GNBCC MD visits Sierra Leone 

26-10-2018

GNBCC MD visits Sierra Leone 

This week, GNBCC’s General Manager Tjalling Wiarda visited GNBCC’s subsidiary SLNBCC in Sierra Leone in support of their activities. The week started with the kick-off of the EVOFenedex training week on Monday, followed on Tuesday by the launch of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) and in the evening a cocktail for SLNBCC Members, the Dutch community and Sierra Leonean Alumni of the Dutch Fellowship programme, all  in honour of the visit of the Dutch Ambassador, Mr Ron Strikker. 

For a photo impression of the visit, please click here. 

Before the start of the week, on Sunday, a trip was made with SLNBCC’s Binta Jalloh and the Dutch ambassador to SLNBCC Member Natural Habitats in Yele, a 4-hour drive from Freetown. Here, they operate Nedoil, a sustainable palm oil factory, a hospital named the Lion Heart Medical Centre (together with the Lion Heart Foundation and with sponsoring of Heineken) as well as a river turbine which runs as an electricity company and generates enough electricity for the factory, the hospital and the whole of Yele village. After a warm welcome, a tour of the factory, the hospital, and the river turbine was given. The group also met with a group of sustainable farmers who deliver their palm fruits to Nedoil. In this way, these farmers have, through Natural Habitats, access to the world market. In Europe, organic oil palm made from palm fruits grown in a sustainable habitat are preferred. The market is willing to pay more for this product, instead of for instance the palm oil which has been produced by cutting away rainforests in South East Asia. 

On Monday, there was the official opening of the 5 day training workshop organised by SLNBCC, hosted by partner SLIEPA and in cooperation with EVOFenedex and the trainers of STC Nestra from The Netherlands. During the week two separate trainings (on Logistics and Customs) will be given, next to the trainings, STC Nestra will also do a port assessment to report and suggest on improvements to the SL Port authorities.

On Tuesday, SLNBCC organized the official launch of the Orange Knowledge Program at the Foray Bay College in Freetown. This was done by our Dutch Ambassador (who is also ambassador to Sierra Leone). Next to the Ambassador’s speech there was a speech of the SL Deputy Minister of Education as well as explanations about the Tailor Made Training opportunities within the OKP by Ms. Gladys Ofei, as well as an explanation about the individual programme by Ms. Gifty Desbordes, both of the Dutch Embassy in Accra and travelled with the Ambassador to Sierra Leone. Please click here to read more about the OKP.

After the launch, a visit to another SLNBCC Member was made: SL Breweries (owned by Heineken); maker of a.o. Star Beer, the number 1 beer in Sierra Leone. The factory received a modernization and refurbishment of over 25 million US Dollar. SL Breweries MD Daaf van Tilburg gave a tour of the factory. Part of the new investment is that they now also produce beer in cans. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside. To read more about SL Breweries please click here. 

In the evening SLNBCC co-hosted a well-attended cocktail with the Ambassador at the Country Lodge Hotel. Membership Certificates were handed out to all new Members since June such as Natural Habitats and SL Breweries. In a speech, the Ambassador thanked SLNBCC and especially Binta Jalloh and Esther Kamara for the organisation of the launch and cocktail. The Beer at the cocktail was off course sponsored by SL Breweries. 

On Wednesday morning a visit was paid the office of the WARC Group, also a new SLNBCC Member. WARC stands for West African Rice Company and is a social enterprise which trains and helps SL farmers to grow more rice and get a higher yield by giving farmers access to the latest technology. The founder and CEO Mr Emiliano Mroue explained the concept. WARC Production is now one of Sierra Leone’s largest local producers and distributors of rice, with over 1000 hectares cultivated in the Bonthe District. After that Masada Waste Management Company was visited, SLNBCC Member and also a benefactor of a tailor-made training (part of the OKP). Ms Aminata Dumbuya explained about the waste to energy project she is setting up in Freetown. As one of the major waste collectors in Freetown, they work together with a Dutch company who offers the technique to change organic waste into energy.

If you are interested in doing business with Sierra Leone businesses please contact us. You can also reach  Binta Jalloh in Freetown directly on binta@gnbcc.net.

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