An auspicious and historic event that will have dramatic effects on the investment climate in Sierra Leone took place in New York yesterday . President Ernest Bai Koroma was at the NASDAQ New York Stock Exchange –and his transformational presence forced the world financial markets to bounce back after a rough week.
PRESIDENT KOROMA AT NASDAQ YESTERDAY
President Koroma was invited to officially ring The NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell at exactly 4 : 00 pm when the markets close for the day in an occasion coordinated by the American Foundation for African Children’s Education, a non-profit that focuses on repairing primary schools in West Africa. According to the NASDAQ press release :
“The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. is the world’s largest exchange company. It delivers trading, exchange technology and public company services across six continents, with more than 3,500 listed companies. NASDAQ OMX offers multiple capital raising solutions to companies around the globe, including its U.S. listings market, NASDAQ OMX Nordic, NASDAQ OMX Baltic, NASDAQ OMX first North, and the U.S. 144A sector. The company offers trading across multiple asset classes including equities, derivatives, debt, commodities, structured products and exchange-traded funds. NASDAQ OMX technology supports the operations of over 70 exchanges, clearing organizations and central securities depositories in more than 50 countries. NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic are not legal entities but describe the common offering from NASDAQ OMX exchanges in Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Iceland, Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius. For more information about NASDAQ OMX, visit http://www.nasdaqomx.com .”
The significance of the NASDAQ ceremony was to connect President Koroma, through his presence, with world financial specialists, investors, brokers and some heads of companies and industries doing business in Sierra Leone or want to invest in Sierra Leone .The honor was bestowed on President Koroma as an incentive for the remarkable job he has done since he became Head of State in not only consolidating sustainable peace in Sierra Leone and engaging in socio-economic and political developments but also opening Sierra Leone up to commerce, business and investment .
In fact, President Koroma’s achievement was chronicled at the official start of the closing bell ceremony and the markets bounced back immediately from a week-long roller-coaster ride when stocks plummeted most of the time. This was a demonstration of the investment and business potentials Sierra Leone injected in the world financial markets yesterday . President Koroma’s motorcade was caught in the choking United Nations General Assembly-spurred traffic on his way to NASDAQ where he was rushing to ring the bell after delivering his address to the General Assembly and though he could not arrive on time the bell was rung by a member of his government in the time-sensitive event, the President arrived at NASDAQ to a huge acclaim from international stockbrokers, NASDAQ officials , heads of financial institutions and companies represented and investors .
The rebranding event will go a very long way to remove any stigma or image-hangover Sierra Leone had been suffering from as a result of her past political instability and the war .The message is now clear as enunciated by President Ernest Bai Koroma that Sierra Leone is now a very different country enjoying sustainable peace and socio-political and economic developments and is now open to business from any part of the world.
LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU
PERMANENT MISSION OF SIERRA LEONE TO THE UNITED NATIONS