President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday 19 July hosted at State House the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of African Export-Import-Bank (Afreximbank) Dr Benedict Okey Oramah and team who were in the country to explore investment opportunities.
Briefing the president, Dr Oramah disclosed that Afreximbank has decided to pay attention to Sierra Leone, having in mind a two prong strategy; short term and medium term investment plans. On the short term investment, he said the bank would give immediate support for the country to recover from the twin shocks of the Ebola epidemic and the drastic fall in the price of iron ore in the world market. In the medium term, the bank intends to invest in the energy, tourism, support agro processing for value addition among others.
Welcoming the delegation, President Koroma informed that he invited Dr Oramah to Sierra Leone to have first-hand knowledge of what is happening in the country and to also have the opportunity to identify priority areas. He said during his tête-à-tête with Dr Oramah, the latter disclosed to him that he had had discussions with the Bank of Sierra Leone and the Energy Ministry but no conclusion was reached.
For the delegation to be well informed on business opportunities in the country, the Chief Executive Officer of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency Raymond Gbekie made a power point presentation to highlight areas of business opportunities. The sectors he highlighted include but not limited to tourism, fisheries, health, water, agriculture and energy. "Before now it could take three months to begin a business in the country. But now you can take just 24 hours to go through proper registration to kick off, " Mr. Gbekie informed the delegation.