Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 June 2019:
Sierra Leone’s Chief Minister – Professor David Francis led a high powered government delegation to Russia last week, where they attended a three-day Afreximbank Annual conference, taking place in Moscow.
The theme of the conference was ‘Harnessing Emerging Partnership in an Era of Rising Protectionism’.
The conference, which was hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation under the auspices of president Vladimir Putin, was attended by African leaders, including Ministers of Finance, Trade and Investments, Senior Government Officials from Africa and beyond, corporate leaders, Bankers, academics and other experts.
Led by Chief Minister Professor David John Francis, Sierra Leone’s delegation included the Minister of Finance – Jacob Jusu Saffa, Minister of Mines – Foday Rado Yokie, and Mr. Mohamed Bailley.
The event attracted global businesses, regional experts and policymakers discussing trade and investment opportunities and developing business links.
In particular, delegates discussed the strategic initiatives that Afreximbank is implementing to support Africa’s strategy for economic development and structural transformation, as embodied in the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Sierra Leone’s Chief Minister Francis, spoke about the need for strengthening economic cooperation with emerging Partners. He also presented a range of investment opportunities that Sierra Leone has to offer Russian investors.
Last week, the president of Sierra Leone – Julius Maada Bio officially launched the tendering process for the construction of a $1.8 Billion bridge, linking the capital Freetown with the country’s international airport.
Sierra Leone is looking to attract private investors to take up this offer on a public-private partnership, based on a ‘build, operate and transfer’ model over a period of 25 years.
In another related development, Sierra Leone’s deputy minister of finance – Patricia Laverley, is making a strong case for increased Chinese investments in Sierra Leone at the ongoing Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Conference in Beijing (Photo above).
. This is professor Francis making a pitch for Russian investment in Sierra Leone: