struggle to provide jobs for the ordinary sierra Leonean because of the high costs of operations, limited skills, lack of finance and affordable financial services. President Koroma said that as part of his government’s agenda for prosperity ,they have made a lot of reforms to improve the business climate by providing incentives to foreign direct investments, enhance access to energy and provide vital enablers for the use of the private sector. The President said his Government has provided seeds and fertilizers to thousands of households, improve and enhance the banking sector and as such there is hardly any chiefdom without a banking service.
President Koroma called on all sierra Leoneans to monitor the operations of the small medium enterprise development agency and the local content agency ,which as he put it, would strike a fair balance between local businesses and foreign direct investments.
In her statement, the officer –in-charge at the African development bank (AFDB), Khadidia Diabi commended president Koroma for prioritising the Small and medium enterprise development agency and the Sierra Leone local content agency and further committed the African development bank to strengthening business development as well as capacitating the private sector in the country. Madam Diabi encouraged the Government of Sierra Leone to scale up support to long term finance especially in Agrobusiness.
Acting Minister of trade and industry, Ambassador designate to the Republic of Guinea who served as chairperson of the launching ceremony, Madam Mabinty Daramy , described President Koroma as “president of infrastructure and the private sector.”She said that president koroma upon assuming office in 2007 has resuscited the electricity problems in the country,built more feeder roads and empowered the standard bureau by providing a parcel of land plus development funds prompting its swift movement from cline town where it used to have only a three room office.
In her statement,the President of the sierra leone chamber of commerce,Mrs.Gladys strasser-king commended the president Dr Ernest Bai koroma and all other stakeholders who have contributed to the launch of the SME and local content agency Act.According to her,Government through the Ministry of trade and industry initiated the local content policy in 2012 to provide services to assist young people in the country by creating sustainable enterprises as a way of improving their livelihoods.Mrs strasser-king said there should be skills training for both women and youths to make them relevant to the private sector ,adding that the chamber of commerce has always advocated for the local content policy for small businesses to take part in their development of the country.
The launch attracted several statements from the President of the Sierra Leone chamber of commerce, Mrs. Gladys strasser-king, the Managing director of Sierra Leone brewery limited. In his speech, the managing director of the sierra leone brewery limited, Willy Alphonis Ngana, said that the launch of the local content policy is very important adding that the contribution of the private sector in the country is very obvious as seen in the quality of sorghum produced by the farmers which has made the sierra leone brewery limited to invest 43 million leones thereby employing 10,000 farmers and 85 farmers’ families.
With the launch of these two acts, it is expected that the removal of collaterals will promote strong small and medium enterprises and sierra Leoneans will get plenty jobs through their business partners.