The Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) over the past three weeks embarked on a series of engagements with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including Local Council Authorities in selected districts across the country to identify new investment opportunities, existing investments operating in the districts and to strengthen collaboration with MDAs. The visit took place from the 17th February – 6th March, 2020.
Giving an overview of the mission in Pujehun and Bonthe Districts, Mrs. Phebean Jaia, an Investment Promotion Officer of SLIEPA, and the Team Leader, said the Agency is mandated by an Act of Parliament to promote investment and export in Sierra Leone on cost free; saying that a more collaborative effort is germane to all, as the operations of SLIEPA cover different sectors cutting across all MDAs.
She further noted that, economic opportunities discovered during the mission would be incorporated into the database to be packaged as additional investment opportunities to attract potential investors round the globe. The Agency offers Aftercare Services to existing investments, therefore the list of investments provided and the communities they operate will also benefit from this service, she concluded.
The MDAs and councils heartily welcomed the visit; agreeing that networking helps to mitigate challenges related to investment within their localities, brings development and improves the lives of their people.
When addressing the meeting, the Chief Administrator of the Pujehun District Council, Mr. Mohamed Kabba, said Pujehun is a virgin ground for investment. He said that the District has vast land that is viable for growing rice, cassava, oil palm, vegetable, rubber plantation and cashew. It has potential for gold, diamond, commercial fishery and tourism with the longest beach in Sierra Leone, he said.
Among other opportunities, the Pujehun District Agriculture Officer, Mr. Eddie L Bewoh, confirmed that the District has ecology suitable for mechanized farming as it is blessed with huge land deposit including bulle, river Rhine, low land, up land and 250 hectares of IVS already mapped out.
In an engagement with the Bonthe District Agriculture Office and the District Council, they agreed that the District has been left out in development for long; they said the District would make significant economic input to the Country if the Government taps on its investment potentials and make them realized. They explained that the District is tourist attractive with potential for vegetable, cattle rearing and has rich soil for growing cassava, sweet potato, oil palm, coconut with the five ecology for rice cultivation.
Other districts visited included; Port Loko, Moyamba, Kambia, and Koinadugu, where similar engagements were held with the local authorities.
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