A delegation from the United States Development Finance Corporation, DFC, has paid a courtesy call on Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio and assured him of advancing additional investment in the private sector.

United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Bryan Hunt, told President Bio that the delegation’s visit was focused on economics and development, which he said, were close to the President’s heart.

“From this courtesy call, we will proceed to a groundbreaking launch of the first-ever gas power generation plant in Sierra Leone,” he said, adding that they also had small projects on renewable energy in the country. He said they would have to identify smallholder private sector partners to work with in that regard.

DFC’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Nisha Biswal, said she would like to know the President’s priorities and how they could come in to invest. She explained that DFC’s investment was a partnership between the government and the private sector, noting that they looked forward to engaging the government on how to enhance additional investment in the private sector.

“I am aware that your government needs support in agriculture and infrastructure. There is also a huge need for digital architecture to attract national and global markets for agricultural products,” she stated.

She acknowledged that they saw the opportunity for DFC’s investment in Sierra Leone to grow, noting that there was also a need to create the right regulatory framework that would attract some of the world-class investments to Sierra Leone.

She told the President that the world needed what Sierra Leone had, adding that among some of those things Sierra Leone had were minerals.

In his response, President Julius Maada Bio welcomed members of the delegation and told them that his priority was food security, noting that he had identified agriculture as a key pillar in his development agenda. He informed the delegation that Sierra Leone was blessed with good soil and abundant rainfall to grow her own food.

“Energy is the bedrock to enhance food security. We are hoping to have reliable and affordable energy. We need energy for agribusiness and processing,” he told his audience.

He said agriculture would create more jobs and stimulate economic growth, disclosing that his government had identified agriculturally viable zones within the country to support his food security drive.

“We need the necessary infrastructure which includes energy, good roads and bridges, among others, to support food production in SierraLeone,” he said and recalled that during his first term, his government’s priority was education but that with the support from partners, there was also a huge investment in the health sector.

He noted that his government would continue to create an enabling environment for investments to thrive, recalling that in the just concluded first-ever Tech Summit, Starlink officially announced its presence in Sierra Leone, which would enhance the digital architecture.