President Bio Launched Sierra Leone’s UNSC seat bid, Thanked Foreign Ministry for putting Sierra Leone on the Global stage.

Sierra Leone will be presenting its candidature for a seat in the Non-Permanent Category of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2024 -2025. The United Nations Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. His Excellency the President Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio has today launched Sierra Leone’s United Nations Security Council Seat bid Nationally.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis, said the national launch and presentation of UNSC promotional materials will promote local awareness and ownership among citizens and galvanize local support in the pursuance of the Presidency at the United Nations Security Council.

He said Sierra Leone’s UNSC candidature has secured endorsement from ECOWAS and the African Union. Stating that, the AU endorsement ensures that Sierra Leone is not competing with any other African Country for the 3 seats allocated to Africa in the Council, hence a clean slate candidature is assured for Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone’s aspiration for the UNSC bid is with a clear vision that targets seven priorities that supports and strengthens the following:

1. Partnership and representation in the maintenance of peace and security,
2. Peace-making and peacebuilding
3. Human rights and accountability
4. Women and youth in peace and security
5. Terrorism and new threats to peace (climate change and human security)
6. Small arms control and
7. Security Council reform

Sierra Leone last served in the Security Council for in 1971. The elections for the 2024/2025 tenure will be held in the United Nations General Assembly in New York in June 2023.

The bid to serve in the UN Security Council in 2024-2025 is a testament to both our resilience and the efficacy of multilateral cooperation in successfully delivering peace in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone is currently serving as the coordinator of the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State (C-10) promoting, canvassing and advocating for the common African Position on United Nations Security Council Reform.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

MSF Signs Host County Agreements With Sierra Leone.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis, and the MSF County Representative, Mr. Whitney Ward, have today jointly signed the host Country agreement between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), in order to strengthen the health sector in the Country through medical and humanitarian needs.

The MSF is an international medical and humanitarian organization acting independently, impartial and neutral international solidarity, under the international humanitarian law and medical ethics since 1971, with it presence felt in Sierra Leone way back in 1986.

 

The agreement is to regulate and to preserve the effectiveness and protection of the medical and humanitarian character of MSF and it activities under the international law, humanitarian principles and International medical ethics, as well as to reinforce the cooperation between MSF and the Republic of Sierra Leone.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Allocates 12 China Donated Vehicles to 8 MDA’S.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 4th April, 2022. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has today allocated twelve (12) vehicles, including two (2) buses to eight MDA’s, donated by the Government of the people’s Republic of China. According to the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E Hu Zhangliang, the donation was a manifestation of the good bilateral relationship that has existed between the two Countries over the last fifty (50) years. He expressed his delight for witnessing the handing over ceremony in the capacity as the ambassador from China to Sierra Leone.

Ambassador Hu Zhangliang thanked the Government of Sierra Leone and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in particular, Professor David John Francis, for his professional and outstanding leadership in promoting Sierra Leone to global partners. He assured the Country of China’s continuous support in all areas of development.

Professor Francis in his remarks thanked the Government and people of China for the support to Sierra Leone over the years. He said Sierra Leone and China has a very long standing and sincere relationship, mutual respect in a win-win situation. He presented Sierra Leone as a land of opportunities and that the Country was ready for business inorder to Change the current situation in the Country and for the good of all.

The MDA’s which benefitted from the donation were; Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Cultural affairs, Office of the National Security (ONS), Ministry of Lands and Country Planning, Ministry of Information and Communication, National Disaster Management Agency, Independent Commission for Peace and National Commission, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Professor Francis crave on the indulgence of all MDA’s to make the best use of the vehicles.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

With 15 Postgraduate Scholarships, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Deepens Bilateral Relations with Sierra Leone

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 1st April, 2022 The Spokesperson and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr. Kateeb Zade has today met with Professor David John Francis, Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, in order to deepen bilateral relations between the two Countries.

The Deputy Minister said his visit was to strengthen the Importance of mutual interest, from economic affairs to Social, culture and public diplomacy.

Professor Francis in his remarks said Sierra Leone is a Country of choice especially for Iran that has a long standing relationship with Sierra Leone for 60 years now. Presenting Sierra Leone as a land for opportunities, Professor Francis highlighted series of areas where both Country’s can collaborate. From Education, Agriculture, Health, Tourism, Spots Mines and Culture.

The Minister said the 15 scholarships will be awarded to the three newly established Universities in the Country as a means of promoting His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio’s Human Capital Development dream. He reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the Iranian Government and the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Professor Francis Engages Turkish Press, Commends President Bio’s Role at the Antalya Diplomatic Forum

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Professor David J. Francis in an interview with Anadolu Agency has commended His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio’s Role in representing Sierra Leone on the Global Stage where he presented Sierra Leone as a nation of greater ambition. The three-day high-level event in the resort city of Antalya, brought together participants from 75 Countries, including 17 Heads of State , 80 Government Ministers , and 39 representatives from International Organizations. He said in his interview with Anadolu Agency on the margins of Diplomacy Forum in Antalya on March 12, 2022: Anadolu Agency is the forum’s global communications partner.

The Minister said that the Antalya Diplomacy Forum is a platform where world leaders in the political, diplomatic, economic and academic sectors share ideas on how to develop innovative diplomacy to address the problems that we face, from climate change, war and peace, conflict resolution and development issues.

Professor Francis in his interview said now was the time for all the regions of the world to support Africa. He called on all global actors to lead the debate for the reform of the United Nations Security Council, noting that, the UN Security Council has five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members where 70% to 75% of all the issues discussed in the council evolve around Africa.

He said no African Country is represented in the UN Five (5) Permanent Members Security Council, That he referred to as “historical injustice”. He furthered that, African Union has made a determination on this very pertinent issue by appointing Sierra Leone as the Chair of the African Union Committee of Ten on UN Security Council Reform to lead talks on reforming the UN Security Council. So, at this recording diplomacy forum, the Minister made it clear that it was not good just to come and talk but all African Heads of State and delegates translate their talks into actions.

Commending president Bio, Professor Francis noted that at the moment, under the New Direction of H.E President Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, Sierra Leone is focusing on “human capital development with three pillars: education, health, and agriculture. Today, Sierra Leone spends 22% of our GDP on education. In fact, ‘’we are in the top five countries in the world that allocate more resources to education’’.
He said that with this massive investment in education 2.5 million children are receiving free quality education. He also noted that Sierra Leone has managed the COVID-19 pandemic very well.

‘’ideally, the Ebola epidemic created social consciousness for the people to work with the government, and to comply with the social distancing and health hygiene protocols’’ and that the country is now moving into the post-COVID period where our focus is on strengthening the health system. We will definitely achieve the middle-income status in the next 10 to 20 years. I have no doubt,” he concluded.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

His Excellency Ahmad Bin Abdul Aziz Khattan On A Day Visit to Sierra Leone, Engages Foreign Minister and President Julius Maada Bio.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 2nd March, 2022. Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis has today received His Excellency Ahmad Bin Abdul Aziz Khattan, Adviser to the Royal Court and special envoy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who is on a day visit to Sierra Leone and his accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, H.E Khattan conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, while the Foreign Minister sent his greetings and appreciation to Custodian of the two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and his good wishes to the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of further development and prosperity, stressing that Sierra Leone stands with Saudi Arabia towards various issues aiming at realizing peace and security in Africa.

In a meeting with His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio , the President voiced Sierra Leone’s unweaving support to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s bid to host EXPO-2030 in Riyadh. This to delegation was a positive step and achievement of their visit. Both sides went over bilateral relations on the opening of Saudi Arabia Embassy in Sierra Leone and the future of the relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Following the discussions, both the Foreign Minister and H.E Khattan made statements to the media, during which they expressed happiness for the level of relations between the two Countries.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Philippines Ambassador Pays Courtesy Call on Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Discuss Opportunities in Mines & Agriculture

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, Tuesday, 1st March 2022: The Ambassasor from the Republic of the Philippines to Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Shirley Ho-Vicario and her delegation has on a Courtesy call met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis on bilateral engagements.

Speaking on the purpose of the visit, Her Excellency Shirley Ho-Vicario stated that her delegation was in Sierra Leone on a scoping mission and to discuss bilateral cooperation between Sierra Leone and the Republic of the Philippines. She tabled the idea of signing a Joint Communique on Technical and Agro-Processing Cooperation, and the possibility of bringing in skilled and qualified expatriates to train Sierra Leoneans especially in the Mining and Agricultural sectors. This initiative, she explained, has helped greatly in growing the economy of the Philippines and enabling the Country to have over 10 million skilled workers all over the world.

Welcoming the delegation, the Honorable Minister, Professor David J. Francis acknowledged the presence of the Philippines Honorary Consul in Sierra Leone as a man with high level commitment for cooperation between the two Countries. He reechoed that, the Government of Sierra Leone is highly interested in Human Capacity Building and therefore signing a Joint Cooperation on Technical and Agro-Processing will be taking the Country to a middle level and not always relying on foreign experts.

Professor Francis assured the delegation of the support of the Foreign Ministry to facilitate engagements with relevant Ministries in the implementation of the proposed Joint Cooperation.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

South African High Commissioner, Grace Jeanet Mason Pays Courtesy Call on Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hills, Freetown, 28th February, 2022. The South African High Commissioner to Ghana H.E Grace Jeanet Mason, former Deputy Chief of Protocol at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa has met with Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis on bilateral issues on Economic and Development Diplomacy.

Presenting the delegation to the Hon. Minister, H.E Grace Jeanet Mason expressed delight to the Government and people of Sierra Leone for the warm reception accorded her delegation. She said South Africa will collaborate with Sierra Leone for trade and Economic opportunities. And that, the delegation will engage other key Stakeholders and sectors on those opportunities.

Professor David John Francis in his statement positioned Sierra Leone as a land of opportunities. Referring to Sierra Leone as the most beautiful Country in the world, he said the Country’s potential for investment range from Education, Agriculture, Health, Tourism, Mines, Oil and gas and more.

The Hon. Minister asked for development and Economic Cooperation between Sierra Leone and South Africa.
“The Sierra Leone Investment board which is headed by His Excellency the President and Co-chaired by the Hon. Vice President is ready to support private sector development and promote trade and development in all sectors ” He Added.

Professor Francis diplomaticly send an invitation through the High Commissioner for south African Investors to tap into the rich Economic Opportunities of Sierra Leone, while assuring them of the Government’s fullest Support.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Professor Francis woos Qatar Foreign Minister, Presents Sierra Leone’s bid for United Nations Security Council Seat

Professor David Francis, Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister has on Thursday 25th February 2022 engaged Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, on a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues aimed at strengthening and deepening ties between the two friendly countries.
The Minister while Conveying His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio’s warm fraternal greetings to His Highness Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State Qatar, he recalled the visit of HE Dr Julius Maada Bio in April 2018, reckoning the remarkable transformation of the gas-rich country, which inspired him to transform Sierra Leone into a modern international community.

 

 

Briefing his Qatari counterpart on the engagement with respective state agencies, he expressed profound appreciation for selecting Sierra Leone as one of the priority countries for the implementation of the economic empowerment project to alleviate poverty.
“Your Excellency, as you may be aware, our country is known for its abundant strategic mineral resources, which have not translated in transforming the nation. Sierra Leone has invested significantly in the Human Capital Development projects of which the Free Quality Education project accounts for 22% of the country’s GPD, providing access to education for two and a half million children nationwide,” Prof David Francis noted.

The Hon Minister further described Sierra Leone as a land of investment opportunities, with a lot of untapped potentials in mineral resources, agriculture, energy, trade, among others. He proposed a trade and investment delegation mission to Sierra Leone to get firsthand information on potential investment opportunities in various sectors.
“For the first time in its history, Sierra Leone conducted an Airborne Geophysical Survey to assess the quantum of mineral assets in the country. We are now working with the World Bank to analyse the value of our mineral reserve, which can be used as a sovereign guarantee for capital development projects,” he mentioned.

Making a case on the margins of the candidature bid for the non-permanent Category of the United Nations Security Council, which is scheduled for June 2023, he observed that the country has progressed steadily on the international stage, referencing Sierra Leone’s role as Coordinator of the Africa Union Committee of 10 United Nations Security Council Reforms. He concluded by soliciting Qatar’s support as well as its allies as the country has been endorsed unanimously by ECOWAS and AU.
In his response, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani thanked Hon Minister for engaging state agencies on purposeful development. He welcomed the initiative to visit Sierra Leone for investment opportunities. The Deputy Prime Minister further suggested a visit of a team of experts from Sierra Leone to make a presentation to provide Qatari investors the requisite knowledge on Sierra Leone’s investment opportunities.
On Sierra Leone’s bid for a seat in the non-permanent category of the UN Security Council, he assured the Minister of not only voting for Sierra Leone but also providing support in the government’s pre-campaign bid scheduled for 2022.
Other members of the delegation included, Her Excellency Haja Ishata Thomas, the Non-Resident Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Abdul Aziz Turay, Director of Middle East and Asia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Momodu Wurie, Minister Counsellor/HOC and AbuBakarr Mbayoh, Arabic Translator.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

In finalization of GCM Report, Foreign Affairs, IOM and Others on a round table,

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the International Office for Migration (IOM) and other partners on Tuesday held a one-day stakeholder meeting to finalize the National review report on the implementation of the global compact for Migration (GCM) in Sierra Leone.

Speaking at the workshop, Deputy Foreign Minister Mamadi Gobeh Kamara informed the meeting that in 2020 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinated the review of the draft National report and noted that she is pleased that the final step to complete the report has been initiated.She said that the engagement is timely for two reasons: firstly, it coincides with the finalization of the Government’s Policy on Migration and secondly, to finalize a profound work undertaken by Government, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), MDAs and Non-governmental Organizations to develop a national document that deals with migration issues.

She called on participants to thoroughly examine the final report so that it will be in tandem with the country’s recent Immigration Policy developed under the auspices of the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.Mamadi Gobeh Kamara on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, appreciated the support of IOM to government development efforts. She further highlighted specific areas of IOM’s intervention; the provision of resettlement packages to returnees from the Middle East and the Maghreb, partnership with the Japanese Government to jointly sponsor a team of Sierra Leonean Diaspora Medical Mission that provided critical medical services, in hard-to-reach areas within Kamakwie in Karena District. This she noted, complement’s government’s effort towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 3), which is to ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all at all ages.

The deputy foreign Minister pledged the support of her Ministry to continue working closely with the IOM, the Immigration Department and all partners in their collective efforts to effectively harness the vast potentials of our diaspora community while also looking at ways of discouraging our youthful population from taking brazen adventures in the search of elusive greener pastures that have often ended in harrowing experiences and dire consequences.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Investors From The Republic Of Egypt Pays Courtesy Call on Deputy Foreign Minister.

Investors from the Arab Republic of Egypt to Sierra Leone have met with the Deputy Minister Of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara at her tower Hill office in Freetown.

The Head of delegation Eng. Osama M.K Abdelhamid in his remark extended warm greetings from his Country and introduced members of his delegation, he continued by stating the purpose for their one week visit to promote businesses by developing the Country.

He reiterated that the investments will be based on three companies; the World Wide Base Technology Limited, Pharco Pharmaceutical, African Economic Council/ Pan-African Movement, and Mosa Trade which will be operating in areas such as Energy, Mining, Chemicals and Waste water recycling.

In her response, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, acknowledged the steps taken so far by the delegation and applaud them for choosing Sierra Leone as an Investment destination to promote their businesses and further ensured to render necessary support to what is required from the Ministry.

