Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hosts Heads of Diplomatic Missions, assures Gov’t Commitment to Strengthening Diplomatic Ties

MFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 21 August 2023-

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy M Kabba, on Monday 21st August 2023, met with members of the diplomatic missions including Ambassadors and High Commissioners at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
the Minister’s maiden meeting with the diplomats was an interactive session that enabled him and his deputy Madam Francess Algali to meet and engage heads of the various diplomatic missions in the country after his recent appointment to head the ministry.

In his address, the Minister expressed sincere appreciation to the government and the people of Sierra Leone for the cordial relations and mutual benefits between the country and the diplomatic communities in crucial times such as the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Minister Timothy Kabba highlighted the achievements of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s first term administration which includes huge investment in human capital development.

“We substantially increased investment in educating future generations of this country–improving the healthcare systems, addressing poverty and unemployment, empowering women and youth, protecting the environment, mitigating public safety and disaster risks…”, he said.

the Minister informed the Diplomatic community on gains made in the fight against corruption, deepening democratic governance as well as promoting reforms to strengthen the government’s effectiveness, regulatory quality, and the Rule of Law, citing a few international benchmarks such as the MCC scorecard and the extractive industry’s transparency initiative requirements, government policy of Radical Inclusion in education with the government allocating an unprecedented 22% of the national budget to education.

“For us educating the girl-child is a central component in the radical inclusion program… Gender Equality is now firmly on our national agenda”, he emphasized, recalling that the recently concluded multi-tier election increased women’s representation in Parliament for the first time in the history of the country,” he said.

The Minister shared the Big Five agenda of President Bio’s second term with the diplomatic communities;
Feed Salone, Human capital Development, Youth Employment Scheme, Revamping of the Public Sector architecture, Technology and infrastructural initiative, and calls for collaboration and support in those areas.

On the election of Sierra Leone to the non-permanent seat category to the United Nations Security Council on June 6, the Minister thanked the diplomatic communities for making that happen while he promised to tap into the experiences of countries that had been there before.

he said President Bio during the State Opening of Parliament made it clear that a National Electoral System Review Committee with the inclusion of independent bodies will be set up to look into the just concluded elections and made recommendations on how to improve the electoral cycle. This he said shows the commitment of government in promoting democracy, peace, and security.

“We respect the diversity of political ideologies and firmly believe that such diversities of thoughts and actions are the building blocks for peace and prosperity. We also recognize the inclination for political factors to trigger hard conversations especially when interests seem to sway. However, our call to service should see us putting the interest of our sovereign nation above all else”, the Minister said.

The Dean of the Diplomatic Community, the Nigerian High Commission to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Henry John Omaku, commended the Minister for hosting all diplomats through an interactive session which has given them much understanding of development programs and priorities of the government.
“We have listened to your intention and have seen the fact that you are extending a hand of friendship, partnership, and cooperation to the diplomatic community. We are fully aware of the Vienna Convention of 1961 which stipulates some of our responsibilities and our guide in discharging our functions as Ambassadors and Heads of missions. We appreciate the fact that you have been in the system and are familiar with the policies of the government. By your speech today, we do not doubt that the government of Sierra Leone is still open and still has national interest at heart”, High Commissioner Omaku said.
The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Wang Qing, said China and Sierra Leone are friends based on mutual respect, support, benefit, and cooperation. He pledged support to work with President Bio’s Government under the south-south cooperation.

The UK High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Lisa Chesney thanked the Foreign Minister for the opportunity and appreciated the spirit of the interactive meeting.
“The UK-Sierra Leone relationship is strong and enduring between the two countries and people, she said. Chesney appreciated Minister Kabba’s focus on dialogue in terms of how the country faces the challenges and opportunities of building bridges and on the importance of diversity of views which she said is at the center of any functioning democracy. She said her government would support the government of Sierra Leone, opposition parties, and the people in addressing the challenging issues the minister mentioned in his speech.

