Sierra Leone High Commissioner UK in talks with car manufacturer to set up parts production plant in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 February 2023:

Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the UK – Dr Manyeh and senior officials, held talks this week with Mark Ishakov, who is the founder and CEO of ETIOCA, a $27 billion electric car company based in Gibraltar to discuss and explore opportunities to establish a parts manufacturing plant in Sierra Leone.

If successful, this multi-million dollar project could see the creation of dozens of jobs by the company in Sierra Leone, where millions of people are without work.

On its website, ETIOCA says that its mission is to “build solutions for alternative and sustainable mobility. Our mission is to lead the electric mobility transition, with the largest portfolio of vehicles and services, for professionals and final users, available on the market.

“That’s why we created a global ecosystem of electric taxis and vehicles with a full range of services built around drivers and passengers, for an unprecedented user experience.”

The company currently employs less than 50 employees.


  1. Tell Manya to call me and stop the squirreling around for sub-par investments.
    I’ve figured out how to mold high density non-fired mud/clay bricks. At SLL 2 a brick, my startup will create 5000 jobs over the next 15 weeks. Importantly…we have the potential to build a low average of 2500 affordable housing units p/y.
    All we need is $10,000.00 and a reputable construction engineer to refine our model.

  2. Mohamed Sannoh, Kenema District, Eastern Province of Sierra Leone.

    We have to accept the fact that Sierra Leone is a DEVELOPING COUNTRY. Therefore, when catering for investments projects in our country, I would like to suggest that our Diplomatic consulates think first about what is good for us individually and for the majority of our people.

  3. From: MOHAMED SANNOH, Kenema District, Easter Province, Sierra Leone.

    This comment is coming from one of my books under editing but publishing here for the benefit of addressing this very important topic:


    Who are International-Foreign Investors (IFIs) and what is their main interest in developing countries including Sierra Leone?

    International-Foreign Investors (IFIs) are seen as very well-to-do business organisations from very rich countries around the world who are exploring the possibilities of investing in developing (poor) countries.

    In other words, these business organisations look for expansion of markets possibilities in other different parts of the world for their companies or enterprises, hence their countries of origins where they are usually established, are now or almost exhausted or becoming very competitively-stiff, for business activities. So, do we do favour for the IFIs or these IFIs do us any favour in developing countries, such as Sierra Leone?

    This is just one of the many activities of business practices and the earlier business get into a market. The earlier such business organisations establish themselves well and make the consumers get used to their products, the more they and earlier they are able to understand their customers’ demand and are able to establish customer services for to their customers/consumers.

    The main motives of the investors’ interest is not focused on the countries and the people they choose. They are more interested in the benefits they derive and that may come to them, not to the people of the developing countries.

    They are not coming to invest in the developing counties because they fall in love with the countries, the vegetation, the landscapes, the rivers, the languages, the rivers, the mountains, the sunshine, the traditions and so on.

    They are interested in the money-PROFITS they get out of the countries. This is possible because businesses and individuals in developing countries are not skilled and educated to provide these types of people usages these organisations these companies have come produce in the poor countries.

    Politicians generally, especially those in Sierra Leone, are very much interested in inviting and welcoming these International-Foreign Investors (IFIs) into their countries, especially when a new government comes into power to form political-governments to rule.

    The reasons for this is because when the International-Foreign Investors (IFIs) come, they will create a series of employments for the local population to enable them to operate and take advantage of their investments.

    So, even if the new government is able to attract IFIs in the country, it will mostly be beneficial in the interest of those members of the population of the country who are skilled and educated and in most cases, with reputable educational qualifications backed by the relevant experience for not more than two years.

    These IFIs are not interested in filling their employment gaps with citizens who apply first but are not educated and qualified to perform the required workloads of the employments within the job vacancies.

    My main advice to all readers of my book is keep on getting educational qualifications until the right job comes along. Parents must therefore keep sending their children to school to get educated in readiness to work when the job vacancies are created later on in the years to come. Jobs are always created in the country when the times comes and the educated citizen do not always look forward to government (civil service) jobs, but such as these created by IFIs.

