Invest Africa US and Whitaker Group on the 6th May 2019 presented a delegation of business leaders to the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) as a fulfillment of their promise during their last visit.
In his welcoming address, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SLIEPA, Mr. Sheku Lexmond Koroma, thanked the delegates for their adventure in Sierra Leone. Taking them through the mandate of SLIEPA, he noted that it was formed by an Act of parliament with the legal responsibility to promote investment and export in the country; therefore, he said, it will be ideal for investors coming to the Country to pass through SLIEPA to conduct due diligence on them, facilitate their establishment and to protect their investment after establishment.
Furthermore, the Acting Director of Marketing and Communications, Mr. Francis Minah, reiterated that SLIEPA is charged with the mandate to protect investors doing business in Sierra Leone. He underscored that the Agency’s aspiration to retain all existing investment in the country and for that, he said, the Agency has a dedicated Aftercare unit set up to work on the challenges of the investment to ensure the enabling environment needed for their operations. SLIEPA as well offers export development and promotion services coupled with trade information services through the Trade Information Centre located at the SLIEPA Head office in freetown he ended.
In his presentation, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Symbion Power and Chairman of Invest Africa in the US, Paul Hinks, said their Mission was based on facts finding on investment opportunities in Sierra Leone; noting that they represent many business people, therefore the result of their findings might bring more investors in the Country with a clear mind of what they would want to invest in. He said they saw some optimism about Sierra Leone when they met the President Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio in United States.
The Acting Director of Investment Promotion, Mr. Victor Bangura, catalogued the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone; starting with the Government’s effort to diversify the economy from a more dependent mineral resources to other sectors like Agribusiness, Energy, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, Marine Fisheries and Tourism. He further explained the opportunities embedded in all mentioned sectors.
Mr. Bangura also talked about the general investment policy and guidelines, the need for Public Private Sector Partnership and market opportunity as a result of the Country’s proximity to the bigger market.
The delegates were however impressed with the numerous investment opportunities in Sierra Leone. They committed to take back the findings to their business colleagues, and the two areas they expressed interest in for further discussions were housing and energy.