“Investment and Country building has been a top priority to the Government and people of Sierra Leone, and Energy is key to Country development, which is why we are very deliberate to make sure we deliver to our people. She said”

The Honorable Deputy Minister noted that as much as the Country is looking for investors, they are also mindful to only involve in well meaningful investments that will benefit the people of Sierra Leone and in the end accomplish a win-win situation.

She thanked the delegation and reaffirmed the Ministries support to make their stay a successful one.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Sierra Leone Signs Economic and Technical Cooperation agreements with China

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, 11th February, 2022: The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis and the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E Hu Zhangliang have today signed Joint Economic and technical Cooperation agreement between China and Sierra Leone at the Ministry’s Conference room.

 

Professor Francis in his statement said the agreement process was initiated at the China-African Forum in Dakar, Senegal. He said the signing of the Economic and Technical Cooperation agreements with China symbolizes the cordial bilateral relationship that has existed between the two Countries and that, they will continue to cement the great win-win collaboration.

The agreement on Economic Cooperation will help reduce the costs of trade, improve the availability of goods and services, and increase consumer purchasing power in both Nations. . On technical cooperation, this will cultivate the human resources who will shoulder the burden of nation-building activities that will be primarily information and services oriented.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Seeks Commonwealth Support In Trade and Connectivity Programs.

 

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam. Mamadi Gobeh Kamara has requested for technical assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat through its trade and connectivity programme in a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to brief the Government on the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (GHOM) to be held in Rwanda.

The Commonwealth Secretary General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, said they have put together a whole lot of implementation phases for the Commonwealth trade and Connectivity programs so as to enable their member states to implement in practical ways. The programs she said covers access to Justice, prevention of terrorism, infrastructure and energy transition that will help Nations to move from fossil fuel to green gas. She assured the Government of Sierra Leone’s of there fullest Support.

The Deputy Minister in her statement made a request that will enhance Sierra Leone`s capacity for growth and expansion in digital trade for the up-take of e-commerce and the online delivery of certain services which she notes would be pivotal to support economic recovery, post- COVID as well as address future economic shocks and crisis.

The Deputy Foreign Minister made this request on Monday 24th January 2022 during Secretary- General Patricia Scotland’s courtesy call to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation.

Md Mamadi Gobeh Kamara expressed delight for the Commonwealth Office’s continued support to the government of Sierra Leone and thanked the Secretary- General and her Secretariat for their contribution and support to Sierra Leone during the global coronavirus Pandemic that continues to socio-economically ravage economies across the world, especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

” As a government, we have had extensive partnership with the commonwealth and I believe there is more that we can do together”, she added.

The support provided in Technical cooperation projects , especially ones dealing with the Environment, are worth noting. There have been some delays in some of the work we do together due to the coronavirus pandemic” but I believe now that things are slowing picking up, we will fast track the implementation of some of these interventions. The Deputy Foreign Minister said.

She further applauded the Commonwealth Secretariat’s technical assistance and support through their Human Rights Unit during Sierra Leone’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

We remain committed as government to institute policies and reforms for the betterment of our people and country.

She informed the Secretary General, that Sierra Leone has made tremendous achievements since the last CHOGM held in 2018 especially in the areas of democracy and the rule of law.
“As you may be aware as a government, we took an audacious step to repealed the 55-year-old ` Criminal Libel Law` in 2020, a move that saw Sierra Leone ranked as one of the top five Countries in Africa, supporting and facilitating freedom of expression in the 2019/2020 Global Expression Report”. Government has also repealed the death penalty, amongst other progressive legislation that has been ratified by parliament all of which the deputy Minister notes are pointers to Government’s commitment democratic good governance.

She calls for more partnership between the Secretariat and the government of Sierra Leone for more tangible outcomes

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Delivers Opening Remarks at the C— 10 Ministerial Summit in Kampala, Uganda

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Sierra Leone, Prof. David J. Francis has today, 19th January, 2022 in Kampala, Uganda delivered opening remarks at the Senior Officials meeting of the Ninth Ministerial-Level Meeting of the African Union Committee of Ten ( C-10) Heads of State and Government at the Speke Resort, Munyonyo, Kampala. The meeting was co-chaired by Sierra Leone and Uganda.

In his remarks, the Minister extended President Bio’s fraternal greetings to His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Government and the people of the Republic of Uganda, thanking them for hosting the meeting; commending their invaluable and unyielding efforts in ensuring that the continent achieves its ultimate goal of United Nations Security Council Reform.

“Impressive progress has been made in terms of canvassing, promoting and speaking with one voice, but the reform agenda cannot be achieved overnight. Africans should remain committed in upholding African Common Position and maintaining its integrity; and there is a need to continue speaking with one voice about a clear roadmap for effectively advancing the Common African Position on the United Nations Security Council reform” the Minister said.

 

The Minister also commended President Bio for his role as the Chair and Coordinator of the C-10 and his consistency in demonstrating strong leadership and commitment in the pursuit of the C-10 mandate as well as in advancing the objectives of the African Common Position in the reform of the UN Security Council.

In attendance were the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Gen. Abubakar Jeje Odongo; Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner Designate to Uganda with residence in Kenya, Madam Isatu Aminata Bundu; Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, HE Alhaji Fanday Turay; Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, HE Adekunle Joliff Milton King; African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs Peace and Security, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye; and Permanent Representatives from the C-10 countries to New York.

Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to United Nations, HE Alhaji Fanday Turay gave a comprehensive overview of the intergovernmental negotiations in the UN system. He expressed profound gratitude to all C-10 members for the collective focus and commitment in advancing the Common African Position on the Reform of the UN Security Council as enshrined in Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration.

The Meeting concludes with the Ministerial segment on Thursday 20th January 2022.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Launched 5 key Governance Documents to Enhance Effective Service Delivery

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 8th January, 2022. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Professor David John Francis has today launched 5 key Governance documents that will guide the day-to-day operations of the Ministry and it’s 24 Foreign Missions abroad at the retreat organized for all Heads of Missions and Senior Management of the Ministry.

The 5 Key Governance documents include:
a: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Strategic Plan 2022- 2025

b: The guidelines Governing the appointment and functions of Honorary Consuls for Sierra Leone.

c: Administrative guide for Ambassadors, Heads of Chanceries, and other Foreign Service officers accredited abroad

d: The Foreign Service Handbook and

e: The Foreign Service Diplomatic List of staff

The Minister further gave a step-by-step explanation about the benefits of the various documents to the government and people of Sierra Leone. According to the Minister, the 5 Governance documents will provide the roadmap for an effective service delivery by both the Ministry and Foreign Missions abroad, promotes the core values of Diplomatic relations in terms of good representation, coordination, supervision, clarity of roles and responsibilities between the Heads of Missions and Heads of Chanceries and the promotion of National interest.

Professor Francis and his team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assured Heads of Missions on the monitoring and implementation of the contents of these documents, so as to ensure that their contents are fully implemented for the benefit of all.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Promoting Foreign Policy Engagement, Foreign Affairs Host Heads of Missions on A Two- Day Retreats.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has engaged Heads of Foreign Missions on a two-day Foreign Policy engagement retreat on strategic operational issues in order to strengthen Sierra Leone’s engagements and diplomatic representation both at national and international levels with the committed involvement and valuable contributions by all foreign Missions and to enhance quality of work relationship, teamwork and Mission effectiveness and efficiency in pursuing Sierra Leone’s Foreign Policy Objectives as enshrined in Chapter 10 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

According to Professor David John Francis, the retreat will address number of issues which includes; lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities between Heads of Missions and Heads of Chanceries; issues around disbursement and procurements; misunderstanding of the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the coordinating Ministry for all Overseas Missions; Reporting lines and many others.

 

‘‘The pursuance of Sierra Leone’s foreign policy objectives by all overseas Missions is the raison d’être for their existence. In this regard, all activities and engagements of Sierra Leone’s Missions should be in pursuance in fulfilling Sierra Leone’s Foreign Policy objectives. Therefore, message discipline, coordination and teamwork is important among all Heads of Missions.’’ He stated.

The retreat is also said to examine the application of some Government Regulations, Policies and Acts with regards to the procurement, financial management, audit report, Civil Service Code etc.

The Heads of Missions who are key players and front liners of promoting and protecting Sierra Leone’s national interest in line with the President Bio’s agenda for a competitive Sierra Leone that foster better relations with our neighbours and the rest of the world will have the opportunity to meet and interact with colleague on knowledge sharing on their mandates and to dialogue and reflect on the national development process in tandem with the aspirations and goals of the Government and to chat the way forward in advancing their outreache with a view to achieving the foreign policy of Sierra Leone.

The two days retreat which started today, 7th January 2022 will end tomorrow with a clear understanding of all the issues highlighted.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Malian Special Envoy H.E Abdoulaye DIOP Pays Courtesy Call on Professor Francis.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs And International Cooperation, Sierra Leone, 4th January, 2022. A delegation from Mali, led by the Foreign Minister, H.E Mr. Abdoulaye DIOP, Special Envoy of His Excellency Colonel Assimi GOITA, President of the transition of the Republic of Mali has paid courtesy call on Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Professor David John Francis as part of their engagement with Authorities in Sierra Leone in order to learn how President Bio as Military leader then, was able to peacefully do a transition from the Military rule to democratic and constitutional order.

H.E. Abdoulaye DIOP in his address thanked President Bio for honouring their request to learn from his personal experience and journey as a former soldier and President that has served as both a military Head of state and now a democratic and civilian President. He said they were here to seek guidance from a Country they admired so much.

 

“Our Country Mali is going through both security and economic crisis and we want to change that narrative. We want you to know that elections alone cannot sove our problems. Until we address those issues that will prevent such crisis never to occur in Mali again”. He said.

Welcoming the delegation, Professor Francis said Sierra Leone was the right Country to visit for guidance and that President Bio has the expertise to offer such guidance being that he is the only President in West Africa who as Military leader and Head of state, conducted peaceful elections and handled over power to a Civilian Government.
He said President Julius Maada Bio will be willing to offer this expertise to what ever Country in order to support the ECOWAS region to promote peace.

“23 years ago, it was Sierra Leone running to Mali for support and today the Malian are here to seek our support. These are all bilateral gains for our Countries” He said.

He thanked the delegation for choosing Sierra Leone while wishing them a successful transition.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Sierra Leone Deepens Bilateral Ties With Turkey

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and international Cooperation, Professor David John Francis met with his counterpart, H.E Mevlut Cavsoglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey at the Margins of the 3rd Africa-Turkey Summit, Istanbul, Turkey.

The two Ministers spoke of mutual bilateral benefits for their respective countries including cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, Education and training, infrastructure and mines.

On Sierra Leone’s seat for the non-permanent category in the the UN security council for 2024-2025, the Turkish Foreign Minister, H.E mevlut Cavusoglu, indicated that his Government may consider to support Sierra Leone’s seat bid for the UN security council.

A quick win for Sierra Leone was that the Government of Turkey made a commitment to provide 15 scholarships to Sierra Leone annually for undergraduates/post graduate and PHD in various fields with a possibility to increase Sierra Leone’s Scholarship quota.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Government engages Peace Building Commission, Share lessons learnt on youths and Gender Issues

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs And International Cooperation, Tower Hills, Freetown, 9th December, 2021. Following the successful exit of Sierra Leone from the PBC configuration in 2020, the Government has engaged with the Peace Building Commission to share their lessons learnt in peacebuilding, with a particular focus on youth.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, in her statement said the Government of Sierra Leone’s exit strategy emphasized aspiration towards peacebuilding that was situated within the broader framework of the Country’s Medium Term National Development plan (2019-2023), which is aligned with United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development and the African Union’s 2063 Development Agenda.

She said despite Sierra Leone’s exit from PBC, the Country remains with the Commission through out it post-conflict transition phase.
” we have continued to consolidate our hard-earned peace within the identified roadmap priorities focusing mainly on National Cohesion, Human Capital Development, Economic Diversification, Institutional Resilience and Governance and COVID-19 Response and Recovery efforts”. She stated.

 

She thanked the PBC for the current funding portfolio of the Secretary General’s peacebuilding fund to the tune of US$ 7.66 Million , which focuses mainly on the areas of inclusive land Governance and land related conflict management and youth empowerment, including community conflict management and support for young people at risk of recruitment into gang related violence.

Other speakers at the meeting were the Minister of youth Mr. Mohamed Bangura, the Minister of Development and Economic planning Mr. Kaikai and a representative of the 50-50 women’s empowerment group.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Foreign Affairs Secures Ratification for 4 Agreements Between Sierra Leone and Turkey

House of Parliament, Tower Hills, 9th December, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and international cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, has today secured Parliamentary ratification for four bilateral agreements between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of the Republic of Turkey.

The agreements on trade and economic cooperation signed on October, 2012, agreement on the elimination of double taxation with respect to taxes on income and the prevention of tax evasion and avoidance, protocol on cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation and protocol of cooperation on Higher Education scholarships between the Ministry of Higher education of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related communities of the Republic of Turkey were all ratified by by the house of parliament.

These agreements, when implemented will help creating jobs, generate income for people, give consumers and businesses access to a wider range of high- quality products, strengthen institutional academic and administrative capacity, Improved quality of educational provision, Increased diversity of educational programmes and Increased efficiency of higher education systems achieved through economies of scale and scope resulting from transnational cooperation.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Foreign Minister Hosts H.E Yang Jiechi, Deepens Bilateral Relationship with China.

Freetown, Tower Hills, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs And International Cooperation, 6th November,2021. Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Professor David John Francis has today hosted His Excellency Yang Jiechi, Member of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee and Special Representative of H.E President Xi Jinping of the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on bilateral engagement in promoting common interests.

H.E Yang Jiechi commended President Julius Maada Bio’s efforts in promoting private sector developments, in the face of Coronavirus disease, adding that the two countries would fight the disease together in solidarity to achieve economic recovery.Professor Francis, in his comprehensive but concise statement welcomed H.E. Yang Jiechi and his delegation on behalf of the President, His Excellency Rtd. Brig Julius Maada Bio. He thanked President H.E Xi Jinping and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the continuous support to bilateral relations with Sierra Leone. He said both Countries will continue to work together in win-win situation to promote and safeguard their common interests.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Foreign Affairs holds a day retreat on the development of the soft infrastructure of the Foreign Service Academy

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, 2nd December,2021. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has today holds a day retreat on the development of the soft infrastructure of the Foreign Service Academy in order to ensure a buy-in (ownership) of specific key stakeholders across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as other relevant educational and professional institutions and faculties.

According to the architectural plan, the complex presumably ranks among the very few purpose-built physical infrastructures in Africa. When completed the four-story building will offer Four (4) 30-seater Classrooms, a 100-pax capacity Library, two large100- and 200-pax Conference Rooms, five (5) Rooms for office accommodation, a 30-seater Computer Room, Offices for-the-Director and Deputy Director of the Academy, Archive, Waiting Room, Lounge, 6 Rooms (Offices spaces), 6 Standard Guest Rooms and 2 VIP Guest Rooms with Common Room for research plus restroom facilities on all floors.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis said the retreat will provide the opportunity to make further inputs into the plan, particularly the operational organogram, governance structure of the Academy, the curricúlum, business model and the annual budgetary Implication. He said the preparation was to enable the academy to start operations just after the completion of the construction work in September, 2022.

He encouraged every participant to be bold and contribute to the success of the first foreign Service academy in the Mano River Union.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Foreign Minister Receives Copies of Letters of Credentials from H.E. Jeroen Verheul, And 2 Others.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, 2nd December, 2021. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has received copies of letters of credentials from three Ambassadors designates from Netherland, Norway and Austria.

