The Hungarian delegation led by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ietvan Soo has paid a courtesy call on the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mrs. Nimatulai Bah-Chang at her Tower Hill office in Freetown. Mr. Ietvan Soo briefed the Acting Minister on the purpose of their visit to Sierra Leone which is to explore business opportunities, and understands development needs of the Government. He told the Minister that Hungary is interested in Economic Cooperation in the areas of water sector, agriculture, energy and bilateral trade in Sierra Leone. He added that the inauguration of the Honorary Consul office in Sierra Leone will increase cooperation between Sierra Leone and Hungary, adding that the inauguration of the Consular Office in Sierra Leone is a reinforcement of Hungary’s presence in the Continent of Africa. The meeting was held on the 13th February, 2019.
The Hungarian Deputy Minister encouraged Ministry of Foreign Ministry through the Acting Minister to sign the Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) on Diplomatic Exchange, and Scholarship Exchange Programmes. The Scholarship Exchange Programme Mr. Soo explained will provide Sierra Leonean students the opportunity to study in Hungary, stressing that the early signing of the MOU will enable students to gain admission into Universities in Hungary in the 2019/2020 Academic Year. Hungary he explained has six Embassies in Sub-Saharan Region with Trade Attaches in the Embassies to explore business opportunities on behalf of Hungary.
In her response, the Acting Foreign Affairs Minister informed the Hungarian Deputy Minister that the visit of the Hungarian delegation to Sierra Leone will further move the relationship between the two countries. Sierra Leone she stated is practising economic diplomacy that encourages trade. She added that the renewal of the bilateral ties with the New Direction Government is timely, adding that President Julius Maada Bio wants to see practical developments that will benefits the citizens of Sierra Leone. She called on the Hungarian delegation to open an embassy in Sierra Leone, and engage in meaningful business that benefits the people of Sierra Leone.
Minister Bah-Chang intimated the Hungarian Deputy Minister that the areas of interest of the delegation are parts of the New Direction priorities, she added that the National Development Plan of the country will be launched soon. Investment she reiterated will provide jobs for citizens, but appealed for exchange of tutors especially in courses that are not offered in Sierra Leone. She informed the delegation on the establishment of the Diplomatic Academy meant to train middle level career diplomats, and therefore encouraged assistance even in the area of tuition.
Mr. Al-Hassan Karahmoh Kondeh- Deputy Director General for Operations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation told the delegation that the Diplomatic Academy is a priority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Alie Kabba. He called on the delegation to help with the establishment of the Diplomatic School. He assured the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary for support to the Honorary Consul in Sierra Leone. “Shenge Visa is costing Government Officials huge sum to travel to Ghana just to secure one” he explained, he therefore craved on the indulgence of the delegation to help salvage the situation.