She appealed to the Sierra Leone Government to help check the proliferation of fake news on social media which she said is holding the country back. She congratulated Sierra Leone for winning the UN Security Council seat in the non-permanent category.

Outgoing US Ambassador, David Dale Reimer appreciated the partnership between Sierra Leone and the US which he said was long-term. He said the US Embassy had always enjoyed access to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. He hoped it would continue under the new Minister Kabba’s leadership. He reminded the Minister of the US Government’s concern about the conduct of the June Multi-tier elections. He said he appreciated the fact that Government has always created an atmosphere where they would talk about matters in a face-to-face and civil manner.
Minister Kabba wished him well and looked forward to receiving the new US ambassador to Sierra Leone.

Ghanaian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Her Excellency, Mrs. Worwornyo Agyema, said Sierra Leone has taken a seat on the US Security Council where Ghana was just exiting. She assured the Minister of Ghana’s support. She asked that Sierra Leone share notes on issues of illicit mining concerning Ghanaians.

EU Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Manuel Muller, appreciated the minister for the invitation and openness. He pledged the EU’s commitment to continue to work with the people of Sierra Leone and further emphasized his appreciation of the opportunity to continue to have a frank dialogue with honest intentions with the Government of Sierra Leone.
He said the EU Electoral Observer Mission’s final report on the conduct of the June elections will soon be out with the usual recommendations. He said the EU appreciated the government’s commitment to strengthening the electoral process in Sierra Leone but importantly appreciated the government’s effort in finding ways to dialogue and find a common ground among actors.
“We appreciate your government’s commitment to support peace in the region.
We appreciate Sierra Leone’s election into the UN Security Council, and we look forward to working with Sierra Leone as a member of the UN Security Council to support peace and security in the region”, he said.

The Director-General and Ambassador at Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Victoria Sulimani thanked the diplomatic communities for their comments and reactions in the meeting which are all geared towards building and maintaining a strong bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and their nations.
She called on them to always engage the Ministry when they have concerns to address

AU Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child Meets With the Minister of Foreign Affairs

MoFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 8th August 2023

The Africa Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) has met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Timothy M. Kabba in his Ministerial conference room, Tower Hill, Freetown.


The delegation was welcomed by the Director-General and Ambassador at Large, Dr. Victoria Sulimani who said that such a courtesy call on the Minister shows the level of progress Sierra Leone is making in the implementation of all international instruments to which the country is a party to.

Honorable Aver Gavar, Country Rapporteur of the Republic of Sierra Leone commended the Government of Sierra Leone for ratifying the Africa Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the submission of its initial report on the status of the implementation of the Charter in 2017.

She said that their visit to the country was to follow up with government ministries and organizations on progress made on the recommendations and observations made by the Committee.

She reminded Government that the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child requires State Parties to submit reports on the steps taken to ensure the realization of the rights of the child, adding that State Parties commit to submit an initial report two years after ratification and periodic reports every three years.

In his response, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Timothy Musa Kabba, thanked the delegation for noting the significant gains made by the Government in addressing children’s issues.

Mr. Timothy Kabba informed the delegation that the separation of the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs into two Ministries shows the commitment of the government in prioritizing the well-being of the child.

“Government has invested a lot in terms of addressing the concerns of the children to give them a brighter future.

Under the leadership of His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio Sierra Leone has been globally recognized as the Champion for foundation learning. 22% of the country’s budget has been allocated towards the provision of good education for our children. Children in the rural areas now have access to better education just like those in Freetown. The Radical Inclusion policy of the government has also given equal opportunities to pregnant girls to attend school which was not happening in the past.
Through the support of our partners, the government has been able to roll out the School Feeding Program in the provinces which has led to over 120% primary school enrollment,” the Minister said.

Mr. Timothy Kabba highlighted the impact of the ‘Hands off Our Girls’ campaign and the free sanitary pad for girls that were launched by the First Lady Madam Fatima Bio in support of girls’ empowerment and the review of the Sexual Offences Act in 2019. This according to the Minister has given more protection to women and girls in society.

The Minister assured the delegation of his ministry’s support in facilitating their interactions with other ministries during their engagements.

Directorate of Strategic Communications
MoFAIC, Tower Hill, Freetown.

British High Commissioner Lisa Chesney Pays Courtesy Call On The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Commends President Bio’s Move on Electoral Reforms

News Brief!

MoFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 7th August 2023

The British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Lisa Chesney today paid a courtesy call on the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Timothy Musa Kabba in his office at Tower Hill Freetown.

During the close discussion, Minister Kabba reiterated President Bio’s Government commitment to building strong bilateral and diplomatic ties with development partners.

Both the Minister and the High Commissioner discussed and agreed on resolving diplomatic concerns through appropriate diplomatic channels, citing the historical relations between Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom.

The High Commissioner reiterated UK government’ s neutrality in Sierra Leone’s domestic politics.

“The UK government is happy with President Bio’s Government decision to review the operations of ECSL” the envoy concluded.

From the Directorate of Strategic Communications

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hosts Miami-Dade County Business Development and Cultural Mission from the USA


FSA Conference Hall, MoFAIC, Freetown, 4th August 2023-

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) Friday hosted a Business Development and Cultural Exchange Mission from Miami-Dade County in the United States of America.

The Business and Cultural Mission delegation comprises 38 dignitaries including the Commissioner of Miami Dade County and other private sector investors, some of who are visiting Africa and Sierra Leone in particular for the first time.

Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Timothy Kabba, The Director General and Ambassador at Large, in the Ministry Dr. Victoria Sulimani, commended the delegation for choosing Sierra Leone as a destination for cultural exchange and investment opportunities.

She commended the high-powered delegation as one of the best to recently visit the country as it was led by Honorable Kionne Mcghee, Miami-Dade County Commissioner – District 9, and over thirty (30) Public Officials as well as Private individuals interested in exploring win-win opportunities in Sierra Leone.

“The importance of this Business Development and Cultural Mission to Sierra Leone cannot be overstated. Your visit coincides with the renewed mandate of the Government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, to consolidate the strong development gains made in the last five years. Sierra Leone is a country of rich and diverse resources; a country of many untapped or underexplored opportunities; a country with a unique and rich cultural heritage. In the last five years, Sierra Leone has invested heavily in Human Capital Development with a focus on education, health, and agriculture. These investments have laid a solid foundation as well as creating a conducive environment for foreign direct investments and other forms of win-win partnerships. Going forward, in the next five years, one of our flagships for propelling transformative growth is an initiative called Feed Salone, through which the Government aims at boosting our staple food production with the view to reducing reliance on food imports, increasing exports and creating jobs. This presents massive opportunities for partnerships and investment,” Ambassador Sulimani said.

Ambassador Sulimani expressed hope that the visit will explore business opportunities around tourism, education, agriculture and also promote cultural exchange between Miami-Dade County and Sierra Leone.

The Commissioner from Miami-Dade County Hon-Kionne L Mcghee outlined the historic background of Africa and America and how both continents have existed for ages with mutual respect for culture and diversity.
“We stand here because it is our shared ancestral connections that allow for us to be here not as guests but as family. This is a family reunion. We traveled over 4555 miles from Miami-Dade County to Freetown with a delegation of business leaders, non-profit leaders, political leaders, and government leaders who are willing to share their expertise and knowledge with you.
While we look forward to sharing business opportunities back home, we also hope to tap from your tourism, agro-tourism, and other opportunities that we can take back home,” Commissioner Mcghee said.
The delegation also informed that Africa is the least continent to explore business opportunities in Miami and that August is a month known as Black Business Month in Miami-Dade County where black businesses are recognized.

Commissioner Marleine Bastien from District 2 in Miami-Dade County and some of the delegations expressed thanks and appreciation for being part of such a wonderful delegation as they learnt a lot.

