SIERRA LEONE DIASPORA, JAPAN DELIVER AGRIBUSINESS INVESTMENT!

By Alfred Fornah

The Agribusiness Investment Forum which was held on the 18th and 19th September brought together a unique group of diaspora investors, entrepreneurs, Japanese private companies and key stakeholders connecting and problem-solving to enhance development prospects for agribusiness contributing to inclusive growth in Sierra Leone.

The event at Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel, organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Sierra Leone mission in collaboration with the Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA) sponsored by the Japanese Government saw remarks and presentations, hearing from the Head of Mission IOM Sierra Leone Mr Sanusi Savage, Minister of Agriculture, Joseph Ndanema, Minister of Trade, Peter Bayuku Conteh, Foday Yumkella, Minister of Political and public Affairs and Minister of Planning and Economic Development Nabila Tunis, UN Resident Coordinator Sunil Saigal, Ahmed Nanoh Chamber of Agribusiness Development (SLeCAD) and enjoyed panel discussions with technical experts from  both the public and private sector including  Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture (SLCCIA), Sierra Leone Import Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA),  Local content Agency, Sierra Leone Market Women Association, Khadie Fresh Foods, Afrilosophy, ODA,  Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Farmers Market  and Connecting Diaspora for Development (CD4D).

The Minister of Agriculture, Joseph Ndanema said:

“We import 200 million tonnes of rice, this is unacceptable and this is our challenge to improve our people’s nutrition and food security”

Amadu Massally IOM Consultant Coordinator  for the Forum said:

“Sierra Leone diaspora are an integral part of Sierra Leone’s economic recovery. Engaging this community is critical to our national development.”

Later in the evening on the 18th September, at the 232 Entertainment Complex, five Sierra Leone agribusinesses got an amazing opportunity to pitch their projects and enterprises to assembled investors   at an event organized by the  Freetown Pitch Night.

Meanwhile, the 2nd day (19th September)  saw panel discussions with the UK’s Department for International Development, World Vision and the African Development Bank offering valuable insights into the entry points for agribusiness development in Sierra Leone.

Ensued other panel discussions involving Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition focused on using open data and information technology in agribusiness and break out sessions on how to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and strengthen support for both diaspora and in-country entrepreneurs.

Moreover,the second day of the Agribusiness Investment Forum also delivered  tangible results with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Company (SLPMC) and cocoa processor, Taschibana International Ghana Co.

 

Planning for the Diaspora Agribusiness investment Forum intensified

 

The Office of Diaspora Affairs ( ODA) and International organization for Migration have today held a fruitful meeting at ODA’s Headquarters in Freetown to Intensify arrangements and planning for the anticipated Diaspora Agribusiness Forum slated for September 18th and 19th respectively.

The objective of the forum is to promote investments and trade for Sierra Leonean diasporans in their country of origin.

Today’s meeting saw relevant discussions on clear roles and responsibilities of different institutions including ODA, IOM that will be organizing this wonderful event.

According to Akao Kunikazu, Project Manager attached to IOM they have already invited the Japanese Ambassador, Japanese Companies and investors to participate in the Diaspora Agribusiness Investment Forum. The delegation from Japan he said, is expected to interface with Diasporans, local investors/ entrepreneurs and Government officials in order to bring in investment opportunities to Sierra Leone. ” The IOM is currently working very hard with other partners to see that the event becomes successful.

The Director of ODA , Dr Kallay Musa Conteh made Strong commitments that ” with the help of their oversight Ministry ( Ministry of Political and Public Affairs) they will ensure that key Government officials and other stakeholders attend the event.

Amadu Massally, IOM’s Consultant Coordinator for the Forum noted that the proposed event which is going to be held at Radisson Blu will be unique and not the business as usual kind of talk shop. ” we are going to involve civil society organizations so that commitments made by stakeholders will be fulfilled.”

Meanwhile, as Sierra Leone enters a new era of the new direction administration this event will be very much useful to restore investor confidence and attract investments from our diaspora compatriots and foreign direct investors

© Alfred Fornah
Communication Officer ODA
+23277908976

 

AFFORD & PARTNERS CONCLUDE A 3 DAY WORKSHOP ON DIASPORA CONTRIBUTION TO DEVELOPMENT AND JOB CREATION

Our Private Sector Manager and Communication Officer  were proud to join the African Foundation For Development (AFFORD) and partners in  a three Day training workshop on enabling and enhancing Diaspora contribution to Development and job Creation for Sierra Leone.

The workshop which was funded by the European Union started on Monday the 12th of June 2018 and ended on the 14th of June at the New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown. Participants drawn from different institutions including the  Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency ( SLIEPA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Organization for Migration ( IOM), Civil Society Groups, members of the Diaspora Community, Bank of Sierra Leone ( BSL), Commercial Banks, and different Money Transfer Organizations ( MTOs)

The event aimed at strengthening policies that support diaspora and migrants’ contribution to development , in particularly around job Creation and enterprise, and in leveraging remittances towards national development.

In his remarks, the chairman of AFFORD, who is also one of the brains behind the formation of Sierra Leone Diaspora Network (SLDN), Mr Ade Daramy pointed out some of the contributions of Sierra Leone diasporans to the development of their country. ”

He said there are a lot of Sierra Leoneans from abroad who returned home to contribute positively to the country’s development and transformation.

Mr Daramy also explained the work of AFFORD and the SLDN with regards the diaspora over the years. ” we have been working assiduously to revive the Sierra Leone Diaspora Network, In fact, we have done a website already” to promote investment opportunities present in SL.

Mr Joseph Lansana, Private Sector Manager of the Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA) reiterated Government’s commitment in supporting diaspora engagement for development and job creation. ” Inline with the new Direction Agenda, ODA now has an extended mandate to effectively engage the diaspora towards national development” he said.

He said the need for diaspora engagement is anchored on the imperative to reinforce the contribution of Sierra Leone diaspora to development. He added that in the current era of intensifying global human capital flows, diaspora contribution to the development of their home countries is crucial.

Meanwhile, the workshop provided trainees knowledge and skills on how to engage with and influence policymakers and decision makers, within the diaspora context of limited resources and networks, and the absence of significant representation in the corridors of power.

Unisa Dizo-Conteh, who has managed an AFFORD social enterprise project supporting small and medium sized businesses, was the host for the three day workshop.

Participants were also given the opportunity to discuss the new actions MTOs should take to reduce transaction cost of remittances, and how Diasporans should change their behavior in order to enhance development impact, in addition to the regulatory and operational priorities that Government should implement to enhance the reduction of transaction cost of migrant remittances.

CONDOLENCE MESSAGE FROM ODA FOR FREETOWN MUDSLIDE AND FLOOD VICTIMS

Freetown, 15 August- The Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA)is deeply saddened by the unprecedented devastation caused by the floods and mudslide on the 14th August 2017 in Freetown.

We wish to express our heartfelt condolences for the deceased and their families, as well as our sympathies for the victims. The scale of the disaster is hard to comprehend and the images that we have seen are terrifying.

Thanks to the Government, it’s development partners, Sierra Leone Police, Sierra Leone Armed Forces, youth groups and several other volunteers for their promptresponse. We are also calling our constituents in the diaspora to come in with their own support as they did during the time of the Ebola Virus.
May the departed souls rest in peace.
God bless Sierra Leone

Signed by:
Kallay Musa Conteh
Director ODA