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)

High Commissioner-Designate of Nigeria Presents Copies of His Letter of Credence To Foreign Minister Professor Francis

Lebanon Charge d’Affairs, Mr Hadi Jaber Bids Farewell to Salone Foreign Minister

Press Release

High Commissioner-Designate of the Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Henry John Omaku on Monday 10th May, 2021 presented copies of his Letter of Credence to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prof. David Francis at his office, Ministry Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown.

Welcoming High Commissioner-Designate, His Excellency Henry John Omaku to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Prof. David Francis intimated the envoy that as the new Minister of Foreign and International Cooperation, he had brought to the Foreign Ministry a clear understanding of the priorities of the ‘New Direction’ Government of His Excellency, President Dr Julius Maada Bio.

Minister Prof. Francis went on to brief the High Commissioner-Designate on the new foreign policy shift from Economic Diplomacy to Development Diplomacy.

Development, he said, is the national interest of the “New Direction’s’ Government and that it is derived from the manifesto commitment and manifested in the Medium Term National Development Plan, the flagship human capital development of President focusing on education, health, agriculture and food security.

The shift, the Foreign Minister said, would focus on positioning the country as a small but inspiring and emerging country that is smart to focus on free education and to invest in long term sustainable future of the country as the new shift would look at strategic relationships with other countries.

Sierra Leone and Nigeria he said have had a strong cordial relationship that has spanned decades, and as the new Foreign Minister, he is going to continue to strengthen the bond between the two countries and that of the two Heads of States, their Excellencies, President Dr Julius Maada Bio and President Muhammad Buhari.

Minister Prof. Francis called on the High Commissioner-Designate to partner with Sierra Leone especially in the area of the training of diplomatic staff of the Foreign Ministry .

In his brief statement, High Commissioner -Designate, Mr Henry John Omaku once again congratulated Foreign Minister, Prof. David Francis on his new assignment as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

High Commissioner -Designate Omaku assured the Foreign Minister that he is in the country to put up his best in continuing to strengthen and deepen the already existing bilateral ties between Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Speaking on his new role, he promised to partner with Sierra Leone, add value and bring in new innovations to ensure that things change in the right direction between the two sister countries with a view to creating an enabling environment for interaction and sharing ideas that would benefit the peoples of both countries.

-END-

 

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

New Foreign Minister meets with members of the diplomatic corps

Minister Professor David Francis Holds First Engagement with Members of the Diplomatic Corp

Lebanon Charge d’Affairs, Mr Hadi Jaber Bids Farewell to Salone Foreign Minister

Press Release

The newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Prof. David J. Francis on Friday 7th May, 2021 held his maiden Engagement with members of the Diplomatic Corps in Sierra Leone at the Ministry’s main Conference Hall, Tower Hill, Freetown.

In her opening remarks, the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara expressed sincere appreciation to members of the Diplomatic Corp for honouring the invite in the spirit of good neighborliness, camaraderie and the friendship ties that have characterized the bond between Sierra Leone and the Diplomatic Corps.

The Deputy Minister commended the Diplomatic Missions in Sierra Loene for their immense contributions in the fight to combat the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Speaking on the issue of collaboration, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, echoed the enthralling essence for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to collaborate with the Diplomatic Community to share experience in various sectors.

She reaffirmed the importance of strengthening and deepening bilateral and multilateral relationship through enduring technical cooperation agreements and joint Commissions for Cooperation.

She concluded by assuring Members of the Diplomatic Corps of the cooperation of the new leadership at all times.

Speaking on the purpose of the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prof. David J. Francis, apprised the envoys about a new shift in Sierra Leone’s Foreign Policy approach from Economic Diplomacy to Development Diplomacy.

This change, he said, has come as a result of the global crisis and its impact on the ‘New Direction’ Government which required a fundamental shift in the Foreign Policy approach and diplomatic posture of Sierra Leone to strategically position the country to convert and leverage the global challenges into unique opportunities for the ‘New Direction’ Government.

The shift, Prof. Francis said is based on the simple fact that economic diplomacy is only one form of diplomacy which include among others public, political, military vaccine, health diplomacies, and that it is not an end in itself, but a mean to an end, that end being is development/sustainable development in all its forms.

He added that the shift to Development Diplomacy is motivated by an increasingly diminishing global appetite for development assistance and foreign aid. A trend he said that had been necessitated by donor promotion of the concept of Trading out of Poverty’ ; the global COVID-19 pandemic and the international economic and financial crisis and, the attendant devastating impact on foreign aid to least developed and low income countries.

The Minister emphasized that the Diplomacy posture aims at to 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.

This, he said would increase Foreign Direct Investments, improve exports and support the President’s flagship Human Capital Development flagship programme, the Mid-term National Development Plan and the SLPP Manifesto commitments.

The Foreign Minister maintained that, central to the new Development Diplomacy, Trade and Investment Foreign Policy approach, is the deliberate and purposive choice to transform the country’s economy and achieve Middle-Income development status by tapping into opportunities around the world that will support & increase mutually beneficial economic and development relations in the country’s diplomatic exchanges.

He said, as a strategic priority, the Trade & Investment Development Diplomacy would promote in-country beneficiation and value-addition in all trade and investments opportunities attracted into Sierra Leone.

Ideologically, he said the new Development Diplomacy is about national respect and pride, about empowerment and ownership of the country’s Foreign Policy and Development destiny.

He concluded that, in the quest for the new Development Diplomacy Foreign Policy approach, Sierra Leone would continue to promote and positively work with traditional diplomatic friends and relations, as well as new and emerging partners within the context of the new framework to the pursuit of Sierra Leone’s Permanent interests that would protect and preserve the core national values with a primary focus on development.

Adding that this way, Sierra Leone would build a strong and credible Partnership for Development in all of her diplomatic relations.

-END-

 

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

Salone New Foreign Minister Interacts with the Media

Lebanon Charge d’Affairs, Mr Hadi Jaber Bids Farewell to Salone Foreign Minister

Press Release

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prof. David J. Francis on Thursday 6th May, 2021 interacted with a cross section of members of the Fourth Estate at a Press Conference held at the Ministry’s main Conference Hall, Tower Hill, Freetown.

Welcoming members of the Press, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. David J. Francis said, since his appointment as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and his engagement with the senior leadership of the Ministry, he has thought it wise to engage the media in a Press Conference to present a new Foreign Policy Shift.

He informed the media of his first official encounter with senior and junior members of staff of the Ministry where he had encouraged them that there is an opportunity to change and transform the Foreign Ministry to make it a forward looking, progressive, dynamic and an enterprising Ministry that will project Sierra Leone as a confident, emerging country that is set to become a middle income country.

The Foreign Minister said he had called the Press Conference to present to the media a new Foreign Policy shift which would explain the direction Sierra Leone is heading, the type of international environment it would face, and how it should position itself as a small country to maximize the opportunities of the international system, and at the same time present Sierra Leone in terms of its opportunities, its favourable social and economic climate, and its foreign policy posture among others.

Minister Prof. David Francis explained to the media that they, himself and Deputy Minister are bringing to the Foreign Ministry a vision to strategically align His Excellency President Bio’s ‘New Direction’ vision to that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Pro. David Francis said he would bring to the Foreign Ministry a strategic leadership focusing on competence, professionalism, clear knowledge and understanding of Foreign Policy and international cooperation to leverage the country’s role in the international system.

The new shift, he added, is to strategically position Sierra Leone in order to convert global challenges and crises into opportunities and to leverage those opportunities for the ‘New Direction’ Government. The shift, he told the newsmen is from Economic Diplomacy to Development Diplomacy as a national interest. He called on the media to help project the new Foreign Policy Shift to rebrand Sierra Leone.

He acknowledged the leadership of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis for her relentless role played during her reign especially in reviewing the country’s Foreign Policy with clear recommendations.

-END-

 

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

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)

Sierra Leone and Cuba Sign Regular Diplomatic Consultation Agreement

Sierra Leone and Cuba Sign Regular Diplomatic Consultation Agreement

Press Release

The Government of Sierra Leone and the Government of Cuba on Friday 19th March, 2021 signed an Agreement on Regular Diplomatic Consultation during a virtual meeting between the Foreign Ministers of both countries.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis extended fraternal greetings to her Cuban counterpart, Mr Bruno Rodriquez Parrilla. Also, on behalf of His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio, she thanked the Government and People of Cuba for providing Medical Brigades to Sierra Leone both during the Ebola epidemic and now the COVID-19 pandemic. The support during the pandemic, she said, helped to prevent the spread of the virus, as the Brigade team provided fantastic support to the Sierra Leone Medical team imparting them with pertinent knowledge in general healthcare.

The Foreign Minister said the signing ceremony marked another milestone in the bilateral relations that have existed for decades between the two sister countries. Minister Farida Tunis stated that the agreement, would tighten and deepen further the long standing friendship that the two countries have enjoyed.

Also, she informed her Cuban counterpart of Government’s desire to have discussions with the Cuban Government on establishing long term medical brigade in Sierra Leone that would be deployed across the country. Moreover, the discussions will also focus on how the two countries would work towards sustaining agreements on cooperation and on boosting the healthcare system of Sierra Leone. She requested from her counterpart for consideration of Sierra Leone when vaccines are readily available from Cuba. 

Furthermore, Minister Tunis disclosed to Minister Parrilla  the intention of Sierra Leone bidding for the United Nations Security Council Non-Permanent seat in 2024 and solicited support in that direction. She further disclosed President Julius Maada Bio’s consideration of having a presence in Cuba at Charge d’ Affairs level.

The Presence of Sierra Leone in Cuba she concluded would enhance meaningful bilateral cooperation. In his statement, the Cuba Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla expressed appreciation to his Sierra Leone counterpart for her relentless efforts in tightening the bilateral bonds between Cuba and Sierra Leone.

He expressed gratitude for the 49th celebration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and Sierra Leone describing the occasion as historical and a benchmark for traditional mutual ties between the two countries. Mr Parrilla said, the signing ceremony of the agreement is an important step in strengthening and deepening the bilateral relations between Cuba and Sierra Leone.

Minister Parrilla emphasized that the bond of friendship between the two countries has started years back and has been enjoyed by the people of both countries. The Cuba Foreign Minister reiterated that the bilateral cooperation between Cuba and Sierra Leone is a priority for the Cuban Government.

He expressed profound gratitude and appreciation to Sierra Leone for the stance taken on multilateral issues including the 60 years economic embargo on Cuba. Speaking on the issue of the pandemic, Minister Parrilla said, as a government, they have been following up on the global trend and that his country has been able to keep the spread of the virus under control, despite the 300 COVID-19 death the country had suffered. His country’s vaccines, he said, are on clinical trials and promised that when they would be made available, Sierra Leone would be considered. 

Speaking on his country’s support to Sierra Leone, Mr Parrilla said that the Government of Cuba is planning to hold a technical cooperation meeting with the Sierra Leone Government on the medical field and that regarding the bilateral cooperation on education, they are considering an increase in the number of scholarships to Sierra Leone.

The Cuba Foreign Minister stated that Cuba and Sierra Leone have maintained an excellent tradition in supporting each other, assuring that Cuba will continue to support Sierra Leone’s interests at the multilateral levels.

He concluded that the Cuban Government highly welcomes the idea of Sierra Leone having a presence in Cuba and of receiving H. E. President Bio and Minister Nabeela Tunis in Havana when the COVID- 19 situation allows safety to travel.

Present at the signing ceremony were the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, Mrs Florence Nyawa Bangalie,  Director of Americas and South Pacific who coordinated and moderated the meeting, Mrs Isha Sillah, Deputy Director of America and South Pacific, Mr Steven Levey and staff of the America Division.

 

-END-

 

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

Charge d’Affairs of Lebanon, Mr Hadi Jaber Bids Farewell to Salone Foreign Minister

Lebanon Charge d’Affairs, Mr Hadi Jaber Bids Farewell to Salone Foreign Minister

Press Release

The Charge d’Affairs of Lebanon to Sierra Leone, Mr Hadi Jaber on Tuesday, 23rd February, 2021 bade farewell to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis at her Tower Hill Office, OAU, Driver, Freetown.

In his farewell statement, the Charge d’Affairs spoke on the strong bilateral relationship between Lebanon and Sierra Leone which he said has spanned for decades now. Mr Jaber highlighted some of the development strides his country embarked on in Sierra Leone.

Mr Jaber said during his stay in the country, the embassy together with the Lebanese Community in Sierra Leone donated some food aid and facilitated the arrival of some Medical Practitioners from Lebanon who spent more than 2 months in Sierra Leone to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

He assured the Minister that his Successor would follow up on other remaining issues, deepen the bilateral ties, exploring on other development issues and work on the bilateral agreements on taxation, investment among others.

The Charge d’Affairs commended the Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for the good collaboration and stronger ties between the two countries.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Nabeela Tunis in her response said it had been a pleasure working with the Charge d’ Affairs adding that, as a Ministry they are satisfied with the cooperation under the stewardship of the Charge d”Affairs and the Embassy and that they are looking forward to continue to strengthen the cooperation with his successor.

