Invest Salone is a UK government-funded, private-sector development programme that boosts investment in agriculture, manufacturing, fisheries and tourism by strengthening the pipeline of investible firms and projects; supports firms to grow their exports; and helps the private and public sectors to find lasting solutions to investment blockages that hamper business growth. The overall aim is to increase incomes and jobs for thousands of Sierra Leonean women and men.
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, providing technical assistance and through the PROSPER Salone and COMPETE Salone grant facilities.
OFFER TO BUSINESSES
Invest Salone provides technical assistance on a shared-cost basis to firms to help them improve their investment- and export-readiness. Invest Salone also works with firms and their business associations to address bottlenecks and impediments to the growth of sectors, such as cashew, ecotourism and aquaculture to enable more inclusive growth that benefits the citizens of Sierra Leone.
OFFER TO INVESTORS AND BUYERS
Invest Salone works with investors to help them grow their pipeline of investible firms and projects and to overcome obstacles to investing in Sierra Leone. Similarly, Invest Salone helps connect export buyers to export-ready firms in Sierra Leone to boost international trade.
OFFER TO BUSINESSES AND GOVERNMENT
Invest Salone is working with the public and private sectors to identify, design and implement reforms that will reduce the costs and risks of doing business in Sierra Leone. Invest Salone will support the development of investment reforms that grow investments and exports, creating jobs and raising incomes of benefit to citizens across the country.
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.