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Sierra Leone Business: Stagnating tourism sector affecting arts design business

Fattion Arts Design is a furniture manufacturing business, which uses bamboo plant to design different artifacts. The industry is focusing on creativity, with the use of bamboo and changing it to different household office decorations, like quality decorative wall hanging, pencil case, flower vase, cups, ash stray and other items for households, hotels, restaurants and offices. “Our vision is to establish and create wider range of varieties with bamboo, into mouth-watering decorative ornaments, which will not only be admired in Sierra Leone but the world at large” said entrepreneur Ibrahim Lation Mansaray. The uniqueness and creativity of their work, Mansaray said has been appreciated by most people at first glance, but they are faced with the threat of an industry that has poor economic turnover and a stagnating tourism sector. The business is also looking forward to individuals or institutions to invest in their initiative, as they currently require a capital of around USD$10,000. According to Mansaray the business was initially owned by his dad, but due to frustrating outcomes and the higher benefits of the distributor, his dad stopped production. He began running the business two years ago. Mansaray is confident that with the risk he has taken to embark on this business, he is looking forward to rebranding and expanding it, away from his already skeletal staff of five. A final year student at the University of Makeni reading Public Health, he is aware of his lack of experience in the business world but is determined to make it work. Bamboo, is used to for construction and other domestic purposes, Fattion has used it by adding to this less considered plant by converting the plant to different things to service various facets in Sierra Leone and to maximize profit. “As an industry trying to gain full recognition there are no primary competitors at the time but has secondary competitors both at home and abroad. My industry is gearing towards creating cheaper alternative to imported furniture which are durable as most of the imported decoratives are very expensive” said Mansaray. Fattion Arts Design, he boasted has always been ensuring first class quality treatment and meet customers’ needs at all time. As one of their greatest achievement has been their high quality finished products. “As a local manufacturing industry, one of our greatest challenges that have been limiting our growth is the lack of machines and the market in Sierra Leone has not been encouraging” he said. Ibrahim recently took part in the Creative Hub program hosted by the British Council and he said the training was interactive and interesting and what he has learnt has been immense. Ibrahim’s message for young people in Sierra Leone is to look for and take advantage of the growing opportunities in Sierra Leone. “For young people in Sierra Leone there are a whole lot of opportunities, you don’t need to go abroad to places like America or Europe to succeed. I have a friend who says ‘Sierra Leone is a virgin land’. If you think you can provide community solutions, you must try” he said.

By Zainab Iyamide Joaque

Monday November 05, 2018.

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