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Wednesday, September 18, 2019
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BELGIUM INVESTMENT GROUP VISITS VP JULDEH JALLOH


A high powered investment group from the European Nation of Belgium today Wednesday 28th August, 2019 paid a courtesy call on the Vice President

of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh at his Tower Hill Office.

Briefing Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, the team leader,

Renaud D’Argembau who expressed gratitude for the country welcoming

them said they are architects, designers and planners interested in

agriculture, health and tourism.

Informing that before coming here, they were in Guinea, Renaud said

they are a modest investor group that is not interested in mining and

huge infrastructure projects. Rather, their focus is on identifying

competencies in West Africa to implement specific resilient micro

projects with high political visibility relating to economic development.

He stated that they know what Sierra Leone has to offer that many

others do not know but that the identified competencies need a lot to be actualized.

The vision of the team the head of the delegation said is to build a durable link between Sierra Leone and Belgium in building a strong

bridge linking people.

Responding to the Belgium delegation, the erudite Vice President Dr.

Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh said he was very excited about the group’s visit

and the fact that they are interested in areas within the New Direction government’s eight priority development vision.

The government he said prioritizes human capital development and

health which he said need money to support them – hence the need for economic diversification.

Human capital development he noted is at the heart of eventually

ensuring social justice for one and all. Thus, he said the government

has increased budgetary allocations to the education and health

sectors.

With the support of UK and other donors, the country has succeeded in

dramatically reducing child mortality but that more needs to be done

in terms of specialized medical training and equipment.

Agriculture, VP Jalloh told the Belgian group is an important national

priority, given how much the country uses annually to import the staple food and other edible commodities and the need to attain food

self sufficiency. He linked this quest to providing jobs for the millions of children that are now taking advantage of the government’ free education program and increasing income to finance education and

health.

Thus, he said the government is interested in kick-starting agro-processing industries, noting that the country imports virtually

everything it consumes from sugar to tomato paste, cooking oil, etc.

For example, he said only one company (Bennimix) manufactures baby

food and cannot met national demand.

The country he said is struggling with the stability of the national

currency. A diversified agricultural sector would greatly help to offset the huge export deficit that causes the country to earn very little foreign exchange whilst expending a lot of the little earned to

import food.

In the area of tourism, VP Jalloh said Sierra Leone used to be a renowned tourist destination, stating that when he was studying in France, on a tour to Southern France, a tour guide showed him pictures of Sierra Leone’s beaches, telling him that they rivaled those of

Seychelles as the best in Africa.

He said the industry can do with investments in transport (reduced

fares to Sierra Leone, for example) and other facilities that give

tourists confidence that whilst here they can have among other comforts good health facilities.