President Koroma looks beyond Ebola: Joint Recovery Program for Mano River Union

President Koroma gave a passionate speech for Sierra Leone and the Mano River Union region to top investors at a luncheon hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa Thursday.

The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) is the premier American organization devoted to United States-Africa business relations and includes as members more than 180 companies, which represent nearly 85 percent of total U.S. private sector investments in Africa.

CCA’s members range from America’s smallest to largest corporations. They represent a diverse pool of industries from Africa's most promising sectors, including agribusiness, capacity building, energy, finance, health, ICT, infrastructure and security.

Below is a transcript of President Koroma's remarks:

Ebola has had disastrous consequences. We’ve lost a huge number of our compatriots, the economy is almost grounding to a halt, and the nation, and the region, has been isolated.

But because of the support we have received from the international community, the resilience that has been shown by Sierra Leoneans, I can say that we are now on top of the situation. We are not yet out of it, our priority now is still getting to zero and staying zero until the 42 days prescribed by WHO. But from all the indicators, things are looking good. Very soon we will get to the point of zero and get out of zero.

For us as a nation, and also because of the closeness of the three countries, in our recovery programs we have agreed that we must adopt national recovery programs that will be aligned to a regional recovery program.

We believe these recovery programs will address the issues of building up health infrastructure, our educational sector, improving on social protection, and getting the economies back on their feet in the three countries.

We have agreed that we are going to present to the world and the international community a Joint Regional Recovery Program. We have started the process in Brussels and we will continue the process here. We’ve had meetings with the American government, the President, and the State Department, and we’ll continue with the World Bank and other agencies tomorrow.

Our message for the international community is to remain focused on getting us to zero and out of the Ebola crisis. We look forward to the support of world organizations, providing us what it takes to effect a successful program.

But in all of this, our potential for foreign direct investment is still there. We are still committed to creating an environment that will make your investments safe, earn you returns that will be more competitive than other regions. We have the natural resources and now the political leadership that is determined to provide that enabling environment.

For more information on the Corporate Council on Africa, please click here


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