It has been a stellar couple of years for Anthony Navo Junior. His TV station’s ‘Sierra Leone Decides’ series has become compulsory pre-election viewing for Sierra Leoneans home and abroad. He pulled off a stunning media coup with the Presidential Candidates’ Debate on the 15th February. BBC Media Action has Africa Young Voices (AYV) radio down as the most listened to radio station in the North and West of Sierra Leone, and his media empire has won awards from AWOL and the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce.
If anyone was to debate whether entrepreneurs are born or made – Anthony Navo would be almost conclusive proof of the former. He is an entrepreneur to the bone. The ability to identify and maximise business opportunities is in his blood.
Better Business SL is an initiative to encourage dialogue about the opportunities and challenges facing the private sector in Sierra Leone. It is a collaboration between Adam Smith International (ASI), Insight Media and Communications, the International Growth Centre (IGC) and Africa Young Voices (AYV).
Imagine being a runner who always raced alone. On the plus side, there would never be disputes about the winner. You would win gold, silver and bronze and always feel good about yourself. On the downside, with no-one to race against, you wouldn’t have much incentive to improve your performance. You could turn up late, walk when you felt tired, and still be sure of never being beaten.
WhatsApp during these elections has been a major campaigning tool, taking the slot that five years ago, was primarily held by the mainstream media. Radio still has a significant role to play, but the immediacy and range of formats supported by WhatsApp have made it probably the most important source of campaign information in these elections, especially in urban areas and among our massive youth population.
Agricultural development is two to four times more effective at reducing hunger and poverty than any other sector (World Bank, 2017). Analyses show that the sector employs over 70% of the population who live mainly in the rural areas while non farmers spend most of their income on food. Thus, transforming the sector is crucial to economic growth, job creation, raised incomes and reduced malnutrition (Mckinsey, 2017).
In Sierra Leone, agriculture accounts for over 50% of the national gross domestic product (GDP), but is still largely at subsistence levels. According to the 2014 Agriculture sector review, Sierra Leone is currently a net importer of the nation’s key agricultural commodities such as rice, wheat and onions, with an estimated $267M being spent on imports (Agriculture Sector Review, 2014).