    Therefore, the IFIs employment vacancies are not established to help politicians to give jobs for their supporters only, but even to the opposition supporters who are well educated with the relevant qualifications and in most cases with not less than two years’ experience.

    The politicians’ interest is the number of employments these IFIs create for people in the country. These are the types of conditions that blow the horns of the African Politicians for the voters to say that the new government is doing very well for the country and we will vote for the leader during the forth-coming general election.

    This behaviour of politicians who work very hard to attract International-Foreign Investors (IFIs) into our developing countries are usually welcome by the local voters as a result of the benefits of jobs creations they achieve in the end, but this is the area where my caution for the type of businesses they do and the type of job creation they introduce in the countries in which they invest.

    My main area to caution about for this IFIs ideas and the acceptance grabbing of governments in power is still throwing grain of sands in my teeth which is making it difficult and impossible to chew properly.

    At this point, what do we really want in Sierra Leone? Is it a quick-job creation for the locals or is it the Young Human Development of our young people in Sierra Leone?

    I believe that our governments should pay more strict attention to the IFIs that are related to
    Human Resources Development, especially for our young people. This is because when these IFIs return to where they come from, they will return with the jobs they create leaving those Workers they employed with no jobs again in their own countries. They have already made their profits using the cheap labour from the locals in our country while staying within the agreements signed with the governments.

    This is possible because the government had earlier on been very eager to get the IFIs in the new government, to create many jobs in the country and the government’s priority had earlier on been focused on creating more employments during the president’s reign and creating more motivations for the voters to vote him back into power during the pending-coming general election. Is this a good government for our country? Our governments must take note of these corning games of the IFIs.

    There must always be attached, certain agreed skill transfer agreement which provides training for the local employee that are deemed to take over the running of the IFI organisations in the future years after the investors have left. Where this is not possible, the operations will be a complete “sell out”.

    There has been many factories established in Sierra Leone but most of these, if not all of them have got closed up because the operators of the machines have either died or left and returned home and there are no trained and experienced Sierra Leoneans to take over them after they left.

    The IFIs also give certain percentage of their profits, annually to the government but what
    are the benefits that are provided by our governments in the immediate environments;
    where these IFIs operate in our country? The access to good roads, electricity supply in
    our village localities or the government just feel that are people in the provincial villages are not yet civilized enough to get access of such luxuries? Does this money only stay in the pockets of our politicians? Is this also one of the African Politicians behaviours? Among the agreements our government enters into with this IFIs, what are the areas of work training that they provide for our local Sierra Leonean staff they employ? Do they bring all of their working staff in Sierra Leone and without or just very few Sierra Leoneans as such practice is just very common among the Chinese IFIs.

    Under normal circumstances, some of these businesses are to be carefully investigated and to fully understood, the later effects on the countries of investments. At this point, I would like to elaborate briefly on the Indonesian experience of the investment projects of the KORINDO project in WEST PAPUA that I watched in the BBC TV documentary programme, “The Burning Scar” that was presented by Rebecca Henschke.
    Indonesia is now the largest exporter of palm oil in the world, but at what cost?

    The part of the Indonesia where the palm oil company is established and produced for exporting is called West Papua. This part of Indonesia is a deep forest land and was a former Dutch colony, and the people that live there, are tribesmen, depending on the forests for their livelihood.

    In the 1960s, this piece of land became part of Indonesia under a referendum that was overseen by the United Nations. These tribesmen are complete illiterates, who are not educated and know nothing about international trade negotiations. I can just conclude that they have been over the years, let down by previous governments of Indonesia and the United Nations when no educational provisions have been opened to this tribal people up this century.

    The Korindo Company is a palm oil producing company based in South Korea, have now devastated the lives of these forest people in West Papua through the investment of palm oil production which has now enhanced Indonesia to become the largest exporter of palm oil in the world.