The copies of credentials were presented by H.E Jeroen Verheul, Ambassador designates of the Kingdom of the Netherlands based in Accra, H.E Mrs. Ingrid Mollestad, Ambassador designates of the Kingdom of Norway based in Accra and H.E Dr. Gerlinde Paschinger, Ambassador designates of Austria all residents in Dakar.

 

The Ambassadors designate commended the Government on what they referred to as proactive Governance and efficient policy reforms that has added more value to the Country’s democracy. The establishment of the Peace and National Cohesion Commission, the abolishment of the death penalty, the amended Public Order Act 1965, which repeals the 55-year-old seditious libel section that criminalized free speech, were among the gains highlighted. 

 

On behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, Professor David Francis welcomed the Ambassadors designate as he formally received copies of their credentials. He reiterated the Government of Sierra Leone’s commitment towards strengthening the longstanding relationships of mutual supports that exists among the various Countries with Sierra Leone. He highlighted series of issues they will be engaging on after their official presentation of Credentials to His Excellency President Maada Bio on Friday 3rd December, 2021. Key among those issues geared towards Security Council reforms, Sierra Leone’s bid for the UN Security Council in the non-permanent category for the term 2024-2025, gender equality and empowerment, SDGs implementation, Education, Agriculture and post-COVID-19 recovery.

Professor Francis assured them of a peaceful stay as they await their official presentation of credentials to His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Meets With Delegation From Organization of Military Sports In Africa

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 29th, November, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Madam Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara has met with delegation from Organization of Military Sports in Africa who are on a planning visit for their next general assembly which will be hosted in Sierra Leone by 2022.

 

According to the head of delegation, Brigadier General Maikano Abdullahi, the courtesy call on the Deputy Minister was to engage and crave on the Ministry’s indulgence to help facilitate the invitation of their delegates for their next general assembly.

The organization also presented a proposal for His Excellency the President, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio to donate a trophy in one of the sports disciplines which will be named after him for the 2022 military sport which will involve the 51 member Countries of the organization.

 

The Deputy Minister in her succinct statement, welcomed the delegation and expressed her delight over the military organizing itself to internationally compete in sports.

” Sierra Leone is a sport loving nation, and our President is a fan of sports. This is important in view of the need for members of the armed forces to unite in the spirit of camaraderie and goodwill” she stated.

She assured the organization of Government’s fullest support and the Ministry’s willingness to provide whatever positive support that will enhance the general assembly become successful event.

 For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

On the Margins of FoCAC, China reaffirms Support for Sierra Leone

 

The minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis has met with his Chinese Counterpart, His Excellency, Wang Yi in the margins of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the forum on China -Africa Cooperation (FoCAC) in Dakar, Senegal.

In their bilateral discussion, Professor Francis highlighted the special relationship that existed between China and Sierra Leone for 50 years effective 1971. He said Sierra Leone has constantly supported China in all Global forums including the United Nations. Professor Francis asked for China support for Sierra Leone’s seat bid in the United Nations Security Council at the Non-Permanent Category for 2024-2025.

He ended by presenting the infrastructural plans for the Lungi bridge which will link freetown and Lungi and the construction of a smart city in Lungi to his counterpart for China’s consideration and support.

information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Reiterates ECOWAS Common Position on The Political Situation In Guinea

Farmington Hotel, Roberts International Airport, Margibi County, Republic of Liberia, 22nd November, 2021. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Professor David John Francis delivered a statement at the opening Ceremony of a two-day Conference on the Mano River Union Diplomatic, peace, security and Democracy in Monrovia, Liberia.

In his statement, Professor Francis reiterated the ECOWAS common position and commitment to support the Republic of Guinea in restoring constitutional order and return to Civilian Democratic rule within the timeframe set by ECOWAS. He called on the MRU to actively support the ECOWAS agenda and transitional roadmap on the Republic of Guinea and to engage the ECOWAS mediator in the person of Dr. Ibn Chambers and the ECOWAS Chair of council of Ministers as part of the collective effort to restore constitutional authority in Guinea.

In support of the above, Professor Francis presented Sierr Leone as the only Country in Africa and the world today that has a setting Democratically elected President in the person of President Julius Maada Bio who in 1996, as Military Head of State, Organized democratic elections under International Community’s supervision, restore constitutional rule and mediate the exit of the Military from Civilian Democratic politics.

He stated that Sierra Leone stands ready to make this expertise available to support the work of the ECOWAS mediators in Guinea and Mali as well as the African Union mediators in Sudan.

The Conference brings together Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Chief of staff, the special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa, Senior representatives and observers from the AU and ECOWAS.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Lays to Parliament 4 Agreements for Ratification

House of Parliament, Tower Hills, 16th November, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and international cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, has presented to parliament four bilateral agreements and Memoranda of understanding between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of the Republic of Turkey.

 

The agreements which were presented to Parliament consists; an agreement on trade and economic cooperation signed on October, 2012, agreement on the elimination of double taxation with respect to taxes on income and the prevention of tax evasion and avoidance, protocol on cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation and protocol of cooperation on Higher Education scholarships between the Ministry of Higher education of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related communities of the Republic of Turkey demonstrates the cordial bilateral relations between the two Countries.

 

These agreements, when ratify by parliament will help creating jobs, generate income for people, give consumers and businesses access to a wider range of high- quality products, strengthen institutional academic and administrative capacity, Improved quality of educational provision, Increased diversity of educational programmes and Increased efficiency of higher education systems achieved through economies of scale and scope resulting from transnational cooperation.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Foreign Minister Launched the popularization of the National Reporting Mechanism to International Treaty Bodies

Golden Tulip, Kimbima, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 15th November, 2021 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has today launched the populirisation of the First ever National Reporting Mechanism to International Treaty Bodies organized in collaboration with UNDP to assist Government meet its treaty reporting obligations.

 

 

The Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Prince E. O Cole in his welcoming address said, Sierra Leone being a signatory to many International human rights treaties such as the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the Convention on the right of the Child, the Convention of all forms of racial discrimination, among others, made it obligational to us as a nation to periodically submit our reports to treaty bodies to ascertain the level of compliance under such treaties.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis in his keynotes address registered his profound appreciation on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone to the directorate of Legal Affairs and ECOTEC in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who worked hard to produce the National Reporting Mechanism to International treaty Bodies, which he said will enable Sierra Leone to clear all backlogs on reporting, but to also ensure that Sierra Leone will no longer default on such reporting obligations as reliable partners on the international stage with a clear understanding of our foreign policy objectives as stated in section 10, with specific reference to paragraph (d) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, Act No.6 of 1991.

 

“Sierra Leone cannot project its International visibility as a credible and respectable member of the international community if we do not fulfill our international obligations ” He stated.

Professor Francis said Sierra Leone being a credible, respectable and rebranded nation is poised to become the envy of all with standard practice that can be emulated by all as we take the Country back to the glory days, when the rest of the sub-region would look up to our Country for the best in almost everything.

“The key reporting obligation of Sierra Leone is the universal periodic review that takes the form of a 4 year reporting cycle on the state of human rights in the Country. This he said was the 4th reporting cycle under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the key aim according to him was to guide and strengthen the reporting functions of the state to international treaty bodies.

 

He pledged the Commitment of the Government to fully support the implementation of the Mechanism. In attendance was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, development partners, stakeholders and staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Parliament Ratifies The Sierra Leone-Russia Visa Free Agreement.

 

The Sierra Leone House of Parliament has today 9th November, 2021, unanimously ratified an agreement tabled before it by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis on 21st October, 2021, between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of the Russian Federation on Visa-free travels for holders of Diplomatic and service passports.

While presenting the agreement to Parliament for the second time, Professor Francis said the agreement will pave ways for the establishment of the Russian Embassy in Sierra Leone, thereby ending the risk of traveling to Guinea for Russina Visas which has been a waste of time and resources to Sierra Leoneans. The Minister was optimistic that the agreement will bring more business and educational opportunities for Sierra Leone.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Minister and his Counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, during the one day state visit to Moscow in order strengthen the already existing relationship both Countries have enjoyed over the years.

 

With the agreement now ratified by Parliament, this will not only provide practical benefits, but also help in creating a sense of acceptance and inclusion, maintaining a high level of bilateral support, offers access to knowledge, exchange of experiences and directly shapes Cooperation between both Countries

 

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT AGENCY

 

 

 

 

GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT AGENCY

6th November 2021

In the late hours of Friday 5th November 2021, a fire incident was reported to the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) at Wellington PMD Junction involving a loaded fuel tanker and a truck carrying granite stones that led to the loss of lives and properties.

Initial findings revealed that both vehicles collided on the highway while the fuel tanker was about entering into a nearby filling station to discharge its fuel.

Footages and eyewitnesses intimated that while the collision took place, both drivers came out of their vehicles and warned community residents to stay off the scene while trying to address a leakage emanating from the collision.

In the interim, some community members rushed to the scene and took advantage of the leakage to scoop fuel and store it in nearby makeshift structures. In the cause of scooping the fuel, there was a major explosion that resulted in the fire disaster that occurred.

The NDMA immediately visited the scene and coordinated emergency response with partners. Ambulances were assembled to take corpses and those in critical situations to various hospitals in Freetown.

Data provided so far indicates that a total of 98 deaths have been recorded and 92 victims are currently admitted at various hospitals within Freetown. Of the total hospitalized victims suffering from varying degrees of burning, there are 48 at Connaught Hospital, 20 at 34 Military Hospital, 18 at Emergency Hospital and 6 at Choithram Hospital.

The Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has ensured that adequate Doctors and Nurses are fully on duty since last night. Also, sufficient medical supply has been provided to the victims in the various hospitals.

The NDMA held an initial coordination meeting with relevant partners at the All 4 One Orphanage centre at Wellington and agreed to activate a level 2 national response based on the enormity of the disaster. A Protection Desk has also been activated at the Ministry of Social Welfare to provide Mental Health and Psychosocial support for affected victims.

On behalf of the government, the Vice President, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh visited the various hospitals to ensure the provision of effective medical service to the victims. Today, 6th November 2021, the Vice President also visited the epicentre of the disaster in sympathy with families and members of the public affected by the inferno. He assured them of Government’s full support in responding to this crisis.

NDMA and partners have established an Incident Command Center (ICC) at the disaster scene to ensure effective coordination and ensured the activation of the National Situation Room (NSR) at its headquarters, Aberdeen, Freetown. This will be followed by a comprehensive assessment to ascertain the full extent of the damage left by the disaster and tracing of lost family members.

The public is encouraged to call the undermentioned numbers to relay or receive information on family members affected: NDMA Africell toll-free line 1199, Directorate of Communications, NDMA +23278388946, Col. Doc. Silvarlie at 34 Military Hospital +23280290824, Harold Thomas, Ministry of Health and Sanitation +23276602460, Connaught Hospital, Foday Musa, +23279974878 and Ministry of Social Welfare, Gbangay Kanu +23276575280.

The Government of Sierra Leone through the National Disaster Management Agency is hereby expressing its deepest condolences to the bereaved families and is assuring the public of its continued support towards alleviating the suffering of the affected population. The public will be duly updated on emerging issues relating to this unfortunate disaster.

For More Enquiries:
Directorate of Communications National Disaster Management Agency Contact: +23278388946
Email: mohamedlbah@ndma.gov.sl

At COP26 World Leaders Summit, President Bio Makes A Strong Case For Sierra Leone.

 

His Excellency President Brig. Julius Maada Bio is among the 120 World leaders in Glasgow for COP26. During the official opening courtesies, President Bio met a number of world leaders including the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, European Commission President, Madam Ursula Von Der Leyen and a host of Presidents from the African Continent.

 

Preside Julius Maada Bio made a strong case for Sierra Leone at COP26 world leaders summit on United Nations Climate Change and the opportunities for Sierra Leone to access climate finance for climate adaptation and resilience.

Sierra Leone is one of the 3 Countries on the Continent of Africa accorded the honor to construct a pavilion at the COP26 village in Glasgow, Scotland.

Deputy Minister Of Foreign Affairs Meets with EU Elections Observer Mission

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 28th October, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara has met with the European Union Elections Observer delegation who are in Sierra Leone to follow- up on the gains made in the implementation of the EU recommendations after the 2018 General Elections.

The team was welcomed by the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Prince E.O Cole, who commended the delegation for their commitment in promoting peace and security in the region.

Presenting the delegation to the Minister, The EU Ambassador, H.E Manuel Mueller thanked the Government for the strides made in promoting human rights and peace.
The head of the delegation, Norbert Nevser, a member of the European Parliament said they were in Sierra Leone in order to engage the Government and the opposition parties on how the recommendations made after the 2018 General Elections have been implemented so far for building a better electoral system. He said the team has already engaged some state institutions, including the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), and leaders of different political parties in order to see a continuous reform in electoral system in areas of inclusiveness and transparency so that every Sierra Leonean will have confidence in the electoral process. He commended the Government for maintaining peace and promoting national Cohesion.

The Deputy Minister in her remarks thanked the delegation for the professionalism exhibited during the 2018 General elections. She assured the delegation of the Government’s Commitment in implementing the recommendations made in 2018. This she said has been demonstrated by the abolition of the seditious libel law and the death penalty from our constitution. She thanked the European Union for it support to Sierra Leone in areas of Agriculture, Education, peace and security.

The Deputy Minister reaffirmed Government’s willingness to implement and follow all recommendations made in the 2018 general elections as a means of upholding the EU share values.

Deputy Minister meets AU Special Envoy for Women, peace and Security

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown 26th October, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara has met with Delegation from African Union special envoy for women, peace and security who are on a familiarization tour in commemoration of the 21st anniversary of the United Nations resolution 1325 which is the first UN resolution on women.

Welcoming the delegation, the Deputy Director General for Policy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Sullay-Manah Kpukumu said the Ministry was honoured to engaged with the delegation on what he referred to as a Diplomatic engagement in order to discuss and suggest ways on improving women participation in assuming leadership in our society. He said it was reflecting that the delegation had already engaged with other MDA’s. He assured them of a fruitful stay as they meet with more stakeholders during their visit.

The head of delegation, Amb. Catherine Mogaka, Said Sierra Leone being a member of the Charter of African women’s Network was among the two Countries selected for their fact finding and familiarization tour due to the Country’s commitment in formulating and implementing policies on gender equality and women’s empowerment. She commended Sierra Leone for been part of the 35 member states that have worked towards achieving the resolution 1325.

The Deputy Minister, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara in her succinct statement expressed her appreciation to the delegation for the visit while welcoming them to both the Ministry and Sierra Leone respectively. She said the Government of His. Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has done so much in the empowerment of women and gender equality issues. Referring to President Bio as a “He for She” President, Minister Mamadi Gobeh mentioned the appointment of certain women into key positions.
” The appointment of a woman as Deputy Inspector General of Police, the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the gender and social welfare Ministries and the recruitment of 300 female into the security sector, including the appointment of women as Ambassadors, Deputy Ambassadors and Deputy Ministers, shows how committed President Bio is in the empowerment of women.” She stated.

 

The Deputy Minister also mentioned the formulation of the gender policy acts, the sexual offenses court, and the remarkable effort by the First Lady in the “Hands off our Girls” campaign as benchmarks to show that Sierra Leone is making progress in promoting gender equality and women empowerment.

She thanked the team for their visit while assuring them of the Government’s fullest support on issues dealing with gender and women’s empowerment.

