Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

EU grants Euro 12 million to boost Sierra Leone’s economy and business environment

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The European Union in Sierra Leone (EU) has pledged a grant of Euro 12 million to enhance economic growth, job creation, and strengthen the country’s business environment.

https://twitter.com/EUinSierraLeone/status/1770786734831268313

The agreement, signed at the Ministry of Finance on George Street, Freetown, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, represents a significant milestone in the EU’s enduring partnership with Sierra Leone.

During the ceremony, Mathew Dingie, the Financial Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, detailed the strategic direction of the grant, emphasizing its core goals. He stressed the importance of aiding small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially those involved in exporting goods, by boosting their capabilities and ensuring compliance with global standards. Dingie highlighted the grant’s critical role in initiating essential business reforms, fostering a favourable environment for entrepreneurship, and simplifying registration procedures.

Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Ambassador Manuel Muller reaffirmed their commitment to partnering with the Sierra Leonean government, private sector entities, development partners, civil society organizations, and local communities. 

Muller underscored the significance of boosting the competitiveness of local micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), acknowledging their crucial role in fostering innovation and economic growth.

In furtherance of this commitment, Muller outlined plans to enhance access to quality non-financial business development services and bolster the capacity of MSMEs for expansion. Emphasizing the vital role of market access for a thriving private sector, he announced a focus on establishing a national quality system through the grant. Muller reiterated the EU’s dedication to nurturing a transparent and consistent business environment, advocating for investor-friendly regulations, compliance with international agreements, streamlined administrative procedures, and anti-corruption measures.

Minister of Finance, Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura, hailed the EU grant as a testament to the enduring partnership between Sierra Leone and the European Union, which spans almost a century. He stressed the urgent need to enhance the quality of Sierra Leonean products for global competitiveness, advocating for reinforced institutional support such as the Standards Bureau.

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