Sierra Leone - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techiques
Last published date:

Sierra Leonean consumers react positively to American products. All sales materials should be in English and clearly indicate the manufacturer’s name, address, country of origin, and product expiration date on the product package. Local distributors of imported products look to suppliers for advertisement and promotional support, especially when introducing a new product or brand name. 

Trade Promotion and Advertising 

Trade promotion programs are done in English through advertisements in the media, with newspapers, radio, and television being the primary channels. With the country’s adult literacy rate at 48 percent in 2021 (World Bank), radio advertisements are popular and effective for broader coverage. Newspapers are concentrated mainly in metropolitan areas, have a limited distribution, and are published sporadically, while television and the internet are gradually becoming more prevalent. Other advertisement methods could include billboards, stickers, brochures, printing on t-shirts, caps, fliers, banners, outdoor events, and participation in local trade fairs. 


Sierra Leone is a free market economy with prices determined by market forces. However, the Ministry of Trade and Industry does monitor costs, and the Petroleum Regulatory Agency of the government sets the price of petroleum products, including petrol, diesel, kerosene, and heavy fuel oil. Consumers have a strong preference for U.S. goods but are extremely price sensitive. Pricing can be a major challenge for U.S. firms due to the low purchasing power of the average Sierra Leonean.

Sales Service/Customer Support 

After-sale services and customer support are required for high-tech, modern, and complicated products like industrial machinery, telecommunication equipment, and computer hardware. Support to local partners could enhance after-sales and customer support. Asian investors, including Chinese and Indian entrepreneurs, have increased their presence and established local partnerships.

Local Professional Services

U.S. Embassy Freetown’s economic and commercial section can assist with identifying competent local professional service providers. The section can be reached at

The U.S. Embassy website provides a list of local attorneys, though the Embassy assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of or the quality of services provided by the persons or firms listed. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy.

Principal Business Associations

Many businesses in Sierra Leone belong to professional associations, which U.S. companies can leverage to understand the local market, culture, and influencers. There is an association of U.S. companies operating in Sierra Leone called the American Business Council that meets in Freetown to share business experiences.

The Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (SLCCIA) is a voluntary association of businesspeople of all nationalities carrying on business in the country. It is a local non-profit organization of businesses and companies located in Freetown with the intention to develop and further the interests of local companies and businesses in Sierra Leone. Many of the businesses in the organization are international companies with offices in Sierra Leone.

Below is a list of other local sector-specific business associations: