Time to re-position Sierra Leone

By Bampia Bundu

Fiona Gilmore

The Chairman of the world leading country positioning specialist, Acanchi, Ms. Fiona Gilmore, visited Sierra Leone recently to offer advice on the re-branding ofSierra Leone. Planning her trip to coincide with SLIEPA’s ‘Sierra Leone Investment Partnership Forum,’ she held discussions with various stakeholders including Government, parastatals, members of the private sector and international agencies.

Ms. Gilmore, author of ‘Brand Warriors – China,’ an analysis of China’s leading brands, has previously helped countries such as Rwanda, Mauritius, Hong Kong and Lebanon to develop their brand identities, and believes that the time is right for Sierra Leone to change its image in the world saying, ‘Sierra Leone must shake off the negative images associated with its past. There are new promising stories emerging that must be highlighted.’

Commenting on her visit Ms. Gilmore observed that the potential within Sierra Leone today is clear as successive Governments have worked hard to create a fertile environment for investors and the business friendly approach is paying dividends as can be seen from the investments already established in the country.

“I was impressed at the Investment Partnership Forum, with the endorsements from world class organisations such as African Minerals, Cape Sierra Hilton Hotel and London Mining. By being here one can appreciate the spirit of the place and I feel a palpable energy and momentum amongst Sierra Leone’s communities. Sierra Leone is poised to become one of Africa’s best investment destinations in the next few years, bringing  jobs for Sierra Leoneans. Whilst there are inevitably obstacles to growth, I am excited at what I have seen for myself, from the dedication and welcome of the fishermen on Lumley beach to the expertise of the new generation mining companies,” she noted.

Mr. Sheka Forna, Chief Executive Officer of Elixir Marketing and Media, who played host to Ms. Gilmore added, “Opinion formers in the rest of the world need to hear and see these new narratives and images and come to see the newSierra Leonefor themselves. The time is right for repositioning.”

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