For those of you who do not know much about Sierra Leone, I can confidently say that you are in for a pleasant surprise. We have a wonderful heritage and history of achieving many first in Africa – from being pioneers in printing newspapers and delivering radio to establishing Fourah Bay College, the first university in Sub-Saharan Africa. More recently, we have demonstrated our desire and ability to freely choose our government. Recognising that ill-informed perceptions of our country persist, we are determined to be more active in articulating the good things that we have and to provide the world with positive insights into our country, its people and institutions, and the opportunities that Sierra Leone has to offer. This guide is a strong step forward in that process.
We remain committed to consolidating our gains in democratic governance. A prime example is my government’s policy of zero tolerance for corruption. In pursuing this goal, we revised and launched the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and passed one of the toughest anti-corruption acts in Africa. The act requires all public servants to declare their assets, and compliance has been strong.
Furthermore, having laid a solid foundation for the advancement of our country, we intend to proceed with a focus on the priorities identified in our Agenda for Change program. With private sector-led economic: energy, agriculture, and infrastructure. In agriculture, we look to push forward with commercialisation of a sector that already accounts for 45 percent of GDP-and where more than 70 percent of our arable land is available for cultivation. Meanwhile, investment in road, river, airport, and seaport infrastructure will modernise our transportation network and take advantage of Sierra Leone’s strategic location, making the country both a regional and transatlantic trade hub.
Sierra Leone is remarkably beautiful, with pristine beaches, green mountains, and jungles that remain largely untouched. Thus my government is working assiduously to maximise our torusim potential by supporting the development and promotion of sustainable ecotourism resources and enhancing the country’s image middle- and up-market tourist destination. At the same time, our strategy for tourism development mirrors our firm belief that responsibility for delivering national economic growth requires a strong partnership between the public and private sectors.
My government’s Agenda for Change is inextricably linked to the pursuit of inclusive, broadly based, private sector-led growth. This is reflected in our commitment to reforms, enhancement of required infrastructure, and development of entrepreneurial and technical skills, all of which make it easier to do business in Sierra Leone. Partnership with the private sector will ensure that we deliver on the promises we have made to our people, and we are thrilled that you are considering such partnership. We look forward to you visiting our great country, to experience firsthand the beauty and remarkable investment potentials.
Again, a very warm welcome, and God bless Sierra Leone
H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma
President of the Republic of Sierra Leone