The Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) in collaboration with the International Trade Center (ITC) has on the 1st October, 2019 ended a four-day Market Analyses Training for 25 trainees including SLIEPA Staff, Members of Farmers’ Cooperatives and Staff of other Trade Agencies. The training took place at the SLIEPA Head Office at Tower Hill in Freetown.
Mr. Wahab Lera Shaw, National Project Coordinator for ITC, said that ITC is a UN Agency that was founded by the UN and World Trade Organization (WTO). He noted that ITC has a number of activities including working with SLIEPA and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Exporters, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to improve the Cocoa Sector in terms of quality, quantity and requirement for export into value markets around the world. He continued saying that, the Netherlands Trust Fund and the European Union (EU) funded the said training.
Speaking on the issue, Pitchaya Sam Eamon, Trade Analyst for ITC and one of the training facilitators, explained that the training would allow the participants to carry out evidence based market analyses resonating with international trade statistic to enhance good decision making. She said that, they had information for all products around the world, but they focused on information dealing with cocoa and coffee as they have the highest growth for Sierra Leone export. She stated that, the training would allow the participants to realize the necessary steps needed to oust export impediments and helps Sierra Leone to have better informed producers who know what they want to do with their fresh produce in order to access the international market, bring in more money, and generate foreign direct investment in the future.
The training according to Mr. Henry Fofanah, Manager of Export Department in SLIEPA, was materialized upon a request made to ITC by SLIEPA to help build the capacity of its staff and clients in the areas of interpretation of trade map, export potential map, trade statistic map, market access map and other information that would benefit the export community. He said the knowledge gained, would have a positive impact on participants because it enhances their competency in export related matters and also to access lucrative market and make decisions on which market they want to penetrate.
Engaging the participants, Mr. Ibrahim Moseray, Manager of Kpeya Cocoa Farmers’ Cooperative and Chairman Eastern Region Cooperative, appreciated SLIEPA and ITC for building their capacity on export and export related matters. He said he now know what the international market requires to earn benefit for exporting produce.
In the same direction, Bettie Swaray, Export Development Officer in SLIEPA, stated that the training has made her better informed in relation to international market access and export procedures including packaging, certification etc. She said, she is well capacitated to give the right information the cooperatives and exporters may need to make the right decisions in order to boost the Country’s export rate.
When pronouncing the closure of the training, the Chief Executive Officer of SLIEPA, Mr. Sheku Lexmond Koroma, registered deep gratitude to ITC for the numerous support they have provided to SLIEPA. He said that, SLIEPA and ITC have been strong partners for the past ten years. Noting that the Agency has benefited a lot from ITC support including the establishment of the Trade Information Centre at SLIEPA, the Development of Trade Secret Document, the Manor River Union Cocoa Value Chain Project support to SLIEPA and Produce Monitoring Board (PMB) and the series of trainings and capacity building.
He thanked the participants for attentively going through the course and encouraged them to utilize the knowledge gained to improve on their various export activities.
On behalf of the Chairman Board of Directors, Mr. Jonathan George, the Management and staff of SLIEPA, the CEO thanked the ITC Facilitators and declared the training closed, followed by awarding of certificates to the participants.