Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 January 2020:
Sierra Leone’s president Julius Maada Bio has arrived in Abu Dhabi where he is attending the Sustainability Week Summit 2020, on the invitation of the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi – Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit which starts tomorrow, Monday 13th January and finishes on Thursday, 16th January, is a global platform for accelerating world sustainable development.
The summit brings together policy makers, industry specialists, technology pioneers, politicians and the next generation of sustainability leaders.
According to State House, the president “has been invited as a visionary leader in Africa for his commitment to education and efforts in fostering sustainable development in Sierra Leone”.
The State House statement says that at the end of the Abu Dhabi Summit, president Bio will travel to London, where he will attend the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020, taking place on the 19th of January to 21st January 2020.
President Bio is expected to participate in several events on the margins of the UK-Africa Investment Summit, where he is expected to discuss the need for sustainable infrastructure, promote trade and investments for Sierra Leone.
The theme of the UK-Africa Investment Summit is “Partners in Prosperity”, bringing together businesses, governments and international institutions to showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa.
The Summit will also provide an opportunity to focus on strategic issues for both the UK and Sierra Leone, including energy transition, job creation and mutual prosperity.
Sierra Leone desperately needs over $300 million of investments in key sectors of the economy with potential to create thousands of job opportunities.
In particular, the Bio-led government said it has prioritised fishing, agriculture, tourism and the energy sector.
Sierra Leone’s economy faces serious challenges, as growth remains sluggish amid falling export revenue and rising cost of living.
The government has recently cancelled or suspended several mining agreements, but has failed to encourage new investors to step in. This is causing serious problems for the economy, especially mining communities.
After almost two years in power, the Bio-led government says it will soon turn the economy around, But there is little evidence of this happening, anytime soon.