Sierra Leone - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector
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Selling to the Government

The National Public Procurement Authority regulates and monitors public procurement and advises the government on public procurement issues. Procurement entities, however, often fail to follow strictly procedures outlined by the authority. It is the mandate of the National Public Procurement Authority to evaluate all tender processes and awards of contracts to ensure strict adherence to procedures and avert corruption, which is prevalent. Proposal requests are usually published in newspapers, and sometimes internationally, and bid proposals are submitted in English.  Sierra Leone is a party to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement, signed in July 1995. 

U.S. companies bidding on foreign government tenders may also qualify for U.S. Government advocacy. Within the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Advocacy Center coordinates U.S. Government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters in competition with foreign firms in foreign government projects or procurement opportunities. The Advocacy Center works closely with our network of the U.S. Commercial Service worldwide and inter-agency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning government contracts. Advocacy assistance can take many forms but often involves the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. Government agency officials expressing support for the U.S. exporters directly to the foreign government. Consult the Advocacy Center’s program web page on for additional information.

Financing of Projects

U.S. government financing agencies are active in Sierra Leone. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) provides financing for feasibility studies, while the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) supports the export of goods made in the United States. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank which partners with the private sector to finance solutions for the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. The African Development Bank (AfDB) also grants finance to certain operations of companies exporting goods from the region.

Multilateral Development Banks and Financing Government Sales

Price, payment terms, and financing can be a significant factor in winning a government contract. Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB). The Guide to Doing Business with Multilateral Development Banks overviews how to work with MDBs. The International Trade Administration (ITA) has a Foreign Commercial Service Officer stationed at each of the five different Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs): the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Inter-American Development Bank; and the World Bank.

Learn more by contacting the:

Power Africa

Power Africa is a market-driven, U.S. Government-led public-private partnership aiming to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. It offers tools and resources to private sector entities to facilitate doing business in sub-Saharan Africa’s power sector. The Electrify Africa Act of 2015 institutionalized Power Africa. Learn more about the full Power Africa toolbox or other opportunities offered by Power Africa.

U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM)

EXIM is actively seeking bankable projects to support in Sierra Leone and is currently meeting with private developers, banks, and the government on a variety of sectors, particularly those related to infrastructure. EXIM offers direct loans, loan guarantees, and credit insurance tied to U.S. exports.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

DFC was established in 2019 through the passage of the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, which strengthened and modernized American development finance. The BUILD Act combined the capabilities of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Development Credit Authority, which had previously been housed in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). DFC invests across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and female entrepreneurs to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights. DFC offers equity financing, political risk insurance, debt financing, and technical development.

U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA)

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) connects the U.S. private sector to infrastructure projects in emerging markets by funding feasibility studies, technical assistance, and pilot projects that integrate the innovation and expertise of American companies. USTDA also connects overseas project sponsors with U.S. partners through reverse trade missions, industry conferences, and expert workshops. As of 2022, every $1 USTDA invested in its programs has on average generated $136 in U.S. exports. USTDA has facilitated $76 billion in U.S. exports since its founding in 1992, supporting 4,000 infrastructure activities in 139 countries.

Grant Activities in Sierra Leone:

  • Africell Internet Access Feasibility Study: USTDA awarded a grant to Africell Sierra Leone Limited (Africell) for a feasibility study to expand internet access to more than 95,000 individuals throughout Sierra Leone. The study will facilitate the expansion of Africell’s fiber backbone network nationwide and the complementary expansion of fixed broadband networks in up to 32 cities and towns. 
  • Minigrid Feasibility Study: USTDA awarded a grant to the Ministry of Energy of Sierra Leone for a feasibility study to provide the technical and financial analysis necessary to implement approximately 45 minigrids in Sierra Leone


  • Regional Healthcare Harmonization Workshop:  USTDA is supporting the Africa Regulatory Convergence for Healthcare Products Workshop Series to support continental alignment with international standards and convergence of regulatory healthcare systems across Africa. This would in turn help to both increase market access for the sales of U.S. healthcare products and improve pharmaceutical and medical device quality and access across the continent.

Reverse Trade Missions (RTMs): USTDA will host a series of an RTM to connect public and private decision-makers from Sub-Saharan Africa to U.S. ICT technology and service providers to support the region’s infrastructure development goals.

US African Development Foundation (USADF)

USADF has partnered with USAID and GE Africa to promote innovative solutions that develop, scale up or extend the use of proven technologies for off-grid energy, reaching communities not served by existing power grids. Through the “off-grid energy challenge”, grants up to $100,000 are awarded to African companies and organizations.