By S. U. Thoronka…………………………..
The Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh on behalf of His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on Tuesday this week unveiled yet another new brand of beer called Salone Beer at the Sierra Leone Brewery Company’s headquarters Wellington in the East-end of Freetown.
The occasion was however, preceded by a conducted tour of the new state of the art Mash Filter and a new Waste Water Treatment Plant by the Vice President and his entourage including the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Chernor Bah fondly called Chericoco.
The production of Sierra Leone’s first 100% sorghum beer according to official sources is in fulfillment of a commitment made to His Excellency the President of Sierra Leone in support of the Local Content Policy and Sierra Leone Brewery company’s contribution to the post Ebola Recovery Priorities of the country.
The Managing Director of the company, Willy Alphonse Ngana in his opening remarks emphasized that the occasion was a remarkable day in the history of the company as they will officially fulfill a promise and that the event was also a demonstration of Brewery’s commitment to the growth and development of the nation.
Mr. Ngana noted among others that the achievements were a key step towards a collective vision of integration and collaboration between a private sector organization and the Government of Sierra Leone. “I can vividly remember our trip to Amsterdam in 2014 as if it were yesterday, when His Excellency mandated HEINEKEN International to ensure Brewery creates more opportunities for the local farmers by increasing the use of sorghum in their production with multiplier effect on farmers; to invest in a state –of- the-art machine which would help in the increase sorghum usage and to ensure the launch of a 100% sorghum beer to ensure affordability”.
The Managing Director expressed gratitude to the President and Government for creating the enabling environment for local industries to thrive and he confirmed that the private sector can work in synergy with the government for the growth of Sierra Leone.
Mr. Ngana noted that the provision of the Finance Act 2016is a vivid manifestation of government’s commitment to turn around the economy and to encourage local industrial growth.
The Vice President Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh in his key note address which unavoidably climaxed the occasion leading to the unveiling of the new brand informed that, Brewery Factory at Wellington is a very familiar ground to him. He cited the day when he and other political prisoners on death row were released from prison by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).
He said on his way to the province to seek refuge he made a brief stop at the Brewery compound but he did not elaborate. He conveyed the kind compliments of the President to the Management and staff of the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited.
VP Foh affirmed that the production of local beer with 100% of sorghum demonstrates the commitment to the call made by His Excellency President Koroma to boost the economy. While government continues to provide the enabling environment, the Vice President entreats other investors to emulate the good example of the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited.
Other speakers included President of the Sorghum Farmers Association, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security and the Deputy Minister of Trade while Hon. Alpha Kanu chaired the occasion.