Hollywood actor Idris Elba is partnering with the government of Sierra Leone to develop the island of Sherbro into a major tourist and business attraction for the country.
The award-winning British actor, who is of Sierra Leonean and Ghanaian descent, is looking to invest in Sherbro through a company he co-owns, Sherbro Alliance Partners.
Sherbro is a small island off the Sierra Leonean coast into the Atlantic Ocean. It is 32 miles long and up to 15 miles wide, with a land area of just about 600 km2.
There are a little under 30,000 people in Sherbro.
According to the details of the memorandum of understanding between Elba and the Sierra Leonean government available to Face2FaceAfrica.com, the project is intended to make Sherbro a spot for international economic attention.
A government press release stated: “The Sherbro Island City project is structured as a public-private partnership between the GoSL and Sherbro Alliance Partners, a company resulting from the vision of Idris Elba and Siaka Stevens. Mr. Elba and Mr. Stevens are supported in this effort by a deeply experienced international team.”
The government noted: “Sherbro Island City will serve as an engine of economic growth for Sierra Leone and the surrounding West Africa region. Operated under an investment and legal regime designed to attract and protect long-term investment, Sherbro Island City will develop a diversified services and manufacturing economy that creates job opportunities for Sierra Leoneans and attracts new capabilities to the region.
“The project will integrate efficient infrastructure with transparent and effective governance, supported by the intelligent application of smart technology.
“Leveraging the natural beauty, Sherbro Island City’s economy is expected to be initially driven by tourism, with projects developed and constructed with respect for the island’s biodiversity. Early pilot projects for agricultural products and services and aquaculture farms are also under consideration.”
Elba, who broke to international fame starring in the HBO hit series The Wire, has spoken fondly on multiple occasions the need to give back to where he comes from.
Since The Wire, Elba has joined the handful of black men who land leading and/or major roles in Hollywood, starring in films such as Molly’s Game, Avengers, Thor, The Mountain Between Us and Hobbs and Shaw.
He was also voted the world’s sexiest man by People magazine of 2018.