Sierra Leone is no longer a war-torn country
The word ‘war-torn’ has been the major reason for investors and tourists turning their backs on Sierra Leone.
The decision by the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma instructing the Minister of foreign affairs minister, Haja Zainab Bangura to inform the international community that Sierra Leone was no longer a war-torn country was a step in the right direction that should have started yielding dividend.
The call by the President for all nationals and other foreign business nationals to come and invest in the country is facing huge challenges. Unlike Sierra Leoneans, other foreign nationals working in countries of conflict situation find great pleasure when such countries are still referred to as war torn.
Such workers deliberately misinform their international agencies about the reality on the ground so that their allowances are not reduced or their programmes terminated.
As a matter of fact, the country has moved away from the status of war torn to a country that now focuses on development. The 2009 annual analysis of the ease of doing business report rated Sierra Leone upward in terms of performance in West Africa while she stood at 15 in Africa as a whole.
This is due to the many reforms undertaken by the government which has provided the enabling environment for investors to start investing.
Currently, it takes 86 days instead of 235 days to register one’s property and trade across borders. Sierra Leone has facilitated trade by eliminating the requirement for an export license. Yet, despite these reforms investors are not flooding to invest, reason being the non- operational status of the Bumbuna hydro, which explains why the incumbent APC government failed to win a single investor from the CG conference hosted in London last year.
This medium has reliably informed that donors had advised the government to return and finish the hydro electric plant. One may be tempted to ask which Bumbuna – the phase 1 or the phase 2?
The untold stories that surrounded Bumbuna caused many doubts in the minds of many well-meaning Sierra Leoneans.
As it goes without saying, the two major epidemics that the country has to grapple with are poverty and unemployment with electricity being the prescription With electricity jobs are bound to flow and subsequently reduce poverty.
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