One of the things I love most about Christmas in Freetown is that there is no shortage of socials to attend. This year I made it a priority to attend a wide range of events, one of which was the Power Women 232 Conversation Series, which was hosted in partnership with Africell and the US Embassy Sierra Leone. Power Women 232 is a network for women professionals in Sierra Leone. The network aims to bring professional women and entrepreneurs together to promote career advancement and development in all fields, through networking, leadership development , social events and community service.
On 23 December 2016 Power Women 232 hosted a Conversation with John Bonoh Sisay at Kona Lodge, Freetown. John Sisay is the President of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Mines and the former CEO of Sierra Rutile Limited. In 2016, he led Sierra Rutile to become the first Sierra Leone business member of the World Economic Forum and the United Nations Global Compact. During the discussions he shared his journey to success, his setbacks and his business ethos. John Sisay highlighted patience, viable markets and proper business structures as key to running a successful business in Sierra Leone. He underscored the dependency on external funding as one of the reasons for the culture of dependence in Sierra Leone, noting that “In Sierra Leone we have become so dependent on outside funding that is translated to individual living. We need to have a collective discussion on the way forward. If we don’t allow people to develop we would remain poor. Dependency on an individual and national basis has to be broken”- John Bonoh Sisay