Foreign Affairs Minister Attends AU-EU Ministerial Meeting In Kigali, Rwanda

 

Kigali, Rwanda, 26th October, 2021. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Profession David John Francis is representing Sierra Leone at the 2nd AU -EU Ministerial Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. The meeting aims at promoting partnership for peace, security, Strengthening Governance, migration and mobility, as well as resilient and inclusive development focusing on investing in People.

On the margins of the AU-EU Foreign Ministers Meeting, Professor Francis will hold series of bilateral Meetings with his colleague foreign Ministers. Professor Francis and the Foreign Minister of Rwanda H.E Vincent Biruta had fruitful meeting where they discussed issues relating to strengthening Bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, Agriculture and the mining sector.

 

Professor Francis also signed an MOU with his Counterpart H.E Peter Szijjrato of Hungary on behalf of the Minister of Technical and Higher Education for 50 Scholarships annually for a period of 5 years from the Government of Hungary. The 50 scholarships for qualified Sierra Leoneans will be for BA/BSc, MA/MSC and PHD at universities in Hungary, starting September, 2022.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Lays the Russian -Sierra Leone Visa-Free Agreement In Parliament.

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis has today, 21st October, 2021, presented to Parliament an agreement between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of the Russian Federation on Visa-free travels for holders of Diplomatic and service passports.

The Memorandum of Understanding which was signed by the Minister and his Counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, during the one day state visit to Moscow will strengthen the already existing relationship both Countries have enjoyed over the years.

When approved by Parliament, the agreement will not only provide practical benefits, but also help in creating a sense of acceptance and inclusion, maintaining a high level of bilateral support, offers access to knowledge, exchange of experiences and directly shapes Cooperation in all segments.

Sierra Leone Emerges As Sole Candidate For West Africa For Un Security Council Seat Bid – 2024-2025

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis represented Sierra Leone at the 39th AU Executive Council Meeting organized by the African Union and held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from the 14th to the 17th October, 2021. Professor David Francis updated his colleague Foreign Ministers of the African Union that Sierra Leone’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat bid in the Non-Permanent Category for 2024-2025 was in principle, endorsed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Council of Ministers & Summit of Heads of States in Accra, Ghana in June 2021. Professor Francis also used the platform at the 39th Executive Council Meeting to formally present Sierra Leone’s UNSC seat bid in the Non-Permanent Category for 2024-2025 consideration and endorsement by the African Union.  As a show of solidarity and reciprocity, the Federal Republic of Nigeria withdrew its Candidature in favour of the Republic of Sierra Leone. In 2010, Sierra Leone also withdrew its candidature in favour of Nigeria. The Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone thanked Nigeria for their show of support for common solidarity to promote smaller states on the world stage. He profoundly thanked His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Foreign Minister of Nigeria for their magnanimity. 

In another engagement, the Minister of Foreign and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis has represented His Excellency President Bio at the 3rd mid-year Coordination Meeting of the African Union Heads of States and Governments. The Meeting focused on the status of Regional Integration in Africa; Division of Labour between the Member States, African Union Commission and the Regional Economic Communities; Covid-19 Pandemic in Africa and Provisional Appointment of the Chief Executive Office of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).    

Sierra Leone And Germany signs and exchange official notes on Technical Cooperation On The GIZ Program.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 21st September, 2021. The Government of Sierra Leone and the German Government have officially signed and exchanged notes on technical cooperation on the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) program. The GIZ is an international enterprise owned by the German Federal Government, operating in many fields across more than 130 Countries.

According to the Minister of Education, Prof. Alpha T Wurie, the project will cover four districts, which includes: Koinadugu, Kono, Kailahun and Bonthe. He said the program involves Entrepreneur skills that deals with technical, Vocational education and training. Prof. Wurie said the cooperation will focus on health care services, Agriculture, education and Youth employment. He thanked the German Ambassador for his leadership.                                                    

The German Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Amb. Horst Gruner, said the Government of Germany was determined to strengthen the Long-standing, diverse and friendly relations between Sierra Leone and Germany. He said the project will cost about 15.7 million euros. This he said will cater for the different sectors highlighted in the agreement. He thanked the Government of Sierra Leone for the good diplomatic relationship.                                                                                                              
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara in her remarks expressed her appreciation on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone to Government of the Republic of Germany for their Continues support to ensuring sixty years of excellent bilateral relationship between the two Countries. She said the two Countries have coordinated many mutually beneficial projects and programs. The honourable Deputy Minister Commended the invaluable German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) for their tremendous efforts over the years in supporting adult education, private sector development, youth empowerment, support to Government and economic growth and the organization of the financial sector.

“Today’s ceremony is an outcome of the signed technical cooperation agreement of the 13th September 1963, and amended on the 12th May 1974. The terms of this cooperation entail two important projects, the health system strengthening and Youth employment.’’ She stated

The Deputy Minister reassured the German Ambassador of the Government of Sierra Leone’s willingness to implement the two projects in the Ministry of Health and Ministry of planning and Economic Development.

She said the signing of the agreement was a true commitment that both Countries were ready for excellent bilateral cooperation. In conclusion, the Deputy Minister expressed appreciation to the German Government for it continuous support to Sierra Leone.

Deputy Minister Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara Meets Africa Union Border Support Team

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 20th September, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara has met with a delegation from the Africa Union Border Support Team who are on an independent assessment of the Yenga Border dispute between Sierra Leone and Guinea. A situation that has existed for over two decades.

The leader of the delegation and focal person, Mr. Grant Herbert expressed his appreciation to the Government of Sierra Leone for extending to the AU a request for an amicable resolution of the Yenga issue between their country and neighboring Guinea. This he said was the African way to go.

“African problems must be resolve in Africa and by Africans’’. He stated.
He assured the Government of Sierra Leone of an independent, credible and comprehensive report on the Yenga issue after their findings.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Honorable Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara welcomed the delegation from the Africa Union to the Ministry on behalf of His Excellency the President of Sierra Leone, Rtd Brig. Julius Maada Bio, and also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor David John Francis, who she said was away on an official assignment. She continued by conveying Government appreciation to the Africa Union for all they have done and continue to do to make Africa a continent everyone aspires to be part of.

 

The Deputy Minister said Sierra Leone and Guinea share long history of bilateral relations, but that many footless efforts has been made in order to peacefully resolve the Yeaga issue. She reaffirmed Government’s believe in a peaceful coexistent, while assuring the delegation of Yenga being Sierra Leone’s territory.

“We are hoping as a Country and Government that the reports of your findings after this visit will give recommendations on how we can progress on a win – win outcome”. She concluded.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pays Courtesy Call on the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs In Kenya

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara and delegation have visited the Kenyan capital Nairobi, for a study tour of their Foreign Service Academy. Part of her engagements included a courtesy call on the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, Ambassador Raychelle Awuor Omamo at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
She was accompanied by Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Madam Isatu Aminata Bundu and Deputy Director-General for Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Intl Cooperation, Mr. Sulay Manah Kpukumu.

During their discussion, Madam Gobeh Kamara expressed thanks and appreciation to Cabinet Secretary Omamo for the exceptional hospitality given to her delegation since their arrival in Kenya and conveyed fraternal greetings from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Professor David Francis.

Madam Gobeh Kamara also recalled the remarkable role played by the Kenyan forces during the civil war in Sierra Leone which ended in 2002. She referred to the close historical ties between the two nations from their membership in the Commonwealth to the shared responsibility as African Union (AU) Committee of Ten (C-10) Member States for the Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). She further highlighted the bond and mutual respect between their presidents which was climaxed by the warm hospitality extended by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta to His Excellency President Maada Bio during the latter’s private visit to Kenya in 2019. Other areas of collaboration by the two sister countries which Madam Gobeh Kamara alluded to include the recent successful Global Partnership for Education Summit in the United Kingdom, membership of the C-10 on the Reform of the UNSC and conveyed gratitude to the Republic of Kenya for the donation of twenty thousand tablets and power banks to facilitate the conduction of the Mid- Term Population and Housing Census in Sierra Leone.

Furthermore, Madam Gobeh Kamara assured the Cabinet Secretary of Sierra Leone’s unflinching commitment to improving and maintaining the bilateral ties between Sierra Leone and the Republic of Kenya,
“Let me reaffirm Sierra Leone’s commitment to deepening the bilateral relations between the two countries which the two have happily enjoyed over the years at various levels and it is our fervent hope that Kenya and Sierra Leone continue to progress and consolidate these ties’’.

Continuing, Madam Gobeh Kamara said, ‘’it is against this backdrop that His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio upgraded our diplomatic presence in this hub of East Africa from Consular level to High Commission. We look forward to the signing of the Joint Commission for Cooperation to enhance and bolster progress in many fields including the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between our two Ministries of Defence.”

Seeking the Republic of Kenya’s support, the Deputy Minister informed the Cabinet Secretary of Sierra Leone’s bid for a Non-Permanent Seat at the UN Security Council for the term 2024-2025.

Commenting on pending issues, Madam Gobeh Kamara stated the intention of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio official visit to Kenya on the invitation of President Kenyatta. She noted that plans for this visit had been instituted , but the Covid-19 pandemic put a stall on those plans. However President Bio will honour his friend and brother’s invite and the date and necessary action will be communicated to the Kenyan Government in due course.

In conclusion, the Deputy Minister expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya for facilitating the study tour of the Foreign Service Academy of the Republic of Kenya within a short time.

In her response, Madam Raychelle Omamo welcomed the Deputy Minister and delegation reiterating the historical relationship in the area of peacekeeping in Sierra Leone noting that she was actively involved in those efforts during her role as Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Defence. She assured the Deputy Minister of Kenya’s unwavering commitment in respecting and strongly maintaining the bilateral ties between Sierra Leone and Kenya. She further maintained that Kenya will forever be on hand to positively respond to both the current and emerging issues between the two countries, adding that Sierra Leone should always count on Kenya’s endorsement on any support needed.

In consideration of His Excellency President Bio’s desire to replicate the wildlife sanctuary of Kenya in Sierra Leone as a way of boosting the tourism sector, Madam Gobeh Kamara used the opportunity to visit Nairobi National Park, which according to the Cabinet Secretary has contributed immensely to boost the economy of Kenya. The Nairobi National Park is the first established wildlife service in Kenya and in East Africa.Its vegetation is mainly savannah, with open grass plains and scattered acacia bush. It is one of the protected animal sanctuaries close to the capital city. The park comprises a large variety of animals such as lions, leopard, Cheetah, black rhinos, cape buffaloes, hippos, giraffes, zebra, antelopes, baboons and over 400 bird species. It is one of the tourist attractions in Kenya

The Deputy Minister assured that the High Commission is actively liaising with the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife of Kenya and Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs of Sierra Leone for an impending feasibility study and assessment in Sierra Leone and close collaboration between the two nations on the wildlife conservation.

In another engagement, Madam Gobeh Kamara and delegation also paid a courtesy call on the Under Secretary General and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Madam Zainab Hawa Bangura at her office in Nairobi following a visit to and meeting with the Sierra Leone High Commission staff at the chancery.

 

Professor Francis Receives Copies of Letters of Credentials from H.E. Manuel Mueller And 4 Others.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, 6th September, 2021. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has received copies of letters of credentials from Ambassadors and High Commissioners designate from five different Countries to Sierra Leone.

 

The copies of credentials were presented by H.E Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, High Commissioner designate of Rwanda to Sierra Leone, H.E. Claire Buckley, Ambassador designate of Ireland to the Republic of Sierra Leone, H.E KIM, Young Chae, Ambassador designate from the Republic of Korea, H.E. Lisa Jane Chesney, High Commissioner designate of Her Majesty’s Government and H.E. Manuel Mueller, Ambassador designate of European Union to Sierra Leone.

The Ambassadors and High Commissioners designate commended the Government on what they referred to as proactive Governance and efficient policy reforms that has added more value to the Country’s democracy. The establishment of the Peace and National Cohesion Commission, the abolishment of the death penalty, the amended Public Order Act 1965, which repeals the 55-year-old seditious libel section that criminalized free speech, were among the gains highlighted.

 

On behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, Professor David Francis welcomed the Ambassadors and High commissioners as he formally received copies of their credentials. He reiterated the Government of Sierra Leone’s commitment towards strengthening the longstanding relationships of mutual supports that exists among the various Countries with Sierra Leone. He highlighted series of issues they will be engaging on after their official presentation of Credentials to His Excellency President Maada Bio on Tuesday, 7th September, 2021. Key among those issues geared towards Security Council reforms, Sierra Leone’s Bid for the UN Security Council in the non-permanent category for the term 2024-2025, gender equality and empowerment, SDGs implementation, Education, Agriculture and post-COVID-19 recovery.

Professor Francis assured them of a peaceful stay as they await their official presentation of credentials to His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.

Membui Emmanuel
Manager, Strategic Communications.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

 

ECOWAS Mission On Energy Pays Curtesy Call On Deputy Minister Of Foreign Affairs.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, OAU Drive,Tower Hill, Freetown, 24th August, 2021. A delegation of ECOWAS mission on energy led by the Commissioner of Energy and Mines of the ECOWAS Commission, Sédiko Douka, have paid courtesy call on the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara at her Tower Hill Office in Freetown.

Commissioner Sédiko Douka in his address said they were in Sierra Leone to monitor and evaluate the successes and challenges of the implementation of the ECOWAS emergency Electric Power project. He said the sum of USD $21.8 million grant was provided in 2013 for the implementation of this project. This he went on, has not being achieved because there has been several challenges and bottlenecks that delayed the implementation of the project.
‘‘we are here to have discussions with relevant stakeholders to get clear understanding on these issues’’. He noted.

Commissioner of Finance, ECOWAS Commission, Madam Haja Halima Ahmed, in a brief remark said that, the project has seven components which includes, supply of parts of engines, supply of pre-paid meters, supply of transmission and distribution equipment, supply of lubricants, among others. She added that, the project should have been completed in 2014 but up till now there are still challenges in achieving that.

‘‘So, my team and I look forward to actionable steps towards the successful completion of the Project,’’ She noted. She said the team has met with the Minister of energy and his technical team and heldsuccessful discussions on how to address the issues.

In her response, The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara said energy remains a key priority in President Bio’s led Government, which is why concrete steps have been taken to address the narrative in the sector. She acknowledged ECOWAS support to the sector, particularly with the support of funds for the upgrade of the Transmission and Distribution Networks, as well as other aspects of the supply value change. She further acknowledged ECOWAS support to the west African power pool project, the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency policy through ECOWAS center for renewable energy and energy efficiency, securitization of the cross-border power trade which includes six ECOWAS Least Developed Countries, the development of the liquid power gas strategy, among others. She notes the concerns raised by the ECOWAS team regarding the delay in the implementation of the project and assured them that the necessary actions will be taken to address those concerns.

The Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Prince E.O Cole thanked the delegation for their support to Sierra Leone. He said the Ministry doors will always be open to their service in supporting them achieve their mission. He assured them of a wonderful stay in Sierra Leone during the course of their work.

Membui Emmanuel
Manager, Strategic Communications.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara Rates Government High.

Golden Tulip Hotel, Aberdeen, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 24th August, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and international Cooperation, Madam  Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, has hailed Sierra Leone Government high in what she referred to as progressive and deliberate address of critical cultural issues affecting women in a joint refresher capacity building workshop organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with Center for Human Rights, at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, on strengthening states’ compliance on reporting obligations under the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.

