16th -17th 2020: The ‘Allied Identity’ has said that their partners have agreed to invest three billion, seven hundred thousand dollar ($ 3,000 700, 000) in Sierra Leone; this was disclosed during a two-day International Investment Summit hosted in Freetown by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation.
When making his statement, H.E Mohamed Yongawa, the Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation said, for a Company to commit over three billion to the Sierra Leone economy, is a good news for the President, Vice President and him as an Ambassador promoting the Country’s interest globally; noting that he was heartened by the fact that the investors were impressed with the investment opportunities.
He applauded the Ministry of Trade and Industry and its line Departments and Agencies for a resilient strive in promoting trade and business opportunities in the country. He said the President’s vision to leave a legacy that everyone would be proud of requires the support of all to make it become a reality.
According to the Ambassador, he was delightful over his coming into the country with two potential investors who have manifestly fallen in love with Sierra Leone. He encouraged the Ministry of Trade and Industry and its line Departments and Agencies to do the needful that will land this money.
Delivering the keynote address earlier on behalf of the Vice President, Dr. Juldeh Jalloh, the Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office, Madam Francess Alghali, encouraged all parties including the investors to grab the opportunities available in all sectors looking at mining, trade, Agriculture among others while thanking the organizers for such an initiative.
She said that, the Government of Sierra Leone continues to make frantic efforts in attracting investors through many means not least, putting premium on investments opportunities. Government, she said is taking several initiatives to ensure that the country’s investments climate remains friendly to ensure that Sierra Leone meets international benchmarks.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Edward Hinga Sandy, expressed delight that such a conference was hosted where the country’s opportunities were shared with other people with the main aim of achieving the president’s dream of transforming the country to an attractive investment destination.
He said that such a huge sum of money will be invested in deferent sectors that will create many jobs, add value to the Country’s produce and boost the economy, therefore, he noted that they as Government entities need to do the necessities that will make the system work. Dr. Sandy encouraged the investors to feel free and consider Sierra Leone as the ideal home for doing businesses in Africa.
In a power point presentation, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), furnished the investors with the competitive investment advantage of Sierra Leone: safety, politically stable, strategic location in terms of proximity to big markets, fight against corruption, available human resources, the government’s moves to strengthen an enabling business environment etc. His presentation explained untapped investment opportunities in the priority sectors of the economy thus, education, health, agriculture, tourism, energy, marine resources, mining, fisheries, transportation.
He encouraged investors to choose Sierra Leone for business as the Government of H.E President Brigadier (RTD) Maada Bio, poised to change the socio-economic narrative of the Country for which it is working toward a private sector led economy that will create job for the people and have a sustainable positive impact on their livelihood.
Other Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) made detailed presentations on sectoral investment opportunities and on their activities. On this note, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Rev. Abraham Sesay Jones, asked SLIEPA to take leadership in creating a platform that will bring together all the investment opportunities presented by these MDAs.
Speaking during the ceremony, the investors from Allied Identity, Mr. Bruce Ross and Mr. Mike Snyder said that they were impressed by the investment opportunities in the Country. They therefore disclosed that the Inova Finance Group of Allied Identity has committed to invest three billion, seven hundred thousand dollar ($ 3,000 700, 000) in Sierra Leone in their quest to help the Government and the Nationals with development.
Mr. Snyder said that Sierra Leone has changed the investment climate in the last three years; saying that long time ago, investors including the United State Government could not make investment in Sierra Leone on a long-term basis, because of its instability. He continued saying that though it is yet in public, investors have been advised to extent their investment in Sierra Leone, because the Country is now making the right moves in the international community in terms of upholding the rule of law, agreements, regulations, policies etc.
He concluded by saying that the best model they have discovered for investing in Africa is the Public-Private- Partnership (PPP), where they put their money upfront, get the contract, invest and start realizing their profit over the years.