JOINT PRESS RELEASE
SIERRA LEONE AND THE EUROPEAN UNION HOLD DIALOGUE ON INVESTMENT ISSUES AND REINFORCE GOVERNANCE PARTNERSHIP
Freetown; Sierra Leone: The Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the European Union met at Statehouse in Freetown on 5th March, 2020 forthe second Sierra Leone-EU Political Dialogue since the government of President Julius Maada Bio took office.
The EU political dialogue with the Government of Sierra Leone is guided by Article 8 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreements with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States, which outlines the modalities for a regular, comprehensive, balanced and deep political dialogue at the highest level on a broad range of topics. The dialogue was held between Members of the Government of Sierra Leone, led by H.E. President Julius Maada Bio, and the EU Heads of Mission, led by the Head of EU Delegation to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Tom Vens, and a group of European investors, led by Aminata Kane Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Sierra Leone.
The dialogue allowed a constructive engagement on how to improve the business climate in order to stimulate investment, economic growth, job creation and revenue generation.
The Government of Sierra Leone and the European Union Delegation noted that the main European companies in Sierra Leone contribute about USD 64,500,000 to the Government's revenue, 4500 direct jobs, 67,000 indirect jobs and USD 530,650,000 investments in the last years, with projected further investments of USD 212,625,000 in the next 5 years.
The Government presented progress made in implementing the recommendations of the Electoral Observer Missions for the 2018 General Elections, the Constitutional Review Process, the repeal of Criminal Libel Law and the abolition of the death penalty.
The EU acknowledged that the Government of Sierra Leone is grappling with several challenges since taking over the administration of the Country and applauded the measures taken by the Government so far to increase revenue generation and accountability. The Government and the EU committed to continued structured engagement that addresses concerns and opportunities on the side of Government and investors alike going forward.
The Government of Sierra Leone recognises the EU is a stable and reliable economic partner of Sierra Leone and that 40 EU investors are operating in Sierra Leone, with a proven track record of compliance with government policies and regulations and with high social and environmental standards.
On the side of the Government in this second dialogue engagement were present other senior members of the administration including Chief Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Minister of Informational and Communications, Advisers to the President, and the Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development, while H.E Lesley Ní Bhriain, Ambassador of Ireland, and H.E. Horst Gruner, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany formed the EU side.