in the development of the    island, which already draws many tourists, including a large number of African Americans.

The study, which will focus on restoration of the former French Governor’s mansion into a 100-125 room full-service hotel, should assist the Georgia firms win future contracts for development projects on the island, he added.

The ABDC was created by the Atlanta Economic Development Center and the city of Atlanta to develop trade opportunities with African countries.

For more information about the project, Mr. Henderson may be reached at the AEDC, (404) 658-7000.  Mr. Richter may be reached at (703) 875-4159.