The Public Affairs Officer of the US Embassy in Sierra Leone Danna Van Brandt has disclosed in Freetown during a one day workshop of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that they are expecting an Economic Officer soon to be attached to the Embassy for the first time.
“This demonstrates our belief that US/Sierra Leone economic relationship has great potential for growth” she noted, adding that real economic development will only come to Sierra Leone when the market moves away from the models of the past.
Danna Van Brandt made this statement while addressing private sector investors, members of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce and AGOA on the potential of Sierra Leone to fully participate in AGOA and to an extent having access to the US market.
The Public Affairs Officer said there is need for Sierra Leone to move away from the model where “export” is synonymous with raw materials, minerals, unprocessed agricultural products, and other products with no locally added value. She urged all stakeholders to use their imaginations and think outside the box and try to think of new products, unique to Sierra Leone.
“This is the only way Sierra Leone’s exports will begin to develop a level of brand recognition, and a level of prestige, in the global market” She added.
Danna Van Brandt further stated that economic development plays a key role in the Government’s planning its overall development strategies adding that foreign assistance will help, but local initiative, local commitment, and local resources, must be there.
By William Freeman