SLIEPA in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on the 24th October 2017 held a consultative meeting with different stakeholders from the private and public sector at the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex Kingtom Freetown to launch Sierra Leone’s National Africa Growth Opportunity Act(AGOA) Response Strategy.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the meeting, Mr Charles Merewether Thompson, Chief Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry, said that the implementation strategy will look at identifying and addressing the eligibility challenges that has forestalled Sierra Leonean products entering the United States of America(USA) market, He therefore appealed to members of the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities offered by this act to enhance the trade between Sierra Leone and the USA.
Mr. Shiaka Kawa, Director of Export Development SLIEPA, stated that SLIEPA as a trade promotion agency has worked closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and other stakeholders during the implementation phase of the National Export Strategy and also facilitated the development of the road map for the roll out of the national AGOA response strategy in Sierra Leone to aid the country’s participation and chances of making use of the opportunities and benefits available to AGOA countries.
The Country Director of International Growth Centre (IGC) Mr. Herbert MCleod the consultant for the development and roll out of the national response strategy in his statement, said that, one of their major activities, is to undertake research, and explore the opportunities not only to export to the USA market but to work with other stakeholders such as SLIEPA and the Ministry of Trade to enhance trade within the sub-region and cross border trade activities as a priority.
The Key note address was delivered by Hon. Ibrahim Mansaray, Deputy Minister Trade and Industry. In his statement, he said that, Government is working closely with its partners, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa(UNECA), SLIEPA, and Chamber of Commerce to ensure that the AGOA strategy is fully implemented to improve not only on trade with the USA, but also in industrialization, and the development of the Private sector. He thanked UNECA for their technical and financial support for this program and encouraged other Partners for their support in ensuring that the Strategy would not only be viewed as a tool for trade with other AGOA countries, but to improve our export products and trade policies.
The meeting was climaxed with Presentations on Key Opportunities and challenges facing the Key growth sectors, (Agribusiness, Fisheries, Tourism), and recommendations for business transformation in those sectors.