Invest Salone is a private sector development initiative that aims to help Sierra Leone realise the benefits of international trade and raise the incomes of 370,000 people by 2025. It plans to achieve this through reducing the risk of investment in Sierra Leone and supporting market development.
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in Africa, with a poverty rate of 54%. This is reflected in a largely informal, underdeveloped and unproductive private sector. However, the country has a vast potential for faster, more inclusive growth that could create jobs for youth, make it more competitive globally, raise tax revenues and lift it out of its dependence on international aid.
Invest Salone is working to reduce the cost and risk of doing business in Sierra Leone. It also helps firms to grow using a spectrum of tools, including brokering links between producers and buyers and technical assistance.
Invest Salone works across four key sectors: agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and tourism.
Transforming agribusiness through agricultural investment
Sierra Leone has about 5.4 million hectares of arable land with fertile soil and abundant rainfall suitable for agribusiness. Agriculture contributes significantly to the country’s economy with around two thirds of the workforce employed in the sector.
Investment in Sierra Leone’s agricultural sector has the potential to increase the country’s exports of products such as oil palm, cashew, coffee and cocoa. With government and private sector investment in the agriculture industry, the sector is projected to grow by 4.2% in 2019.
Unlocking the potential of Sierra Leone's coastal resources
Fishing employs around 500,000 people in Sierra Leone, contributing to approximately 12% of the country’s GDP. This is estimated to rise to 15% with targeted investment in the fishing and marine sector to address the challenges it faces from poor fisheries governance and illegal unreported and unregulated fishing.
Sierra Leone has over 200 miles of sea-coast which holds an abundance of fishing and marine resources, including many premium species, with the potential to be exported around the world.
Boosting manufacturing and exporting through investment in Sierra Leone
Manufacturing and exports in Sierra Leone have been dominated by the extractive sectors. However, there is huge potential for the country to enjoy the benefits of a diversified economy by encouraging large-scale foreign investment. Investment in sectors such as agriculture, tourism and fisheries could lead to massive growth in Sierra Leone’s manufacturing and exporting capabilities, creating jobs for more than half of the country’s work force. Invest Salone will help Sierra Leone to achieve this through reforming the investment climate and market systems development.
Growing Sierra Leone's economy through cultural and eco-tourism
Etched on the Atlantic Ocean, Sierra Leone boasts mountainous rainforests adjacent to white-sand beaches: a landscape unmatched in West Africa with significant tourism potential. Sierra Leone’s favourable tax rates combined with the country’s attractive flora and fauna and historical heritage sites mean there is great potential for investment in tourism, especially in eco and cultural tourism sites across the country.
Despite the challenges posed by the legacy of the country’s civil war and Ebola outbreak in the past decade, tourism in Sierra Leone has the potential to create up to 8,000 jobs every year.