Salone News

Sierra Leone embraces best practice in investment approval process

27 October 2017 at 16:58 | 2362 views

By Amin Kef, Freetown

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) and the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) have organized a two-day Review and Validation workshop on the Investment Approval Process (IAP) for Agribusiness companies in Sierra at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown.

The IAP is part of the implementation process of the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of land, Fisheries and Forest Resources (VGGT), endorsed by the World Food Committee in May 2012.

The SLIEPA Chief Executive Officer, Dylan Sogie-Thomas (photo) expressed delight at being part of the process as head of SLIEPA.

He reiterated SLIEPA’s commitment and support for the process by ensuring that all available resources like the SLIEPA website and the Trade Information Centre will be used to provide and disseminate the necessary trade and investment information to existing and prospective investors within and outside the country.
Joseph Brima of FAO stated that adoption and implementation of this process will add value to our existing investment approval process in the agribusiness sector.

He mentioned achievements made in the implementation of the VGGT process such as the review of the national land policy aligned to best practice, review of the forestry bill and the ongoing fisheries policy review.

Brima Kebbie, Deputy Permanent Secretary, MAFFS assured the participants of the Ministry’s continued support to the process as the Ministry continues to encourage and provide support to farmers and investors to engage in commercial farming as opposed to subsistence agricultural productivity.

The workshop attracted officials from Government, agribusiness companies, legal consultants, Paramount Chiefs, Local Council representatives, representatives of landowners/landowning families.

The IAP looks at four key activities related to investor journey: screening prospective investors and proposed projects through due diligence, ensuring consultation and participation of all affected stakeholders, requiring impact assessments prior to deciding whether to approve a project, and preparing contracts and agreements for approval by the parties and the relevant authorities.