Japan promises investments for Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 August 2019:

The vice president of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Koshikawa Kazuhiko, yesterday, pledged investment support for the government of Sierra Leone, at a meeting held with president Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone.

President Bio is attending the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development, (TICAD7) in , Yokohama, Japan.

Mr. Koshikawa lauded the Bio-led government for recently signing various cooperation agreements with the government of Japan last week in Freetown. He said that JICA’s support for West African States, includes financial and humanitarian assistance.

“Mr President, we support the policies of your New Direction Government, which include empowerment of young people, the fight against corruption and investment in human capital development,” Mr Koshikawa said.

He said that JICA has new projects that will support Japanese small and medium enterprises to invest in Sierra Leone, leading to the creation of employment and promotion of private sector growth.

On the opportunities for more cooperation, Mr Koshikawa spoke about a huge market in Japan for fish from Sierra Leone, adding that the two countries will explore cooperation in both the agriculture and energy sectors.

President Bio thanked the government of Japan, through JICA, for supporting Sierra Leone. He said he was particularly pleased that JICA has recently upgraded its offices in Sierra Leone from a field office to a country office.

President Bio said that this move would expand the portfolio of Japanese projects in the country. He also commended JICA for their commitment to upgrading one of the government hospitals in Sierra Leone.

“As a new government, we want to now look at trade and investment cooperation with JICA. We are particularly keen on investment in the energy sector; and we have also made a lot of reforms in the business environment,” President Bio said.

The president also spoke about the need for more technical cooperation, including scholarships for young people, the opportunity for Japanese companies to set up aftercare services for Japanese vehicles in Sierra Leone, and value-addition to both the agriculture and fishery sectors.

But the JICA officials were not specific about the size of investment portfolio they are willing to commit to Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone needs hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign investments to kick-start its key economic sectors – fishery, agro-processing, tourism, energy, water, and timber- related products manufacturing.

President Bio has promised to create thousands of jobs for young people in the country, and the clock is ticking.

Recent political violence and growing lawlessness in the country do not auger well for the president and his mission to attract foreign investments.

If ‘New Direction’ means new ways of governing Sierra Leone, then all eyes are now, ever than before on State House, waiting to witness the change from lawlessness to law and order, and political stability. The time for change is now.

President Bio is a retired soldier who was elected to office by a vast number of people, who believed he has what it takes to bring discipline and law and order to Sierra Leone. Is he losing control of the country?

Mr President, over sixteen months ago, you promised to steady a sinking ship you described as “rudderless” under former president Koroma. Today, the sinking ship is fast heading towards an iceberg with 7.5 million people on board. The time to act is now.

14 Comments

  1. Thanks for your correction Mr. Matturi. But I was actually referring to the executive branch of the government and not the legislative branch. I’m surprised you made no mention about your C4C party. I intentionally threw some red meat for you with regard to your hero Chief Sam-Sumana. Or you are still gathering steam to knock me out?

    • Ooops! Thanks a lot Mr. Alusine Fallay for your candid response. I did not mention anything concerning The C4C party or The HONOURABLE CHIEF because, there was nothing in the article that refers to either the PARTY or the CHIEF directly. So, I did not bother myself.

      Also, I decided to hold fire because, I recognised what I would call, a BOOBY TRAP manoeuvre. This just shows how SMART FORUMITES on this PLATFORM have become. Which means, our comments should be SMARTER. Because of this INTELLIGENT, TOUGH and CHALLENGING environment we now find ourselves in, one must always read the articles and comments carefully before going on the attack. Beware of FACT CHECKERS. Thanks Alusine for your contribution on this PLATFORM and may GOD BLESS YOU.

  2. My philosophy in life is that it’s better to work with something you have in your hand than something that you have in your head. I always try to base my comment on reality on the ground. SLPP and APC will always rule Sierra Leone just like in the USA where you have to always choose between the Democratic Party or the Republican Party and also the United Kingdom where you have to choose from either the Conservative or the Labor parties.

    Third party winner in Sierra Leone will always be a good dream because most of the leaders from the third party are just opportunists that based their decision on desperation. For example Chief Samsumana who is still undecided whether he is APC or C4C formed his movement (C4C) because he was kicked out of the APC.

    I personally believe that the only thing holding him to move on with life after he was disgraced by his lifetime leader of the APC who publicly challenged his integrity and faith in God, is the lap dance he is addicted to and I sometimes pity him because anytime he walks out of door of his lifetime leader he always walks very funny. In the case of Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, I plead the 5th or hold my peace. The only option we are left with is to base our decision on the record of the 35 years of APC rule and the 17 years of the SLPP rule.

