President Dr Julius Maada Bio has presented a strong case for investment opportunities in Sierra Leone at the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, a two-day conference, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to launch a new stage in Turkey’s relations with the African Union and African countries.

“We have put in place investment-friendly tax incentives and policies; streamlined processes for expediting the establishment and protection of the interests of credible investors; and we offer diverse opportunities in agriculture, fisheries, tourism, infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, and mining to Turkish businesses.

“Turkish businesses will continue to be favourably considered for various investment portfolios. We will spare no efforts to make the business ecosystem ever more conducive to attract more Turkish capital and for those companies to maximise returns on their investment,” he assured.

President Bio also recalled that since 2018, Sierra Leone and Turkey had entered a new era of heightened diplomatic relations with the establishment of Embassies in both Freetown and Ankara, saying that that was a bold step forward the two countries had taken to consolidate and deepen their warm bilateral ties and cooperation in several areas.

“Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, at the national level, Turkey was, for years, a member of the Sierra Leone configuration of the United Nations Peace-building Commission and Turkey has continued to provide development assistance to Sierra Leone in various areas through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency.

“Permit me, Your Excellency, President Erdogan, to express Sierra Leone’s profound gratitude for Turkey’s continued support and unfailing interest in the Government and people of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Equally important, Your Excellency, the Government of Sierra Leone acknowledges and commends the activities of Turkish institutions and businesses in various sectors in Sierra Leone. We are committed to further heightening the growing economic and trade ties between our two countries,” he said.

The President also outlined progress in consolidating peace and democracy, ruling justly, and investing in people, adding that his development aspirations were outlined in his government’s comprehensive Medium-Term National Development Plan that was also aligned with both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations and the 2063 Agenda of the African Union.

“We believe that a skilled, healthy, and productive population is a critical enabler of sustainable and inclusive development. Ours is a commitment to do right by our people and we will continue implementing the right reforms that prime Sierra Leone for sustainable development.”

He closed by expressing hope that the number of agreements, protocols, and Memoranda of Understanding signed and ratified with the Republic of Turkey would further strengthen and operationalise mutual cooperation.

President Bio is among some 16 African Heads of State attending the summit, including Félix Tshisekedi, current chair of the AU, Senegal’s Macky Sall, Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo, representing Ecowas, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa and Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria. They are accompanied by 102 ministers, including 26 foreign ministers, from 39 countries.