Mrs Tunis said the Government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio and the people of Sierra Leone are aware and appreciate the efforts made by Mr Hadi Jaber, the Embassy and the Lebanese Community to get the required assistance to help the Government in its response to COVID-19.

Minister Tunis thanked the Charge d’Affairs for the bilateral agreement on Taxation and Investment that has been placed on the table; reminding him of Government’s strides in focusing on trade and investment by creating an enabling business environment for both entrepreneurs and potential investors to thrive into the country.

She thanked the Charge d’Affairs for his efforts in the issue of Sierra Leonean domestic workers in Lebanon, the legitimization of visa issuance to future and intending domestic workers to Lebanon and supports in the areas of health and education. 

Minister Tunis commended Charge d’Affairs, Mr Jaber for cooperating with the Ministry and Government on issues of national and global concerns.

She concluded her statement by wishing Mr Hadi Jaber on behalf of the Ministry and the Government of Sierra Leone the very best in his future engagement.

In attendance were the Deputy Director of Operations, the Director of Asia and Deputy Director of Protocol.

-END-

 

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

Sierra Leone High Commission in Kenya Mourns the Death of Mr. Peter Joseph Francis, High Commissioner to the Republic of Kenya

Death of Mr. Peter Joseph Francis

Press Release

The staff of the Sierra High Commission in Kenya and the Sierra Leonean Community in Kenya mourn the death of Mr. Peter Joseph Francis, the Sierra Leone High  Commissioner to the Republic of Kenya, who passed away on Monday, the 28th December 2020 in his home town, Kenema, eastern Sierra Leone while on vacation.

The High Commission is saddened by this tragic and sudden death and considers it as an irreparable and great loss. It will forever mourn and always remember him for his  unwavering commitment, patriotism and diligence to national service. The High Commission also expresses its heartfelt and devout condolences to the wife and the entire bereaved family.

High Commissioner Mr. Peter Joseph Francis was also Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN— Habitat.

 

A Book of Condolence has been opened at the Chancery’s Premises in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

Rest In Peace Mr. Peter Joseph Francis, Till We Meet Again.

-END-

 

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

Statement Delivered by Minister at the Launch of the 1st “All Protocols Observed” Handbook

Launching of the Book "All Protocols Observed

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

 

Launching of the Book “All Protocols Observed: A Handbook on Protocol Practices and Procedures’’

 

November 24th 2020

Minister’s Statement

Mr. Chairman,

Ministers of Government present

Ambassadors

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

I am deeply honoured to be here this evening to launch the book: ‘’All Protocols Observed: A Handbook on Protocol Practices and Procedures’’ written by one of Sierra Leone’s finest diplomats, Ambassador Soulay B. Daramy.

As the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sierra Leone I am particularly pleased that a product of our esteemed institution, has achieved this great success not only for himself and immediate family members, but for the entire nation.

My greatest joy however, stems from the fact that Government officials and the general public now have a reliable contextual reference point whenever questions on the observation of Protocol arises. As Ambassador Daramy expertly stated in his book, to overserve protocol is to follow the rules. But without knowledge of the rules that apply at every stage and at every given occasion, observing all standard protocols is always challenged.

Each and every one of us may have erred in one way or the other regarding the application of Protocol Rules in its strictest sense. Whilst a few of the errors maybe due to blatant violation by some members of the public, most Protocol Rules have been found to be violated due to sheer lack of knowledge of the practices and procedures that should be observed and followed at each given time.  

However, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we cannot continue to disregard the undesirable consequences of substituting standard protocols with unconventional practices and therefore, we should endeavour to correct and rectify those aspects of our engagement which may not conform with the standards laid out for which etiquettes and general comportment are also central.

It is therefore my ardent desire that this expertly written guide will fill those knowledge gaps and provide the much needed insight into the rules of protocols; where etiquettes are second nature, those rules which will trigger widespread public respect for protocol practices and procedures, and inspire everyone to adhere to those international standards and best practices for hosting events, welcoming guests of the state and conferring honour and reverence in a manner that will make all of us proud of our great nation.

 

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

This book could not have been launched at a better time than now when Sierra Leone is heightening relations with the outside world and firming up its leadership in global governance. As we have seen in the past year, the country has received a number of high-profile guests and is expecting many more in the near future.

When international cooperation with other countries in trade, commerce, security, and other socioeconomic sectors is intensified as we have done as a government, it naturally attracts high-profile people to visit and experience what the country has to offer.

I am fully confident that in reference to governance, investment opportunities, tourism potentials, and even the warmth and hospitality of Sierra Leoneans, our guests would not be disappointed at all. But one area in which I have always demanded considerable improvement has been in the area of Protocol and Protocol Services. Even though this book is not by any means a panacea to the plethora of current challenges, I believe it is one huge step towards addressing some of the difficulties we encounter on a daily basis with following protocol rules.

On a personal note, I find Chapter 8 of Ambassador Daramy’s book the most compelling portion of the entire piece. On Page 97 and 98, Ambassador Daramy made an impressive attempt to elucidate the current social trend in political and technical governance across Africa and around the world, that has seen increased participation of women in public life at the highest level. The book recognized and highlighted some of the women who have occupied high-ranking and high-profile positions at national and international levels.

Ambassador Daramy, the stories of those women mentioned in your book are the same stories our government is working hard to live out for millions of our young girls in Sierra Leone. As His Excellency the President, Dr Julius Maada Bio continues to give the platform for deserving women to serve in senior positions, I hope this book will further inspire many more girls and young women to work towards meriting similar positions of honour in the future.

I now use this opportunity to call on all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to get copies of this book for members of their staff, as it will help them to gain the much-needed insight into the intricacies of Protocol Practices and Procedures.

Since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is the citadel of all protocol practices, I have directed the Director-General and Ambassador-at-Large to ensure that each and every member of our staff gets a copy of the book and READS it.

May I use this opportunity to thank Ambassador Soulay Daramy and all those Ambassadors and former senior staff members of the MFAIC who have willingly devoted hours to consistently train our staff on protocols and other relevant areas over the past 18 months. The guidance provided and knowledge shared has been and always will be appreciated. We look forward to formalising this relationship with the Foreign Service Academy.

Mr Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen

On my own behalf and on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone, let me conclude by thanking Ambassador Soulay Daramy for this wonderful contribution to the Human Capital Development aspirations of His Excellency the President of the Republic and Fountain of Honour, Brigadier Retired Dr Julius Maada Bio. This is indeed the work of a patriot. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think Ambassador Daramy deserves a round of thunderous applaud.

Without further ado, I have the singular honour to formally launch Sierra Leone’s Encyclopedia for Protocol Practices and Procedures ‘’All Protocols Observed’’ by Ambassador Soulay Daramy.

I thank you all for coming.

 

 

 

 

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)

Vice President Jalloh Leads Sierra Leone Delegation to ECOWAS Virtual Extra Ordinary Summit

Vice President Jalloh Leads Sierra Leone Delegation to ECOWAS Virtual Extra Ordinary Summit

Press Release

The Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh on Friday 28th August, 2020 led Sierra Leone delegation which comprise of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis, Minister of Defence, Brigadier (Rtd.) Kellie Conteh and an expert from the Directorate of Africa in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Yousuf Benga-Sama to ECOWAS virtual Extra Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government.

The conference which was summoned, was headed by the Former President of the Republic of Nigeria, HE Goodluck Jonathan to look into the report of the ECOWAS Mediation on the Socio-political in the Republic of Mali.

In his contribution, the Hon. Vice President of Sierra Leone apologised on behalf of His Excellency Brigadier (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio who was unavoidably absent due to some other state functions.

The Hon. Vice President made succinct presentation in resolving the Mali crisis based on his UN experiences in peace and resolution and on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone supported the resolutions taken by the ECOWAS Commission and the International Committee in resolving the Mali crisis peacefully.

He however, cautioned the decision of the ECOWAS with regards the transitional period in order to arrive at a concession with all stakeholders in Mali.

He furthered reaffirmed Sierra Leone’s solidarity with the people of Mali during this trying times and congratulated the President of Nigel who doubles as Chairman of Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, His Excellency Mohamadu Issoufou for his exemplary leadership in proffering a solution to the Mali crisis.

The Summit was climaxed with key decisions which among them was the resignation of His Excellency Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as President of the Republic of Mali in order to minimize the crisis in Mali, the formation of a transitional government to be headed by a civilian President and civilian Prime Minister and that they should not contest for further elections, the Military should not be at the helm of affairs nor lead the transition government.

The Summit also took note of the prevailing circumstances in Mali and promised to review certain restrictions; ECOWAS and the International Committee should agree on decisions taken by the Authority; the setting up of a committee which should comprise of ECOWAS, AU, UN and other International Organizations to monitor the situation in Mali.

The Summit was pleased with the information of the release of both Mali Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament by the Junta.

The Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, His Excellency Mohamadou Issoufou expressed his thanks and appreciations to his colleagues Heads of State for their meaningful contributions in proffering solutions to resolve the Mali crisis and for attending the summit.

The Summit was adjourned to September 7th 2020 in Niamey, Republic of Nigel to further explore necessary avenues to resolve the Mali crisis.

 

-END-

 

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

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)

Sierra Leone Foreign Minister Holds Fruitful Discussions with China’s State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs

Sierra Leone Foreign Minister Holds Fruitful Discussions with China's State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs

Press Release

The Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone, Mrs Nabeela Tunis, on 31st July 2020 had a tele-meeting with her China’s State Councilor Wang Yi. Minister Tunis in her initial remarks, reassured Councilor H. E. Wang Yi of Sierra Leone’s continued commitment to further strengthen the diplomatic ties that have existed between the two countries for nearly half a century.

Minister Tunis described China as a reliable partner to Sierra Leone’s socioeconomic development drive, and reiterated Sierra Leone’s commitment to continue working closely with China to achieve goals and objectives that are of common and shared  interest and  mutually beneficial to both countries, especially in the international arena.

Minister Tunis highlighted the current challenge that COVID-19 continues to pose to the development ambitions of the Government and appealed to her Chinese counterpart to consider working with the Government of Sierra Leone in investing in Education, agriculture, promotion of local industry, fisheries, and technology transfer.

In response, the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, H. E Mr Wang Yi, reaffirmed China’s commitment to strengthening the mutual trust and friendship that continues to flourish between the two countries. Minister Wang also reaffirmed China’s continued commitment to working with the government of Sierra Leone to defeat COVID-19, as well as to assist the country to recover from the economic setback caused by the pandemic.

Minister Wang disclosed that the Chinese Government will tap into special funds set aside for Africa to help Sierra Leone promote its development objectives in Education, health, agriculture, fisheries, and other areas. H.E., Councilor Wang Yi further informed of his government’s willingness to sign a cooperation agreement with Sierra Leone on implementing the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).

Councilor Wang Yi and Minister Tunis agreed that the two countries should engage in proper planning and execution of cooperation agreements as diplomatic relations between Sierra Leone and China approach 50 years.

He concluded by confirming China’s willingness to work with African countries including Sierra Leone, for the advancement of common interests in the international fora.

 

-END-

 

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

Foreign Minister Holds Virtual Bilateral Talks with Rwanda Minister

Sierra Leone Foreign Minister Holds Virtual Bilateral Talks with Rwanda Minister

Press Release

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis on Tuesday July 28th 2020 held a Virtual bilateral conversation with Rwanda Minister, Mr Vincent Biruta.

During the virtual Meeting, the two ministers discussed several issues of mutual interest ranging from cooperation on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, cooperation on international platforms including the United Nations and Africa Union, to the signing of a Joint Cooperation Commission in Sierra Leone later this year.

Minister Tunis, on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone, expressed her sincere condolences to the Government and people of Rwanda for the precious Rwandan lives that have been lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Tunis appealed for a continued global and regional solidarity to defeat the COVID-19 disease. Minister Nabeela Tunis went on to inform her counterpart of the ratification by the Sierra Leone Parliament of the Cooperate Agreement that was signed between the two countries in 2019.

Minister Tunis told her Rwanda counterpart, Minister Vincent Biruta that Sierra Leone is looking forward to receiving a team of experts from Rwanda to operationalized the Agreements.

The Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta assured Minister Tunis  of Rwanda’s commitment to further strengthen the already strong bilateral ties that have existed  between the two countries for decades.

Minister Biruta highlighted key areas of potential socioeconomic and technological cooperation between Sierra Leone and Rwanda .

Minister Biruta underscored the importance of the Joint Cooperation Commission that will be signed in Freetown after the COVID-19 restrictions on travel are relaxed.

Both Ministers agreed to continue working closely on issues of mutual interest both at the bilateral and multilateral levels.

-END-

 

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

Minister Nabeela Tunis Held Bilateral Talks with Turkish Foreign Minister

Lebanon Charge d’Affairs, Mr Hadi Jaber Bids Farewell to Salone Foreign Minister

Press Release

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Nabeela Tunis, held a virtual meeting with her counterpart, the Turkish Foreign Minister, H.E. Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Opening the discussion with the usual diplomatic courtesies, Minister Tunis highlighted the unprecedented human and material cost unleashed by the pandemic and more specifically, the resultant socio-economic difficulties encountered by developing countries. In reference to the situation in Sierra Leone, Minister Tunis shared lessons from an early response strategy instituted by government which has helped to curb the spread of the disease. Noting that support from friendly countries was critical in ramping up the national response, Minister Tunis thanked the Turkish government on behalf of H. E. the President, Dr Julius Maada Bio, for its donation of respiratory equipment and medical supplies through the Kar Power Electricity Company in Freetown.

