Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – Sierra Leone is on a diplomatic offensive to rebrand its image as a “perfect destination for investment” with such things as the investment forum it organized in Accra, ADV has learnt here.
A statement from Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner in Ghana, Frances Anderson said Over 200 companies and business think tanks from Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States were attracted to the forum on Wednesday.
Ms Anderson said the event was “in furtherance of President Julius Maada Bio’s broad vision of rebranding the country as a perfect destination for investment.”
Dr Toni Aubynn, President of African Institute of Extractive Industries Ghana who served as guest of honor, described the event as “timely” and expressed hope that Sierra Leone would develop its economy through trade and investment as well as through strong partnership with other African countries and the private sector.
Ghana was apparently chosen to host the event because of the country’s strong experience in the extractive industry which Sierra Leone relies on heavily for foreign investment.
The Director General of Sierra Leone’s National Minerals Agency, Julius Mattai made a presentation entitled: ‘What investors can take advantage of in the Minerals Sector in Sierra Leone’.
He listed the mineral resources available in Sierra Leone for exploration including diamonds, gold, iron-ore, bauxite, rutile and coltan and noted that the ongoing airborne geophysical survey of the country is expected to determine the true picture of the country’s mineral deposits.
“Sierra Leone wants to attract reputable investors with transparent processes and procedures that will contribute more to the country in the long-term, and has taken steps to provide a conducive environment which will be easy to do business,” Mr Mattai said.
Speaking further, he hinted on the major reforms ongoing in the sector “geared towards making the experience of investors less stressful and rewarding”.
In her statement, Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner, Frances Anderson, expressed delight for the massive turnout. She thanked the Ghanaian government for providing the platform.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Alie Kabba, said Sierra Leone and Ghana have a common and shared vision in the areas of economic development and cooperation amongst African countries.
He added that the long standing relationship between the two countries will be strengthened as the country under the leadership of President Bio was determined to change its narrative from one of civil war to one of peace and potentials for investment opportunities.
Also in attendance key government officials of both Ghana and Sierra Leone and the Archbishop of Accra and the former First Lady of Ghana, Mrs Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings as well as the country’s Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ghana.
© Bur-csa – A.H – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_eng