By Alhaji Haruna Sani
President Julius Maada Bio has on June 21st officially opened the SONOCO Baking Bread Avenue at Wellington Industrial Estate, Freetown.
In his opening statement, President Bio commended SONOCO Bread Avenue for opening such an investment in the country, adding that Bread Avenue represents a strong commitment to empowering young individuals and promoting local entrepreneurship.
He thanked Vice President Juldeh Jalloh for introducing the group to him in order for them to be established in the country.
He went on to state that he visited the group’s facility in Conakry and established that they produce quality bread.
He said their obligation as a government is to open up jobs for the young people and that the commissioning marked a significant milestone in the field of baking, and it’s a modern bakery dedicated to training the local young talents in Sierra Leone.
He concluded that Bread Avenue will serve as a commercial bakery that would be providing fresh and quality products to the local community.
The Chief Executive Officer, SONOCO Bread Avenue, Abdul Diallo, stated that they were thrilled to launch Bread Avenue in Sierra Leone, adding that the avenue will contribute to the flourishing of the local youth.
He said the profit generated will be reinvested into a training program to support the sustainability and continued growth of the initiative.
He mentioned that they firmly believe in the importance of empowering youth economically, and are proud to contribute to their education and professional development.
He expressed his optimism that Bread Avenue will play a crucial role in creating opportunities and empowering the youth.
The Minister of Trade, Edward Hinga Sandy, welcomed Bread Avenue and assured them of government unflinching support, adding that the industry could help employ Sierra Leoneans, which could eventually reduce the number of unemployed youths in the country.
The SONOCO Group was established in 2004 as a small entity. The Guinean Investment Company (SIG) has been evolving since its creation in 1992. The SONOCO Group is a player in the agro-food industry in Guinea, and aims to diversify a balanced portfolio of activities. In line with this goal, the group has decided to continue its industrialization process to achieve greater control over its value chain. The project amounts to 5 million USD and will accoodate approximately 400 trainees per year.