The Sierra Leone House of Parliament on Tuesday 30th April ratified the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Government of Sierra Leone and Sierra Tropical Limited (STL). STL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dole Asia Holdings (owned and financed by ITOCHU of Japan) establishing pineapple plantation and planning to set up an agro-processing facility in Sumbuya Lugbu where fruits grown in Sierra Leone will be processed, canned (in accordance with international standards) and exported from Sierra Leone to the sub region and Africa, Europe and the Americas with the said goods clearly marked “Made in Sierra Leone”.
The first phase of the STL plantation covers 4,335 hectares that will be utilized in the next four to five years. Currently out of these, 135 hectares are already in use with a workforce of about 523 locals.
SLIEPA has been working with STL since its inception. Its facilitation services towards the actualization of the investment through many site visits and meetings coordinated between the company and relevant stakeholders greatly contributed to the signing of agreements and the recent Aftercare visit paid to the Company’s operational area to assess the level of investment and engagement between the company and land owners. During the visit the SLIEPA CEO, Mr. Sheku Lexmond Koroma, asked the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana accredited to Sierra Leone to count on SLIEPA for the ratification of the MOA by the Sierra Leone Parliament.
The ratification of this agreement serves as not only a means to facilitate Japanese investment in the Country as planned by H.E Tsutomu HIMENO, the Japanese Ambassador accredited to Sierra Leone, but also a means of executing the post ratification plans of STL which include but not limited to the activation of the next phases of the project, increment of employees from present 523 to at least between 2,500 up to 3,000 or more upon production, implementation of the Community Action Development Plan (CDAP) as a commitment to its Corporate Social Responsibility, Technical/Vocational Training for Sierra Leoneans, and infrastructural developments.
The role of SLIEPA in Sierra Leone investment landscape can’t be over emphasized. Its mandate covers investment promotion and generation, investment facilitation, export development, export promotion, trade information and policy advocacy and aftercare services. The Agency desires all local and foreign investors to benefit from its free services.