    Even the ten years of late President Tejan Kabba of the SLPP who took power when the infrastructure, economy and the nation were devastated by 10 years war had a good track record than the APC that helped undermined his first year after he was democratically elected as president by attempting to kill him. But thankfully now, they are singing his praises because he is a dead man. Under the SLPP President Kabba rebuilt all the government institutions and left an almost debt free economy which within the 10 years of the APC, has been either corrupted or destroyed.

    Finally I am appealing to all Sierra Leoneans to respect the will of the people to give our democratically elected president a chance to restore the integrity and credibility that we deserve within his 5 years mandate.

    • Point of CORRECTION Mr. Alusine Fallay. You don’t always choose between LABOUR and the CONSERVATIVES in the UK. Have you heard of a HUNG PARLIAMENT? Think about that and make some adjustments to your statement concerning parliamentary CONFIGURATION in the UK. Thanks and may GOD BLESS YOU.

  3. Before independence and formation of the biggest elements that crippled our country till today (i.e. APC and SLPP), our nation chooses leaders based on their merits to society and their ability to lead. As long as there is APC and SLPP, Sierra Leone will never live to see a true Leader worth calling Mr/Mrs President.

    Since its certain these two parties cannot be demolished, I guess its left to Sierra Leoneans to say enough is enough. Vote based on the character and merits of a Leader – not his affiliations with your tribe and party. Lets start treating our country like our sons and daughters – we don’t just hand them over to anyone, no, we leave them with people we trust and certain they are of good character and valor. Politics is an old man talking and a young man dying.

    • What an IMPRESSIVE and BRILLIANT comment Mr. Abdul Bundu. Where were you all this time? If this is your first time participating on this PLATFORM, I encourage you to continue making such BOLD, MAKE SENSE and WISE comment. You really touched the NUCLEUS, CORE and HEART of the problem. I will surely read your comment over and over again. it’s really SENSATIONAL. Thank you so much and may the ALMIGHTY GOD BLESS YOU.

  4. During the memorable,blessed days of the legendary,Herculean Stevens I was a fragile little boy,but I clearly remember my country being a prosperous little Paradise on Earth – an enchanting heaven,richly colored by Mother nature,with luscious green forests,high majestic mountains,and lovely sloping hills,inclining from breathtaking horizontal angles,to alluring,mesmerizing,vertical positions. Happy days indeed!

    There was incomparable beauty everywhere to be enjoyed,and seen – and best of all,our daily portion and priceless gift from existence, was the cleanest air anyone could ever breathe in their lives – heavy gusts of fresh air that left you deeply exhilarated,and gasping for more. Good times,no doubt!

    A little Paradise on earth,that’s what it was,guided by the diligent,industrious hands of Old Stevens – Every thing our nation needed at that time,was in mind blowing abundance, just like the stars of heaven, generously scattered by the majestic hand of the Almighty,across the glorious,magical Milky way. Delightful times!

    There was peace,stability,and harmony everywhere,and the sweetest songs of the great,late,eclectic ‘Dr Oloh,and his Mylo Jazz band’ could be heard blasting everywhere – engagement parties,weddings,birthdays,and other happy occasions,and festivities – Oloh could be seen,and heard everywhere. I still remember his deep,hoarse, unique voice,and calm demeanor in the midst of an always drunken unruly band of musicians,high as kites soaring on their own,without being held by strings! lmao – what a loveable, classy guy,Oloh was! (Rest in Heaven Maestro;you’ve earned it).

    Now let’s call a spade a spade – the problems of our nation started since our Independence. Solid foundations are very important when building anything of great value or substance,and the SLPP Margai did quite the opposite – he negotiated an Independence deal from the Clever British in a hurry,that was I’ll advised,amateurish in nature, unskilful, and unprincipled. It was him that threw our nation under the bus,allowing it to be run over mercilessly by the self seeking British.

    Yep,it was Margai that ignorantly allowed this nation to be short- changed,and robbed by our departing Colonial masters. True. Had Stevens been the one to negotiate our Independence on his own,the story of our nation would be totally different today – certainly we would have become the most prosperous nation on earth – I’m sure of it!

    But the deal the SLPP Margai got Mother Sierra Leone was a flimsy, superficial one – a Suckers Deal to put it more simply. A deal that allowed the British to sail away,home free with goodies,without being held accountable for their thefts, indiscretions, and criminal acts they perpetrated against our beloved nation. A Suckers deal, that allowed them to keep on interfering in our affairs,and controlling us like puppets on strings,even from far away.

    A shaky,unsteady foundation is what we inherited from the British,that was made possible by the irresponsible,substandard negotiating abilities,and shockingly ineptitude of leaders of the SLPP. As was Sir Milton,so also is Coup-plotter Bio,both birds wearing the same colors,and feathers of mindless,confounding incompetence.

    Are these the kinds of people you trust,and naively expect to sensibly negotiate, and build you a billion dollar expensive bridge? You can’t be serious.lol.They are good for nothings – Their eyes and vision are distorted with arrogance, tribalism, and pride, and their bones shake,and rattle with stupidity,and ignorance,as they run,or walk – losers heading in a failing direction that’s who they are.

    A damn shame – Sir Milton threw us recklessly to the sharks in order to get Independence,now Bio is doing something worse, hurling us straight into the merciless,hungry mouths of Financial predators,the IMF,and others with high interest loans. The SLPP,and their delusional Coup-plotter can’t tell me nothing – they are nothing but a cowardly bunch of silly,Pot Belly good for nothing’s….Rising Sun Will Rise Again

  5. Alusine Fallay reminds me of when kabs Kanu started attempting to pull the wool over our eyes on behalf of the EBK govt, before his cover was blown and it was revealed that he was actually a paid spokesperson. Alusine, obviously, you are a die hard SLPP, well and good, but country should come first.

    Each successive leader we have had, has led us further down the path of destruction. This is too much. Unless he is planning to become a fully fledged dictator and completely suppress all opposition, which itself, will not work. Bio needs to know this won’t work. We now have a paopa president further promoting raray borbor nonsense.

    Sierra Leone currently cannot develop itself and China aside, foreign govts are not going to support this nonsense. You can not see this happening and try to cover it up. That means you do not love your country. Duya ar beg, change your mentality

  6. Thanks Emmanuel for your observations. If you read my comment on this article, I was not referring to any particular government or party. I was referring to every government after independence. Our leaders ever since we gained independence have been traveling around the world in search of LOANS, AID, GRANTS and INVESTMENTS but, we are still super poor and underdeveloped. Do you agree with me? Where have the billions of dollars in loans and aid gone?

    It is really unacceptable to me that our country is in such an economic mess at this time. I disagree with you by saying that, not a day I appreciate this government. I do appreciate this government. In fact, I want this government and any government to succeed. Be it APC, SLPP C4C, NGC etc. I always give credit to this government when the right thing is done. Thanks Emmanuel and may GOD BLESS you.

  7. Even though President Bio is making all these positive strides by attracting investors and making our country “GREAT AGAIN“ the reality on the ground is that the destructive force in our country is very strong and large especially in Freetown where I believe are the majority.

    The SLPP government will always struggle to overcome this challenge and even late Sir Milton Margai had that problem because he had to keep some APC members in Pademba Road Prison just to achieve Independence from Great Britain. And our nation was respected and admired around the world even when late Prime Minister Albert Margai was in power.

    Then unfortunately, the destructive force that is almost 50% known as the All People Congress Party (APC) took over power. Even though they were destructive as an opposition, but became most destructive when they took power. HELL broke loose when late President for Life Siaka Stevens executed his political opponents within his own party who were Mohamed Sorie Fornah and 14 others, from then Sierra Leone started going down the slippery slope. We became a one party dictatorship nation and was later known as one of the world’s corrupt and poorest countries.

    The APC also continued in the path of destruction by Killing the late Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone Sam Bangura at his home in cold blood because he opposed the hosting of the OAU conference which we were unable to afford. The destruction went to a different level when most investors started fleeing our country due to economic hardship and a wealthy Lebanese businessman Jamil Sahid Mohamed bought the MDMC in Kono and the Sierra Fisheries which were responsible for our major exports.

    The God Father of the destructive APC party Siaka Stevens took the destruction to a higher level by sacking his Vice President and handpicking a military dictator named President Joseph Momoh who escalated the level of destruction by orchestrating a plan to execute his Vice President late Francis Minah just to consolidate his power, and also accused the businessman late Jamil Sahid Mohamed of planning a coup in order to grab all his wealth.

    Because of the new world order the previous APC government of President and lifetime leader Ernest Koroma refrained from executions but still continued intimidation and violence by attacking SLPP office when he won the 2007 election; and corruption became the order of the day.

