British Expertise, with the support of the Business Council for Africa, is delighted to host Dr Richard Konteh, Minister of Trade and Industry for the Republic of Sierra Leone for a special briefing and networking lunch.
Sierra Leone has major infrastructure development needs; roads remain poor and Freetown’s poorly linked airport is not well connected to the city. Rail networks and port improvements will have to be made if Sierra Leone is to take full advantage of its large mineral wealth. The Sierra Leone Government hopes that mineral exports (diamonds, gold, iron ore, bauxite) will exceed US$ 370 million over the next 5 years.
The Minister will be giving particular attention in this session to these opportunities arising in the infrastructure and extraction and mining sectors.
Sierra Leone has experienced robust economic growth in the post-civil war period (>7% 2003-8), above sub-Saharan Africa averages. However, growth has been from a very low base. GDP per capita is still only US$ 254, and macroeconomic performance is vulnerable to external shocks from regional instability and commodity price variability.
Sierra Leone is considered to be one of the most open trading countries in the West Africa region. The Minister has been particularly active in ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) negotiations. Sierra Leone has low tariff barriers for services, with an agreement as part of the General Agreement on Trade in Services as part of the WTO. To encourage foreign direct investment, high domestic tax concessions and simple land leasing are often offered. Negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU are currently focused on the goods market and the removal of tariff barriers.
Sierra Leone is also part of the West African monetary zone (WAMZ) which also comprises Gambia, Guinea and Nigeria. Monetary Union for WAMZ countries is planned for the end of 2014, when their common currency, the Eco, will be introduced. This is subject to Sierra Leone meeting the required convergence criteria.
This session is free-of charge to British Expertise Members, non-member charges are £95 (+VAT)
Lunch charge £15 (+VAT)