Since its establishment in 1995 by the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC), the Sierra Leone Exporters Association (SLEA) has been faced with numerous challenges which virtually sent its operations to a stand still; but however, plans are now underway to resuscitate its operations.
Stakeholders in the export business recently met at the British Council auditorium to map the way forward for the development and growth of the association. Sierra Leone Indigenous Business Association (SLIBA) Export Officer, Henry Fofanah said that “export is very crucial to the development of Sierra Leone,” adding that “the formation of such an association would contribute immensely to export business.” SLIBA’s Executive Secretary, Victoria Williams noted that, “the meeting is not an accident, as the Association has thought it fit to see how exporters in Sierra Leone could come together and revitalize the association.”
Highlighting the relevance of the association, I K Turay a member of the association pointed out that “the association would serve as a pressure group and also secure better services for members and stakeholders in the export business.” Amongst the challenges plaguing the association, Turay noted that they do not have enough money to finance exports and that they also lack adequate knowledge of export procedures and product quality. Notwithstanding the challenges, measures are been put in place to bring back sanity to the organization, and these include warehouse financing; export credit guarantee scheme and also aiding members in out-sourcing funds.