Hon. Alie Badara Mansaray, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry is leading a high powered delegation from Sierra Leone to the two-day 12th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Ministerial Forum which commenced today (12th August 2013) in Addis Ababa, Africa’s diplomatic and political capital.
The Deputy Minister’s delegation included: Mr. Henry Yamba Kamara, Managing Director of Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Company; Messrs Edward Sisay and Emmanuel Sandi, Director of Foreign Trade and Assistant Secretary respectively in the Ministry of Trade and Industry; and Madam Ayodele Wak-Williams, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of DEL-WAK Agencies.
SIERRA LEONE’S DELEGATION
The other members in the Deputy Minister’s delegation were His Excellency Andrew Gbebay Bangali, Sierra Leone’s envoy to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia who also doubles as the Vice Dean of the Group of ECOWAS Ambassadors and Ambassador Bockarie Kortu Stevens, Sierra Leone’s emissary to Washington.
The Ministerial Forum was preceded by an experts, civil society and private sector meetings.
The United States is partnering with the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in hosting the 2013 US Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum.
Holding under the theme “Sustainable Transformation through Trade and Technology” the event brought together senior officials from the United States and AGOA-eligible African countries to discuss a range of trade and investment-related issues.
The AGOA initiative which was signed into law on May 18th 2000 by former US President Bill Clinton, is designed to increase business to business relations between the US and African countries through duty-free export of certain African products to the United States.
Other speakers at the conference were His Excellency, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission; United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Michael Froman; and the Minister of Trade of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Hon. Kebebe Chane.
The event was formally declared open by Ethiopia’s Premier and Chairman of the African Union, His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn who described Africa as the next growth pole in the world with an unprecedented growth rate.
He said: “Sustainable development can’t be achieved without promoting the private sector as the engine for growth.”
Abdul Karim Koroma
Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone