Uganda Opens Consular Office in Freetown

The Directorate of Strategic Communications
26th September, 2023
MFAIC Building, Tower Hill Freetown

Uganda is opening a consular office in Freetown, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Nigeria and all other ECOWAS member states, Ambassador Ocheger Nelson said Tuesday while formally introducing the new Ugandan Honorary Consul to Sierra Leone’s Ag Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francess Alghali, at her Tower Hill office in Freetown.

“Because we are not yet able to establish a fully functional embassy here as a country, we thought it fit that we could identify somebody who could be an immediate link between me as ambassador in Abuja and the Government and people of Sierra Leone”, Nelson said as
he introduced Deepak Bhurani as Uganda’s new Honorary Consul whose appointment, he was pleased to say, has been approved by the Government of Sierra Leone.

“So, I am here to formally introduce him to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and by extension, the government of the Republic of Sierra Leone so that as he commences to discharge his responsibilities, he is formally known to you”, the ambassador said.

“This afternoon, we are also formally opening a consulate where Deepak is going to be working…So I look at this as a milestone in our diplomatic relations because it now gives us the opportunity to finally scale up our interactions in the areas that I’ve already enumerated”, he said. “This in my view is a very important milestone….I’ll do my utmost to guide him, advise him, to make sure that our relations could grow from strength to strength”, he said.

Ambassador Nelson used the occasion to formally congratulate President Bio for his re-election into office and said his government was pleased to work with the Sierra Leone Government and the people of Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone and Uganda established diplomatic ties in 1973. Over the years, the relationship has been very cordial and continues to grow built on understanding, Pan-Africanism and shared commitment to developing human capital in both countries. Both countries are former British colonies who have shared experiences in civil strife, rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-combatants.

For Nelson, the most memorable event of the bilateral relation, was in 2019 when President Julius Maada Bio visited Uganda where he had the privilege to interact with the president very closely. At the time, the Sierra Leone President visited a few areas of interest in Uganda. He said President Bio prioritized Health, Agriculture and Value Addition to agricultural products, as key areas of cooperation.

The Minister welcomed the ambassador to Sierra Leone as she congratulated Bhurani upon his appointment as Uganda’s Honorary Consul to Sierra Leone. She asked the ambassador to convey Sierra Leone’s appreciation to President Yuweri Museveni for opening a Uganda consular office in Sierra Leone.
She said Sierra Leone and Uganda have had a long-standing relationship which was further enhanced by President Bio’s visit to Uganda in 2019 when several agreements of cooperation were signed between the government of Sierra Leone and Uganda. The minister said presidents Bio and Museveni at the time agreed on several areas of cooperation prominent among which was a visa waiver for holders of diplomatic and service passports from both countries which she said was a huge step in furthering friendly movement between the two countries.
She said now that the relationship is being upscaled, Sierra Leone is interested in strengthening cooperation in agriculture, an area in which Uganda has excelled, especially in value addition. “We view the opening of a consular office taking our cooperation, friendship and collaboration to the next level, particularly as the two heads of state agreed on the formation of a joint permanent council to foster economic cooperation”, she said.

The minister further informed the ambassador and honorary consul that Sierra Leone will be on the Security Council for Africa in the non-permanent category. “We continue to count on the support of Uganda as we take our seat in the Council in 2024-2025”, she said.

She hoped Bhurani would perform his responsibilities excellently as a representative of a friend of Sierra Leone, further assuring him that the doors of the Foreign Affairs ministry are always open to him to be accorded the necessary courtesies and preferments. “We look forward to continued working relationship with you”, she said.
Bhurani thanked the minister and Ambassador Nelson for granting him the opportunity to maintain the relationship between the two countries. He pledged to give up his best.

New US Ambassador Presents Letters of Credence to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Commits to Heighten Sierra Leone US Relationship

Strategic Communications Directorate

September 11, 2023

MFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown


Bryan David Hunt, the new US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Monday, presented copies of his letters of Credence and letter of recall of his predecessor to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Francess Alghali.

New US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Bryan David Hunt(right) Monday presented copies of his letters of credence to Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Francess Alghali (left). The short ceremony took place in the Minister’s Tower Hill office before the Ambassador was accompanied to State House where he met with President Bio to conclude the diplomatic gesture.

The Minister thanked the new ambassador and wished him a successful tenure, assuring him that the doors of her ministry will always be open to receive him. “Please feel free to contact us at any time if there are any issues you would want to discuss with us bilaterally”, she said, further affirming that the American Embassy is assured of cooperation at all times, especially from the Director General whom the minister described as “a diplomat of long standing” who has also worked at the Sierra Leone embassy in the US. “Please be assured that you have friends in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we look forward to working with you.

She hoped the new ambassador would continue with the work of bilateral relations and projects that have been done so far and those yet to be pursued, especially on issues of mutual benefits to both Sierra Leone and the US Government.


Ambassador Hunt thanked the minister further pledging to continue to strengthen the US Sierra Leone bilateral relationship by working with the Deputy Minister together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. “I have every confidence that working with you and the minister, we will be successful in doing that and expanding the relationship between the United States and Sierra Leone”, he said.

“I Certainly look forward to working with you and the Director General particularly as you become a member of the United Nations Security Council in January. I think that will only heighten the importance of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the United States of America. And I’m sure we will have a very cooperative relationship, especially given the Director General’s expertise from her time in New York”, Hunt said.

The Minister together with other senior officials of the ministry later accompanied Ambassador Hunt to State House where he presented his credentials to President, Brig. Rtd. Julius Maada Bio. President Bio welcomed Ambassador Hunt and said that Sierra Leone and the US have strong bilateral relationship and that he looked forward to broadening and deepening the relationship. The two had further discussions on issues of strengthening democracy and collaboration as Sierra Leone looks forward to take her seat in the non-permanent category at the UN Security Council.

In attendance were several ministers of government and other state dignitaries.


Hunt was publicly sworn-in as the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Sierra Leone on August 23, 2023. Prior to his current appointment, Ambassador Hunt served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the U.S. Transportation Command from July 2022 to July 2023.


Ireland Ambassador to Sierra Leone Presents Copies of his Letter of Credentials to Foreign Affairs Minister

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

Aidan Fitzpatrick, the Ambassador Designate of Ireland to Sierra Leone, today presented copies of his letter of Credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy Musa Kabba.

Ambassador Fitzpatrick said he is happy to return to Sierra Leone as ambassador since he and his wife first came to Sierra Leone in 1997 and worked in development programs for some time while they were residing in Segbwema, Eastern Sierra Leone.

He recalled the diplomatic relations between Sierra Leone and Ireland that started back in 2014, and he is coming at a time when the Irish embassy is in the process of developing its new strategy for the next five years.

“Because of the progress we have been making together and the successes within our programs, we are expanding in terms of staffing and finance. I think it’s indicative of our commitment to the country but also of the progress we’ve made together over the last number of years”, he said.

He said though his embassy’s programs focus on gender issues, they are equally interested in the nutrition and agriculture space; governance issues, and the education sector.

The Ambassador congratulated the Minister on behalf of Sierra Leone’s election to the UN Security Council in the non-permanent category which he called “a huge achievement”.

He recalled that the Republic of Ireland too was in the UN Security Council in 2021 and 2022 in the same non-permanent category. He appreciated the support his country enjoyed at the time from Sierra Leone and assured that Ireland would be pleased to share their UN Security Council experience with Sierra Leone as well.

The Minister welcomed the new ambassador to Sierra Leone and described his appointment as homecoming.

“I am very pleased that the Republic of Ireland has chosen someone that has hindsight into the affairs of Sierra Leone and at a very critical time like this when your program stream resonates with the national program of our government”, the minister said.

The Minister said that Ireland’s support for women and women’s affairs in Sierra Leone is huge which is in line with His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio’s overarching vision in terms of empowering women and girls.

He said that the enactment of the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Act of 2022 promotes the affairs of women which has enabled them to have 30.4% representation in the Parliament of Sierra Leone as opposed to 14% previously.

This he said has also been replicated in government offices across the country where you have women as heads of parastatals, as ministers and deputies.

He commended the Ireland government for supporting education which is the flagship program of the government; noting the allocation of 22% of its national revenue.

The minister said Sierra Leone is aware of the support from the government and people of Ireland in the education, health care, food, and nutrition sector in the country.

The Minister highlighted investment opportunities in the areas of mining, agriculture, tourism, and other sectors and called on the ambassador to explore those opportunities for investors in Ireland.

“We look forward to working with your embassy… It is encouraging that you are expanding on your staff and the support to Sierra Leone. It is a testament to the peace, quietness, and the good governance of the country. I believe when embassies are very comfortable with the way the people are led, the way governance is conducted, it gives the country and our bilateral partners the confidence to properly establish in that country to seek and protect our mutual interest and values,” he affirmed.

Ambassador Fitzpatrick is a development specialist. Before his appointment to the Foreign Service of Ireland, he managed community development projects in Ireland, Sierra Leone, India, Angola, DRC and Rwanda.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Meets With the African Platform on Children Affected by Armed Conflict

September 5, 2023, MFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown

Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Francess Alghali today received a team from the African Platform on Children Affected by Armed Conflict, an agency of the African Union.

The team leader, Her Excellency Jainaba Jagne, conveyed appreciation to the Government of Sierra Leone and the Foreign Affairs Ministry for honoring the request of AfCAAC for the solidarity and lessons-learning mission in Sierra Leone and expressed profound gratitude for the exceptional protocol and warm welcome they received in Sierra Leone since their arrival.

“The main objective of our mission will be to provide us the opportunity to learn from your best practices, your strategies, and the programs that you have implemented to rehabilitate and reintegrate and develop the children affected by armed conflict”, she said.

She said that the African Union’s commitment to protecting the rights and welfare of children in situations of conflict was unequivocal. She was however sad to report that, children continue to suffer high rates of great violence in situations of conflict. In recognition of the pervasive negative impact on the children, therefore, the African Union has stepped up efforts to address the violence against children before, during, and after conflict.

She said that the commitment was translated into a document of several instruments such as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and several other documentations. But despite those efforts, she said, children continue to suffer from great violations in situations of conflict including killing, maiming, abductions, sexual violence and recruitment by armed forces and armed groups indiscriminate attacks on schools and hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian access.

“It is on this basis that the African Platform on Children Affected by Armed Conflict was established at the African Union to keep the issue of protecting the children high on the agenda of the African Union and to ensure the rights and welfare of children in situations of conflict remains a priority for decision-makers”, she emphasized.

As part of the strategy, the platform identifies countries with opportunities for field visits and interactions with member states with the children and other key stakeholders. The Sierra Leone mission, therefore, is a solidarity and learning mission.

She also expressed concerns about the increase in conflicts on the continent in recent months.

“The platform has to assist children in these conflicts. Thus, we have to learn from countries that have been through such conflicts and have successfully supplied the requisite support to their citizens such as you have done here in Sierra Leone”, the Ambassador said.

In welcoming the team, the Deputy Minister thanked the Commissioner for congratulating Sierra Leone and said that Sierra Leone will continue to look forward to the support of the African Union and all member states to ensure that Africa makes a difference at the UN Security Council.

“We are happy to have you here to learn from us…We are glad that the team from the AU chose Sierra Leone to come and see what we have done to continue to consolidate the peace in our country and to continue to help our children”, she said.

Mrs Alghali recalled several institutions that were set up after the war in Sierra Leone to address issues of child soldiers; key among them were the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and the National Commission for Social Action(NaCSA).

Though the DDR had been dissolved, she encouraged the team to visit NaCSA which has continued to date to address issues of disadvantaged groups like women and children linked with the war.
She recommended the team visit civil society organizations that played a key role in reintegration, trauma, and counseling after the war while citing Fambul Tok as instrumental in resolving conflicts in the typical African methods to address healing, reconciliation, and peacebuilding at the community level outside the formal judicial setting.

The team will be visiting other related ministries in charge of such projects and programs, like the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs, Ministry of Social Welfare, Education Health and Sanitation, and the Justice Ministry among others.

The visit will additionally facilitate the learning opportunity and the sharing of the best practices including the development of programs and projects that promote the rights and welfare of children in post-conflict situations which can be replicated in other member states.

From the Directorate of Strategic Communications
MoFAIC, Freetown.