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)