Sierra Leone’s President Bio in search of Qatari investors to help turn the country’s economy around

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 June 2022:

If Sierra Leone’s economy is to grow by the 4% predicted by the World Bank in their latest country report, there must be a massive shift towards expansion of production and export in key sectors of the economy. This can only come from foreign investors, who currently are guarding their wallets in response to the global economic downturn.

Last Monday, President Julius Maada Bio met various Qatari agencies, private companies and potential investors in Doha, to woo foreign direct investors to Sierra Leone.

He said that “the resource-rich, peaceful and investor friendly West African nation is offering great investment opportunities in different sectors of the economy,” adding that his government has created appropriate environment for businesses to thrive through tax incentives and trade reforms that support private sector growth.

President Bio also said that Sierra Leone is strategically located in terms of accessibility to markets in both Europe and Latin America because of the short distance by air transport.

“I am here to assure you that we have an open-door policy to ensure that foreign businesses thrive and repatriate profits to their home countries,” he said.

President Julius Maada Bio also said that part of his state visit is aimed at creating and improving trade and investment relations between Sierra Leone and Qatar, adding that he is encouraging representatives of private companies and investors to visit Sierra Leone to enable them explore the many investment opportunities in the country.

First Vice Chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mohamed bin Ahmed Twar Al Kuwari, expressed hope that the president’s visit would create an opportunity to explore public-private partnerships in Sierra Leone.

Representatives of other private companies and Qatari agencies praised President Julius Maada Bio for the progress he has made in his country and assured him that various business delegations would visit Sierra Leone to explore investment opportunities.

President Bio also held meetings with representatives of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Qatar Diar, Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar Development Funds, Qatari Businessmen Association and several private companies, including the MBK Group and Hassad Food, an investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority with a primary focus on agriculture.

Critics of president Bio say that this is not the first time he is visiting Qatar in search of foreign investments, and that so far he has failed. They accuse the president and his wife of using State funds to have holidays abroad while pretending to be searching for investors that are yet to grace the shores of Sierra Leone.

1 Comment

  1. Given the number of times Maada Bio has travelled outside the country since becoming president to lure investors, the country should by now be awash with investors from all over the world. The scramble to get into Sierra Leone would have been comparable to none. In more than four years with Bio at the helm the economy has hardly budged in any meaningful direction. His “new direction” declaration cascaded on the streets of Freetown, and entered the dustbin of history.

    With just over a year to go till general elections, Maada Bio is beginning to see the silhouette of something disastrous: defeat by either Dr Yomkella or Samura Kamara. This has pinned him down to as yet to be determined psychological nightmare ; it could be vertigo, hallucination, spatial disorientation – who knows?

    It is a kind of last throw of the dice by the President. The omens are not good. Does Maada Bio actually know what investors are looking for before committing their funds anywhere, apart from potential returns ? Well Mr President, they look for overall stability and ease of doing business. Do you think that the leaders in Doa do not know about the political tensions in the country crafted by your policies? Do you think they don’t know about your locking up of political opponents without charges? Do you think they don’t know about your killing of unarmed civilians – even those in the confined space of prison? Your most destructive mistake is that you convinced yourself upon assuming power that time had come to a standstill. Sorry.

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