    But with the return of Retired Brigadier President Maada Bio who was part of the People’s Revolution that toppled the one party dictatorship of the destructive APC for 25 years, majority of the people know that he is the father of our democracy by conducting our first democratic election since 1967 under the SLPP. That’s why they gave him another opportunity to rule by democratic means.

    So I hope and pray that the destructive APC leadership that are responsible for us ( last 10 years) being classified as one of the most corrupt, poor and hungriest nations, will give this CONSTRUCTIVE SLPP government 5 years to restore our past glory instead of spending all their stolen resources, time and energy to make the country ungovernable.

  8. I keep pondering on what or how our so called elite think about politics and country interest. I am not a politician neither do I wish to be one soon. But, my concern here is that, are we Sierra Leoneans or divided politician? It seems to me politics has eating up our sense of patriotism; and we have become ignorant of procedure.

    Multinational corporation, internationalization process is not as easy as we are lead to believe. It’s a complex process, which requires a lot of analysis before it can be completed. Even the common tools used by multinational companies to access a viable international investment opportunity, cannot find Sierra Leone as an opportunity because of our social, economics, technological, political and legal environment. I advice, we stop being political and use our skills to save Mama Salone and its endowment from extinction.

  9. Scanty investments designed to appease a desperate President,if any, are all you are going to see coming from the Japanese, and many other rich Countries, because they are fully aware that, this President clearly doesn’t understand the basic principles of simple, productive, progressive governance. They know he lacks the ability to fully comprehend the great importance of creating an uncompromising atmosphere of transparency, friendliness, security and peace in our beloved country.

    These, among a few others are the most intrinsic qualities that will inspire, energize and pacify the concerns of wary and skeptical investors. When will we ever have a Sierra Leone that is seriously looked at, as a prize and trophy to be won? When will our nation be sought out and become vehemently desired by Investors like an anxious suitor in search of a virgin bride?

    This Failing New Direction thinks begging should be the highest priority, instead of ingenuity, diligence and hard work. Creativity is totally missing! In terms of our geographical size, population and resources, Sierra Leone ranks easily among the Top 10 richest Countries in the world. Had we been good,and shrewd stewards of the countless, priceless mineral, natural and agricultural resources existence generously handed to us, at this point in history the world would certainly be referring to us as the richest nation upon the face of the beautiful earth.

    Mother Sierra Leone now needs to brace her loins and change her current disposition – she needs to put an end to continual lack, worrying and suffering, and reward herself joyfully with a robust birth of genuine peace, stability and prosperity.

    Now hear this – all the grains of refined gold in the world, piled as high as the great Pyramids of Egypt or giant mountains like the Kilimanjaro, will not be sufficient and enough to transform and move our nation forward, if Patriotism, mutual respect, understanding and peace are totally missing.

    So let’s leave this inadequate, inept SLPP government to keep on running around in circles like inebriated, frustrated drunkards. Leave them to rot by themselves in their own incompetence like ripened fruits in robust orchards, neglected by their rightful owners. Ever seen a wayside fire, briefly used by hurrying travellers and left to flare itself out? Show no mercy, leave them just like that – to groan and moan alone, drowning in endless perplexities, complexities and stupidities.

    Look away, risk not thine gentle, tender hands to save grisly monsters from drowning in a sea of their own making, overflowing with pride, tribalism and ignorance – why must your loving, peaceful and clean hands be stained with yucky scum and filth. Walk away Children of truth, the light of the full moon will show you the way…..Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

    • Good day brother. You are so intelligent to keep looking at issues through your political lens. Everything about the present govt is negative. Though some are but there are some positive strides. Not a day you even appreciate a little effort from govt. It’s pathetic for people like you and Mr Matturi to keep looking at everything based on your political affiliation.

      When your party was in power, was everything rosy? Your party that lead us in austerity but you are still proud of them. No qualms because that’s your view but it questions your patriotism and also Mr Matturi. Thanks.

  10. Indeed. The Japanese are promising the Bio Administration INVESTMENT. Nice and welcome news. Should people start listening to what the late President Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea said in December 1963? And I quote “AN AFRICAN STATESMAN is not a NAKED BOY begging from rich CAPITALISTS” – Par Le President Ahmed Sekou Toure. Je pense qu’ll a eu raison.

    The late President was right in my view. We can’t just keep flying to other countries asking for INVESTMENT to develop our country forever. We have been doing that since INDEPENDENCE but, no DEVELOPMENT has been done to our country. We still lack the basic necessities, still super poor and have a hell of problems. Finally, let’s pray that the investment promised by Japan MATERIALIZE. That’s good news. GOD BLESS JAPAN.

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