 

Speaking to the event, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara thanked the female wing of the center of Human Rights at the University of Pretoria in South Africa for partnering with her Ministry in hosting such a very important workshop that will create refinement in reporting procedures.  She said the current gains in the human rights aspiration was a clear indication of President Bio’s commitment and determination to promoting the rights of girls and women in Sierra Leone. Stating that, the Sierra Leone Mid- Term National Development Plan was enshrined in cluster 1.1.5 sub-cluster 1.5 on social protection and cluster 5 on Empowering women, Children, Adolescents and Persons with Disability. These policy objectives according to the Deputy Minister geared towards the promotion of the overall empowerment of women in political, social, economic and cultural spheres.

 

She said the Government of Sierra Leone has enacted what has been popularly labelled the three “Gender Liberation Acts” which includes: the Domestic violence Act 2007, the Registration of Customary Marriage and Divorce Act 2007 and the Devolution of Estate Act 2007. She stated some of the Government institutions held by women and the increasing number of female enrollments in both the Sierra Leone Police and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces.

 

The Deputy Minister concluded by welcoming the visiting team from South Africa, while thanking the Inter- Ministerial Committee, CSOs, Human Rights Officials and all others who in diverse ways supported the programme.

Membui Emmanuel

Manager, Strategic Communications.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Workshop on strengthening states’ compliance on reporting obligations under the protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa

Workshop on strengthening states’ compliance on reporting obligations under the protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, scheduled 24th-26th August 2021, at the Golden Tulip Hotel Freetown.

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Assures Chancellor of America International University of Government’s Support, As He Express Interest To Start Operations In Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis has on Monday 10th August, 2021 assured Chancellor Dinesh Shukla of America International University of Government’s support to the Private sector in promoting Sierra Leones’ Education. 
Welcoming Chancellor Shukla, Professor Francis thanked the Sierra Leone High Commissioner to The Gambia H.E Lucrecia Mariam Shereef for the good leadership. He said education is at the heart of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio and the New Direction Government’s agenda. He mentioned the Government’s Proactiveness in allocating 21% of the National Budget to education.  Stating that, millions of children in Sierra Leone have benefited from this progressive reform by President Bio.
The University according to Chancellor Dinesh Shukla will be model in line with the United States system of education where at a given point  of their studies, Students  in the medical sector particularly will be obliged to sit to some International US based examinations.  He revealed that they shall be offering a wide range of programmes such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing management and information technology among others. The mission of the University according to him is to provide curriculum that tailored to meeting the requirements of industries and train students to be academically, practically and professionally prepared to hit the ground running in the Medical industry.
He said the Board of Directors at the America International University have already approved the establishment of the University in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone is a priority for British Foreign Aid says Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis was part of President Bio’s delegation that attended the Global Summit on Education in July 2021. Co-hosted in the United Kingdom by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, the 2-day event attracted high profile government officials from across the African continent, private foundations, and development banks to raise funds that will ensure that millions of children in low-income country like Sierra Leone access education.
During engagements on the margins of the summit, President Bio held fruitful bilateral discussions with the UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on issues bothering on development assistance, Post Brexit Trade deals and strengthening the bilateral relations that exist between the two countries. 
After making a passionate case for Sierra Leone, the British government according to UK’s Foreign Secretary Raab has considered Sierra Leone as a priority country and will not be affected by the 80% ODA cuts. 
It could be noted that the Covid 19 outbreak forced Developed Nations including the United Kingdom Government to drastically cut its Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget by 80% for low-income countries.
The Official Development Assistance (ODA) is UK taxpayers’ money that supports aid and development in low- to middle-income countries like Sierra Leone.  
Most ODA’s are grants given to promote sustainable social and economic development and welfare of citizens in developing countries. 
Sierra Leone has been a beneficiary of the ODA support from the UK government; this according to Professor Francis has contributed immensely to building strong institutions in Sierra Leone as well as cement the cordial and friendly relationship between the UK and Sierra Leone.
The United Kingdom is Sierra Leone’s largest bilateral donor therefore this move to consider Sierra Leone as a priority country for development assistance is a welcome news and as a country, we will continue to partner with them to ensure win-win outcomes of the development aspirations of our two nations, Prof Francis noted.
On the issue of the Brexit Trade deal, Professor Francis said  that he will have further  discussions with the UK Foreign Secretary, the UK’s International Trade Secretary and Africa Minister on Post Brexit Trade to deepen the conversation and negotiate more advantageous trade deals with Britain.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis speaks on the benefits of Sierra Leone’s participation at the Global Education Summit in London.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis speaks on the benefits of Sierra Leone’s participation at the Global Education Summit in London.

https://www.facebook.com/100026580072642/posts/875977693298225/?sfnsn=mo

China-Sierra Leone 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations, Professor Francis Commends Chinese Government

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone have jointly organized China- Sierra Leone 50th anniversary of Diplomatic relationship to promote more bilateral ties.
The celebration which was co-chaired by the Director General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Prince E.O Cole was to deepen the Diplomatic relationship between the two Countries which have existed since 1971.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation Hon. Professor David John Francis congratulated the Government of the People’s   Republic of China for the immense contributions towards the China-Sierra Leone Diplomatic Relationship in areas of Development for national interest and core values. He said the work of China is evident at  every sector in Sierra Leone, ranging from Infrastructure, Agriculture, mines, Health and Education. The Minister also commended the Chinese Government for the offer and ongoing construction of the Foreign Service Academy. He said the Ministry was at an advance stage in working on the soft infrastructure that will match with international standards of foreign service. 
The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E Hu Zhangliang thanked the Minister for outlining China’s good work and efforts to Sierra Leone.  Ambassador Hu Zhangliang said China’s Policy towards Africa is ‘‘Transparency and Mutual Benefits’’. He encouraged the Sierra Leone Government to promote more of foreign investment as this according to him will help boost the Country’s’ Economy.

Courtesy call on the Honorable Minister by the Special Representative of UNOWAS

Courtesy call on the Honorable Minister by the Special Representative of UNOWAS

The Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr. Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh pays courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis. 

SIERRA LEONE AND GAMBIA TO ENTER INTO FRAMEWORK AGREEMENTS

The Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and that of the Government of the Republic of The Gambia are to enter into Frame Work of Cooperation Agreement for the Establishment of a joint Commission between the two countries. 
A team of Cabinet ministers from Sierra Leone headed by the Internal Affairs Minister, David Panda Noah over the weekend landed in Banjul The Gambia to sign the agreements. The principal objective of the agreement is to support each other’s development aspirations and promote socio economic and technical cooperation between the two countries.
These agreements are to strengthen ties of friendship and understanding between the two countries and to further promote and develop relations in the economic and technical fields.
The General framework of Cooperation Agreement will be guided by the principles of mutual respect for each others national sovereignty and independence. 
 
The Agreement shall encourage cooperation in  but not limited to the following areas; Economic,Trade  investment 
Financial services, information and intelligence sharing, Education, Health,Tourism and culture, infrastructure, security, Agriculture among others.
In his statement, the head of delegation from Sierra Leone Hon. David Panda Noah spoke about the relationship between the two countries which dated back to the colonial era. He said  the sisterly relationship between Sierra Leone and The Gambia was not just a product of two countries foreign relations or their Diplomatic ties, but one that is of importance and goes beyond just opening High Commissions in the two countries. 
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Mamadi Gobeh Kamara said the similarity between The Gambia and Sierra Leone in the educational sector was a hallmark in their relationship. She said during the colonial era, majority of Gambians received secondary school education in sierra Leone.
 Similarly, there was also a very strong  trade relationship between the two countries she stated.
After signimg the agreements, they shall enter into force by an exchange of notes between the two parties notifying each other of the compliance with the conclusion of their respective procedures.

Ambassador Kao De’ Nero Pays Courtesy Call On Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister

The Ambassador of Entertainment and Investment, Ambassador Kao De’ Nero, a Sierra
Leonean hip-hop artist, who was recently appointed by His Excellency the President, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio pays courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis.

Speaking to the honorable Minister, Ambassador Kao De’ Nero introduced his recently appointed board members to the Minister. Stating that, each member of the board was from a different sector of the entertainment industry in order to ensure inclusiveness cross the entertainment sector.

“I have set up this board to see how we can mobilize and put our industries together. I signed an MOU when I visited the United States with an investment firm that is looking for investment in entertainment and agriculture. They have helped so much in creating the platform of television stations that can get us DSTV coverage where our content can go international. This is an area that is critically needed because our music is great, we have so much great talents but we just remain local. We cannot compete with the rest of Africa as we don’t have this platform, we are waiting for the delegation from the United States but there are a lot of areas that we need Government’s support” he explained.

Making his brief remarks, the honorable Minister congratulated Ambassador Kao to his new office and for his visit to the Foreign Ministry. He reiterated on the shift in the foreign policy from Economy Diplomacy to Development Diplomacy. Acknowledging the work by Ambassador Kao, he referred to his entertainment move as “cultural Diplomacy” for which he applauded him.

“Cultural Diplomacy is about presenting the best and the heart of the Country, to entice people to come and explore opportunities and investments in our Country, now that you have come onboard I want you to be not only the Ambassador of entertainment in Sierra Leone, but also an ambassador of the Foreign Ministry, we want to promote and create a gallery in the foreign Ministry whereby we will be hosting arts and crafts experts in the Ministry in order to design portraits of our Foreign dignitaries with different untapped talents and investment opportunities by the country’s entertainment
sector.” he said.

The honorable Minister concluded by assuring ambassador Kao of the Ministry’s commitment in
facilitating visas for members of the entertainment industry as long as all the documentations are in place.

 

 

China- Sierra Leone Diplomatic Relationship Clocked 50, Ministry of Foreign Affairs And Chinese Embassy In Sierra Leone Hosts Trade and Investment Symposium.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone have jointly organized China- Sierra Leone Trade and Investment Symposium in Celebration of 50th anniversary of China-Sierra Leone Diplomatic relationship.

The symposium which was chaired by the Director General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mr. Prince E.O Cole was to deepen the Diplomatic relationship between the two Countries which have existed since 1971.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation Hon. Professor David John Francis congratulated the Government of the People’s   Republic of China for the immense contributions towards the China-Sierra Leone Diplomatic Relationship in areas of Development for national interest and core values. He said the work of China is evident at  every sector in Sierra Leone, ranging from Infrastructure, Agriculture, mines, Health and Education. The Minister also commended the Chinese Government for the offer and ongoing construction of the Foreign Service Academy. He said the Ministry was at an advance stage in working on the soft infrastructure that will match with international standards of foreign service. 
Professor Francis said the two Presidents, His Excellency Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone and President Xi Jinping of China on 7th May, 2021, had a 30 minutes telephone discussion to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Diplomatic ties between Sierra Leone and China. This he said was to promote equity, and to support each other in areas of Economic and trade rerelations. 
The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E Hu Zhangliang thanked the Minister for outlining China’s good work and efforts to Sierra Leone. He said he was honoured to attend the symposium jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international cooperation and the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone. The ambassador disclosed that the Chinese have invested over USD $30 Billion in Sierra Leone since 1971 and that those investments have made greater impact in boosting the economic, Agricultural, health and educational sectors of Sierra Leone.  Ambassador Hu Zhangliang said China’s Policy towards Africa is ‘‘Transparency and Mutual Benefits’’. He encouraged the Sierra Leone Government to promote more of foreign investment as this according to him will help boost the country’s’ Economy.
Other speakers at the symposium were representatives from the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, Ministry of trade, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security and representatives from Chinese investors in Sierra Leone.

German Federal Economic Development Minister visits Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

The Federal Minister of Economic Development of Germany, Gerd Muller, together with his delegation has made a maiden visit to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC), Mamadi Gobeh Kamara and discussed a range of issues that would strengthen the existing friendly relationship between the two sister countries.

In his statement, Gerd Muller expressed gratitude to the Deputy Minister for meeting with him and his delegation, adding that it was their maiden visitation to the country and that it was a two-day trip. He continued that he was excited over the fact that the Government of Sierra Leone gives premium to the principle of gender equality as it is in Germany.

Speaking on the bilateral relationship between the two countries, Gerd Muller requested the support and cooperation of the Government of Sierra Leone in bringing back Sierra Leonean immigrants/refugees who are currently based in Germany, suggesting that the identification certificate process in verifying the immigrants as citizens of Sierra Leone would be the best method to be used.

“My Government is always committed to supporting Sierra Leone. On that note, there are plans of setting up a program called “returning to new opportunities” which will help empower and improve the lives of the returnees” he said.

In her response, the Deputy Minister thanked Minister Gerd Muller and his delegation for their visit and noted that the Government of Sierra Leone is aware of the presence of Sierra Leonean immigrants in Germany, and that the Sierra Leonean Government is currently putting modalities in place to ensure the safe return of its citizens.

She maintained that MFAIC is closely working with other stakeholders like the Ministry of Social Welfare, Police and the National Civil Registration Authority (NACRA) to implement a verification program for the immigrants, adding that her Ministry has faced embarrassment in the past for accepting immigrants without doing the required background checks and verifications.

”My Ministry is very mindful of the situation, and we assure you that after the verification process, if it is proven that the immigrants are citizens of Sierra Leone, the Government will do the needful to bring them back home,” she assured.

 

 

 

Presentation of credentials to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara on Monday 14th June, 2021 received letters of credentials from the Australian High Commissioner designate, Gregory Williamson, the Ambassador designate from Spain, Christan Font Calderon, the Ambassador designate from Venezuela, David Caraballo, the South African High Commissioner- designate, Grace Janet Mason, the Ambassador designate of Switzerland, Anne Lugon-Moulin.

The presentation took place in the office of the Deputy Minister, at the Ministry’s Headquarters Tower Hill, Freetown.

Consultative Meeting with members of Foreign Affairs’ Parliamentary Oversight Committee

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prof. David John Francis on Thursday 3rd June, 2021 held maiden Consultative meeting with Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Organization at the Ministry’s main Conference Hall, Tower Hill, Freetown.

In his statement, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon Ibrahim Ben Kargbo expressed gratitude to the Management of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for working collaboratively with the Committee.

He emphasized that the relationship between the Ministry and the Committee over the years has been excellent, productive, frank and insightful that whenever they meet, they extended good rapport. He expressed hope that the relationship would continue to improve.

The Committee Chairman gave a brief synopsis about the Committee’s work which among others include, oversight of the constitutional mandate of the ministry, treaty obligation, prudent management of resources such as advocacy for increase in the budgetary allocation to the Ministry, monitoring the ratification of Agreements signed by the Minister, appointment of Consuls and the operations of Sierra Leone’s new embassies abroad.

In his response, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis thanked the Honourable Members for agreeing to be hosted at the Ministry stating that, the purpose of the meeting was to reassure the Committee that the remarkable collaborative relationship between the new leadership of the Ministry and the Committee would continue to be built upon, deepened and strengthened that collaboration and partnership.

Minister Prof. Francis furthered that the meeting a golden opportunity for him to present the new Foreign Policy shift and the strategic priorities going forward.

Speaking of the new shift which he brilliantly explained as Development Diplomacy as the national interest of the ‘New Direction’ Government, he said the new leadership brought two important and strategic opportunities into the new role, his wealth of experience as Chief Minister and the clear understanding of the operations of government across the board especially with the Foreign Ministry.

Dilating on where the country is, the Minister intimated that they assumed office at a time when the world was still faced with a devastating Global pandemic, (COVID-19) compounded with travel restriction, economic stagnation, donor reticence and unprecedented reduction in official development assistance.

Making a case for shift from Economic Diplomacy to Development Diplomacy, the Foreign Minister reiterated its importance stating that it would focused on development oriented diplomacy to achieve the country’s development agenda and that the strategic priority of the new shift is to position Sierra Leone as a middle income country.

