The Minister of Finance Dennis K. Vandi hosted the South Africa High commissioner to Sierra Leone based in Accra, Ghana in a brief but very significant courtesy visit at his George Street office in Freetown.
Speaking about the visit, the High Commissioner Grace Jeanet Mason thanked the minister for his audience stating that she is in Sierra Leone to engage the government on investment opportunities in Sierra Leone, conduct studies and look for a possible way to collaborate in getting South African investors to invest in Sierra Leone.
She furthered that as the High Commissioner to Sierra Leone she and her team want to ensure that they have all the information and data on investment opportunities so they in turn can engage investors in South Africa to come to Sierra Leone.
The High commissioner continued that, they are working with the Honorary Counsellor in Freetown and the government of Sierra Leone to ease travelling between Sierra Leone and South Africa looking at a possible Visa waiver.
Mzwakhe Lubisi is the Economic Counsellor in the South Africa High Commission in Ghana, according to him, they are here with a mandate from their president to get information on economic revival, fiscal structures, opportunities for investment development, government support to investors, and the overall investment climate in Sierra Leone. Noting that, they are looking at several sectors like mining, trade, and finance.
In his statement Principal Deputy Financial Secretary, Mathew Dingie thank the High Commissioner and her team for the visit, stating that the government is in an advanced stage of setting up the National Investment Board that will serve as a one-stop-shop for all investment in Sierra Leone.
Chief Economist Alimamy Bangura in his statement said Sierra Leone is open for business sighting key reforms and policy shifts in agriculture that is private-sector driven. He also highlighted opportunities in Mining, Tourism, energy and infrastructure, and other sectors.
Alimamy Bangura further stated that the government is supporting investors through incentives and business-friendly policies in the yearly budgets and finance acts. On the Intervention of COVID-19, he spoke about the Quick Action Economic Recovery programme (QAERP) and prudent fiscal management policies including the fight against corruption.
The Minister of Finance Dennis K Vandi said South Africa is now catching up with something it should have started long ago, investing in other African countries.
He welcomed the idea of the High Commissioner and her team, stating that this will not only strengthen bilateral relationships but also the economies of both countries.
He assured the High commissioner of the support of the Ministry of Finance and also requested for an investment Bank from South Africa to be established in Sierra Leone as the first of the investments.