During the conversation, Minister Tunis conceded that the pandemic had shifted focus away from other important developmental processes that Sierra Leone had been engaged in prior to the outbreak. However, she appealed to her colleague to remain committed to the cooperation agreements they signed in 2019 on education, technology and industry sectors as well as capacity strengthening of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, among others.

Minister Tunis informed her colleague that an appreciable parcel of land has been allocated to the Turkish Embassy in Sierra Leone to construct its Chancery and Residence.      

In response, the Turkish Foreign Minister expressed his country’s appreciation of the excellent relationship between the two nations and committed to strengthen it further by fulfilling the cooperation agreements and providing diplomatic training and other support for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He disclosed that the Turkish International School in Freetown will be upgraded to a higher level and shared plans to improve on the cultural relations between the two nations.

H.E. Mevlut Cavusoglu also informed of a planned visit by a Turkish business delegation as soon as the pandemic eases and reaffirmed his country’s readiness to facilitate the acquisition of land for the construction of the Sierra Leone Embassy in Ankara.

Both Ministers agreed that concluding the current Cooperation Agreement on Trade and Development, including the one on Double Taxation, was the first step to strengthening the diplomatic ties between the two nations.

They also agreed on an immediate virtual meeting between the two Presidents to be followed by a State Visit.

-END-

 

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

Signing of Exchange of Notes on Japanese Grant-in-Aid to Support the Fight Against COVID-19 in Sierra Leone

Press Release

On 8th July 2020, the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of Japan signed Exchange of Notes for a Japanese Grant-in-Aid worth about 3.6 million United States Dollars.

The Exchange of Notes were signed by H.E Mrs Francess Virginia Anderson, High Commissioner of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Republic of Ghana and H.E Mr. HIMENO Tsutomu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Sierra Leone.

During the signing ceremony the Japanese Ambassador reaffirmed Japan’s determination to strengthen the bond of friendship between the two countries and assured the Sierra Leonean side of his country’s commitment to assist Sierra Leone, not only in the fight against Covid-19, but in other areas of the health sector as well, and other sectors of social economic development such as energy and education through support to the school feeding programme of HE President Bio’s Free Quality Education initiative.

High Commissioner Francess Virginia Anderson responded by first conveying the thanks and appreciation of H.E President Julius Maada Bio for Japan’s continued support to Sierra Leone. She also assured her Japanese counterpart of the government of Sierra Leone’s commitment to expand and strengthen bilateral cooperation with Japan.

The High Commissioner further reassured of her Government’s readiness to receive the medical equipment that will be provided through this grant-aid, which she said will save many Sierra Leonean lives.

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)

MFAIC Successfully Held its 1st Virtual Conference with Sierra Leone’s Heads of Missions

conference with ambassadors and high commissioners

Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Friday 19th June held its maiden Virtual Conference with Sierra Leone’s Heads of Missions (Ambassadors and High Commissioners) from the country’s various Missions abroad at the Minister’s Conference Hall on the fifth Floor of the Ministry at Tower Hill, Freetown.

Welcoming the Ambassadors and High Commissioners on behalf of the Minister, the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Florence Nyawa Bangalie explained that the purpose of the conference was to update them on the activities of the Ministry and to exchange ideas relating to the fight against the terminal COVID-19 pandemic.

Updating them on the activities of the various Divisions at the Ministry, Mrs. Bangalie said the Administration and Finance Division has ended induction training sessions for Administrative (Cadet) Officers and Press Attaches, the advanced stage for the construction of the Diplomatic Academy in Freetown and the Ministry’s Guest House at Lungi are ongoing, the Ministry she added, had got a VIP fleet for state visitors.

In the America Division, she said a request for assistance has been sent out for Medical personnel and essential medical facilities to the USA, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, C and Canada adding that Argentina, Cuba and Canada have responded with their assistance.

In the Europe Division, she said, an appeal has been made to the Deputy Head of EU delegation to Sierra Leone to prevail on the German Government to open a Consular Section in Freetown for the issuance of Schengen Visas. The processes to repatriate 800 alleged Sierra Leoneans from Germany, she said, is ongoing and that the re-opening of Sierra Leone’s Mission in Paris and the opening of Iceland Embassy in Freetown are also ongoing.

DG Bangalie further stated that the Asia Division has successfully coordinated medical assistance and other essential medical equipment for COVID-19 from other countries. She said, upgrading of the diplomatic ties between Sierra Leone and India is ongoing among other activities.

The Protocol Division, she maintained among other activities, organized a meeting between His Excellency the President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the Diplomatic Corps in Sierra Leone.

She further revealed that, Multilateral, Research, Planning and Knowledge Management and Africa Divisions are playing pivotal role in the discharge of their assigned duties.

Giving the keynote statement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis congratulated the Ambassadors, High Commissioners and staff of the Ministry at home and abroad for their enormous individual and collective contributions in ramping up support to assist His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio in the fight to combat the Coronavirus disease in the country.

Their efforts in yielding such significant fruits in the past couple of months Mrs. Tunis said was as a result of teamwork.

She reiterated that since she was appointed by His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio as Minister, she has learnt that organizational success can only be achieved through in-depth consultations, widespread participation and respect for people, established institutions, procedures and rules.

She entreated all to cultivate and inculcate the culture of teamwork and demonstrate unreserved respect for one another as well as the established norms of the Civil Service Code, Rules and Regulations which clearly spells out the lines of communication and reporting structures.

Minister Tunis told Head of Missions that, before the outbreak of COVID-19, her Ministry had set out critical targets among which were the completion of the Sierra Leone’s new Foreign Policy Guide, the Enactment of the Foreign Policy Act by Parliament and the assessment and restructuring of the country’s Consular Posts which is in line with the National Development Agenda.

Mrs. Tunis ascertained that, with the support and inputs from the Ambassadors, High Commissioners and her indefatigable staff, those targets could be achieved in record time.

Minister Nabeela Tunis encouraged the Ambassadors and High Commissioners representing the country abroad to work in the realization of the dream of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio to make Sierra Leone a prosperous nation through education, trade and investment.

She concluded by craving their individual and collective indulgence to continue the arduous task of identifying Sierra Leone’s comparative advantage in their respective duty stations as well as to explore tangible areas they could exploit to support the growth and development of the nation.

(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)

Parliamentary Oversight Committee Extols the Ministry on its Tremendous Achievements

parliamentary oversight committee meeting

In line with the country’s National Development Agenda, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis, on 22nd May 2020, disclosed to Hon. Members of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on the Ministry’s activities, the opening of three Embassies, the United Arab Emirate (UAE), Iceland and India, in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

During the opening formalities of this meeting, the Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Florence N. Bangalie, expressed her appreciation to the Committee Members for scheduling such a meeting during the pandemic’s height. She further explained the functions of the various Directorates in the Ministry, followed by a comprehensive summary of the key activities undertaken within the fiscal year by the Minister, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis.  

In her statement, she started by disclosing the advanced stage of the opening of the UAE, India and Iceland Embassy in Freetown. She also highlighted the recent activities, which included but not limited to:

  • the preliminary work on the construction of the country’s Diplomatic Academy
  • the development of the nation’s Foreign Service Act which is now at the Cabinet-level
  • the establishment of Sierra Leone’s Missions in Morocco and France
  • the coordination of 2,717 metric tons of rice from Japan on Monday 25th May 2020 to support the Government’s free quality education initiatives

Furthermore, she revealed the Ministry’s invaluable role in coordinating donations of medical assistance and equipment received from various countries during this COVID-19 pandemic. One of these included securing Cuban Doctors who are slated to arrive shortly in the country to join the Ministry of Health and the EOC.

At the multilateral front, the Minister assured Committee members of her effective engagement with the United Nations and the African Union. She intimated that she actively participated in the just concluded AU Female Foreign Affairs Ministers’ discussions which focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the continent. The Minister also outlined several Agreements she has signed on behalf of the Government and People of Sierra Leone, which Parliament has ratified.

In another development, Minister Tunis informed the Hon. Members of the Parliamentary oversight Committee that she has been in consultation with other countries, including the State of Kuwait, for Sierra Leoneans’ repatriation. She maintained that the Ministry, in collaboration with the country’s Missions abroad, are working assiduously to ensure thorough screening of the verified nationals before repatriation.

Finally, Mrs Tunis elaborated a bit about her intentions in promoting the professionalism of the Ministry. She confirmed that all former Career Diplomats she has engaged with have consented to support the upward trajectory of the Ministry, especially in the training of newly recruited Administrative Officers.

Hon. Members of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee extolled the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for its tremendous strides in promoting and enhancing President Bio’s National Development Agenda with the highest premium on economic diplomacy.

More specifically, Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo thanked the Minister and her team for pursuing a comprehensive Foreign Policy objective that is in line with the National Development Agenda. He further applauded the Minister’s efforts in maintaining a high degree of professionalism in the implementation of the Ministry’s activities. He assured the Minister on behalf of the Committee of their unflinching commitment and collaboration for effective Foreign Service delivery in the country.

 

In closing, the Deputy Director-General Operations, Mr Duwai Lungay, acknowledged the MPs for their support in the Ministry’s development in his vote of thanks.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Cotton Tree Medical Group Donates 500 Pieces of N95 Face Masks to Government of Sierra Leone

Cotton Tree Medical Group

Press Release

The Cotton Tree Medical Group, a social enterprise company which operates in Freetown on Thursday April 2nd 2020, donated 500 pieces of N95 to the Government of Sierra Leone through the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Welcoming the Cotton Tree Medical Group and Representatives of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the handing over ceremony which was held in the Directors’ Conference Room at the Ministry, the newly appointed Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Florence Nyawa Bangalie said the donation had come in at a time when the country had recorded its second case of the Coronavirus infection. The donation she said was an indication that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is committed to the efforts of government in the fight against the COVID-19 Virus. She maintained that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had communicated to all its Missions abroad requesting all Sierra Leoneans and Governments to assist the country with protective equipment in the prevention and fight against the dreadful disease.

In his brief remarks, the Director of Asia who is also the Chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force at the Foreign Ministry, Mr. Wiston T. Yankuba stated that the donation was indeed an important gesture as its came in when WHO had declared COVID-19 as a pandemic.

Representing the Owner and CEO of the Cotton Tree Medical Group and a Sierra Leonean based in Washington DC, Dr. Fouad Sheriff, Mr. Alfred M. Jamiru said that the donation was done in light of the world pandemic of COVID-19 and the company’s commitment to help Sierra Leone battle against the dreaded virus. He commended the efforts of the Government in putting out preventive measures earlier. Mr. Jamiru further stated that as a Medical company, they want to ensure that health professionals have the right personal protective gears they needed to prevent them from being victims of the virus while helping in the various communities. He concluded by appealing that the donation made be distributed to frontline workers, such as Community Health Officers, Nurses and Doctors; while stating their commitment to doing their part to keep Sierra Leoneans safe and healthy.

In his response on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Nabella Farida Tunis, the Deputy Minister, Solomon Jamiru Esq thanked the company on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone for the timely donation. He spoke about Government’s efforts in the fight to prevent the virus from entering the country. He went on to reiterate that, now that the country had recorded two cases, the Government has mounted up more robust measures in combating its spread. He called on other Sierra Leoneans to emulate such gestures in aiding the fight against the dreadful virus in the country.

Receiving the donation from the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Philip D. Kargbo on behalf of his Ministry applauded the company for its kind gesture and assured that the N95 Face Masks would be made available to the intended beneficiaries.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Diplomatic Corps in Sierra Leone Donates Items for the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

Diplomatic Corps in Sierra Leone donates to EOC

Press Release

A cross section of members of the Diplomatic Corps in Sierra Leone on Wednesday, 8th April, 2020 presented a list of donated items for the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) through the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis.

Presenting the list of items to the Minister on behalf of his colleagues at a ceremony held at the Director’s Conference Room of the Ministry, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, His Excellency, Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada, High Commissioner of Nigeria to Sierra Leone, said they were presenting the items to the EOC to show solidarity with the Government and people of Sierra Leone.

High Commissioner Dr. Ugbada re-assured the Minister that as partners in development, the Government and people of Sierra Leone are not alone in the fight to combat the deadly scourge in the country. He said they would continue to partner with the Government of Sierra Leone in achieving the desired development goals of the ‘New Direction’ under the administration of His Excellency President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio.

Receiving the list of donated items, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis thanked the Diplomats for their unwavering support to the EOC, Government and people of Sierra Leone during this crucial times. She stated that irrespective of the global spread of the COVID- 19 which has overwhelmed every nation in the world, the Diplomats have come together to support the country by donating such items. This, she maintained, exhibited the kind of relationship Sierra Leone has established with them which has transcended beyond boundaries.

