Press Release - Empower Africa Hosts Successful Agriculture Trade Mission to Sierra Leone
EMPOWER AFRICA PRESS RELEASE, November 20, 2019… Empower Africa is pleased to announce the success of its first Agriculture Trade Mission to Sierra Leone, which took place on November 5-7. The Trade Mission included a diverse delegation of 10 leading international agribusiness executives who met with over 200 local attendees consisting of the private sector, NGO’s, and senior leaders of the Sierra Leone Government. The mission analyzed many challenges and opportunities in the country and outlined specific commercial agriculture projects that could develop and diversify the economy and enhance food security.
Key addresses during the trade mission were given by Ezi Rapaport, founder, and CEO of Empower Africa; United States Ambassador Maria E. Brewer; European Union Ambassador Tom Vens; the Honorable Joseph Ndanema, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry; Mr. Alhassan Kargbo, Deputy Director Public Affairs at Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission; Dr. Abu Karim, Presidential Advisor for Trade and Investment, Joe Demby, Presidential Advisor for Economic and Financial Policy, and Sheku Lexmond Koroma, CEO of the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency.
In the words of Abubakarr Kaikai, Sierra Leone’s Special Envoy for Trade and Investment: “We are ready to actualize the potential of our land and are seeking to partner with agriculture companies who can support local farmers and invest in strategic projects. Empower Africa’s Agriculture Trade Mission offered us a unique opportunity to meet and network with representatives from international agribusinesses. This mission has accomplished something that has not yet been done in Sierra Leone. Our coordinated effort reflects our new government’s strong desire to strengthen the private sector and attract genuine investors to invest in win-win opportunities for them and our country.”
In support of the government’s vision of a thriving agriculture market, Empower Africa facilitated conferences, networking events, 1:1 meetings, and in-depth tours of locally established agriculture companies.
Ezi Rapaport, Empower Africa’s Founder & CEO, stated: “Sierra Leone has fertile soil, abundant water, tariff-free access to many developing countries like the US and EU, and approximately two-thirds of the population already work in agriculture. Despite these favorable conditions, 85% of its 5.4 million hectares of arable land lie uncultivated and most of Sierra Leone’s food is imported.
Now, President Bio’s recently announced National Development Plan and National Agriculture Transformation Plan aims to expand Sierra Leone’s agriculture sector with the goal of diversifying the economy and advancing human capital development.
We are delighted that our Trade Mission was a success and we see the agriculture sector as the engine for economic growth. We have identified many lucrative commercial opportunities and Empower Africa will now be following up with delegates and attendees to outline and facilitate select strategic projects. This is a pivotal moment in the country’s history and we are confident that by investing in human capital and by creating ethical, transparent and efficient trade, Sierra Leone will be a major contributing force in the world.”
The mission closed with a warm reception and an intimate roundtable discussion with Hon. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Vice President of Sierra Leone.
To view images of the trade mission online visit empowerafrica.com/event-gallery
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About Empower Africa:
Empower Africa is a values-driven business that seeks to accelerate sustainable economic development in Africa. For more information about Empower Africa, please visit empowerafrica.com