Following a meeting at the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) Head Office in Freetown, the Chief Executive Officer of SLIEPA, Mr. Sheku Lexmond Koroma, together with his team on 29th July 2020 paid a return visit to Sierra Honey Investment at 74 Sanders Street, Freetown. The purpose of the visit was to further familiarize with the operations of the company and see the export readiness of the business.
When making his introductory statement, the Managing Director and Head of Field Operations, Mr. Abu Bakarr Bangura, said they approached SLIEPA purposely to help link them with markets where they will be exporting their unadulterated organic honey that has a low residue. He noted that they have fifty (50) metric tons that is ready for export; with a possibility of scaling up to about four hundred metric tons in a year, for which they want to collaborate with SLIEPA to access permanent markets for export. He explained that their operations cover seven (7) chiefdoms in Kambia district including part of Port Loko, Bombali and Karene districts, but with an extension plan to other areas in the country. He noted the formation of the business; where he said that the idea was drafted by their CEO, Mr. Babadi Kamara and the operations started in February 2020.
While taking the visitors through the warehouse at 78 Campbell Street, Freetown, Mr. Thomas Lebbie, Co-founder and Head of Quality Assurance and Control Processes, briefed them that their honey has passed laboratory tests for physico, chemical and biological qualities in laboratories both at home (Sierra Leone Pharmacy Board and Sierra Leone Standards Bureau) and overseas – Eurofins (Germany) with an expectation of a detailed result from GHP Laboratory (Dubai), he said.
The CEO of SLIEPA, Mr. Sheku Lexmond Koroma, appreciated that the business is 100% owned and run by Sierra Leonean locals; he said that, his Agency would stand by them to ensure their success. He encouraged them to pay more attention to the traceability of the origin of the product; a means that adds to the visibility of the country in terms of quality assurance. He stated that the New Direction Government led by the President, Brigadier (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio, is encouraging more Sierra Leoneans to go into such entrepreneurship; thus, a drive towards human capital development and economic growth. Mr. Koroma reiterated the support of SLIEPA in ensuring that Sierra Honey Investment (SL) Limited thrives.
The engagement ended with a proposed launch of the Sierra Honey with invitees from line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Embassies.