In her closing statement, the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, Mrs Florence Nyawa Bangalie thanked the Committee Members for their continued support to the Ministry and entreated them to maintain the momentum as they in the Foreign Ministry operates as a family of which the Committee is considered as integral part.

Present at the meeting were the Acting Deputy Directors General and Directors af the different directorates in the Ministry.

-END-

 

Foreign Minister Prof. Francis Engages Media Editors

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis on Tuesday 8th June 2021, engaged Editors of various Media Houses on the new paradigm shift in the foreign policy posture of Sierra Leone from Economic Diplomacy to Development Diplomacy at the Ministry’s Mainl Conference Hall, at Tower Hill, Freetown.

Welcoming the Editors, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara stated that they, the new leadership decided on the interactive session with Editors of various Media Houses to present to them and by extension to the Sierra Leone population a clear and deeper understanding of the new policy posture of the Foreign Ministry, a shift from Economic Diplomacy to Development Diplomacy.

The narrative in the policy shift madam Gobeh Kamara said required a constructive approach in marketing Sierra Leone in order for the needs and objectives of the country to be in line with the new global rules. Also, on how the country would continue to be respected on the international stage and how to further ensure that Sierra Leoneans become Ambassadors, poised to market the country’s huge potentials for growth and development

In his Keynote statement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis described Development Diplomacy as essentially putting diplomacy in the service of achieving development aspirations and national interest with reference to Section 10 (a) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

Highlighting reasons that motivated the paradigm shift, professor Francis that is was as a result of the increase in less and less global appetite for Development Assistance and Foreign Aid; donor promotion of a new ‘Trading out of Poverty’ narrative; the global COVID-19 Pandemic and the international economic and financial crisis and its devastating impact on foreign aid to least developed and low income countries.

He concluded by outlining the six principles that defined the new post-Cold war/post-COVID-19 Development Diplomacy as focus on trade and investment; in-country beneficiation and valued-addition; achievement of goals and aspirations of fundamental freedoms; New-Pan-African ethos and value to determine and own development destiny; greater economic and development interdependence; and departure from the traditional post-colonial development diplomacy based on foreign aid and development assistance from donor countries.
The meeting ended with an interesting interactive session.

-END-

(Press Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Foreign Minister Prof. Francis Hosts The Diplomatic Community in Sierra Leone in Commemoration of Africa Day

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis on Tuesday, 25th May hosted the Diplomatic Community in Sierra Leone to a dinner in commemoration of the Celebration of the Africa Day at the Lagoonda Resort, Aberdeen, Freetown.

Welcoming the Diplomatic Community, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara described the dinner as significant to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ overall but primary objective of enlarging its scope of dialogue and cooperation with the diplomatic family in Sierra Leone.

Deputy Minister Madam Gobeh Kamara noted the Ministry’s traditional roles which included among others the provision of an enabling environment for the diplomatic community to excel in their roles as chief representatives of their countries, the fostering of unity and cohesion among the diplomatic community, and the enhancement of coordination with other units of Government.

The Deen of the Diplomatic Community in Sierra Leone, Her Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Liberia to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mrs Musu J. Ruhle said the occasion had provided the Diplomatic Corps with the opportunity to interact in close quarters with colleagues and also to reach out to potential Development Partners thereby promoting the interests of their respective countries.

Her Excellency Mrs Ruhle in observance of the Africa Day, called on her fellow African Diplomats and African Development Partners to critically reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the African Union since its creation in May 25, 1963.

In his Keynote statement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis conveyed on behalf of His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio’s warm felicitation on the occasion of the Africa Day.

Foreign Minister Prof. Francis said May 25th 2021 marked the 58th year of Africa’s political and socio-economic integration and that the spirit of the OAU which subsequently transformed into the African Union, has continue to shape the nature and future of the Continent.

African States, the Foreign Minister stated are members of the international society and have become partners driven by a desire to maximize opportunities, and have been united also by the common goals and aspirations for a peaceful global order, and a prosperous community of nations.

The 2021 African Union theme, ‘Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa we want’ professor Francis said resonate with the urgent need to globalize cultures, and to identify and sustain the values that African countries hold dearly as a community of nations.

Speaking on the importance of the ceremony, the Minister said it provides an opportunity to interact and share perspectives on how the Ministry and the Diplomatic community can progress as partners in development.

He said in that dynamic, the Ministry has positioned itself to adequately respond in a timely and efficient manner to the diplomatic community in Freetown to guarantee effectiveness in their partnership for development.

Minister Prof. David Francis concluded on a note of profound appreciation to members of the Diplomatic Community for their valuable contributions to the development strides of the Government of Sierra Leone over the years, and for strengthening and deepening the diplomatic ties.

Present at the ceremony were the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, Mrs Florence Nyawa Bangalie, Acting Directors General and Directors of the different directorates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

-END-

(Press Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

China Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Mr. Hu Zhangliang Calls on Deputy Foreign Minister

China Ambassador to Sierra Leone Calls on Deputy Foreign Minister

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Sierra Leone Mr. Hu Zhangliang paid a courtesy visit to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara on Friday 21st May 2021.

In his remarks the Chinese envoy was grateful that the Deputy Minister had agreed to meet him at short notice. He also stated that China was grateful to the Government of Sierra Leone for its support of the One China Policy and also on issues relating to China in the Human rights Council.

He then went on to brief Minister Mamadi Gobeh Kamara on the telephone exchange between H.E. President Julius Maada Bio and President Xi Jinping held on 7th May 2021 in which the two leaders discussed how to further build on the already close relationship between the two countries, against the backdrop of the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic relations between Sierra Leone and China.

The Ambassador was thus hopeful that, the Ministry will provide the necessary support to commemorate this historic milestone.

Ambassador Hu further highlighted that since 2018, China has completed 15 projects and another 15 were being currently implemented with a number of other projects under discussion.

He informed the Deputy Minister that China is ready to provide another batch of 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.

In addition, the Ambassador informed that the Chinese Embassy had prepared a list of proposed training programmes for Sierra Leone including training for Diplomats, for the approval of the Government of Sierra Leone. He was hopeful that the the training programmes will recommend in an in-person format in 2022.

He thanked the Government for its strong support for the Fish Harbour project despite the unfounded misconceptions about the project.

The Chinese Ambassador was aware of concerns about the conduct of certain Chinese nationals who are considered as miscreants but stressed that over 95% of Chinese Nationals resident in the country were respectful of the laws of Sierra Leone.

Finally, the Ambassador informed the Deputy Minister that on the 19th May 2021 that the Chinese Foreign Minister on behalf of China together with some African countries launched the “Initiative on Partnership for Africa’s Development”.

The initiative aims to support post-Covid reconstruction, development, and revitalization in Africa. He was hopeful that all African countries and other International partners will join in this initiative.

In her response, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation thanked the Ambassador for paying the courtesy call on her and recalled that she had met with the Ambassador in her previous capacity as Deputy Minister of Information.

She informed the Ambassador that the Government of Sierra Leone was appreciative of the support of China to the development of the country the evidence of which was clear for all to see.

Deputy Minister Gobeh Kamara further thanked the Government of China for the support provided to Sierra Leone in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic noting that China was one of the first countries to provide such support.

She assured Ambassador Hu that the Ministry will provide the necessary support needed to ensure a successful commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the two countries.

Deputy Minister Kamara further noted that Sierra Leone has over the years supported China on issues of mutual concern in various Multilateral Fora and was hopeful that Sierra Leone and China will continue to work together and collaborate and consult with each other in order to succeed together.

The Deputy Minister also thanked the Chinese Ambassador for his efforts in ensuring the speedy conclusion of the Diplomatic Academy project.

-END-

 

(Press Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Sierra Leone parliament ratifies Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters

 

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara on Thursday laid before Parliament a statutory instrument for the ratification of the ECOWAS Convention A/P.1/7/92 on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

The House unanimously ratified the agreement which Sierra Leone and all other 14 ECOWAS Member States had acceded to on 29th July 1992.

Speaking in parliament, the Deputy Minister said that over the years about nine (9) ECOWAS Member States had ratified this convention including Cote D’Ivore, Ghana, Guinea and The Gambia.

She said that in pursuit of the need for human rights aspirations and a greater sub- regional collaboration with countries, it was essential for SierraLeone to ratify this convention and join others in west Africa and the rest of the world in the fight against trans-border crimes.

She emphasized that the ratification of the said instrument would help to achieve integration in all fields of activity of Members States by adopting a common rule in the field of mutual assistance in Criminal Matters.

The Speaker of Parliament said that he was at the signing of the ECOWAS Convention in 1992 and expressed surprise that it had not been ratified until now. He commended the foreign ministry through its Deputy Minister for bringing it to Parliament for ratification.

The speaker, a former ECOWAS Secretary General himself, urged other MDAs to do the same for instruments that were being neglected for years without being ratified.

(Press Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

UNHCR Rep Updates Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Refugee Status in Sierra Leone

UNHCR Rep Updates Acting Foreign Affairs Minister on Refugee Status in Sierra Leone

 

The Representative from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to Sierra Leone, Ms Monique Ekoko has paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Minister, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, who is acting in the capacity of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to update her on the status of refugees in Sierra Leone.

The Director of Programmes at NaCSA, Madam Regina Sia Saffa, who introduced the UNHCR country representative, said that she was on a two-day visit to resolve the issue of refugee status in Sierra Leone.

She disclosed that twenty years after the civil war the country still had some residual refugee cases, which they were trying to resolve, stating that being a refugee was not a status for anybody to remain in another country without enjoying the full rights of a citizen.

Updating the Acting Minister on the strides they had embarked on, the UNHCR representative, Ms Monique Ekoko, said they were in Sierra Leone in relation to the 392 exempted refugees.

She said they had engaged them with two options of either returning to their birth countries or reintegrate in Sierra Leone, adding that they had rejected both options.

She reminded the minister that Sierra Leone was part of the Global Compact on Refugees and had made pledges that they were following up on, especially regarding statelessness, adding that there was already a national action plan prepared in collaboration with the related ministries and would be another line of engagement in the coming weeks.

Ms Ekoko commended the Government of Sierra Leone for being the first to come up with a proper National Action Plan.

In her response, Minister Madam Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara started by extending profound appreciation to the UNHCR for its continued support to Sierra Leone through NaCSA and for being a reliable partner and trusted friend. She said the NRA Secretariat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation comprised 18 other members who engage quarterly for the purpose of handling vital issues emanating from the 2007 Refugee Protection Act and to also ensure the completion of the amendment process of the Act.

She reaffirmed Government’s commitment to the international protection of refugees and other persons of concern, reiterating their obligation to the goals of the UNHCR as seen in the continued operations of the NRA Secretariat.

She called on UNHCR to continue to support the Government of Sierra Leone to fulfil its commitments with a view to finalizing the amendment process of the Act.

She concluded by expressing hope for the continuation of the fruitful existing relations between Sierra Leone and UNHCR.

Present at the meeting were the Acting Deputy Director General-Operations, Mr Sulay-Manah Kpukumu, who is acting in the capacity of the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large and the Acting Deputy Director General-Policy, Mr Ahmad Tejan Kabba.

-END-

(Press Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Sierra Leone, Russia sign Visa-free MOU

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Deepens Bilateral Relations with Russian Federation

Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister Deepens Bilateral Relations With Russian Federation

During his one-day working visit to Moscow, Russian Federation, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prof. David J. Francis together with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a ‘Visa-free Movement’ of holders of both Diplomatic and Service passports to facilitate the movement of people between the two countries.

Signing on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, Professor Francis appealed to HE Lavrov to consider reopening their embassy in Sierra Leone to facilitate the movement of people between the two countries.

He continued: “It is a pleasure to be here and thank you very much for extending an invitation to me, to visit this historic country and this historic and beautiful city-Moscow. That in itself is a testimony of the very strong and credible partnership the two countries share”

“Your Excellency, this is my 3rd visit to this historic and beautiful city. In 2019, in my previous role as Chief Minister, I had the privilege to lead the Mines and Mineral delegation. I was also part of His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio’s delegation to the Russia-Africa submit here in Sochi.

“Your Excellency, I want to use this opportunity to also convey sincere and kind greetings from my President HE Bio to you as well as his brother and colleague President Vladimir Putin”

“This visit is in itself historic because it is my 1st outside Sierra Leone as Foreign Affairs Minister. I am here to engage with you on how to build on a very strong and long-lasting partnership that has been in existence for several years. And your Excellency as you already note, this is nearly 59 years of this strong and solid bilateral relation; and next year, we shall be celebrating the 60th anniversary of this very strong lasting relationship”, Prof. Francis noted.

He said: “This is important; and having been sent by His Excellency the President as Special Envoy, to come and engage with you on how to build and strengthen this very strong and existing relationship and to also look for new opportunities where we can work together on a win-win basis. And in terms of trade and investment, and support to international peace and security.

He ended by thanking the government and people of Russia, for their continued humanitarian assistance, human capital development by providing scholarships to over 3 thousand Sierra Leonean students and Russian investments in his country.

“I and my colleague Sergey Lavrov discussed a lot on various sectors including Energy, Agriculture, Health, Tourism and Transportation, which are priorities of President Bio’s New Direction Agenda”.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov congratulated Professor David Francis on his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation and also welcomed him to Moscow, marking his first working visit in that capacity.

“The relation between Sierra Leone and Russia traditionally has been friendly, founded among equal rights and mutual respect and we intend to develop them in this vain”

“Today, we have got an opportunity to talk about a whole range of our bilateral agenda; to talk about our cooperation within the United Nations and also talk about regional conflict. Above all given the outcome of the participation of Sierra Leone’s President Bio during the Russia-Africa summit.

He commended President Bio for his role in the UN Security Council reform process that is ongoing and as Chair of C-10 of African Heads of State. And for the role, Sierra Leone is playing in peacekeeping missions across the continent.

The two Diplomats agreed to celebrate Russia-Sierra Leone 60th bilateral friendship next year in both Moscow and Freetown.

Sierra Leone’s Foreign
Minister Prof. David J. Francis, Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation Mrs. Florence Nyawa Bangile, Director of Europe Mr. Alan Charles Logan and Abraham John engaged several states and none state institutions during the one day visit to the Federation.

Prof. Francis engaged Mr. Gadzhimura Omarov, Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Chair of the non-profit public organisation “Russia – Africa” on trade, investment and potential cooperations.

The delegation held meeting and breakfast with Mr. Valery Krasnov, first Vice President of VI Holdings Group which ended on a very positive note. He promised to continue an expansion of VI Holdings Operations in Sierra Leone.

Prof. Francis and his delegations held fruitful discussions with Mr Oleg Yastrebov Rector RUDN University, Mrs Larisa Efremova, Vice-Rector for International Affairs and other administrative staff at RUDN University.

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister thanked them for their continued support to his country through human capital development and offered himself as an academic professor to lecture whenever they need him.

He ended by appealing to them to give more scholarships to Sierra Leone students, especially training in middle manpower courses. According to the minister, there are Technical Vocational institutions in all 16 districts of the country.

The meeting at RUDN ended with a special conference organised to meet Sierra Leonean students and foreign students which was highly commended by all and sundry.

Prof. Francis re-echoed the new shift from Economic Diplomacy to Development Diplomacy in another engagement with Dr. Konstantin Anastasiadi, Chair of the Commission on Foreign Trade – Economic Cooperation of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and business representatives.

Well, the outcome of this engagement will soon be realised in different areas in trade and investment in Sierra Leone.

