Sierra Leone Government (Freetown)

10 April 2013

Sierra Leone: Presidential Adviser Opens Trade Fair and Exhibition

The Special Adviser to the President, Hon. Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo on Tuesday 9th April 2013 on behalf of the Head of State, officially opened the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture exhibition at the National Stadium Borrkfields, Freetown.

Giving his keynote address to mark the official opening of the exhibition, Alhaji Kargbo extended President Koroma's apology for not participating in the exhibition.

Alhaji Kargbo described the "Agenda for Prosperity" programme as comprehensive and acknowledged the pivotal role of the chamber in addressing manufacturing and privatization programmes.

He used the event to underscore government's efforts in rebranding, as well as changing the face of the country, saying; "A new Sierra Leone is evolving".

He stressed the views of the ordinary citizens must be incorporated into the developmental process, adding that the meeting between United States President Obama and President Koroma, indicate, that the country is being transformed positively.

The Special Adviser to President Koroma pleaded with the chamber to introduce novel ideas for the promotion of Sierra Leone products and add value to them.

He called for creation of a special desk for the tourism sector, which has lagged behind for too long.

"President Koroma believes in good investment policies", he noted, pointing out that the eradication of monopoly is very vital to trade liberalization and a free economy.

Alhaji Kargbo further stated that it is not enough to rely on the export of raw materials, and congratulated the chamber and all exhibitors for showcasing home made products at the exhibition.

Briefly highlighting the premium placed on the issues of industrialization, privatization and the private sectors, by President Koroma's government, State House Chief Staff, Dr. Richard Conteh, implored all to work closely with government for speedy economic development.

He said the issue around standardization and quality is critical, but are fully consistent with international best practice, so that all should benefit from the service that will be provided.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alhaji Usman Boie Kamara, confessed that the exhibition brought him great satisfaction, noting the tremendous achievements being made in the economy.

Sierra Leone, he further disclosed has made significant strides in promoting the private sector, recalling that his ministry last year disbursed seed monies to small scale and medium term entrepreneurs.

He said policy reforms within his ministry are geared towards enhancing business and investment environment in the country and, assured all of government's continuous support.

President of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, Mrs. Gladys Strasser-King said Sierra Leone is continuously attracting global attention and that is being encouraged by strides made by President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.

She said investment and manufacturing will help establish the prosperity of the people of Sierra Leone; "We will continue to sensitize the business community at home and abroad", she vowed.

The Mayor of Freetown City Council, Councilor Franklyn Bode Gibson said the crusade against poverty can only be won through capacity building, and that with the guidance of the chamber, Sierra Leone will succeed.

He therefore encouraged all to cooperate with the municipality management of the Freetown City Council.

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