Sierra Leone Telegraph: 31 July 2022:
President Dr Julius Maada Bio last week discussed opportunities for more private sector investments with the Chief Executive Officer of the United States International Development Finance Corporation – Scott Nathan and his team.
U.S Ambassador to Sierra Leone, David Reimer, spoke about the several engagements they have had with the government of Sierra Leone regarding private sector investments in the country, and said there is need to build on those earlier discussions and to explore opportunities in the West African nation.
CEO Scott Nathan said he is in Sierra Leone to support the nation’s ambition of becoming a middle-income country by 2035., and that his agency is involved in investment partnerships in the country as well as identifying new opportunities.
“We have been involved in power and digital investment. We are now looking for future partnerships in the areas of healthcare, agriculture, and small to medium scale investments,” he said.
He referred to the long-standing working relationship between US citizens, the United States Government, and the people and Government of Sierra Leone, which he said is founded on democracy, openness, and the rule of law.
In his response, President Julius Maada Bio welcomed the CEO and team, saying that since assuming office, he has been trying to attract private sector investments into the country, explore partnerships and promote opportunities that will stimulate economic growth.
He said his government’s Human Capital Development project has attracted huge investments in the country’s education system.
“My government believes in education. So, we have made a huge investment in that sector by paying fees for all school-going children in government schools, providing teaching and learning materials, providing meals for them in some parts of the country with the help of Catholic Relief Services. My government also pays tuition fees for girls offering courses in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in government universities,” he said.
President Bio also mentioned that his government is now encouraging private sector investments in agriculture by providing tractors and machines, so that pressure on the government can be minimised.
He said more support is needed to boost the country’s energy sector so as to increase sustainable economic activities.