The long and useful day ended at the Embassy by meeting with a cross-section of the Sierra Leone Community leadership and Sierra Leone students in Moscow.

 

(Press Office, Sierra Leone Embassy, Russia )

Deputy Foreign Minister Hosts Nigeria Delegation from the National Armed Forces Command and Staff College

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, on Monday 17th May 2021, hosted at the Ministry’s main Conference Hall, Tower Hill, a delegation from Nigeria National Armed Forces Command and Staff College who are on a study tour spanning from the 15-23 May 2021.

During the opening program, the Deputy Director of the Africa Directorate, Mr. Henry Nyandemoh, said that the Ministry had earlier hosted another delegation from the Nigeria Defense College. They conducted a study tour on Sierra Leone’s Foreign Policy and its relation to its national development. He explained that this delegation’s visit is focused on understanding how Sierra Leone handled the Ebola epidemic and now responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Giving the purpose of the visit, the Team Leader of the delegation, Commodore Monday Apeh Abbah, expressed the team’s warm appreciation for the hospitality accorded them by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since their arrival.

He explained that the College is a joint service institution for training operational and tactical level officers from the Nigeria Armed Forces and other government parastatals in their country. Moreover, that the College also trains Military officers from around the world. Mr. Abbah stated that as part of the College’s curriculum, senior participants from advanced courses are allowed to participate in a study tour of selected African countries annually. He elaborated that the visit enables their students to learn how individual governments handled specific issues, emphasizing a particular theme for each visit.

He said the 2021 theme is “National Efforts towards Improved Regional Security, COVID-19 in Perspective”. The students, he furthered, were expected to carry out detailed research in the country of visit and develop possible solutions of how the host country would have done it better.

Commodore Monday Apeh Abbah informed the meeting that the delegation is in the country to study the methods used by the Government in effectively handling the Ebola pandemic and the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Receiving the delegation, Deputy Minister, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, welcomed the delegation to the beautiful shores of Sierra Leone on behalf of His Excellency the President Dr Julius Maada Bio, the Government and the People of Sierra Leone.

Madam Gobeh Kamara expressed delight to have received the fifty-two man contingent, comprising senior military officers, academics, and diplomats. She stated that the study tour is indeed an essential aspect of the delegation’s course package, allowing them the opportunity to learn various techniques different governments use to handle issues. She assured the team that their study tour theme would be adequately dealt with by the competent authorities they would be meeting.

The Deputy Minister expatiated on Sierra Leone’s tremendous strides since the end of the civil war in 2002. She stated that the country can now be viewed as an example for many other countries challenged with difficulty in post-conflict transition. She highlighted that the nation now enjoys a consolidated democratic political system, improved security, a solid basis for decentralized governance and a sustained donor engagement.

Madam Gobeh-Kamara concluded by emphasizing the importance of collaboration in addressing the various challenges posed by the pandemic as the world has entered into the realm of vaccine diplomacy.

Present at the meeting were Directors, Deputy Directors from the various Directorate and staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Foreign Minister Professor Francis Holds 1st Virtual Meeting With Sierra Leone Heads of Missions

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis on Friday 14th May 2021 held his first virtual meeting with the Sierra Leone Ambassadors and High Commissioners abroad at the Ministers Conference Room, Tower Hill, Freetown to present the new political leadership of the Ministry as well as the country’s new Foreign Policy shift from Economic Diplomacy to Development Diplomacy.

Welcoming the Ambassadors and High Commissioners, the Acting Director General-Operations serving in the capacity as Director General, Mr Sulay-Manah Kpukumu said the meeting was summoned by the new political leadership to share His Excellency’s vision for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on the shift of Sierra Leone’s Foreign Policy, from Economic Diplomacy to Development diplomacy and, also to share the expectations of the new leadership outreach activities, innovations and challenges etc of the Missions abroad.

In her statement, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara expressed fraternal greetings to the Ambassadors and High Commissioners on behalf of the Minister, Prof. David J. Francis.

She described the maiden meeting between the new leadership and the Heads of Mission as a means of stimulating constructive engagement between Headquarters and the Missions abroad, and that the process of interaction would become the new leadership’s main stay in order to ensure trust and partnership between the Ministry and the Government.

Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara furthered that, the new leadership would build interest in and give renewed impetus to boosting the country’s Foreign Policy credentials.

She expressed gratitude for being part of the team that would build and give meaningful impact in moving the Ministry ahead.

Speaking on her new role as Deputy Minister of ForeignAffairs, Madam Gobeh Kamara told the meeting that she had been tasked to ensure compliance on number of issues particularly the roll out and implementation of existing bilateral and technical cooperation agreements between the Government of Sierra Leone and Governments of host countries.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs said she is going to work on Network Diplomacy which according to her is embedded in the overall objectives of the Ministry in terms of creating and maintaining credible information flow to the public.

She called on the Heads of Mission to work collectively and collaboratively with the new leadership of the Ministry in order to achieve President Bio’s Foreign Policy drive.

Giving the Keynote address, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prof. David J. Francis said the meeting is to engage with the Ambassadors and the High Commissioners on the relevant role they play in portraying Sierra Leone in the international arena for catering for the interests of Sierra Leoneans abroad.

Foreign Minister Prof. Francis updated Ambassadors and High Commissioners on the activities he had embarked on with senior management and staff of the Foreign Ministry, members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps and the Media to introduce the new political leadership, the Foreign Policy posture and the new shift in the country’s Foreign policy and the expectations they would like to see going forward.

The Foreign Minister Prof. David J. Francis explained that he had brought to the Foreign Ministry three objectives: a clear understanding of President Bio’s vision of the foreign policy approach; adherence to procedures, directives and principles of international cooperation and to strategically align the President’s vision with that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation which include monitoring and supervising of the functions of the Ministry.

He said serving as a Chief Minister for the past three years, he had had extensive dealings with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and about 2/3 of Heads of Mission and that in effect, he had a unique insight of some of the challenges faced by the Ministry and Heads of Mission and that he is strategically placed to understand the unique opportunities provided by the Ministry and the country’s Foreign Missions.

He added that the Deputy Minister brought to the Ministry media engagement, strategic communications and how to build an ICT platform virtually.

The Foreign Minister explained that the shift from Economic Diplomacy to Development Diplomacy is inspired by a gradually shrinking global desire for development assistance and foreign aid. A movement he said that had been obliged by donor promotion of the concept of ‘Trading out of Poverty’; the global COVID-19 pandemic and the international economic and financial crunch and, the attendant disturbing impact on foreign aid to least developed and low income countries.

The Minister highlighted that the new Diplomacy posture aims at achieving Sierra Leone’s Development priorities and aspirations outlined in the Mid-term National Development Plan; the Human Capital Development flagship programme and the SLPP People’s Manifesto Commitment and that at the core of the new Development Diplomacy, is also the primary focus on Trade & Investment in all of Sierra Leone’s bilateral and multilateral foreign relations and diplomatic exchanges.

The session was climaxed by discussions from Heads of Missions on the way forward in promoting the new shift.

In attendance were Directors and Deputy Directors of the various Directorate of the Ministry.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Former Foreign Minister Tunis Hands Over Political Leadership to Incoming Prof. Francis

 The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis on Friday 14th May 2021 handed over the Mantle of political leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to Incoming Minister Prof. David J. Francis.

In her Handing over statement at a ceremony held at the Ministry’s main Conference Hall, Tower Hill, Freetown, the Outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, congratulated her successor, Prof. David Francis on his new appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and expressed hope that he might found the handing over note useful as he begins a new chapter in the history of the Ministry.

Giving a summary of some of the activities she undertook during her tenure as Foreign Minister, the outgoing Minister, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis, said in May 2019, it pleased His Excellency, Dr Julius Maada Bio to re-assign her as the Minster in charge of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and that at that time, she developed some understanding of enormity leading the country’s diplomacy in a changing hegemony of world order in which Sierra Leone is a small and less powerful player.

The outgoing Foreign Minister pointed out that, the broad vision of His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio is to use trade and investment as critical drivers to accelerate sustainable growth and development in several sectors such as education, health, energy and infrastructural development among others. To that end, she stated, together with her team she figured out that rebranding the image of the country from a war ton, disease driven and backward state into a peaceful, beautiful, resourceful and determined nation with smart people at the centre was going to be a critical point of departure for attracting valuable and credible foreign direct investment as well as cementing the position of the country as a genuine partner in the international system.

On institutional Reform and strengthening, she said after brief assessment of the structure and capacity of the Ministry, she and her staff concluded that there was a strong need for institutional and systems reset to reflect the global dynamics and ultimate objectives of His Excellency, Dr Julius Maada Bio.

In essence, the Former Minister stated that the Ministry successfully concluded a Management and Functional Review exercise which she said commenced in December, 2018 under the leadership of her predecessor, Dr Alie Kabba, to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry as well as improve on the effectiveness and efficiency of work processes.

She said they created additional structures such as the Situation Room, Diaspora Division, C-10 Secretariat among other structures.

Mrs Tunis maintained that during her tenure, she and her team succeeded in accelerating the timely and constant flow of information between the Missions abroad and the Ministry, the swift responses to correspondence from partners, friend and other government agencies; the improve coordination of Sierra Leone’s participation in international conferences, better reception provided to visiting high profile delegations, induction trainings for Ambassadors and staff post to the country’s Missions abroad, the introduction of Performance Management Assessment for Ambassadors and regular virtual meetings with Mission staff among others.

The outgoing Foreign Minister reported that less than two years in office, she succeeded in giving out opportunities to staff of the Ministry to benefit from diplomatic capacity trainings from in person to language skill development and interactive sessions in which Senior Directors mentored junior staff on economic, political and public diplomacy.

This she said enabled staff to break down barriers and took significant steps towards being competitive on the international stage.

As a Minister, she said she succeeded in facilitating the expedition of the physical construction of the National Foreign Service Academy. Within 100 days in office, she said she succeeded in luring development partners to assist the Ministry with VVIP Vehicles, refurbishing of the Presidential and VIP Lounges at the Lungi International Airport, the construction of Staff quarters at Lungi for Protocol staff.

On Diplomatic expansion, Mrs Tunis said, she and her team succeeded to establish new missions in Turkey and Morocco and talks are on an advance stage for the establishment of an Embassy in France.

She added that she also superintended the establishment of Consulates in several economically viable cities, and that several countries have also shown keen interests in opening their diplomatic Posts in Freetown, Sierra Leone while India has already established its Mission.

She noted that in the areas of Bilateral Agreements and Joint Commission for Cooperation, in less than two years, she and her team have succeeded in ensuring that Diplomats and professionals in Sierra Leone can now travel to some countries Visa free; and also succeeded in the lifting of the blanket visa ban on Sierra Leone by the United States of America.

She said as a team they succeeded in winning elections at the international level for the former Sierra Leone UN Permanent Representative, Dr Alie Kabba, Justice Miatta Samba and ACC scribe, Francis Kelfala.

She concluded by outlining some of her challenges faced during her tenure as Foreign Minister.

In his response, the Incoming Minister, Prof. David J. Francis profoundly thanked the Outgoing Minister, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis for taking her time to give a detailed outline of the substantive issues achieved in twenty-three (23) months, those to be achieved and the challenges and congratulated her on her new assignment as Regional Minister West.

Minister Prof. Francis said the catalogue of achievements outlined by his predecessor is a testament of her impressive leadership of the Ministry for the past 23 months.

On the issues outlined, Minister Prof. Francis said he has been involved in all from the margins, supporting his predecessor in mobilizing and driving majority of the successful issues she had outlined and that it is a sound foundation he would start with as a Foreign Minister.

He said he was pleased to inherit a very sound foundation with a solid team, and that one thing the Senior Management had made clear to him and the Deputy was that they have come to a family setting.

Speaking on his role as the political lead supported by the Deputy Minister, Foreign Minister Prof. Francis said he has come to encourage and consolidate the family orientation to ensure that staff focus on competence, professionalism, discipline, and service delivery.

Foreign Policy, he told his predecessor, is not static and that it is dynamic as it responds to changing challenges of time.

In 2018, he furthered, His Excellency President Bio aligned his Foreign Policy vision to Economic Diplomacy. Three years on, a Management and Functional Review with extensive consultations has propelled a shift in Foreign Policy posture that would reflect a Development blue print derived from the Manifesto commitment, the Medium Term Development Plan and the flagship human capital development programme.

-END-

(MFAIC Press Team)

New Foreign Minister Pro. David Francis and His Deputy Hold Maiden Meeting with Staff of MFAIC

MFAIC Press Office Freetown: Wednesday 5th May, 2021: The newly appointed Sierra Leone Foreign Minister, Professor David J. Francis and the Deputy Minister, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara on Wednesday 5th May, 2021 held their maiden meeting with staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation at the Main Conference Room of the Ministry, at Tower Hill Freetown.

Stating the purpose of the meeting, the Chairman, the Director of Administration and Finance, Mr Edward Kawa, told members of staff that, the meeting had been conveyed for the Minister and the Deputy to relay their vision on how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation could align its operations with His Excellency President Bio’s ‘New Direction’ agenda within the framework of the National Medium Term Development Plan.

Welcoming the Minister and his Deputy on behalf of Management and Staff, the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Florence Nyawa Bangalie told members of staff that the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor David J. Francis and the Deputy, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara had assumed duty on Tuesday 4th May, 2021 following the 30th April, 2021 cabinet reshuffle.

She apprised staff that the first engagement of the Minister and Deputy had been to meet with Senior Management of the Ministry the very day of assuming duty. She added that the day was climate by a conducted tour of the Ministry’s facilities and the construction site of the proposed national Foreign Service Academy.

In her maiden address to members of staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara expressed delight in becoming a part of the foreign team.

She reiterated that they had assumed office with the aim to succeed and she encouraged members of staff to have a mentality to work together and to succeed together as a team in achieving the role and a mandate that had been given to them by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.

In the Keynote statement, the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis said he is pleased to be Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

He reminded the session that he had started his role in governance as Foreign Minister-designate in April 2018 for the purposes of the Commonwealth Summit in London and the State Visit to Qatar, where he had successfully performed the responsibilities of a Foreign Minister and that with the reintroduction of the Chief Minister’s Office, Foreign Minister Francis continued, His Excellency thought it fit that it was necessary for his government to have an office to provide coordination, monitoring, supervision and performance management of 28 Ministries and that office, he had effectively held with excellent deliverables.

Speaking on his new assignment as Foreign Minister, Professor David Francis said, upon assumption of duty on Tuesday, 4th May, 2021, he had met with the DG and Directors, and had scheduled for a meeting with the people who really matter, the general staff of the Ministry who are as important as himself, the Foreign Minister.

“It is when we value the people we work with, it is when we give them a sense of ownership of belonging that they can do well and excel and they will excel beyond our expectations.” Foreign Minister, David Francis told staff.

The New Foreign Minister shared his vision with staff which he said among others is to bring out a clear understanding of President Bio’s vision of the ‘New Direction’ and to align same with the foreign Policy focus and posture of the country.

Minister Professor Francis emphasized that Sierra Leone needs a shift of foreign policy from Economic Diplomacy to Development Diplomacy to position herself for a post COVID-19 Era.

Minister, Professor Francis said he wants to ensure the alignment of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction’s vision with the National foreign policy focus with the aim to transform the country into a respectable enterprise, dynamic and inspiring country that is respected internationally, starting from the sub-region to the continental and international levels.

He maintained that the New Direction vision is about taking Sierra Leone to the next level of progressive development as a middle income country.

