FSA Conference Hall, MoFAIC, Freetown, 4th August 2023-
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) Friday hosted a Business Development and Cultural Exchange Mission from Miami-Dade County in the United States of America.
The Business and Cultural Mission delegation comprises 38 dignitaries including the Commissioner of Miami Dade County and other private sector investors, some of who are visiting Africa and Sierra Leone in particular for the first time.
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Timothy Kabba, The Director General and Ambassador at Large, in the Ministry Dr. Victoria Sulimani, commended the delegation for choosing Sierra Leone as a destination for cultural exchange and investment opportunities.
She commended the high-powered delegation as one of the best to recently visit the country as it was led by Honorable Kionne Mcghee, Miami-Dade County Commissioner – District 9, and over thirty (30) Public Officials as well as Private individuals interested in exploring win-win opportunities in Sierra Leone.
“The importance of this Business Development and Cultural Mission to Sierra Leone cannot be overstated. Your visit coincides with the renewed mandate of the Government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, to consolidate the strong development gains made in the last five years. Sierra Leone is a country of rich and diverse resources; a country of many untapped or underexplored opportunities; a country with a unique and rich cultural heritage. In the last five years, Sierra Leone has invested heavily in Human Capital Development with a focus on education, health, and agriculture. These investments have laid a solid foundation as well as creating a conducive environment for foreign direct investments and other forms of win-win partnerships. Going forward, in the next five years, one of our flagships for propelling transformative growth is an initiative called Feed Salone, through which the Government aims at boosting our staple food production with the view to reducing reliance on food imports, increasing exports and creating jobs. This presents massive opportunities for partnerships and investment,” Ambassador Sulimani said.
Ambassador Sulimani expressed hope that the visit will explore business opportunities around tourism, education, agriculture and also promote cultural exchange between Miami-Dade County and Sierra Leone.
The Commissioner from Miami-Dade County Hon-Kionne L Mcghee outlined the historic background of Africa and America and how both continents have existed for ages with mutual respect for culture and diversity.
“We stand here because it is our shared ancestral connections that allow for us to be here not as guests but as family. This is a family reunion. We traveled over 4555 miles from Miami-Dade County to Freetown with a delegation of business leaders, non-profit leaders, political leaders, and government leaders who are willing to share their expertise and knowledge with you.
While we look forward to sharing business opportunities back home, we also hope to tap from your tourism, agro-tourism, and other opportunities that we can take back home,” Commissioner Mcghee said.
The delegation also informed that Africa is the least continent to explore business opportunities in Miami and that August is a month known as Black Business Month in Miami-Dade County where black businesses are recognized.
Commissioner Marleine Bastien from District 2 in Miami-Dade County and some of the delegations expressed thanks and appreciation for being part of such a wonderful delegation as they learnt a lot.
Power point presentations were done by senior Government representatives consisting of ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Professional/Technical Experts from Ministries, Department and Agencies from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Transport and Aviation, Education, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Agriculture and Food Security, Local Government and Community Development, Freetown City Council, the National Investment Board (NIB) of Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone Import and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA).
Some of the historical sites like the old Fourah Bay College, the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, and cultural sites were visited by the delegation.