Salone News

Sierra Leonean war optimists invest back home

17 July 2007 at 00:13 | 1059 views

By Patrick Hassan-Morlai.

Five Sierra Leoneans, who passionately believed the civil war in Sierra Leone would one day end, have formed themselves into a business partnership and recently launched their maiden investment project in the Eastern Province city of Kenema in Sierra Leone. The project, Rendezvous Entertainment Services, is now talked off as one of the must-visit venues in Kenema. Rendezvous Entertainment Services provides a combination of traditional settings with modern air-conditioned bar, restaurant, night club, guest house and conference facilities. Rendezvous Entertainment Services is housed in a complex located at No 2 Reservation Road, next to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Talking to this press, one of the partners, London-based Mr. Victor Abu, one time president of the then Milton Margai Teachers’ College Students’ Union and Secretary-General of the National Union of Sierra Leone Students (1990/91), said investing in his home land has always been his dream since he departed the shores of Sierra Leone. As the war has ended, Sierra Leoneans back home and abroad should be the vanguards in the process of regeneration and should realise that donor goodwill will not remain eternal, Abu explained.

Abu further noted that “today, I am happy to say that Rendezvous Entertainment Services has provided employment opportunities for twelve full time staff. Modest this may be, but those twelve families will continue to earn their living and this business will continue to contribute to both the local and national economy of our country through taxes and business rates it pays”. Mr. Abu calls on the political leadership of Sierra Leone to promote the necessary conditions for local entrepreneurs to engage in business without the bottlenecks.

Responding to the question whether this is the right time to take such financial risks in Sierra Leone, Mr. Pius Mattia, another partner of Rendezvous Entertainment Services said if Sierra Leoneans are not prepared to take any risk whatsoever, then there will be little or no encouragement for overseas investors to take any risk in investing in Sierra Leone. Besides, Mr. Mattia added, Sierra Leone is showing significant signs of recovering from the woes of the 11-year civil war. So this is the opportune time to invest in Sierra Leone. “We are hopeful as a business that the August 11 elections will return the best government for Sierra Leone which will create favourable environment for local businesses like ours to flourish.” Mr. Mattia concluded that their partnership aims to expand into other business ventures which will enable them to employ more people and continue to invest in Sierra Leone.

Three of the five partners of Rendezvous Entertainment Services, Mr. Victor Abu, Mrs. Patricia Abu and Mr. Pius Mattia, reside in London; while retired Colonel Joseph Daniel Johnny and Mr. Constant Omotee Thomas reside in Sierra Leone.