Calabash_Issue 9 Apr. 2014 - Page 10

business Could foreign investments in Africa cause a re-emergence of the term ‘second-class citizen’? Story Davelyn Thompson S andy beaches, and fertile land, are both factors which caused President Koroma to encourage and welcome foreign investors into Sierra Leone to help the country regain its former glory as one of the most prosperous nations in West Africa. In President Koroma’s own words, “Sierra Leone is in a very terrible situation and is now poised for investment. The investment climate has now increased and improved substantially, and there is now a determination on the part of the government to move the country forward”. Forward thinking and good management is needed in a country, where diamond, gold, iron, bauxite, as well as forests, abundant fresh water, fruit and fish grace the land. In 2006, (the World Fact Book noted) a total of over $216 million came from exporting of diamonds, bauxite, coffee, cocoa and fish, in partnership with countries such as Belgium, Germany, the U.S and India. With the abundance of natural resources embedded in the land, it is evident that Sierra Leone has continued, and will continue to be a pot brimming over with wealth and possibility. Little wonder then, as the country continues to evolve after years of brutal civil war, 8 | Calabash Magazine | issue nine Lumley Beach foreign businessmen have seen the wealth of the country and have begun investing. The Chinese company, Henan Guoji is proposing to invest $270million into Lumley Beach for the construction of hotels, conference centres, sport facilities, and a casino and nightclub – some have already been built. The director of Sierra Leone’s National Tourist Board commented on the Chinese investor’s recognition of the vast opportunities within the country. Due to this, Chinese investors are rapidly running closely behind the many Lebanese investors who reside in the country and own some of the most exclusive jewellery stores, supermarkets and other businesses. Hotels such as the Chinese owned Bintumani are decorated with large bedrooms, exquisite function rooms and top security. The establishment provides Sierra Leone with a 5 star hotel which adds major profit to the 6