Also, she updated the gathering that Sierra Leone has registered seven (7) confirmed cases with no loss of lives, adding that the Government of His Excellency President Julies Maada Bio is working hard to curtail the spread of the deadly virus in the country.

She called on the Diplomatic Community in Sierra Leone to work together in combating the pandemic in the world.

The list included 55 buckets, 44 packets of tissue, 37 rolls of toilet roll, 2 Cartoons of Dettol, 12 Cartoons of Hand wash soaps, 276 packs of water, 14 ½ Cartoons of Laundry soap, 15 Gallons of Bleach soap, Hand sanitizer, 1 Cartoon Hand Glove, 7 Cartoons of Liquid Dettol soap and provisions.

The ceremony was attended by all the Directors of Ministry.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

India Donates about 1000 Metric Tons of Rice as Humanitarian Assistance

Humanitarian Assistance Provided by India with the Donation of about 1000 Metric Tons of Rice

Press Release

The Government and People of the Republic of India on Monday 15th March, 2021 handed over to the Government and People of the Republic of Sierra Leone a consignment of about 1000 metric tons of rice as humanitarian assistance.

In her welcome statement at the handing over ceremony which was held in the Ministerial Conference Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, Mrs Florence Nyawa Bangalie, said the event was an enormous collective efforts by different entities since the arrival of the India Non-Basmati Parboiled rice some several weeks ago at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay.

She recalled that on 5th February, 2021, the Government of India had also donated a large quantity of medicines to help in the fight against COVID-19 and other illnesses. The Government of India she added, is one of Sierra Leone’s many friends that have helped and continues to help the Government and people of Sierra Leone at all times.

On behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, DG Bangalie expressed appreciation on behalf of the Minister to the Ministry of Finance and the Shipping Agency for facilitating the clearing process and the E&S Company for providing storage facilities for the donated quantity of rice.

Handing over the donated rice, the India High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, H. E Mr Rakesh K. Arora reiterated the commitments made by his country’s Vice President during his October, 2019 visit to Sierra Leone. These commitments, the India High Commissioner said, have been fulfilled with the provision of about 1000 metric tons of India Non-Basmati Parboiled rice and the establishment of an India Resident Mission in Freetown.

The rice, he said was donated to the Government and People of Sierra Leone by the Government and People of the Republic of India as humanitarian assistance, and that the establishment of the India Resident Mission in Freetown is to ensure efficient implementation of India’s development cooperation and capacity building programmes, as well as public services such as the issuance of visas to Sierra Leoneans. India and Sierra Leone, he said have continued to share warm and cordial diplomatic ties that have spanned for decades.

This relation Mr. Arora said, has led the two countries to sign numerous MoUs and to agree to hold the inaugural meeting of the Foreign Office Consultations in Freetown on the 25-26 March, 2021. He assured the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the India Government’s commitment in strengthening the bilateral the ties of cooperation between the two sister countries.

Giving the Key Note speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis, said the handing over ceremony of the donated rice by the Government of India to the Government and People of Sierra Leone as humanitarian assistance was a remarkable event as it serves as a testament to the friendly relations between the Peoples of the two countries.

She expressed thanks on behalf of His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio, the Government and People of Sierra Leone to the Prime Minister and People of India for the humanitarian offer. This, Minister Tunis said has come among several sustained bilateral engagements the India government has ensured since the sisterly countries established diplomatic relations decades ago. The donated 1000 metric tons of rice, she said would certainly go a long way in helping many vulnerable Sierra Leoneans.

Sierra Leoneans, the Minister said, are pleased with the efforts of the two governments in strengthening the bilateral bond that is existing between the two countries, adding that the cooperation agreements signed by the two Governments are invaluable in cementing the bilateral ties.

The Foreign Minister commented that, the Foreign Office Consultations which will be the first to be held in Freetown in the coming days, would provide the opportunity for further bilateral engagements and cooperation on global issues. Mrs Tunis renewed the assurances of the commitment of the Government of His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio to further deepen and strengthen the friendly relations between the two nations.

 

She expressed confidence that Sierra Leone will leverage the presence of the India High Commission in Freetown to explore more potential areas of partnership for mutual benefit of the two countries.

 

She concluded by thanking the High Commissioner, Mr Arora for his kind gesture in facilitating the arrival of the rice. Mrs Tunis also thanked the Ministry of Finance, the Shipping Agency for their support in clearing the rice within the shortest possible time and E&S for providing the storage facility.

 

-END-

 

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

Institute of Mozdahir International Support Government’s Free Quality Education With Construction of School Buildings at 6 Mile

Institute of Mozdahir International Meeting

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Solomon K. Jamiru ESQ on Tuesday 25th February, 2020 chaired the Institute of Mozdahir International Meeting in Crossing Town, at Six Mile, in the Koya Rural District.

In his welcome statement, the Deputy Minister, Solomon Jamiru Esq said that the delegates are in town to complement one of the major priority areas of the Government of His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio, which is education.

He cited President Bio as saying that children should be given an opportunity to have Free Quality Education, which is presently benefiting over two million children in Sierra Leone.

Giving the purpose of the meeting, the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare and Children’s Affairs, Mr. Mohamed Haji-Kella explained to the gathering that the delegates are in Sierra Leone to construct school facilities at the Six Mile Resettlement Camp in order for the children in that community to benefit from the Free Quality Education Flagship programme.

Mr. Haji-Kella added that the major priority of President Bio is to enhance Human Capital Development for all Sierra Leoneans.

In her brief reference to the background of the Institute of Mozdahir International, the Executive Director of Mozdahir Sierra Leone Mrs. Diaraye Barrie who is also a Civil Engineer, explained that the Senegal-based Institute is a non-profit and Non- Governmental Organization.

According to Mrs. Barrie, the objective of the institute is to assist residents of deprived rural communities to rebuild their moral strength and self-confidence as well as to increase the capacity of the community to assume responsibility for its own resources and actively participate in its own development while preserving the environment.

The Vision, the Executive Director said, is to act as partner in the sustainable development of the community by being present and providing counselling, making contributions and taking actions that promote the well-being, soft-skills and knowledge of the community people.

Engineer Barrie further revealed that the institute has been operating in the field of agriculture, education, reforestation, health and solar energy within the sub-region.

Supporting the endeavor, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Housing, Mr. Rex Bhonapha encouraged the residents of Six Mile to embrace the laudable venture and offer their hospitality to the delegates during the construction phase, adding that the youth of the community will benefit from the project in diverse ways.

In his contribution, the president of Aid Comfort pledged his organization’s commitment to the construction of the primary school as well as a secondary school in the future.

Delivering the Keynote address, the president of the Institute of Mozdahir International, Mr. Cherif Mouhammed Ali Aidara thanked the President, Government and people of Sierra Leone for the warm hospitality accorded them during their stay in the country.

He maintained that they are working with the Government of Sierra Leone in establishing the primary school at Six Mile and reiterated his Institute’s commitment in realizing its mission and vision for the needy.

Mr. Aidara concluded that his institute is intended to benefit everyone regardless of political, ethnic, religious or other affiliation.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Press Release: The Case of 2 Deportees from the United States of America to Sierra Leone

Case of 2 Deportees from US to SL

Press Release

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation wishes to inform the public that, the case of the two deportees from the United States of America to Sierra Leone; Mr. Prince A. Latoya and Mr. Saren Idaho claiming to be citizens of the Commonwealth nations of Dominica and The Bahamas respectively are under investigations, on how they ended up in Sierra Leone.

In mid last year, it was ascertained in Washington DC that they were Sierra Leoneans when birth certificates of supposedly Sierra Leonean origin were found on them and both men were vehemently claiming to be Sierra Leoneans based on which the Emergency Travel Certificates (ETC) were issued for their deportation by the United States Immigration and Customs enforcement agency (ICE).On arrival in Sierra Leone and upon closer examination by competent authorizes in Freetown early this year, the birth certificates were found to be false.

The Ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation has since established that the deportees made a new claim of being citizens of the commonwealth nations of Dominica and Bahamas by giving fresh bio data to substantiate their claims.

With these new biodata, the Ministry, instructed its Embassy in Washington D.C, United States of America to contact the embassies of the Commonwealth nations of the Dominica and The Bahamas for verification.

In the case of Saren Idaho, the Embassy of the Commonwealth of the Dominica has denied his claims to citizenship due to lack of records in their civic registration data bank. In the case of Prince Latoya, our Embassy in Washington is awaiting for response from the Embassy of the Commonwealth of Bahamas for a meeting request to discuss his claims to citizenship to that Nation.

The Ministry continues to engage with relevant stake holders in Sierra Leone and in the United States of America to ascertain the true nationalities of these deportees to facilitate their eventual repatriation from Sierra Leone.  

Meanwhile, the Ministry is providing money to Mr. Idaho to access medical services. Essential items, accommodation and food have also been provided to both of them.

 

-END-

SIGNED 

Alimatu Fofanah

Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Website: www.mofaic.gov.sl

Email: media@mofaic.gov.sl

Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939

Ground Breaking Event for the Construction of ECOWAS Logistics Depot in Lungi

Ground Breaking Event for the Construction of ECOWAS Logistics Depot in Lungi

Ground Breaking Event for the Construction of ECOWAS Logistics Depot in Lungi

The ECOWAS Commissioner for General Administration and Conferences, Mr. Vafolay M. Tulay on Wednesday, 5th February, 2020 called on the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Solomon Jamiru Esq at his Tower Hill office in Freetown. Speaking on the purpose of his visit, Commissioner Vafola said it was to inform the ministry of the ground breaking event for the construction of the ECOWAS Logistics Depot in Lungi of which the Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh is expected to turn the sod on Saturday 8th February, 2020.

Commissioner Tulay said that he was pleased to be in Sierra Leone for phases 2 and 3 of the project which according to him, will last for about 15 months. He went on to highlight some of the issues that the Commission would like to make sure that they are taking care of in order to ensure a smooth execution of the project; especially in the area of transporting material from Guinea to Sierra Leone.

The Hon. Acting Minister, Soloman Jamiru Esq in his response said the construction of the ECOWAS Logistics Depot is an encouraging development for Sierra Leone and that, for Sierra Leone to take such tangible steps indicated that, the country is giving meaning to the declarations and resolutions of ECOWAS.

He assured Commissioner Tulay of his Ministry’s support and added that his Ministry stands with the Commission to complement this all important construction project.

The construction of the regional logistics depot is one of several development projects commenced by ECOWAS towards attaining peace and stability in West Africa. This project will augment Peace Support Operations and support for democracy and good governance in the region.

An 18-acre piece of land was given to the ECOWAS Commission by the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone for the establishment of a regional logistics facility in Freetown. This logistics depot is one of the two depots approved for West Africa by the Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS Community. The other (humanitarian) depot is in Mali.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

minister meets diplomatic community

Foreign Minister Updates the Diplomatic Community on 2019 Achievements and Challenges

minister meets diplomatic community

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis on Tuesday 28th January, 2020 met with members of the Diplomatic Community at the Conference Hall of the Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown.

Welcoming the Diplomats, the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Al-Hassan Kondeh explained that the purpose of the meeting was for the Minister to update Diplomats on the achievements and challenges of last year and pending activities. He added that the forum also provided the opportunities to engage in development discussions, exchange ideas and maintain regular dialogue.

Delivering her statement, the Minister stated that 2019 was a great year with Diplomatic partners as Sierra Leone strengthened its bilateral cooperation with many of her historic partners. Outlining some of the Ministry’s achievements so far, Mrs. Tunis said the government through the Ministry has signed several joint cooperation agreements that are of benefit to the people and country and that they will continue to collaborate on tangible development programmes across the globe.

The Minister said Sierra Leone has established a good collaboration with its partners in a number of areas such as good governance, water supply, agriculture, environmental protection and employment. Expressing gratitude for the high level of collaboration with partners, Mrs. Tunis stated that, she aimed to engage with the Diplomatic community even further as His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio has declared 2020 as a year of delivery.

The Sierra Leone Foreign Minister expressed her fervent hope that the Diplomatic partners will individually and collectively continue to support the country’s development priorities especially in education, health, agriculture, water, energy, security and the fight against corruption.

Speaking on the government strides, Minister Tunis said the government has hit unprecedented heights in terms of good governance and the fight against corruption. She said the government is making tremendous strides in terms of safeguarding human rights and that in the area of religious tolerance, Sierra Leone is second to none around the world.

Mrs. Nabeela Tunis maintained that, the government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio is highly focused on economic diversification, private sector development and foreign direct investment.

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, the High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada, in his statement expressed a special appreciation to the Minister for organizing such platform for them to interact. He said the gathering has provided the much needed opportunity to interact, discuss, brainstorm and exchange ideas among members of the Diplomatic Community and the Ministry.

Dr. Ugbada added that he is of the belief that the outcome of the meeting will further unite them as a community and that it will help them to support the vision of the present administration as well as to contribute to making Sierra Leone a better place for not only its citizens but for all citizens of the world residing in Sierra Leone.

The Nigerian High Commissioner noted that for them to maintain peace and sustainable development in Sierra Leone, there is need for constant engagement and constant interaction. He called on his fellow diplomats to continue to come up with ideas and suggestions that can aid the Corps and Government of Sierra Leone.

His Excellency Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada assured the Minister that the Diplomatic Community under his leadership as Dean, will continue to partner with the Government of Sierra Leone especially in achieving the goals enshrined in the National Development Plan.

Dr. Ugbada informed the Minister that they are about to hold their maiden meeting for this year where they will discuss a range of issues and will share the outcome with the Minister.

 

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Engages Members of the Consular Corps on Government’s Priorities

Consular Corps Engagement

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis on Tuesday 28th January, 2020 engaged with members of the Sierra Leone Consular Corps at her Tower Hill office’s main Conference Hall in Freetown.

 

In the welcome statement given by the Deputy Director General-Operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Duwai Lungay said the meeting was to discuss issues on how to facilitate the ministry’s work and that of the Consular Corps; stating that 2020 is a year of service delivery as was pronounced by His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio last week at the Ministerial Retreat.

 

In her speech at the meeting hall, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis  reassured the Consular Corps of her Ministry’s unflinching support in ensuring that their day-to-today activities are carried out in a smooth and seamless manner. Minster Tunis stated that as part of her Ministry’s multi-dimensional approach to effective delivery on the national transformation driver of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio, the Diplomatic and Consular Corps of Sierra Leone should direct their individual and collective resources and energies towards supporting the Government priorities in order to deliver tangible results as demand by President Dr. Julius Maada Bio in his Cabinet Retreat speech over the weekend.

 

She maintained that, as a government, the Diplomatic and Consular Corps are part of Sierra Leone’s brand Ambassadors to help rebrand the image of Sierra Leone from a war-torn and disease ridden nation to paradise of peace, tolerance and abundance untapped potentials in almost all sectors.Mrs. Tunis stated that as brand Ambassadors, the Diplomatic and Consular Corps will contribute immensely to directing tourism and Foreign Direct Investment into Sierra Leone and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country as stated in the Medium Term National Development Plan.

 

Minister Tunis concluded by encouraging the Consular Corps to hold firmly on the values of integrity and trust as they sought to consolidate the cordial historic relationship that has been in existence between Sierra Leone and their respective countries of appointment.

 

In his statement, the Dean of the Consular Corps, Adonis Aboud commended the Minister and her team for organizing such a fruitful gathering. Mr. Aboud assured the Minister that, as Consular Corps, they will continue to work closer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to contribute immensely to the country’s Mid- Term Development Plan.

The meeting was climaxed with fruitful discussions towards national development.

 

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

CRS President Engages the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs on Development Initiatives

CRS President engages the Dep. Minister

The President who doubles as CEO Worldwide of the Catholic Relief Services and team on Monday 20th, January 2020 called on the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Solomon Jamiru ESQ and Directors at the Ministry’s Conference Hall, Tower Hill, Freetown.

Speaking on the purpose of the visit, the CRS President and CEO Worldwide, Mr. Sean L. Callahan informed that the visit was in two folds, first to appreciate the great collaboration between Sierra Leone and the CRS and also to discuss on their development strides for the country.

The CRS CEO and President thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development for their excellent cooperation and support to the Organization.

He expressed the essence of signing the Development Agreement between Sierra Leone and CRS which according to him will further strengthen the cordial relationship between the two; thereby ensuring a longer term commitment.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Solomon Jamiru, acting on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis who is unavoidably out of the country at the moment, heartily welcomed the President and team from the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and thanked the Organization for its numerous supports  given to Sierra Leone.

He applauded CRS for choosing Sierra Leone as one of its development partners in the world and assured the team that the Ministry will work closely with the Ministry of Justice to ensure that the final agreement is ready to be executed by both parties.

 

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Sierra Leone Foreign Minister Chairs the 8th Session of C-10 Ministerial-Level Meeting in Dakar

Sierra Leone Foreign Minister Chairs C-10 Ministerial Meeting in Dakar

The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis chaired the 8th Session of the Ministerial-Level Meeting of the African Union Committee of Ten African Heads of State and Government (C-10) on the reform of the United Nations Security Council at the King Fahd Place Conference Hall in Dakar, Senegal which commenced on Sunday 12th January, 2020. 

Speaking at opening of the two-day meeting, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis, thanked the C-10 Permanent Representatives for their active role and contribution in promoting the Common African Position in the various multilateral fora. She further commended the African Union Commission for its invaluable role in facilitating the work of the C-10.

The Minister noted that the statements made by several Heads of States, including African leaders, during the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly emphasized the need to support the enhancement of African representation in an expanded Security Council. She called on her counterparts, Ambassadors and experts to take advantage of the growing support for the Common African Position as espoused in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.   

Minister Tunis entreated participants to actively engage in consultations with member states with a view to achieving an outcome that enjoys the widest possible political acceptance that will ultimately address the African Common Position at the UN Security Council. To achieve this, she admonished the delegates to remain cohesive on all aspects of the reform process and continue to speak with one voice in unity of purpose.

She encouraged the delegates to engage in a frank and dispassionate discussion that will not only further consolidate this Position but also accelerate the achievement of the common objectives of the African continent. “We should in this endeavor continue to be firmly committed to upholding the integrity of the Common African Position.” She concluded.

Welcoming the delegates, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad of the Republic of Senegal, Amadou Ba said, Senegal in partnership with Sierra Leone and the African Union Commission hosted the 8th Session of the Ministerial Meeting of the Committee of Ten (C-10) ahead of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the African Union scheduled to take place in February, this year.

Speaking on the formation of the C-10, the Senegal Foreign Minister said the Committee comprises ten countries, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Kenya, Libya, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Uganda, Congo and Zambia.

The mandate of the Committee, he said, is to present, defend and popularize the Common African Position as enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration to grant the African Continent two (2) permanent seats and two (2) Non-permanent seats at the United Nations Security Council.

The purpose of the Common African Position, Minister Ba said, was to eradicate the historical injustice against Africa as demonstrated by the absence of the continent at the United Nations Security Council.

The C-10 meeting in Dakar he said, would allow the Committee of Ten to discuss the process of Inter-Governmental Negotiation which is in progress in New York; adding that they will also discuss the prospect of reinforcing the C-10 and the Common African Position.

He stated that the mobilization of Ministers of Member States to participate in the 8th Ministerial Level Meeting witnesses the need for the continuous engagement of those countries in favour of the Common African Position.

On the second day of the meeting, the Hon. Minister noted with satisfaction in her statement, that, their presence was a demonstration of the collective commitment of Africa Heads of State and Government in pursuing the mandate to canvass, promote and advance the Common African Position on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council. 

“Allow me, Your Excellency President Macky Sall to convey to you sir, hearty commendations from His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, for Your Excellency’s unflinching personal commitment and that of his other peers C-10 Heads of State and Government to canvassing, promoting and advancing the Common African Position, as well as for upholding the exactness of our position on the reform process.” She stated.

 

The Minister recalled that, several consultative meetings have been held in different Africa cities including Freetown, Nairobi, Oyo, Livingstone, Windhoek and Malabo and that they are in the historic city of Dakar to continue with the consultations on how to build progress in advancing and canvassing the Common African Position as adopted in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration; and also to explore means to further solidify the cohesiveness and unity among African Union Member States on the reform process of the United Nations Security Council.

Madam Tunis maintained that, the Coordinator, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, has, on few occasions, stated that, the United Nations was designed for a different world, born as a result of the effect of the Second World War, when colonial reign was supreme.

She said the Dakar meeting provided them the opportunity to take stock of the current state of play of the reform process, and accordingly report to their Heads of State and Government on the way forward.

She expressed her profound thanks and appreciation to those member states that have recognized and supported the call for the immediate redress of the demand for an equitable representation in the Security Council.

The Sierra Leone Foreign Minister on behalf of her colleague Foreign Ministers, thanked the Ambassadors from Addis Ababa and New York and their experts for the great commitment they demonstrated at the Senior Officials meeting on Sunday 12th January, 2020.

In her statement, the African Union Commissioner on Political Affairs, Her Excellency Cessouma Minata Samate, thanked and applauded the Government of Senegal for hosting the 8th Ministerial Level Meeting of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C-10) on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council.

She stressed the need for unity among Africans and encouraged all to hold firm to the Common African Position within the framework of the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration which according to her, will help to address the historic injustices meted out to the African Continent.

 

In his official opening statement, the President of Senegal, His Excellency Macky Sall expressed his thanks and appreciation to the  delegates for their commitment to the Common African Position and attendance at the meeting.

He thanked his Sierra Leonean counterpart, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio for his unwavering time and efforts in coordinating the C-10.

The Dakar Ministerial Level Meeting, President Macky Sall said was an opportunity for them to evaluate the ongoing New York negotiations on the Common African Position on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council.

He called on his African counterparts to be firm and steadfast on the Common African Position for 2 Permanent Seats with veto rights and 2 Non-permanent Seats at the UN Security Council.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Chinese Government Donates 31 Fleet of Vehicle to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

The Government of the People’s Republic of China donated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation a consignment of vehicle including cars, jeeps, buses and motor bikes. The presentation was made at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation forecourt, Tower Hill, Freetown, on the 23rd of December, 2019.

Handing over the vehicles to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis and team, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Mr. Hu Zhangliang, said that His Excellency Xi Jiping was highly appreciative of the strength of the bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and China, citing the importance of the commitment demonstrated by His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio to the friendship of the two countries.

 His Excellency Zhangliang informed that the vehicles were provided in response to the request made to the Chinese Government by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

In her response, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis, on behalf of the President, Government and People of the Republic of Sierra Leone expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Government and People of the People’s Republic of China for such great assistance and gesture of good will extended to her Ministry. She said the donation was a true demonstration of the high level of friendship between the two countries.

Outlining the specifications, the Minister said she received cars, VIP Buses, VIP vehicles, motor bikes, ambulance and Hongqi jeeps. The Minister assured the Ambassador that the vehicles would be utilized for the intended purpose announcing that His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has given specific instructions regarding the use of the vehicles and that as a Ministry, they have taken the required steps to preserve the beauty and functionalities of the fleet. She thanked His Excellency Xi Jiping for the gift.

In her conclusion, the Minister stated that Sierra Leone and the People’s Republic of China have enjoyed an enviable relationship for the past years, a relationship she described as a very strong brotherhood which has been expressed in many ways.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Minister Nabeela Tunis and H.E Hu Zhangliang Tour Proposed Foreign Service Academy Building Site

Foreign Service Academy Building site at Tower Hill

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis and His Excellency Ambassador Hu Zhangliang on Monday 23rd December, 2019 conducted a tour of the proposed Foreign Service Academy Building site at Tower Hill, Freetown.

Speaking about the contribution of the Chinese Government in the construction of the Academy, Amb. Hu Zhangliang recalled His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s statement in May, 2019 during the State Opening of Parliament when he emphasized the need to establish a Foreign Service Academy to train Sierra Leone’s diplomats.

Amb. Hu Zhangliang said China was very pleased to be able to assist with the construction of the Sierra Leone Foreign Service Academy.

He also said China had already sent in an advance Technical Team which conducted a feasibility study few months ago and that the second team has arrived to conduct a geological survey of the Tower Hill site.

His Excellency Hu Zhangliang went on to state that, China and Sierra Leone have been enjoying a very profound traditional relationship since the two countries officially established diplomatic bond in the 1960s.

He said the bilateral relationship between the two countries has been cordial with trust and fruitful cooperation in economic, social and cultural fields. The Chinese Government, he said, has offered a lot of short course training programmes for Sierra Leoneans and that this year, have offered to Sierra Leoneans over 100 scholarship opportunities to study in the People’s Republic of China. He concluded by thanking the Government and people of Sierra Leone for supporting China at the international level.

 

The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Tunis in her response thanked the President of China His Excellency Xi Jiping, Government and People of the People’s Republic of China on behalf of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, the Government and People of Sierra Leone for the continued generosity to the Government and People of the Republic of Sierra Leone. She thanked the Chinese Government for the opportunities that have been extended to Sierra Leone and also expressed appreciation for the support given to China by Sierra Leone on various fronts. She assured that Sierra Leone will ensure it plays its part to sustain the level of cooperation between the two sister countries.

 

Minister Tunis said the tour at the site was very significant and that the construction of the National Foreign Service Academy will be of essence to Sierra Leoneans and other nationals from the sub-region and beyond.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Foreign Minister Interacts with Diplomatic and Consular Corps at Reception Held at Sierra Light House on 28th November, 2019

Foreign Minister Interacts with Diplomatic and Consular Corps at Reception Held at Sierra Light House on 28th November, 2019

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Nabeela Tunis (Mrs.) and her Deputy, Hon. Solomon Jamiru on Thursday 28th November, 2019 interacted with members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps at the Sierra Light House, Aberdeen, Freetown.

Welcoming the Diplomatic and Consular Corps at a reception hosted by the Ministers, the Hon. Minister, Mrs. Nabeela Farida Tunis said the purpose of the gathering was to strengthen the bilateral and multilateral bonds between Sierra Leone and the Diplomatic Community and also to show case some of the development strides undertaken by the Government of His Excellency, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio.

