The Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican Ambassador) to Sierra Leone with residence in Monrovia, Liberia, His Excellency Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk, accompanied by the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Sierra Leone, has taken formal leave of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara at the Ministry’s Tower Hill Office, Freetown.
His Excellency Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk on behalf of the Holy Sea (Pope), extended sincere condolences and solidarity to the Government and people of Sierra Leone following the Ebola scourge, the recent floods and mudslide disaster in the country. The Apostolic Nuncio expressed gratitude for the bilateral cooperation between Sierra Leone and the Vatican. ‘My principal function was to strengthen and deepen the bilateral relations between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Holy Sea; and to foster close relations with the conference of Bishops by offering assistance in various ways’, His Excellency Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk added.
The Apostolic Nuncio outlined some of the tremendous contributions of the Catholic Church in Sierra Leone, particularly in the areas of education, health and other social services, which are clear testimonies of the invaluable service of the Catholic Church in the country. He prayed for lasting peace and a peaceful conduct of the forthcoming general elections in the country.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara expressed profound thanks and appreciation for the numerous contributions of the Catholic Community toward national cohesion and social development, including the consoling messages during trying moments in the country. ‘The spirit of the local community being together is our hope’, he added. Dr. Samura Kamara extended felicitations to His Holiness, Pope Francis, and assured the Catholic Nuncio of his Ministry’s support to the Catholic Church in Sierra Leone.
It could be recalled that HE Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk was appointed on the 21st September 2013 as the Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Sierra Leone (with residence in Monrovia); and successfully presented his letters of credence to His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on the 13th February 2014.
Present at the ceremony were: the Archbishop of Freetown, Rev. Dr. Edward Tamba Charles; the Auxiliary Bishop of Kenema, Rev. Henry Aruna; the Apostolic Administrator of Makeni, Bishop Natale Paganelli, the Secretary of the Nunciature, Fr. Giovanni Bicchierri; Secretary to the Archbishop, Rev. Fr. Joseph D. Miller; the Acting Director General, Dr. Michael S. Kargbo and Directors of various Divisions and Heads of Sections of the Ministry.
The Director of Monitoring, Evaluation and Resources for the Directorate of Technical Aid Corps (DTAC) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ambassador Haruna Ginsau, has paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara at the Ministry’s Tower Hill office, Freetown.
The purpose of the visit is to assess and review the progress of the Nigerian Volunteer Corps with a view to determine the technical aid needs, and to further deepen and broaden the bilateral cooperation with the Government of Sierra Leone.
Giving a brief background of the Nigerian Technical Aid Corps, Amb. Haruna Ginsau said, the TAC was established in 1987 to share Nigeria’s know-how or expertise with other African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The TAC, he maintained, is presently assisting in a mutually beneficial way 35 African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. Sierra Leone is one of the beneficiaries. He also stated that the ultimate goal of the programme is to breach the manpower gap in key sectors of the recipient countries. ‘The TAC gives assistance on the basis of the assessed and perceived needs of the recipient countries; promotes cooperation and understanding between Nigeria and the recipient countries; and facilitates meaningful contacts between the youths of Nigeria and those of the recipient countries’, the Director added. He further ascertained that to date, the TAC has deployed about 15 medical personnel working in various medical establishments across the country.
Amb. Haruna Ginsau highlighted key responsibilities of the TAC to the volunteers that include: monthly allowances, airfare (to-fro), and settlement allowances. The recipient country, he said, should be responsible for providing a modest accommodation, pay utility bills (electricity), transportation (from place of residence to place of work), and free medical. ‘The team would meet with other MDAs in Sierra Leone to identify key areas for intervention and cooperation’, he concluded.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara on behalf of His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the Government and people of Sierra Leone, welcomed the Ambassador and delegation from DTAC, noting the significance and timeliness of the visit. Dr Samura Kamara lauded Nigeria’s cordial relations with Sierra Leone, particularly as a major contributor of troops during the civil war and Nigeria’s role in the formation of ECOWAS.
The Foreign Minister underscored the significance of the TAC volunteer scheme which could be institutionalised at multilateral level within ECOWAS and the African Union. The technical assistance of the TAC on education, he said, should be extended to children with special needs in the country. He assured the delegation of his Ministry’s commitment to work with the Nigerian DTAC in enhancing their scheme in Sierra Leone.
Present at the ceremony were: the Director of Programmes –DTAC, Mr. Jinoh Oduniyi; the Deputy Director General for Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Assistant Deputy Director General for Policy, Directors of various Divisions and Heads of Sections of the Ministry.