Power point presentations were done by senior Government representatives consisting of ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Professional/Technical Experts from Ministries, Department and Agencies from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Transport and Aviation, Education, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Agriculture and Food Security, Local Government and Community Development, Freetown City Council, the National Investment Board (NIB) of Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone Import and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA).
Some of the historical sites like the old Fourah Bay College, the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, and cultural sites were visited by the delegation.

Foreign Affairs Minister Receives Sierra Leone’s Validated Human Rights Report

By the Directorate of Strategic Communications
Wednesday, August 2, 2023 /Radisson Blu, Freetown

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy M. Kabba has received the validated report on Sierra Leone’s Human Rights after a two-day inter-ministerial workshop.
In collaboration with the Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the Foreign Affairs Ministry organized a two-day validation workshop on Sierra Leone’s State Party to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Freetown.

The team led by Matilda Lasseko-Phooko, Program Manager, Women’s Rights Unit of the University of Pretoria handed over the validated report on Wednesday to the Minister. Lasseko-Phooko noted that comments from the workshop were captured in the validated report.
Sierra Leone ratified the Maputo protocol in 2015. State parties commit to producing reports every two years. However, many regions either do not report accordingly or submit reports late, Foreign Affairs Director General and Ambassador at Large, Dr Victoria Sulimani who moderated the opening ceremony explained. Hence, the Radisson Blu training, she hoped, would support the groups attending to meet their reporting obligations. Sierra Leone has been popularizing and implementing the African Charter and the Maputo protocol but timely reporting remained a challenge, she emphasized.

“We are confident that this exercise will strengthen Sierra Leone’s human rights institutions, practices and policies”, keynote speaker, the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Timothy Musa Kabba said Tuesday.

In 2016, the African Commission issued its recommendations following the review of Sierra Leone’s human rights report. “We are therefore taking steps to bring up-to-date Sierra Leone’s State Reports under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights”, the minister said.
The essence of human rights reporting, he said was for governments to monitor human rights situations and where necessary review and update laws, policies and practices to better respect, protect and promote the human rights of their citizens. He said the Sierra Leone government under the leadership of President Bio is investing in human rights and promoting democracy through budgetary support to the Human Rights Commission, judiciary, National Commission for Democracy and other rights-promotion institutions.

He said the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone meets most of the provisions and aspirations of the Maputo Protocol. Where there are shortfalls, however, he said, the government has taken further steps by adopting pro-women policies and enacted legislations, citing the three Gender Acts of 2007, the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act of 2019 and the Women’s Empowerment Act of 2022 as examples.
“Today, women in Sierra Leone have the protection of the law so that those who commit rape and other sexual offenses against women and girls could face up to life imprisonment if convicted”, the minister asserted, adding that women lawmakers now account for 30.4% of the elected seats in parliament compared to 14.5% previously.
He appreciated the cross-section of civil society representatives, members of the inter-ministerial committee representing ministries, departments and agencies participating in the validation of Sierra Leone’s human rights report that will be submitted to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.
The minister further appreciated the contribution of the Women’s Rights Unit at the Center for Human Rights from the University of Pretoria in South Africa which is helping to strengthen Sierra Leone’s state reporting capabilities.

The Chairperson Human Rights Commission, Patricia Narsu Ndanema expressed delight in the progress being made by Sierra Leone to submit a periodic report and emphasized that reporting creates a platform for the state to showcase the extent it has met human rights state obligations, of respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights within the specified human rights framework.
The chairman of, the National Commission for Democracy, Marian Samu and the Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs Dr Isata Mahoi also spoke in support of the partnership that has moved the process to the validation stage.

