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COCORIOKO » Blog Archive » Doing business in Sierra Leone is fraught with problems

Doing business in Sierra Leone is fraught with problems

Subject: Sahid Kanus article is interesting
From: M. Alieu Iscandari Esq
To: All
Date Posted: 11:54:32 06/19/07 ()
Email Address:
Entered From: cache-ntc-ad04.proxy.aol.com at 207.200.116.198

Message:
Posted by Sahid on June 18, 2007 at 11:12:41:

In an attempt to test the waters, to see if Sierra Leone is a place one can invest in and receive a rate of return, I decided to enter a business that I thought was relatively simple, namely the Podapoda business, I sent 4 Podapoda, and arranged a business structure that was simple, namely Podapoda runs for 6 days. The driver is allocated 1 day’s earnings, manager gets 1 day’s earnings, 1 day’s earning retained for repairs and 3 day’s earnings for me. Simple and straight forward. What I had not accounted for was the lack of fully skilled mechanics, the declining exchange rate, the exorbitant money transfer fees, and the poor telecommunications even via mobiles, the bureaucratic process of licensing and insuring a vehicle. In addition to these problems, I had not accounted for the dishonest nature, short sighted and lethargic attitude of some sierra Leonean. No one seems to tell the truth, and the lethargy of the average Sierra Leone means that the simplest repair takes a week even after the part has been located, no one ever has receipts. The poor roads, the lack of respect shown by Sierra Leones for the rules of the road, has meant several accidents.

I have sacked two managers so far and have now given up and parked the vehicles at my father in laws place to rot. The money I was going to use to open up a construction business, is now to be used trading spot forex, on the international money markets, high risk but less risky when compared to investing in sierra Leone. I have advised that group of friends that were willing to invest in the construction business, to forget Sierra Leone and consider Ghana. In a small way this business has shown me all that is wrong with sierra Leone, sierra Leonean blame the government for all their troubles, but when presented with opportunities only think of the short term, now 4 drivers, 4 apprentices, 4 standby drivers and a manager are all out of work due to their own short sightedness. In addition the failure of the government to provide basics infrastructures such as roads, electricity, decent telecommunications and a stable exchange rate means that Sierra Leone is not a place for long term sustainable investment. It would be better to play roulette over the internet that invest in sierra Leone, as the odds are better that you will see some return on your investment. So now I can forget Sierra Leone for now and see if I should go long on GPB/USD.

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