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Press Release – Empower Africa Hosts Successful Agriculture Trade Mission to Sierra Leone

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Press Release - Empower Africa Hosts Successful Agriculture Trade Mission to Sierra Leone

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Empower Africa hosts successful Agriculture Trade Mission to Sierra Leone to drive sustainable economic development.

EMPOWER AFRICA PRESS RELEASE, November 20, 2019… Empower Africa is pleased to announce the success of its first Agriculture Trade Mission to Sierra Leone, which took place on November 5-7. The Trade Mission included a diverse delegation of 10 leading international agribusiness executives who met with over 200 local attendees consisting of the private sector, NGO’s, and senior leaders of the Sierra Leone Government. The mission analyzed many challenges and opportunities in the country and outlined specific commercial agriculture projects that could develop and diversify the economy and enhance food security.

Key addresses during the trade mission were given by Ezi Rapaport, founder, and CEO of Empower Africa; United States Ambassador Maria E. Brewer; European Union Ambassador Tom Vens; the Honorable Joseph Ndanema, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry; Mr. Alhassan Kargbo, Deputy Director Public Affairs at Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission; Dr. Abu Karim, Presidential Advisor for Trade and Investment, Joe Demby, Presidential Advisor for Economic and Financial Policy, and Sheku Lexmond Koroma, CEO of the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency.

In the words of Abubakarr Kaikai, Sierra Leone’s Special Envoy for Trade and Investment: “We are ready to actualize the potential of our land and are seeking to partner with agriculture companies who can support local farmers and invest in strategic projects. Empower Africa’s Agriculture Trade Mission offered us a unique opportunity to meet and network with representatives from international agribusinesses. This mission has accomplished something that has not yet been done in Sierra Leone. Our coordinated effort reflects our new government’s strong desire to strengthen the private sector and attract genuine investors to invest in win-win opportunities for them and our country.”

In support of the government’s vision of a thriving agriculture market, Empower Africa facilitated conferences, networking events, 1:1 meetings, and in-depth tours of locally established agriculture companies.

Ezi Rapaport, Empower Africa’s Founder & CEO, stated: “Sierra Leone has fertile soil, abundant water, tariff-free access to many developing countries like the US and EU, and approximately two-thirds of the population already work in agriculture. Despite these favorable conditions, 85% of its 5.4 million hectares of arable land lie uncultivated and most of Sierra Leone’s food is imported.

Now, President Bio’s recently announced National Development Plan and National Agriculture Transformation Plan aims to expand Sierra Leone’s agriculture sector with the goal of diversifying the economy and advancing human capital development.

We are delighted that our Trade Mission was a success and we see the agriculture sector as the engine for economic growth. We have identified many lucrative commercial opportunities and Empower Africa will now be following up with delegates and attendees to outline and facilitate select strategic projects. This is a pivotal moment in the country’s history and we are confident that by investing in human capital and by creating ethical, transparent and efficient trade, Sierra Leone will be a major contributing force in the world.”

The mission closed with a warm reception and an intimate roundtable discussion with Hon. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Vice President of Sierra Leone.

To view images of the trade mission online visit www.empowerafrica.com/event-gallery

Empower Africa Media Contact:
Jesse A. Shiff
jesse@empowerafrica.com

About Empower Africa:
Empower Africa is a values-driven business that seeks to accelerate sustainable economic development in Africa. For more information about Empower Africa, please visit www.empowerafrica.com

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Growing Smart and Empower Africa to collaborate on a new Agri Training Center in Sierra Leone​

Growing Smart speaks at Empower Africa's Trade Mission

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Growing Smart and Empower Africa to collaborate on a new Agri Training Center in Sierra Leone

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Growing SmartGrowing Smart is an international agribusiness focussing on holistic agriculture solutions, farming education, and turnkey projects. The company’s mission is to empower rural communities by developing farmers’ skills and working with the area’s geography and natural resources.

Growing Smart also uses a wide range of technologies, including aerial imagery and field mapping, to provide GIS-based data which gives farmers the insights needed to make critical decisions regarding land planning, land management, and the allocation of limited resources.

As part of their mission to educate farmers, Growing Smart has established a Practical Agriculture College in Ghana. The college teaches agricultural production through a multi-disciplinary approach. The College’s unique curriculum draws on the latest scientific research as well as traditional local knowledge to give farmers the information and tools needed to derive the most value from their land.

The faculty at the Practical Agriculture College is trained in teaching farmers coming from diverse educational backgrounds – many of whom are illiterate – to apply the latest technologies and cutting edge research results so that they can cultivate their fields in the most efficient and effective ways.

At the Empower Africa Trade Mission Conference, Roy Peleg, Growing Smart’s CEO, presented Growing Smart and his Practical Agriculture College to an audience of approximately 150 government and business leaders.

Growing Smart speaks at Empower Africa's Trade Mission
Roy Peleg speaks on stage during the Empower Africa Agriculture Trade Mission conference

The following day, during the visit to Sunbird Bioenergy, a sugarcane growing and processing operation, Roy discussed best practices for growing and protecting the sugarcane throughout the crop’s lifecycle. Sunbird’s CEO and staff were able to benefit from Roy’s insights accumulated over his 25 years of experience in the field.

Growing Smart visits Sunbird's processing plant
Roy Peleg (left) discusses agriculture and technology with Sunbird's CEO Senthil Nalliah (right) on a visit to Sunbird's processing plant

On the last day of the Trade Mission, Empower Africa’s Director of Agriculture Maoz Aviv presented Empower Africa’s vision for an Agricultural Research and Training Center in Sierra Leone. The Center will be modelled after Growing Smart’s Practical Agriculture College in Ghana, and will teach farmers to use the latest technologies and information to improve their crop yields at every stage – from growing to plant protection to post-harvest care.

Maoz Aviv, Empower Africa’s Director of Agriculture, stated: “We were pleased to have Roy Peleg, Founder and C.E.O. of Growing Smart, join us on our Trade Mission Delegation. Roy brought with him invaluable knowledge in almost every aspect of the agricultural production process. Growing Smart’s experience in farming education within rural communities will help the Agricultural Research and Training Center educate the next generation of Sierra Leone’s farmers to maximise the potential of this great country.”

Roy Peleg chat with CEO of Dole Sierra Leone, and Charles Anglin, Consultant at the NIB Transitional Secretariat
(Left to Right) Roy Peleg and Maoz Aviv chat with Peter Blake, CEO of Dole Sierra Leone, and Charles Anglin, Consultant at the NIB Transitional Secretariat

Empower Africa and Growing Smart are planning to combine expertise to establish an AG Training Center in Sierra Leone that will teach farmers to use the latest technologies and information to improve their crop yields at every stage – from growing to plant protection to post-harvest care.

If you are interested in taking part in this exciting project, please contact Empower Africa’s
Director of Agriculture Maoz Aviv at maoz@empowerafrica.com.

Register now for early access to the empower africa business network.

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Agriculture Trade Mission – Sierra Leone – November 2019

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Agriculture Trade Mission

November 4-7, 2019

Freetown & Kono – Sierra Leone

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