At the recent U.K.-Sierra Leone Trade and Investment Forum, U.K. Minister for Africa James Duddridge delivered a speech highlighting how his country will aid Sierra Leone as it recovers from the Ebola outbreak.
“This morning I am going to set out why the U.K. government sees potential in Sierra Leone, what we believe is needed to realize that potential and what opportunities we believe this holds for you as investors,” Duddridge said. “I lived and worked in Africa for many years. My experience was one of energetic entrepreneurs, burgeoning businesses, a rising middle class, potential and drive in equal measure. Doing business is in Sierra Leoneans’ DNA.”
Duddridge noted that the U.K. government is committed to supporting the recovery of Sierra Lone, pledging more than $3.4 million to the president’s recovery plan over the next two years.
The U.K. government spends 0.7 percent of its gross national income on international development. Sierra Leone is a beneficiary of this, and Duddridge has worked closely with the Department of International Development to allocate resources.
“However, aid alone will not ensure Sierra Leone’s long term recovery. It needs investment too, and that means an improved business environment,” Duddridge said.
Sierra Lone’s recovery plan focuses on health, education, social protection, infrastructure, energy, water and the development of the private sector. The U.K. will work with Sierra Leone’s government to encourage them to add a business development pillar to that plan.