Speaking on the development strides of the Government of President Bio, the Hon. Minister, Mrs. Tunis said since they took over the mantle of leadership of the country in April, 2018, as a government, they have made significant progress by instituting fiscal policies to control expenditure, reduce wastages and clog leakages in the country’s monetary system.

The Hon. Minister further maintained that, they as a government have successfully rolled out one of their major flagship programmes, the ‘Free Quality Education’ with limited foreign assistance, they are continually paying salaries of workers without recourse to bank overdrafts, and continue to offset the country’s debt.

Minister Nabeela Tunis stated that, as a result of the government’s prudent approach to public financial management and broad fiscal discipline, they have been able to restore the faith and confidence in their development partners, indicating that the Government of President Bio is a trusted partner in development.

Speaking on the promises of Government, she stated that more of the remarkable steps made so far by the Bio government in the areas of improved human rights especially for women and girls, the progress registered in democracy and inclusive governance, the indisputable benchmarks in justice sector reform and the robust fight against corruption which was recognized by the Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC).

Explaining about her ministry’s development progress, Minister Tunis said the country has been playing an active role in both bilateral and multilateral fronts.

She reassured the Diplomatic Community that, under the leadership of His Excellence President Julius Maada Bio, they as a government will enhance the enabling fiscal, infrastructural and policy environment for investment to thrive; clampdown on all forms of human rights violation especially against vulnerable members of the society; uphold the tenets of democracy; and respect for the rule of law; clamp down on human traffickers by fully implementing the requisite legislations; and that the fight against corruption is going to be a relentless battle.

She assured the Diplomats of government’s commitment in transforming the country to a middle income country and sustenance of peace and inclusive governance. Click to read the Minister’s full statement )

In his response, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, His Excellency Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada, High Commissioner of Nigeria to Sierra Leone, commended the President and his team on their efforts in putting the country back to track in the areas of economic restructuring and integration with the global economic structure.

He assured the Minister that, as Diplomats they will continue to be partners in progress in the development aspirations of His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio.

Representing the Dean of the Consular Corps, was the Honorary Consul General of Japan, Mr. K. Shankerdas who assured the Minister of their invaluable support in order to enable her and team to succeed in her set goals.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo in his remarks pledged his committee support to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the area of national development.

The Deputy Minister in his vote of thanks reiterated government’s commitment in developing the country and the ministry’s efforts in drafting the National Foreign Policy which will soon be validated and launched.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Statement Delivered by Minister at the Diplomatic and Consular Corps Reception held on November 28th 2019

Statement Delivered by Minister at the Diplomatic and Consular Corps Reception held on November 28th 2019

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Diplomatic and Consular Corps Reception

Sierra Lighthouse

November 28th 2019

Minister’s Statement

Honourable Ministers of Government;

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs;

Honourable Members of our noble Parliament;

Members of the diplomatic and consular corps;

The Deputy Director General and colleagues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation;

Good evening!

Let me first of all join my strict but hard working Acting Director General to welcome you all to this reception which is the least my staff and I could do to show how much we appreciate the cordial working relationship that has existed between the Ministry and the diplomatic community in Sierra Leone.

Let me also use this opportunity to convey to you, warmest greetings from His Excellency the President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio, our Chief Diplomat.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen  

A good number of you here tonight are career diplomats and I am 100% positive that you are all very good at what you do. However, one of the many diplomats I admired was Colin Powell. Powell once defined diplomacy and I quote:  

‘’Diplomacy is listening to what the other guy needs. Preserving your own position, but listening to the other guy. You have to develop relationships with other people so when the tough times come, you can work together’’ end of quote.

My interaction with the diplomatic community both in Sierra Leone and abroad over the past six months have made me realize that Powell couldn’t have been more accurate in his characterization of the job that we do.

Everywhere we go as diplomats we listen to our partners, we try to establish and sustain relationships for dealing with bilateral as well as multilateral issues that confront us on a daily basis. But in doing all these things, we try not to lose the core value of who we are and what we stand for. Does this make us a unique specie in the socio-political ecosystem? I would proudly say yes!

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

Tonight again, even though I plan to show you, for the first time, my dancing skills, I would first of all like to share with you some of the progress we have made as a Ministry and by extension as a Government in the past few months. I will also go a step further to give you an idea of what we intend to accomplish in the coming months.

Again, even though you already have positions and budgets lines that would not change because of this speech tonight, I am fully confident that you are going to listen closely to what I have to say and later in your respective management meetings you may consider working with us on some of these issues to achieve our shared goals and objectives. That’s diplomacy according to Colin Powell, isn’t it?

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

As I shared with you earlier this month during our diplomatic and consular corps meeting, Sierra Leone has been very active both at the bilateral and multilateral diplomatic fronts in the past few months. Following our participation in the OIC meetings in Jedda, and the UK investment forum, we have participated in several other multilateral engagements including the FOCAC follow up meeting in China, the TICAD conference in Japan, the UN High Level Political Forum in New York, the 74th Session of the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September, the Russia Africa Summit in Russia, and recently the Paris Peace Forum in France among others.

On the side-lines of these multilateral engagements, we usually seize every opportunity to establish new bilateral relationships and deepen existing ones. The bilateral engagements in particular are beginning to yield fruits. We have signed several bilateral agreements with a host of countries in the areas of education, defence, trade and investment, agriculture, transportation and passports, to name but a few, and implementation is underway.

So from our MRU member states-Liberia, Guinea, Cote Divoire, to our brothers and sisters in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Morocco, Turkey, Kuwait, etc., be rest assured that Sierra Leone is fully committed to the implementation of these Joint Cooperation Agreements and we will continue to work together address issues of common global interest.

We look forward to the opening of our Embassies in a couple of countries within the coming months and some of our old friends have agreed to open their Embassies here in Freetown. On the diplomatic front therefore, even though we recognize that challenges remain, I strongly believe that we are on the right track.

Speaking of challenges, the greatest we have at this moment is with capacity. Currently the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is under-staffed by over 70%. Yes, the situation is that bad. I think I will have to invite my brother the Minister of Finance, Mr Saffa to a Financial Yoga Class so that together, we could learn how to master the art of balancing a lean wage bill, with the desperate need to provide adequate staff, to produce astounding results in service delivery.

Pretty sounds like a topic for a PhD thesis right? I think Proff. Sunil Saigal and Samuel Doe might be interested in providing supervisory support if anyone is interested in conducting a research around this topic. With all that UN capacity support experience and expertise, I believe they can do a great job in that field. 

But on a more serious note, weak absorptive capacity is probably the greatest threat to our drive as a government to transform this country into a middle income economy and we therefore crave support from you our friends to overcome this challenge.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

We do diplomacy not as an end in itself, rather we use it as a vehicle for socio-economic and political advancement of our respective nations. Since 2014 Sierra Leone’s economy has been in a free fall.

Since we took over governance in April 2018, we have instituted fiscal policies to control expenditure, reduce waste and clog leakages in the country’s monetary system. You all may agree with me that significant progress has been made as a result of these interventions.

For instance we have successfully rolled out our flagship program, the Free Quality Education Program with limited outside assistance; we have been able to continuously pay salaries of workers without recourse to bank overdrafts, and we continue to offset debts that the previous regime accumulated.

As a result of our prudent approach to public financial management and broad fiscal discipline, we have been able to once again restore faith and confidence in our partners, especially the IMF that our Government is a trusted partner in development.

However, we recognize that challenges remain. And as our President has stated in many of his public addresses, these are turbulent times. But with his determined leadership and commitment of ALL Sierra Leoneans, we will weather this storm and come out on the other side unscathed.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

I must state here that it gives me great joy and comfort that Sierra Leone’s remarkable strides in the areas of improved human rights especially for women and girls, the progress registered in democracy and inclusive governance, our indisputable benchmarks in justice sector reform and our robust fight against corruption, etc., have been finally recognized by the MCC. And my delight is not because of the monetary benefit that comes with this recognition, (yes we need the money as well.

I need to be careful not to annoy the Minister of Finance). But my joy stems mainly from the fact that this recognition has given all of us that extra impetus that we are doing some things right and we need to do more of the right things.

But let me assure you Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen that as a Government and a people, we won’t get intoxicated by this, because we recognize that a lot more needs to be done. This is why we will continue to implement and expand on our national cohesion, inclusive politics and sustainable development initiatives as outlined in our Medium Term National Development Plan.

Under the leadership of HE the President, we will also continue to enhance the enabling fiscal, infrastructural and policy environment for investment to thrive; clamp down on all forms of human rights violations especially against vulnerable members of our society; uphold the tenets of democracy and respect the rule of law; clamp down on traffickers of human beings by fully implementing the requisite legislations. Our fight against corruption, as the President has reiterated on several occasions, is going to be relentless. More importantly, we remain committed to sustainable environmental practices.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

Let me close by sharing with you a few important things about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Each time we meet in receptions like this we crack jokes and laugh about all sorts of things and what you normally see is a composed Minister on the outside, without having any idea of the fire that is burning on the inside of me. Most times I just try to be a diplomat and that is why you are my friends, because I could only imagine what lies beneath all those beautiful smiles that greeted me this evening.

But friends I will be unusually blunt tonight. Diplomacy aside ladies and gentlemen, work has been very difficult. To be short-handed by over 70 percent in terms of staffing is a serious challenge for any entity, but the challenge is tenfold when we talk about a foreign ministry of an entire nation dealing with other countries who do not care so much of your manpower constraints because they have more important things they are grappling with themselves.

Desperate situations sometimes require desperate measures. We are currently working on a coping mechanism by restructuring the entire Ministry. We are basically collapsing some of the departments and strategically repositioning others to enhance efficient and coordinated functioning of the Ministry. This approach however is going to increase workload on individual staffs by 200% which can only be sustained in the short term until we get more competent staff in post.

The absence of a codified Foreign Policy for Sierra Leone has been another serious challenge to our work. This is why I am delighted to report here for the first time that we now have an advanced draft of our National Foreign Policy which will be validated in the coming weeks and subsequently launched. It is my fervent belief and hope that this policy will address most of the sticky points in the functioning of the Ministry both internally and with its numerous partners.

As part of our institutional strengthening drive, we are in advance discussions with some of you to build a functional communication infrastructure in the Ministry. Let’s face it, communication is the palm oil with which the yam of diplomacy is eaten. In ancient periods nations painstakingly endured cumbersome means to keep in constant touch with each other.

Today technology has made it a lot easier and our Ministry would like to take full advantage of the development in ICT to enhance the work we do. I believe that once we get this communication infrastructure up and running, the much loathed communication gap that often exist between the Ministry and the diplomatic and consular community, the Ministry and its overseas embassies; as well communication between the Ministry and other government institutions, will virtually become a thing of the past.

Speaking of communication between the Ministry and the diplomatic and consular community, let me use this opportunity to announce to you all that we have reached the decision to be meeting with you once every quarter. In the last meeting I think it was Ambassador Tom Vens who suggested that we need to run these meetings by specific themes that are relevant to our bilateral as well as multilateral cooperation. We have taken this suggestion as advised and we shall communicate the theme for our next meeting in due course. We are also open to suggestion of themes from you.

I have also asked my Personal Assistant and my Secretary to schedule all meetings with members of the diplomatic and consular corps on Thursday of every week. This does not however mean that I will be meeting with each one of you every Thursday of the week it just means that whenever you want to book an appointment to see me, Thursday is your best bet. However, for issues that require urgent attention, I am always at hand.

Once more I thank you all for coming!

Shukran, Gracias, shie shie, Tissikuler, Merci beaucoup Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Foreign Minister Presents 2 Cooperation Agreements and 6 Multilateral Environmental Treaties for Ratification In Parliament

Foreign Minister Presents 2 Cooperation Agreements and 6 Multilateral Environmental Treaties for Ratification In Parliament

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Nabeela Tunis (Mrs.) on Thursday 31st October, 2019 presented to the Sierra Leone House of Parliament two (2) Cooperation Agreements and six (6) Multilateral Environmental Treaties for ratification at the Well of Parliament, Tower Hill, Freetown.

Presenting the two cooperation agreements between the Government of the Federal Republic of Brazil and the Government of Sierra Leone and between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Hon. Minister explained that, the Brazil Agreement will facilitate visa free travel between the two countries for government officials and other persons holding diplomatic, official or service passports. She added that the agreement, if ratified, will strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

Giving the purpose of the Turkey Cooperation Agreement, Minister Tunis said, it exempts visa requirement for holders of diplomatic, Service and Special Passports to enter into, transit through, exit or stay in the two countries for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days within any one-hundred and eighty (180) days.

This Agreement, she said, does not grants citizens of both countries the right to work or engage in any profession in the two respective countries and that it retains the power to enforce their respective immigration laws including the right to deny entry or shorten the period of stay of their respective citizens without stating any reasons.

Presenting the six (6) Multilateral Environmental Treaties,  (The Kigali Amendment to Montreal Protocol; the Bamako Convention; the Ban Amendment to the Basel Convention; the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol; the Cartagena Protocol and the Additional Protocols to the Abidjan Convention by the Government of Sierra Leone) Hon. Tunis said that, these treaties will provide the country with effective capacity on waste management, chemical controls, protection of the ozone layer, reducing the risk of climate change and biodiversity conservation limiting the impacts on biosafety.

