The Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) concluded the nationwide consultative meeting in Makeni on Saturday 25th November at the Makeni City Council Hall after facilitating similar meetings in Kenema and Bo on the 9th and 10th of November 2017 respectively. The participants of the meeting included representatives from different Ministries Departments and Agencies resident in Makeni, stakeholders, farmers, producers and entrepreneurs along the export value chain in the agribusiness, arts and craft, fisheries and textile sectors.
The essence of these national consultative meetings were to create national ownership and buy-in for the development of the national response strategy of Sierra Leone for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA was enacted by the United States of America (USA) Government in 2000 which has been renewed to 2025 to enhance market access to the United States by qualifying Sub-Saharan Africa countries. It could be recalled that the development of the national response strategy was launched on the 24th of October2017 in Freetown with the support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
Mr Charles Merewether Thompson Chief Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry who chaired the programme encouraged the participants to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the AGOA scheme to enable them export their products to the U S market, The Chief Executive Officer of SLIEPA, Mr Dylan Sogie- Thomas in his statement reiterated SLIEPA’s commitment in supporting entrepreneurs in the export sector by identifying markets, investors and the required information on standards, quality and packaging to assist their businesses qualify to enter the American market and other markets worldwide. The meeting was facilitated by Mr Abu-Bakaar Kamara representative of the International Growth Center (IGC) Consultants for the development of the national response strategy. The participants were then clustered into groups by sectors and presentations done by the different groups highlighting their constraints, challenges and recommendations which will form part of the national strategy.
© SLIEPA MARCOMS