During his recent visit to the Kingdom of Morocco, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis highlighted the economic benefit of the Special Industrial Zone that was recently commissioned by His Excellency the President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio in Koya, outside Freetown.
During their fruitful bilateral engagement, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs & Moroccans Living Abroad, H.E Nasser Bourita, said Morocco is currently constructing a new Atlantic port in Dakhla, and when completed will be the biggest port in Morocco.
This according to H. E. Nasser Bourita, is in line with the kingdom’s investment policies to expand its economic and trade base in Africa.
Revealing the economic potential of the Special Industrial Zone, Professor Francis said that, the establishment of Sierra Leone’s Industrial Zone outside the capital city of Freetown is in line with the investment policies of the New Direction government of His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio to enable foreign direct investments in the country through the development of a port and rail system in the Koya Industrial Zone (SiZ-Koya).
Professor Francis said that the Port of Dakhla and the Special Economic Zone in Sierra Leone share common trade values aiming to ease business in Africa.
He said: “Sierra Leone is a land of opportunities in various sectors. His Excellency the President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has launched a Special Industrial Zone in Koya, the outskirts of the capital city where over 50 companies will be hosted to establish various factories and manufacturing companies. When you invest in Sierra Leone, you are not just doing so for the 7+ million Sierra Leoneans but for the over 450 million people in the sub-region.
“This is because, Sierra Leone is strategically located within the Atlantic Ocean, thereby making it easy to trade across the world.
“We have a President that is not just focused on making Sierra Leone attractive for doing business, but also ensuring that every foreign direct investment in the country is protected. I want to use this opportunity on behalf of His Excellency the President Dr. Julius Maada to invite the WALI and private investors in Morocco to lead a special trade envoy to Sierra Leone which I believe will lead to more investment between our two countries.”
Professor Francis called on his Moroccan counterparts to ensure the timely implementation of the Dakhla Agreements that were signed by both Ministers on behalf of their respective countries.
The Dakhla Agreement seeks to promote among others trade and investment, energy, agriculture, housing, and education.
The Government of Sierra Leone signed the Pepel Port and Pepel – Tonkolili Railway Development, Expansion and Management lease agreement with ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms Ltd.
The Agreement is part of the bigger reforms in the mining sector, where the government intends to open the space for more players to participate.
ARISE IIP is a credible company with a reputation for developing and managing infrastructure in Africa. The Agreement is taking a government asset from monopoly to be more accessible.
The project will expand economic activities by providing jobs for Sierra Leoneans and enable passengers’ locomotion from Tonkolili through Bombali to the Port Loko district.
ARISE is a conceiver, developer and operator of high-added-value infrastructure committed to making Africa thrive with an investment of several billion dollars and a good track record across many countries in Africa like Benin, Togo, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Tchad, RoC, DRC or Rwanda.
ARISE IIP identifies gaps in African countries that unlock value and create new industries to create local transformation and maximize production, efficiency and cost to generate growth and local value addition.