By Alfred Fornah
The Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Political and Public Affairs (MPPA) on Thursday 6th September, 2018 held a fruitful meeting regarding preparations on the forthcoming Diaspora Agribusiness Investment Forum.
The meeting which was held at MPPA, Youyi Building in Freetown saw discussions on preparations for the investment forum which some stakeholders in the private sector have described as one of the most anticipated event that will be organized in Sierra Leone this year.
In his statement, the Director of ODA Dr. Kallay Musa Conteh briefly highlighted his institution’s role in organizing the Diaspora Agribusiness Forum, and assured all that his office will react accordingly.
IOM’s Consultant Coordinator for the Forum, Mr Amadu Massally noted that as the country gets into a new administration, calling for a new direction, he believes the climate is ripe again to tap into the diaspora of Sierra Leone. According to him: “And I’m hoping that the Diaspora Agribusiness Investment Forum that will be held on the 18th and 19th of this month will be able to harness Diaspora resources and attract investment in the agribusiness sector. But also to provide catalytic interventions that will spur the private sector to where it ought to be.”
The IOM’s Diaspora Engagement Manager in -charge of Migration and Development for Africa (MIDA) project, Mr Akao Kunikazu informed that they have nominated twelve diaspora Sierra Leoneans and invited nine Japanese Companies (a tenth one already doing business here is DOLE) including the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to participate in the Forum. Some of these diasporans he said have agribusinesses in Sierra Leone. He also said that the Japanese Ambassador assigned to Sierra Leone will also be in attendance from his residence in Ghana
Both the Minister and Deputy Minister of Political and Public Affairs took active part in the discussions and even made suggestions as to how the event can be successfully organized in order to achieve it intended purpose. They promised that they will be hands on to the extent possible going forward ‘because this is an event with huge potential’ they agreed.
The Minister of MPPA, Ambassador, Foday Yumkella assured IOM staff present that their Ministry will now be actively involved and will ensure that they play their own part in organizing the event.