The Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with SBTS yesterday at the Old Skool, Hill Station in Freetown, formally launched the web portal of the ministry.
The minister of information and broadcasting, Prof. Septimus Kai Kai, said the website would be Sierra Leone’s windows in the world regarding trade in the global village. He added that it would also be the world’s window on Sierra Leone being that “information is now known about activities pertaining to trade activities”.
Prof. Septimus Kai Kai maintained that the website would create opportunities for something that would be more meaningful in our country and also to disseminate information pertaining to the country.
The minister noted that, “the web will solve a big problem and close the gap as far as communication is concerned about trade activities”.
He stated that the site would stop the negative branding of the country.
Rebecca Stringer from DFID complimented the ministry and government for opening such a website.
“The opening of the site is part of our support to reduce the ministry’s barriers that might exist and open up investment in Sierra Leone,” she noted.
Ms Stringer stated that the website would be a key tool in brining development to the people.
“It shows the government department’s determination to develop the private sector…..it is a real positive support. Website is the very first place of contact of people, ministers……in Sierra Leone,” she concluded.
Dr Kadie Sesay, the trade minister who officially launched the website, said “my ministry has led several initiatives for the promotion of the private sector in Sierra Leone”.
She disclosed that one of such initiatives was the project for the removal of administrative barriers to investment, jointly funded by the government of Sierra Leone, the foreign investment advisory service, the World Bank group and DFID.
Dr Sesay maintained that, “the projects has made significant strides and improvements in the promotion of the private sector, the creation of a more enabling environment for investment and a better business climate in our country”.
The minister opined that the website would serve as a complement to the removal of administrative barriers to investment.
The objective of the website, she highlighted, was to communicate to all audiences about government’s policies being designed and implemented, as well as the activities that were being carried out by the trade ministry and other departments.
She pointed out that the site would behave like a true portal, where the ministry would be able to answer questions to investors in real time.
“Businesses will be able to register on-line and they will even be able to advertise their products at minimum costs,” she stated, adding that through this foreign investors would learn about Sierra Leone’s investment opportunities and policies and be attracted and motivated in “our beautiful country”.
Terrance Williams of SBTS, who gave the background of the website, said “we at SBTS seek to establish and maintain partnership with our clients and take great pride with them”.