These treaties, she maintained, will provide the required platform for Sierra Leone to contribute to the international strides towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and other relevant international benchmarks. 

Minister Nabeela Tunis went on to assure the MPs that by ratifying and domesticating the treaties, Sierra Leone will proactively join the global campaign and efforts to improve human health and save the environment, which according to her, has over the years been subjected to massive destruction through uncontrolled activities.

She concluded by entreating the Honourable House to endorse and ratify the treaties as Sierra Leone stands to benefit tremendously from their domestication and implementation.

Hon. Dixon Rogers in his contribution on the two Cooperation Agreements raised the issue of transit visa to Brazil and Turkey which he said will be a challenge. His fear was allayed by the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Nabeela Tunis who assured the House that, although there is no direct flight from Sierra Leone to Brazil there is however a direct flight from Sierra Leone to Turkey and that in the case of transit, holders of Diplomatic, Service or Special passports will be given a suitable treatment or seek alternative route where transit visas would not be required.

Commenting on the two Cooperation Agreements and Treaties, Hon. Hassan Prince commended Minister Nabeela Tunis for her relentless efforts in the stride to ensure that the instruments were ratified and domesticated. He encouraged that when the instruments were ratified and domesticated, the concerned MDAs should ensure their implementation.

Hon. Sama in his submission, said the Agreements will benefits the people of this country and that the six (6) treaties will eradicate the threat against environmental hazards.

Hon. Yumkella in his statement encouraged the Minister of Foreign Affairs to continue to collaborate with Brazil especially in the areas of agriculture and bioenergy.

The Chairman for the SDGs Committee commended the Minister for present the instruments as they are key for his committee. The Agreement, he said will strengthen Sierra Leone’s  diplomatic ties with the international community and urged Sierra Leoneans to take action and join the global community to reduce negative impacts of our actions and  footprints on the environment.

The Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo in his statement, applauded the Minister for presenting such a beneficial documents and encouraged the Minister to implement government’s earlier Cabinet Conclusion that recommended the opening of a Sierra Leone embassy in Brazil.

He called on the Ministry of Finance not to stave the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of funds as it is the Ministry that sells the image of Sierra Leone to the International world.

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation Hosts 3 Days workshop

 

 

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown: Tuesday 1st October, 2019) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation in collaboration with the United Nations office High Commissioner for Human Rights will  organize a three- days workshop on the strengthening of the National Mechanism for Reporting and Follow up and Roll up of the National Recommendations Tracking Database from the 2nd – 4th October 2019, at Ministry’s Conference Room, Tower Hill Freetown.

The objective of this workshop is to provide refresher training to government officials who have been participating in the Government’s UPR work and to help government officials familiarize themselves with the National Recommendation Tracking Database (NRTD) and its key features. The workshop will target government officials/members of government inter-ministerial steering group on human rights.

This workshop was requested by the government of Sierra Leone following the decision of the OHCHR to provide Sierra with the NRTD to assist the General with its human rights reporting work.

The workshop will be facilitated by two staff from OHCHR and a staff from this ministry. The workshop will commence with an opening session on the 2nd October 2019 during which the Government will launch it UPR midterm report.

NEWS RELEASE

Foreign Minister Receives Delegates from Morocco

(MFAIC Press Office Freetown: Wednesday 11th September, 2019): The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Nabeela Tunis on Tuesday, 10th September, 2019 received a delegation from Morocco headed by the  Director General of the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation, Ambassador Mohammed Methqal, at the Ministry’s conference room Tower Hill. The visit by the Moroccan delegation was one of the critical outcomes of the working Visit of the Hon. Minister, Mrs Nabeela Tunis, to the Kingdom of Morocco in August this year.

In his opening remarks, in which he dilated on the purpose of his visit, Ambassador Methqal disclosed that he is here  in Sierra Leone with a team of experts on a scoping mission to develop bankable development project, within a wide range  of sectors, that will be ultimately funded by the Moroccan Government in collaboration with the Government of Sierra Leone which they can help to fund in Sierra Leone.

He further stated that, beyond developing projects, the team is also in Sierra Leone to share with the country the Moroccan development experience especially in sectors such as Agriculture, Renewal Energy, Education, ICT, Fisheries, Security and Banking among others. Ambassador Methqal reckoned that, such experience sharing in the fields of education, security, trade among others, can father deepen bilateral ties between the two countries.

Welcoming the Director General and his delegation on behalf of the Government and the People of Sierra Leone, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Minister Nebeela Tunis said it was a great pleasure to receive a delegation from the Kingdom of Morocco on a scoping visit to Sierra Leone as a fruit to her working visit to Rabat, a few weeks ago.

On that note, she extends her profound appreciation, through the delegation, to Minister Nasser Bourita for the commitment demonstrated by the kingdom of Morocco towards the deepening of bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and Morocco, and the strengthening of the two government’s cooperation on regional issues.

She stated that as a country they attach great significance to this scoping visits as it is another opportunity for them to draw concrete road map towards achieving our specific development goals and objectives.

Mrs Nabeela Tunis furthered that the visit marks a critical step in the right direction for consolidating the longstanding friendship between Sierra Leone and Morocco and hoped that these bankable projects will be untimely presented to the two heads of state, during the H.E. President Bio’s visit to the kingdom of Morocco later this year, for their favourable consideration. Minister Tunis expressed hope that such engagement will be further bind the already string bilateral relationship that exist between the two countries.

 

Present at the meeting were the Minister Hon Nabeela Tunis, Deputy Minister Solomon Jamiru Esq, Director General of Foreign Affairs Mr. Al-Hassan Kondeh, Directors of the Ministry and other MDAs.

Sierra Leone and Japan Governments Sign Cooperation Agreement

MFAIC Press Office Freetown: Thursday 22nd August, 2019

The Governments of Sierra Leone and Japan on Thursday, 22nd August, 2019 signed an agreement on Technical Cooperation and Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer Programme at the Minister’s Conference Room, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown.

Welcoming the Japanese delegation, the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. A-Hassan Kondeh reaffirmed the government of Sierra Leone’s commitment to deepening and strengthening the country’s bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Japan, other countries and development partners.

In his statement, the Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Sierra Leone resident in Ghana, His Excellency Tustonu Himeno said, he was delighted to sign on behalf of his government and people another important document which will further strengthen and deepen the good relationship between Japan and Sierra Leone in the area of Technical Cooperation.

Ambassador Himeno said the signing of the agreement is an indication of the Governments of Japan and Sierra Leone’s commitment to continuing to bind the good relationship between them.

He added that, Sierra Leone and Japan have been enjoying extensive good relationship, cooperation and collaboration in various development areas.

In her remarks, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Nabeela Tunis, said the signing ceremony signaled the beginning of a much more robust relationship between the two countries.

 The agreement which she said has received cabinet approval and Parliamentary ratification has two components: the Technical Cooperation and the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer Programme.

The Technical Cooperation component, Hon. Nabeela Tunis said will see Sierra Leone receiving at Japan’s expense, equipment, machinery and materials to enhance technical training and other forms of cooperation to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. On the Japan Overseas cooperation Volunteer Programme component, he said the country will be providing exemption fees on consular, taxes including customs duties and fiscal charges and import license for machinery and materials to be used in JICA operations in Sierra Leone.

As a government, Minister Tunis said, they are very keen to provide the enabling environment for development partners to thrive; adding that in as much as they are doing so, they are also very cautious as not to allow such facilities to be taken advantage of.

Minister Nabeela Tunis maintained that, as a government, they do believe that there is the responsibility of both parties to adhere to the components of the agreement and look forward to using it as a show of strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries.

The signing of the Agreement, the Minister said, is a demonstration of the further deepening and strengthening of the excellent bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Sierra Leone she went on, signed the agreement as it is part of the Government of His Excellency Julius Maada Bio’s efforts to heighten the country’s economic diplomacy in its interaction with bilateral and development partners.

She said she is hopeful that upon signing the Agreement, both Sierra Leone and Japan will sit and discuss several other projects that will emanate from the Agreement.

Speaking on Japan’s development interventions in Sierra Leone, Minister Nabeela Tunis said, over the years, the two countries have enjoyed excellent bilateral ties on Economic and Technical cooperation in the fields of Japan Food Aid, power and water supply infrastructure, rural development. Human resource developments among others, she concluded.

The ceremony was climaxed by the signing of the said Agreement by the Hon. Minister and Japanese Ambassador. The ceremony was also witnessed by the Country Rep of JICA-SL and the Directors of Asia, Africa and Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Saudi Ambassador Designate Presents Copies of Letters of Credence to Minister of Foreign Affairs

MFAIC Press Office Freetown: Wednesday 31st, 2019

 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ambassador designate to the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr. Hussain Nasser Aldakalallah on Wednesday, 31st July, 2019 presented copies of his Letters of Credence to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Nabeela Tunis, at her Tower Hill Office in Freetown.

Speaking at the ceremony, which was held at the Minister’s Conference Room, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Excellency Dr. Hussain Nasser Aldakelallah expressed his enthusiasm to be assigned as Saudi’s Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Dr. Dakelallah went on to reaffirm his Government’s commitment to strengthen and deepen the bilateral ties with the Government of Sierra Leone, adding that, as an Ambassador, he is committed to work with the Government of Sierra Leone to further deepen and strengthen the consolidated bilateral relations between the two countries with the view of sustaining the friendship bond.

In her response, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Tunis said Sierra Leone and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are riding the pinnacle of admirable bilateral ties.

The Minister said Sierra Leone has benefited tremendously from Saudi in the areas of education, agriculture, infrastructural development, health, Hajj scholarships among other sectors, adding that, her government is very thankful for Saudi’s assistance during the deadly Ebola scourge.

She said the two countries have been adoring strong bilateral and economic ties since 1970 and that those ties between the two countries have been emergent from strengthen to strengthen.

Hon Nabeela Tunis and His Excellency, Dr. Hussain Nasser Aldakelallah discussed a range of diplomatic topics and issues of common concern between Sierra Leone and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

MFAIC Commences UPR Validation Workshop

MFAIC Press Office Freetown: Wednesday 24th July, 2019

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with Irish Embassy, has commenced a two-day validation workshop for the Government of Sierra Leone Human Rights Universal Periodic Review Mid-term Report at the Ministry’s main Conference Hall, at Tower Hill, Freetown from Wednesday 24th to 25th July, 2019.

In her statement at the opening session of the workshop, the Chairman of the Human Right Commission of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Patricia N. Ndanema stated that the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Human Rights is one of the greatest achievement in the history of the global struggle for Human Rights, as it gives states the opportunity to assess one another and also serves as best practice mechanism for duty bearers who are determined to ensure the enjoyment or realization of human rights by right holders.

The Representative from the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Mr Solomon Sogbandi spoke on the role of CSOs in the UPR process; which he said CSOs submitted Non-state actors report to the UNHCR that entails observation and recommendations among other roles.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Mr. Sunil Saigal gave a brief synopsis about the establishment of the UPR on human rights which he said, came into being by the United Nations General Assembly 60/251 of 15th March, 2006; adding that it also created the Human Rights Council which was mandated to undertake a universal periodic review.

He said Sierra Leone’s third review will look at the period 2017-2021; noting that, the government has placed the strengthening of the country’s human capital at the centre of its Medium-Term National Development Plan, with a focus on free and quality education for all, accelerating health care delivery, enhancing environmental sanitation, social protection, housing and land management and at the same time giving priority to women, children, adolescents and persons with disability, to youth employment and to the reduction of vulnerabilities and building resilience.

Representing the Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, Hon. Momoh Bockarie said that as a committee, they are obliged as per their mandate as in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone and other Parliamentary regulatory statutory documents of the Standing Orders, that they have a duty to protect and promote human rights in the country and that, added to their mandate, they also provided an oversight over state and non-state actors and institutions working in the field of Human Rights in the country.

The Irish Representative Niv Kavanah in her statement said the UPR is an important accountability mechanism for those countries committed to promoting and protecting Human Rights. She said the UPR encourages valuable self-reflection on the part of government and frank and constructive evaluation and feedback from civil society partners and peer UN member states and that it enables them to hold themselves accountable to measure their progress towards their international commitments and how they are delivering for the most vulnerable in their societies.

Representing the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, the Deputy Minister of Justice, Napoleon Koroma in his statement spoke on the important benefits of the UPR mechanism which he said provided  an inclusive platform for all stakeholders to meet and identify strengths and gaps in the Human Rights protection system and also proffered solutions on how to overcome remaining challenges.

Giving the keynote address at the opening ceremony, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Jacob Jusu Saffa told the audience that, his address was to fill them with hope and confidence that, government participation in the two-day validation workshop was to review and endorse the Government’s Human Rights midterm report that will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council following the workshop.

He said the ‘New Direction’ Government has and will continue to give keen attention to the basic principles of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs said the tireless efforts that was put into the completion of this year’s draft report was a clear demonstration of government’s commitment to the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and respect for its basic principles of consultation and cooperation with all stakeholders.