One of the world’s most comprehensive and progressive women’s human rights instruments, the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (‘the Maputo Protocol’) was adopted by Heads of State and Government in Maputo, Mozambique on 11 J

The Protocol guarantees extensive rights to African women and girls and includes progressive provisions on:
• Harmful traditional practices, eg child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM)
• Reproductive health and rights
• Roles in political processes
• Economic empowerment
• Ending violence against women
Human rights groups and civil societies in Sierra Leone including Women’s Forum Sierra Leone, Human Rights Defenders Network, Defence for Children, UPR Monitoring Group and One Family are participating in addition to representatives and members of Inter-Ministerial Committee representing Ministries, Departments, and Agencies. The team will over the two days work with the Center for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria to edit and validate the draft report covering the period 2015-2021. Sierra Leone last submitted its combined human rights reports under the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights in 2013.

New Foreign Minister Takes Over, Commends Reforms By Professor David Francis

By the Directorate of Strategic Communications
Wednesday, August 2, 2023 /Foreign Service Academy, Freetown

The new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy Musa Kabba has officially taken over his new role in the Ministry following his appointment by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio and his approval by Parliament. 

During the handing-over ceremony at the Foreign Service Academy in the Ministry, the Director-General and Ambassador-at-Large thanked Professor David Francis for playing a pivotal role in the transformation of the Ministry.

“Your exemplary and dynamic leadership, your professional reforms of this ministry, and your outstanding performance in repositioning Sierra Leone on the global stage. Your resolve in seeing that the Foreign Service Academy transitions are now a concrete reality that is now up and running and your leadership in pushing the Foreign Service Bill to the level of Cabinet and your efforts at ensuring Sierra Leone gets a clean slate winning for one of the non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council over 52 years are something this ministry is grateful for,” she said.

Dr. Sulimani welcomed the new Minister Mr. Timothy Kabba, who she said did well in his previous assignments in transforming the mining sector, with an increase in revenue from mineral exports and increased employment.

the outgoing Minister Professor David J. Francis gave a detailed report on reforms and achievements made during his three-year leadership.

Some of the reforms he highlighted include the facelift of the Headquarters, effective engagements with diplomatic partners, the fulfillment of His Excellency’s strategic goal for Sierra Leone to be elected a member in the non-permanent category at the United Nations Security Council, the securing of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Compact, the securing of lands for the construction of Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, and Morocco embassies.
“Mr. Minister, you are taking over at a time when the Foreign Ministry is effectively and professionally managed with a functioning Foreign Service Academy with a credible and distinguished leadership team. You are coming in at a time when Sierra Leone is internationally and globally recognized and respected as a country of standing in the international community of states. You are coming in when Sierra Leone has made its mark in the UN Security Council, in terms of ECOWAS, African Union, the Commonwealth,” said Professor David Francis.

Professor Francis called on his successor to work on the challenges and consolidate those gains he had left and to note that the Foreign Ministry is an extension of the Presidency.
Professor Francis assured his unflinching support to the new Minister whenever he is needed.

He thanked the former Deputy Minister Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, the Director-General and Ambassador at Large, Dr. Victoria Sulimani, foreign missions, and other former ministers that worked with him to achieve those goals.

Responding, Minister Timothy Kabba thanked His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio for appointing him to further the country’s foreign policy and to promote the national interest of Sierra Leone.
He thanked Professor Francis for his outstanding leadership and transformation in the Ministry during his tenure.
“I feel satisfied that I am coming to provide leadership for a ministry and a sector that is already equipped with people that are experienced and drawn from all the geographical regions of this country. It is going to be very difficult to even attempt to scale on the successes of Professor David Francis. I want to thank you Professor for giving me a detailed report of the Ministry and having looked at it, I felt proud for such wonderful work you have done. 
The Foreign Ministry coordinates affairs around our country and put them out in the international arena. Our representation must reflect the characteristic of our nation, peace security, and national cohesion. Despite your tribe or the language you speak, I want to assure everyone that I am a Minister of Government. I shall be taking a very daunting task from a gentleman and a distinguished patriot who has done his best in serving our country,” Minister Timothy said.

He assured staff of his fullest corporation in service delivery.