The Ministry of Trade of Industry in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) held consultative meetings in Kenema on the 9th and Bo on the 10th of November respectively with stakeholders, farmers and producers in the agricultural produce, arts and craft, fisheries and textile sectors. The consultative meetings are part of the development of Sierra Leone’s national response strategy to enhance the chances of the country to benefit from the opportunities of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) initiative which has been renewed to 2025. It could be recalled that the development of the national response strategy was launched on the 24th of October in Freetown with the support of the United Nations Commission for Africa (UNECA)
The consultative meetings were attended by Officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) headed by Mr Charles Mereweather Thompson, Chief Director of the MTI and SLIEPA officials led by Mr Shiaka kawa, Director of Export Development SLIEPA. The meetings were facilitated by the International Growth Centre (IGC) consultants of the project for the development of the national response strategy.
Also on Friday 10th November 2017 in Bo, the Produce Monitoring Board (PMB) in collaboration with SLIEPA, Sierra Leone Standards Bureau, MTI, MAFFS, GIZ officially opened the first quality fair to showcase products in the agribusiness sector that are either export ready or has export potentials. The Hon. Ibrahim Mansaray Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry officially opened the fair and His Excellency the Nigeria High Commissioner to Sierra Leone was in attendance as the guest of honour.
Statements were made at the opening ceremony by the Acting Executive Director of PMB Mrs Haja Kabbah, the Chief Executive Officer of SLIEPA Mr Dylan Sogie- Thomas, and the Head of Standards Bureau Mr Dumbuya. The programme was chaired by the Director of Export Development SLIEPA Mr Shiaka Kawa. The fair will end on the 18th November 2017.