Minister Saffa went on to state that, the implementation of the 208 recommendations in the last UPR Cycle review was underway through a government-wide multi-sectorial approach. This approach he said, mainstream and offer stand-alone interventions on cross-cutting human rights issues such as gender equality, equity and empowerment; child protection; environmental management; healthcare and infrastructure provision, improved education management, prioritization of universal basic education and the rights of all girls to education among others.

He said the work of the Inter-Ministerial Human Rights Steering Committee and the New Direction Government cross-cutting approach to the implementation of the UPR recommendations meant that their efforts are firmly rooted and consistent with a human rights-based approach to governance.

This the Acting Minister said has manifested in the speeches and actions of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio. Whereof His Excellency the President speak of the workforce in the country, he does so from a human rights perspective and when the government invested billions of Leones to expand access to education for all, especially for girls, disabled, HIV/AIDs and Ebola Survivors, the President has in mind the obligation to promote the human right to quality education for his fellow citizens.

Venezuela Special Envoy Calls on Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs

MFAIC Press Office Freetown: Tuesday 16th July, 2019

The Special Envoy from the Embassy of The Bolivarian of Venezuela accredited to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Chad and ECOWAS, His Excellency David Nieves Velasquez Caraballo on Tuesday 16th July, 2019 called on the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Solomon J. Jamiru ESQ at his Tower Hill Office in Freetown.

In his statement, he gave a brief update about the Non- Aligned Movement (NAM), which he said, is a forum of about 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc adding that, it is the largest grouping of states after the United Nations.

He said since the formation of the organization, NAM has been holding several conferences in different countries and that this year, his country, Venezuela will be hosting the Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement scheduled for the 18th – 21st of July, 2019 in Caracas, Bolivarian, Republic of Venezuela.

His Excellency Caraballo said during the Ministerial meeting, the Foreign Minister of Venezuela will meet with colleague Ministers and Representatives to discuss issues that will further strengthen and deepen the bilateral ties.

He said Sierra Leone and Venezuela has been sharing strong bilateral ties and that his country has been providing aid in the area of education among other areas.

The special Envoy added that, his country is very willing to continue to strengthen and deepen the bilateral relationship with Sierra Leone by investing in the areas of education, mining, tourism, oil, economic and diplomacy.

In his response, the Acting Minister, Hon. Solomon J. Jamiru ESQ, welcomed the Special envoy and conveyed on behalf of His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the people of Sierra Leone, his sincere sentiments and commitment in strengthening and deepening the bilateral cooperation between the two countries and extended same to His Excellency, Nicolas Madura President of Venezuela.

Acting Minister Jamiru stated that, the visit of the Special Envoy indicated a very strong commitment of the Government of Venezuela to continue to strengthen and deepen the bilateral ties with Sierra Leone.

He said Sierra Leone will participate in the Ministerial meeting and that they as a government are looking forward to signing some of the agreements either at the Ministerial meeting or then on the margin of the UNGA in September this year.

He said within the context of political and economic situation, it is important that Venezuela has such an important coalition of friendly relations with countries.

Minister Jamiru thanked the Government and people of Venezuela for making Sierra Leone one of the beneficiaries of scholarship opportunities in higher education across a range of different disciplines including medicine.

He entreated that Venezuela continue to favorably consider Sierra Leone to benefit from such cooperation and opportunities.

He noted the interest of Venezuela in exploring opportunities in the country in the agriculture, oil and other sectors, adding that it’s important for him to note that, the country has formulated the Mid Term National Development Plan that contained 8 important clusters including Human Capital Development and Education which are pivotal in the ‘New Direction’ Government.

He said as a government they have rolled out the Free Quality Education for primary, junior and senior school pupils which is currently benefiting about two million children in the country; adding that it will be important for Venezuela to consider how such an important cluster defining the country’s national development agenda could be factored within the portfolio of opportunities for Sierra Leone.

He concluded that as a government, they are committed in ensuring that the two countries continue to strengthen their bilateral ties.

Sierra Leone and Belgium Sign Air Transport Agreement

MFAIC Press Office Freetown: Wednesday 3rd July, 2019

The Governments of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Kingdom of Belgium on Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019 signed an air transport agreement aiming at strengthening and deepening the bilateral relations and to promote effective regulatory control of air transport services between the two countries.
Speaking at the ceremony which was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister’s Conference room, 5th Floor, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Hugues Chantry said that, the bilateral agreement was a new version of an agreement that had been in existence since 1974 and that it’s a modernized version which has already been negotiated in 2009.
Sierra Leone and Belgium, the Ambassador said, have been enjoying very good relationship, adding that his country has always been there to assist and support Sierra Leone during trying times.
He said the signing process was a double pleasure for him and very unfortunate as he will be leaving his post and finishing his tour of duty in Sierra Leone as an Ambassador of Belgium who has left an indelible mark in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
In his statement, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Alhaji Kanja Sesay welcomed His Excellency Hugues Chantry on behalf of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, the Government and People of Sierra Leone.
He said, he noted with pleasure the excellent bilateral relationship that is existing between Sierra Leone and the Kingdom of Belgium for several decades which has been mutually beneficial.
The Minister said the signing ceremony was to further strengthen and deepen the relationship between the two countries in specific areas including air transport. He expressed hope that the agreement will put in place very effective regulatory mechanisms.
The Acting Minister acknowledged the immense and excellent relationship that exists between the two countries, noting that during the country’s Ebola Crisis, SN Brussels was one of the few international airlines that particularly stood with Sierra Leone in providing regular flights to and from Sierra Leone.
He also noted Belgium’s support during the 2017 flood and mudslide disaster in which the country also benefited immensely in the area of humanitarian assistance to the victims.
Hon. Minister Sesay said, the Government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio also recognised the direct investments from the Kingdom of Belgium which have aided in accelerating the impressive economic growth of the country.
He concluded that the signing ceremony will symbolise and further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries. He wished the Ambassador well in his new assignment.
Present at the ceremony were the Acting Director General, Mr. Lungi, DDG Policy, Dr. Joe Nyuma, Directors and Deputy Directors from various divisions.

Polish Ambassador Presents Copies of Letters of Credence to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Polish Ambassador designate to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Joanna Tarnawska on Wednesday, 19th June, 2019 presented copies of her Letters of Credence to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Solomon J. Jamiru Esq, at his Tower Hill Office in Freetown.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs. Tarnawska expressed her excitement to be assigned as Polish Ambassador to Sierra Leone. She stated that Poland and Sierra Leone are far away in terms of geographic location, but have common values.
The Polish Ambassador designate to Sierra Leone said her government is committed to strengthen and deepen the bilateral ties with the Government of Sierra Leone, adding that Sierra Leone was among the first one hundred countries to sign the Warsaw treaty in Poland.
Speaking on her country’s interest of cooperation, Mrs. Joanna Tarnawska said her country is interested to cooperate with Sierra Leone on the basis that, Sierra Leone is recognized as one of the growing democratic nations in the world. She said that there are many areas of cooperation that her country is interested in, including education, cleaning, transportation, technology and many others.
She maintained that her country has also developed cooperation in different sectors like education, teaching aid, firefighting, rescue crises including landslide and car accidents.
In his response speech, the Hon. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Solomon J. Jamiru Esq welcomed the Ambassador Designate to the country and the Ministry, adding that Poland is a great nation in central Europe.
He noted that Poland is a member of a lot of multilateral agencies including UN, NATO and Schengen that have strategic global significance.
Responding to the Ambassador’s country interest of cooperation, Hon. Solomon Jamiru said, the two countries will have to look at areas of cooperation that could benefit both peoples.
He informed the Ambassador Designate that, His Excellency the President Julius Maada Bio for the first time in the history of this country, has set up a Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, to ensure students who study Mathematics, Science and Technology in the Universities of Sierra Leone would attract government support and free tuition.
Deputy Minister Jamiru Esq also noted that Poland has evolved when it comes to Public Postal Service, and would have to help develop that sector with Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone he maintained, has a Postal System that has gone through a lot of challenges and that it is at a point wherein they needed to borrow best practice and perhaps support in the area of resources, technical resources in order to transform the country’s Postal Services into providing financial services.
This, he concluded is the time for the two countries to deepen and strengthen their bilateral ties.
In another engagement, the Hon. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Solomon J. Jamiru Esq. on Thursday, 20th June, 2019 presented two Ambassadors and a High Commissioner Designate to Sierra Leone, to His Excellency Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio to present their Letters of Credence at the State House in Freetown.

US Ambassador Maria Brewer Calls on Foreign Minister Nabeela Tunis

 

The US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Maria E. Brewer on Wednesday 19th June, 2019 called on the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nabeela Tunis at her Tower Hill office in Freetown.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Brewer congratulated the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on her new assignment; adding that she had had a very good warm relationship with the Minister at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development.

Giving a brief historical background on the bilateral relationship between the two countries, the Ambassador said the United State of America has an established diplomatic relations with Sierra Leone since 1961 and that since then, the two countries have been enjoying a warm and cordial bilateral relationship.

The two countries, Ambassador Maria Brewer said were linked by the history of slavery in the United States, an institution she said that sent large member of African slaves from present day Sierra Leone to the colonies of Georgia and South Carolina. She assured the Minister of her country’s continuing support to Sierra Leone.

Welcoming the Ambassador to her Ministry, the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Nabeela Tunis said that, the US and Sierra Leone relationship today is affable, with cultural ties between groups in the two countries receiving collective historic interest. She thanked the Ambassador on behalf of the Government of President Julius Maada Bio and the people of Sierra Leone for the numerous U.S bilateral support in the areas of consolidation of peace, democracy and human right, health, education among other aid.

The Minister also talked on the bilateral economic relationship between the two countries adding that her staff had briefed her on the Ambassador’s supportive stance towards the Ministry. She said as Minister and Deputy Minister, they are going to serve and maintain the high level of cooperation between the two countries adding that, the meeting with the Ambassador was a demonstration of the importance they attached to the country’s bilateral relations with the USA.

MFAIC & MoF Holds Three Days Seminar on Operational Policies and Practices for Foreign Missions

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday 18th June, 2018 held a three-day seminar to develop Operational Policies and Practices for Foreign Missions to address Critical Challenges at the Golden Tulip Kimbima Hotel Conference Room, Aberdeen, Freetown.

Giving the objectives of the seminar, the newly appointed Acting Director General, Mr. Al-Hassan Karamoh Kondeh said, the seminar was to enable the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be more effective and efficient in its service delivery, position the Ministry to actively contribute to the success of the New Direction’s Government Medium term National Development Plan and improve the tripartite relationship among the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sierra Leone Missions abroad and the Ministry of Finance.

The Principal Deputy Financial Secretary (PDFS) at the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Mathew Dingie in his statement said his Ministry collaborated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have frank discussions in supporting the Foreign Missions to meet the management of their fiduciary duties. The PDFS said the challenges faced by those Missions abroad are not insurmountable and that they can be tackled by prioritizing them and agreeing on a broad framework.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Foreign Service, Hon. Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkellah talked about career diplomats and noted that his Committee believed in appointing 40% of Career Diplomats to Missions abroad calling on the two Ministries to give credence to timely payment of the country’s membership dues to its member’s organizations. He called on the Government through the Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh to manage the careers of the country’s diplomats who are in multilateral institutions to get their level positions. He maintained that, as a Committee responsible for foreign affairs, they will ensure that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation performs extremely well in its service delivery.

In her statement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Mrs. Nabeela Tunis said as a Ministry they have discovered that, in order for them to perform effectively and efficiently depend not only on the finances but the commitment and passion of each and every staff assigned to the Ministry, including Ambassadors and High Commissioners that are representing the country abroad.

To achieve this,  she said, they have targeted as a first step to define the country’s foreign Policy, a policy she stated, that tells the world how the country will relate to other countries, what is the government stance on Climate Change, issues of Migration and how they are working towards attracting more trade and less aid. Minister Tunis assured the gathering that, as a Government and Ministry, they have been advocating for more Sierra Leonean representations at multilateral organizations and that as a Ministry, they believed that, the more the representation, the more benefits they will have as a country.

In the area of Career Diplomats, Madam Minister Tunis said her ministry is quite concerned that as a country they don’t have a pool of career diplomats adding that her Ministry is presently working on the policy on Career Diplomats to represent the country in the global arena. She urged all the participants to contribute meaningfully in order to have an effective and efficient Ministry. She concluded that the issues of Career Diplomats, Protocol, communications and the positive image of the country are pivotal in their administration.

The Minister of Finance, Hon. Jacob Jusu Saffa talked on the policy position of government which he said is to position the Foreign Missions abroad so that they will be of benefit to the country; and that, from the Ministry of Finance’s perspective, the policy of Government is effective and efficient management of the limited resources. Minister Saffa also threw light on the issue of accountability of visas issued at the overseas Missions, payment of the country’s membership dues and the random employment of local staff by the Missions abroad.

Delivering the Keynote address at the seminar, the Hon. Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to be more proactive in the discharge of its state functions and to also expedite the processing of correspondences and ensure swift acknowledgement and response to correspondence.