    The Korindo Company negotiated with the Indonesian government to allow them to establish there under the government security protection guarded by police or army officers, just like other IFIs do in any country of interest.

    The money that the Indonesian government gets from the Korindo Company is heavily spent on erecting protective walls against oceanic erosion from the sea which Jakarta, the city of Indonesia experiences annually and this is about 2,973 kilometres away from West Papua where this Korindo Company is established.

    The learning issue of the negotiations for establishing this project were done behind closed-doors with the Indonesia government officials with none of the villagers living in the forests. They told them to persuade the village heads/chiefs and the land owners in the areas where they wanted to establish.

    Another benefits for the establishment of their operations in these areas was the payment of tax returns from the profits they make every year out of the sales of the palm oil they make annually, which all IFIs enter into with the governments in power in all countries including Sierra Leone.

    This was another interest of the politicians made behind closed-doors that were not disclosed to the villagers who were the direct sufferers for the establishment of the Korindo Company from South Korea.

    The Korindo Company went and made fabulous promises to the people who do not understand the impact they were entering into and got their lands taken away from them cunningly; had their forests, livelihood taken away and leave them with no future of their ancestral lands and these foreign investors were not accompanied by Indonesia government representatives during the negotiation meetings to ensure that the foreign investors signed all agreements and statements witnessed by the government representatives that would have been present there.

    My question at this point is, are all IFIs in Sierra Leone properly investigated to disclose their operations, especially to the lands where they are established and the future impact of their operations after they have left?

    In addition to creating jobs for the educated citizens of the country, what are the spiel-over benefits for the communities that the uneducated citizens will have hence they cannot attract paid employment? What provisions are made for their own personal developments in their own countries where they live? Let us think behind the big-picture and arrive at the plain truth that in most African countries, such as our country, Sierra Leone. Larger members of the population are still unable to read and write; they are illiterate and all of these are registered and qualified as voters and tax payers to the government financial pots, as long as they are of adult age of 18 years, despite how little the contribution might be.

    What are the provisions made by our governments for these members of our national population to benefits from the IFIs provisions hence they cannot be employed to earn money for being citizens, registered voters and tax payers in this same Sierra Leone?
    So, are the politicians of our country playing the popular “Left Behind” games with this class of the voters’ population? Have they not got the right to call themselves Sierra Leoneans as those working in the civil service employments and the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) of the IFIs?

    Electricity supplies are not available in most villages where the agricultural products come from to reach the city areas and for exporting for foreign exchange earnings. Even the motor ability to most of these areas have become impossible because the roads to get to some of these destinations are totally forgotten and no government has ever dreamt of getting these feeder-roads properly maintained in quality positions with first class tarred conditions.

    Yet still the quality foodstuffs including fresh fruits and fresh vegetables come from these destinations where they are grown and farmed including rice, cassava, potatoes, plantains, bananas and so on, our staple foods in Sierra Leone. All the president and his cabinet ministers are interested in is see these foods nicely and hygienically prepared in and presented on their tables during lunch and dinner times. Most of these politicians fully understand where they themselves come from but do not care again what happens to the people they have left behind.

    Hence President Maada Bio has now launched FREE EDUCATION for all in the country, what are the provisions for school institutions, especially in the suburban areas where school institutions exist?

    Have these institutions been provided with tap water for the hygienic drinking facilities for these school children in their villages or they still depend on water well or stream and river water in their villages?

    Are these school children still using the nearby bushes for satisfying nature for their toilets, but changes can only take place in his direction if the politics of the country consider village school children I the bush as living human beings with great talents for development of the country in the future.Why can’t our government focus on the developments of such basic necessities in our developing countries now at this point in time, than focusing on engaging our country with the production of luxuries (car-parts) that our consumers there cannot afford to demand? How many people there have cars in our country when even our motor roads are not properly made, or even when our village are not motor-able?

    Is Sierra Leone a breeding ground for foreign investors as their “Paradise”?

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