His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) has expressed his optimism in the economy of Sierra Leone, and his strong interest in pursuing business in the country following his exploratory visit last June.
In an interview with the local Awareness Times, HRH Prince Alwaleed expressed optimism in Sierra Leone’s good governance and the current stride of development in the country.
“From my last visit to Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ghana I observed that Sierra Leone is one the best destinations for any serious businesses looking to invest in Africa. I want to activate a strong relationship with Sierra Leone, in whatever area we may find suitable,” he said.
His Royal Highness revealed plans to send a team to Sierra Leone to continue assessing opportunities in the not too distant future, noting that some of the areas of interest for Kingdom Holding are areas of interest for the company common to several other African economies, including hospitality, cement, banking, oil and charity projects.
Though the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sierra Leone have enjoyed bilateral and economic relationship spanning from the late 1970’s, the visit of HRH Prince Alwaleed to Sierra Leone in June 2013 was a re-assurance of the concrete relationship that has existed between the two countries.
Prince Alwaleed’s plans to invest in Sierra Leone also coincide with a drive by President Koroma’s administration to reform the country by enhancing infrastructure and cutting red tape in order to create business-friendly environment to attract more investors.
These moves have since seen Sierra Leone ranked in the top five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa for investor protection, and, given the billionaire Prince’s known bias towards both investment and the relief of poverty in developing countries, such conditions could prove instrumental.
Last June, the Prince was also decorated by President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma with the highest national acccolade, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
Upon his return to Saudi Arabia, Prince Alwaleed transferred one million dollars to the Sierra Leone Government through the Alwaleed Bin Talal Humanitarian Foundation to help promote President Koroma’s maternal healthcare and youth empowerment initiatives.