President Bio says Sierra Leone Wants Reliable Partners
April 9, 2019
By Joseph S. Margai
President Julius Maada Bio has stated that his government wants reliable partners to drive forward his ambition of transforming Sierra Leone.
President Bio, who was speaking during a visit of a high-powered delegation of investors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at State House yesterday (Monday, 8th April, 2019), also said Sierra Leone is in a hurry for development.
He said in less than two weeks after his visit to UAE, to discuss Sierra Leone’s business opportunities, the delegation has finally jetted into the country to get first-hand information about the investment opportunities in the country.
“I was expecting you but I was not expecting you to have come so early after my visit. This means the investors from UAE means business. My government is ready to work with you and we will create the enabling environment for you to explore the opportunities here,” he said.
Presenting the business opportunities in Sierra Leone, Chief Minister, Prof. David Francis, urged the visiting delegation to see Sierra Leone as the emerging investment destination of choice.
“You should see Sierra Leone as the new Dubai. The country has strategic access to the market, boasting of a natural deep water harbour. We have duty free access to global markets,” he stated.
He told the delegation that the country’s population is over seven million with 60 percent of it being a vibrant strong force, noting that the country enjoys total social and political stability.
“This is a pro-business government which is creating a friendly business environment with incentives. Whatever single dollar invested in Sierra Leone would be protected as there is a very vibrant Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) laws, including a strong leadership provided by President Bio” he told the delegation.
Head of delegation, Sultan Alshamsi, Assistance Minister for International Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said his visiting team was drawn from both the public and private sector.
“We have people from various backgrounds which include airlines, ports, agriculture, education, development programmes, energy, health, small and medium term enterprises (SMEs), among others,” he said.
Sultan Alshamsi said his team is ready to work in order to sustain and maintain the development of Sierra Leone.
From the Chief Minister’s presentation, he stated that he realised that there is a limited energy access of 15 percent, adding that the energy sector is crucial to moving forward the country’s economy.
He noted that UAE stands ready to collaborate with the Sierra Leonean government in providing technical assistance.