Swedfund’s mission is to work in the world’s most difficult environments where economic, as well as political, social and environmental risks are high. Sierra Leone is a country still greatly affected by the civil war of 1991-2002. Youth unemployment is currently 60 percent and is among the highest in West Africa.
In 2011, Swedfund, together with seven other Development Finance Institutions, invested in Addax Bioenergy, an integrated agricultural and bioenergy project which includes the development of greenfield sugarcane estates, the construction of an ethanol refinery and a biomass fuelled power plant. Electricity is a prerequisite to achieve any development results in Sierra Leone and through Addax Bioenergy, renewable energy can be produced for the whole country.
In its development strategy, Sierra Leone’s government has stated its intent to invest in the agricultural sector through the processing of local raw materials which creates employment opportunities, as well as through the production of renewable energy. The aim of the investment in Addax Bioenergy is to support this development process.
Today, Addax Bioenergy has created 2,100 jobs, even though the project is still in its startup phase. There are many who have expectations of a better life, but change takes time to implement. Addax Bioenergy is working hard to run the project in mutual cooperation with the country, the local population and the surrounding environment. Swedfund supports Addax Bioenergy in this work.
In the film, Sierra Leone – Climbing out of Poverty, you will meet three people who live in rural Sierra Leone. Listen to their stories.