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.