This, he said, can be achieved by using diplomacy to engage bilaterally and multilaterally with non-state and non-state actors to make Sierra Leone an incredible place where everyone will be yearning to stay.

The Foreign Minister went on to state that the new administration of the Foreign Ministry is going to introduce Periodic Performance Management to ensure that the Ministry has excellent and competent staff, adding that they are going to create a professional, disciplined, determined, committed and aspiring Foreign Service and Foreign Ministry delivering for the national interest.

Delivering the closing courtesy, Mr. Sulay-Manah Kpukumu assured the new Minister and the Deputy of the preparedness of the diplomatic staff and other staff to support, learn and share in the new administration of the Foreign Ministry.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Members of Parliament Commend the Director-General of Foreign Affairs for exemplary work and professionalism exhibited as Administrator

Members of Parliament Commend the Director-General of Foreign Affairs for exemplary work and professionalism exhibited as Administrator

Sierra Leone’s Members of Parliament on Tuesday 20th October, 2020 hailed the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Florence Nyawa Bangalie for her exemplary work and professionalism exhibited in her career as Administrator.

The MPs showered praises on the Foreign Ministry’s Director General in the Well of Parliament during the debate and approval of the 15th Report of the Committee on Appointment and Public Service.

Among the eleven (11) Presidential Nominees, the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation was up as Ambassador-at-Large following her appointment by His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio on the 23rd of September, 2020.

Reading the profile of the Director General and Ambassador –at-Large, the Leader of Government Business, Hon Sahr Mathew Nyuma said, Mrs Florence Nyawa Bangalie is a Career Civil Servant- Diplomat with vast years of affiliated administrative experiences; a Master’s degree holder and the current Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He read that, Mrs Bangalie had served as Director in different capacities within the Ministry and as Minister Councilor and Head of Chancery at the Sierra Leone Embassy in Brussel, Belgium respectively.

Responding to the Committee on Appointments and Public Service on how the new Ambassador-at-Large would rejuvenate the Diplomatic Corps, Hon. Sahr Nyuma reported that, Mrs Bangalie responded that she would endeavour to ensure that Sierra Leone is recognised globally and that the Ministry is working on three documents: the Management Functional Review, the Foreign Service Act and the Foreign Service Policy.

During the debate session, Opposition Member of Parliament, Hon. Hassan Sesay described the Foreign Ministry’s Director General, Mrs Bangalie as an accomplished career civil servant and diplomat who has served the Ministry the longest time.

He went on to describe her as one of those who came from the old school of diplomats, trained within the Ministry and has flown within the ranks to where she is now; adding that with such a vast experience, the DG is more than competent and capable to serve in the capacity as Ambassador-at-Large.

The Chief Whip of Parliament, Hon. Dickson Rogers described DG Bangalie as a friendly individual who cuts across tribal and party lines and that she is down-to-earth. Hon. Rogers stated that he is confident that Mrs Bangalie will deliver her best in her new dispensation and continue to transform the Foreign Ministry.

Hon Josephine  Makieu in her contribution commended the Foreign Ministry DG adding that she had no doubt that, Mrs Bangalie would work assiduously in her new position as Ambassador-at-Large.

The Leader of C4C, Hon Sahr Emersson Lamina maintained that DG Bangalie is a hardworking civil servant who would give her best in her position as Director General and Ambassador-at-Larger of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Leader of the Main opposition in Parliament, Hon. Chernor M. Bah also made salient commendations and asked the House to support and approve DG Bangalie stating that, with her expertise as an Administrator, she would continue to give the Foreign Ministry a facelift.

The Speaker of Parliament, Dr Abass Bundu encouraged the Presidential Nominees to give their best while serving the people of Sierra Leone and live up to the expectations of the House of Parliament and of the President.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Presentation of COVID-19 Materials and Financial Support to the Government of Sierra Leone

After assiduously mobilising financial and material support in response to the call of the government of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Ambassador to Washington DC, His Excellency Abou – Bakar Sidique Wai and his Embassy staff through the Minister of Development and Economic Planning, Dr Francis Kaikai, have presented today to the Foreign Minister consignment of COVID-19 materials and financial support.

In February this year, Ambassador Abou -Bakar Sidique Wai received a request from the government of Sierra Leone soliciting support in the fight against COVID-19 in Sierra Leone. Through the diligent leadership of Ambassador Abou -Bakar Sidique Wai, Sierra Leone’s diaspora community in the USA and other good friends have donated 1 Forty feet container of COVID-19 materials. These items include two respirators that cost US$1.5million, five Respirators from Argentina, 22000 Face Masks, and financial support of US$50,000.

Ambassador Abou-Bakar Sidique Wai and staff put together a Task Force upon receipt of the request from the government of Sierra Leone. The responsibility of this task force was to oversee the mobilisation of donations that the country direly needs to fight the pandemic. The Task Force was headed by Dr Michael Rogers, who brought together credible board members in ensuring accountability and transparency.

With the United States recording the highest infection rate globally and its economy stagnated, Ambassador Abou -Bakar Sidique Wai and the team were able to reach out to the Sierra Leonean diaspora. According to Ambassador Abou-Bakar Sidique Wai, well-wishers responded generously.

“My staff worked overtime and contributed resources, and together, we are presenting this token to the government of Sierra Leone from the support of the Sierra Leone diaspora community”. Ambassador Abou-Bakar Sidique Wai noted that he appreciates the Sierra Leone embassy staff for rising to the occasion.

In his presentation of the donations at the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington DC, Dr Francis Kaikai showered appreciation on the Embassy for positively responding to the call of the government of Sierra Leone at a very critical moment. “We are delighted to participate in this event, and I sincerely acknowledge the efforts of Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora and friends of Sierra Leone”.

“The exercise was very transparent with accountability exhibited,” Dr Kaikai said. Dr Francis Kaikai notably recognised Dr Judy Kuriasky for his support towards fundraising and materials donated for the fight against COVID-19 in Sierra Leone.

On behalf of the government of Sierra Leone, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabeela Tunis expressed that the donation will go a long way in supporting and enhancing the government’s effort against the pandemic. “The accountability and transparency manifested by the Ambassador, staff of the Embassy,  and the COVID -19 Task Force in the USA will motivate other Sierra Leoneans”, she stated. Mrs Nabeela Tunis commended the leadership demonstrated by Ambassador Abou-Bakar Wai and the entire Embassy staff for mobilising Sierra Leoneans to support their country.

The Minister emphasised the government’s gratitude to the COVID-19 Task Force in the USA for the amount of time and effort dispensed to harness support. She concluded by sympathising with all Sierra Leoneans that had lost their loved ones during the pandemic.

 

The team at NACOVERC closely worked with the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington DC and the COVID-19 Task Force -the USA in making the project a success.

 

 

PEL Koroma

Information Attache – Washington DC

    

 

(Embassy of Sierra Leone- 1701 19th Street, N.W, Washington, DC, 20009)

Foreign Minister Nabeela Tunis Hosts Dinner for 16 Cuban Medical Specialists

Cuban Medical Specialist

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis on Tuesday hosted a brief dinner for the sixteen Cuban Medical Specialists who arrived in the shores of Sierra Leone on July 16th, 2020 to help the country fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Welcoming the Medical Specialists at the brief ceremony which was held at the Sierra Light House, Aberdeen, Freetown, Minister Nabeela Tunis said their arrival was a long journey with hours of discussions and moments of concerns that have resulted in the Government receiving a very prestigious set of people from a country with which Sierra Leone shares vision with. She reiterated the statement made by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.at the Presentation ceremony which was held at State House hat the support given by the Cuban Government indicated their commitment in solidifying the long standing bilateral relations between the two countries.

Minister Tunis said the presence of the Specialists marked the continuation of a journey of interaction and lot of learning experiences that the Government believes will be of benefit to the country. The Foreign Minister assured the Cuban Medical Specialists that their stay would be a memorable one.

The Cuban Charge d’ Affairs in Sierra Leone, Mr. Felix Raul Rojas Cruz in his brief remarks said Sierra Leone was the first country in Africa to have established diplomatic ties with Cuba years back and that the Cuban Government has always been there to answer to the call of Sierra Leone during challenging times.

The arrival of the Cuban Doctors and Nurses he said was not new as during the Ebola and Mudslide crises, the Government of Cuba sent in medical Specialists to assist the Government and people of Sierra Leone in combating those crises and that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuban Doctors have come again to assist.

This the Charge d’ Affairs said is an indication of the strong and cordial bilateral ties that the two countries are enjoy.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation said Sierra Leone and Cuba had a common history adding that the coming of the Doctors in Sierra Leone in particular and Africa as a whole is part of the President Fidel Castro’s dream of making sure Cubans and Africans live as one.

The ceremony was attended by the DG, Mrs. Florence Nyawa Bangalie, Directors, Deputy Directors and senior staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and senior management staff of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation as well as NACOVERC officials.

    

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Government’s Free Quality Education supported by Japanese Food Aid of 2,717 Metric Tons of Rice

Japanese food aid to support free quality education

Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Thursday 25th June, 2020 handed over 2,717 metric tons of rice worth about $1.15M in support of the free quality education to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education at Kennedy Street, East end of Freetown.

In his statement, the outgoing Deputy Director General-Policy, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Sahr E. Johnny said the purpose of the gathering was to formally hand over the Japanese Food Aid to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education.

Addressing the ceremony, the Deputy Director General-Operations, Mr. Duwai Sellu Lungay thanked the Government and People of Japan for such a laudable donation towards one of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s Flagship programmes, the Free Quality Education.

The Deputy Director General-Operations stated that the handing over ceremony was another history making event as it has indicated His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s effort in reaching out to the country’s bilateral International partners to see how he can actually mobilise supports towards providing the Free Quality Education; (the school feeding programme).

Speaking on behalf of the Consul and the Ambassador of Japan to Sierra Leone, Mr. Ram Shankerdas in his handing over speech said the Food Aid from Japan is an indication of the strong bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and Japan.

This bilateral tie, he said was further strengthened by His Excellency Brigadier retired Julius Maada Bio during the 7th Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) in August last year.

He added that, the Food Aid to Sierra Leone is in line with the Japanese Government commitment to the SDG-2 vision “ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture”.

Mr. Shankerdas disclosed that the Government of Japan has approved a Grant Aid of $3.6m for the provision of medical equipment for Sierra Leone as support to complement the efforts of the Government and of Sierra Leone towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Receiving the rice from Mr. Duwai Sellu Lungay, Deputy Director General-Operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Senior Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Mr. David W.S. Banya, said school feeding is a critical component of the Free Quality Education programme of Dr. Julius Maada Bio.

The donation, he said came in at no better time than now. He assured that with the rice in the possession of the Ministry of Basic Education, will be utilised for the intended purposes.

He expressed thanks and appreciation on behalf of the beneficiaries, Minister and Government of Sierra Leone to the Government and people of Japan for the timely gesture.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

The Kingdom of Morocco Supports Sierra Leone with Medical Items in the Fight against COVID-19

Kingdom of Morocco donates medical items

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday 24th June, 2020 received assorted medical items from the Government and People of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea, H.E. Amb. Alimamy Bangura welcomed the Director of the United Nations and International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign and International Cooperation of Morocco, Mr. Redouane Houssaini, on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone.

He stated that the donation has come at a time when the country needed it most adding that it would be utilised judiciously.

In his handing over statement, Mr. Redouane Houssaini said the donation has been made on the instruction of His Majesty King Mohammed VI who out of his altruistic belief decided to provide medical assistance to some African countries to strengthen the South-south Cooperation in solidarity with African countries to combat the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that the donation was to assist the Government of Sierra Leone in the fight against the COVID-19 adding that the spirit behind the gift was a clear manifestation of the long standing bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and Morocco.

He reiterated the importance of His Majesty’s “Africa initiative” which was launched in April last year aiming at establishing an operational framework in order for African countries to assist, learn and get best practices from one another when faced with unprecedented challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Receiving the items on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Solomon Jamiru Esq, expressed thanks and appreciation to His Majesty, King Mohammed VI and people of Morocco for standing in solidarity with the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Mr. Jamiru expressed appreciation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs.  Nabeela Tunis for her relentless efforts in coordinating with the country’s bilateral partner for the donation.

He assured that the medical items constituted a very timely donation and that they will be used for their intended purposes in complementing government’s efforts in fighting the common enemy.

The Deputy Foreign Minister elucidated the challenges emanating from the Corona Virus disease with a total of over one thousand, three hundred (1,300) cases, about fifty-five (55) deaths and that the recoveries per cumulative confirmed positive cases is about 63%.

He informed the Director of UN and International Organisation of Foreign Affairs of Morocco that, Government will continue to prioritise surveillance as the core function of contact tracing, taking deliberate steps to expand the scope of COVID-19 testing, strengthening the wide spectrum of operations in the Emergency from surveillance to case management, quarantined to security and from risk communication to social mobilization.

The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Anthony Sandy on behalf of the Minister of Health and Sanitation expressed similar sentiments for the timely donation.

In attendance were the Deputy Director General-Policy, Mr. Unisa Sahid Kamara, the Director of Africa, Mr. Yusufu F. Benga-Sama, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and staff of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health and Sanitation.

 

Lungi: (MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

COVID-19

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Supports the Fight Against COVID-19 by Donating Le 135,082,000 to EOC

COVID-19

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Monday June 1st 2020 supports the fight against COVID-19 by donating Le 135, 082, 000 together with one hundred 25Kg bags of rice to the National COVID Operations Centre at the SLFA Football Academy, Kingtom, Freetown.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Florence N. Bangalie said that the idea of the Ministry’s support came in during a management meeting where they deliberated on how they as citizen could come in to help His Excellency’s strides in the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

Director General added that all staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation including officers at post agreed to contribute the said amount to support Government in the fight to end the COVID-19 plaque.

She lauded the sacrifices of her staff for raising such huge amount especially at these trying times.

Presenting the donations, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis informed the gathering that, the initiative was borne out by the Director General and staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The Minister revealed that such initiative was not new to the staff of the Ministry as according to her in 2014, the Ministry contributed some to EOC maintaining that such initiatives were to support government’s efforts and to ensure that their support to those scourges were owned by Sierra Leoneans and to also recognized the efforts of all EOC staff and Health Workers in the fight against those plaques.

The money Minister Nabeela Tunis said was willingly contributed by staff constituting the Ministry’s Messengers right up to her level adding that the contributions range from ten thousand Leones (Le10, 000) to five million Leones and had been collected over a month.

She reiterated her Ministry’s contributions in the fight against COVID-19 by facilitating several layers of supports from other countries and partners.

Minister Tunis concluded her statement with the announcement of an addition of a hundred bags of 25kg rice to support government’s efforts to adequately cater for those in the Quarantined and Isolation Centres.

Receiving the donations, the National COVID-19 Coordinator, Rtd Brigadier Kellie Conteh expressed on behalf of staff of the EOC thanks and appreciations for such a impressive venture taken by staff of the Ministry to not only appreciate His Excellency’s President Bio’s efforts in the COVID fight but also aiding the EOC.

He commended the Ministry for such ventures adding that the initiatives of the Foreign Ministry was a sign of good leadership among Civil Servants and called on other Ministries to emulate the outstanding example of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The National COVID-19 Coordinator thanked the Minister for supporting the fight at both home and abroad.

The Deputy Director General, Operations, Mr Duwai Lungay informed that the bags of rice donated to the EOC was given to the Ministry by one of the country’s long standing bilateral NGO partners, Direct Aid.

He explained the COVID-19 has affected the Ministry’s operations especially at the International level.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)