Sweden Opens Consular Office in Sierra Leone

May 7, 2024

At a short ceremony, Tuesday, Sweden opened a Consulate in western Freetown, Sierra Leone, a process Sierra Leone’s Foreign Ministry Director General Ambassador Victoria Sulimani described as “a direct testament to the excellent bilateral relations that have evolved over the past years…”.

Sweden’s Honorary Consul is Harish Agnani who will now be serving a dual role as consul for Sweden and Norway with both consulates housed in the same building at Rawdon Street, Central Freetown.
Agnani expressed gratitude to Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister and the Liberia-resident Swedish Ambasador to Sierra Leone and Liberia, Urban Sjostrom for their significant roles and support in the process of entrusting him the responsibility.
“Your presence today is a testament to our shared goals and the robust partnership that we aim to build”, Agnani said, promising to uphold and promote the values and interests that define the relationship between Sweden and Sierra Leone. “I am dedicated to fostering our mutual objectives and ensuring that our collaborations are marked by success and lasting friendship”, he assured.
Sjostrom said he was excited that Sweden has been able to open the Swedish Honorary Consulate in Freetown. “This constitutes evidence of the long standing relations between Sierra Leone and Sweden”, he remarked.

He expressed hope in the implementation of Sierra Leone’s agreement of national unity. Though there could be challenges, he said, opportunities to prosper exist for Sierra Leone by coming together as a nation and working strategically with development partners, business sector, civil society, and academia.

Ambassador Sulimani recalled that the relationship between Sierra Leone and Sweden “gained considerable impetus in 1980s” when Sweden Commenced its in-country cooperation programme in Sierra Leone, focusing on Sierra Leone’s social protection policies and programmes including the empowerment of women, girls and human capital development. She recounted that the generosity of the Swedish Government has been impactful to Sierra Leone over the years in the education and health sectors.
“Swedish support to our educational system facilitated the return of half a million children back to school in 2002 and 2005…Today, some of our communities have become the direct beneficiaries of your cooperation…”, she recalled.
The establishment of the Swedish Consulate in Freetown, she noted, was the highpoint of bilateral relations which will serve as a major catalyst for further strengthening and deepening of relations to the mutual benefit of both peoples.

Europe Day 2024(Speech): Mrs Francess Piegie Alghali – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE

Europe Day 2024: Mrs Francess Piegie Alghali – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

H.E Ambassador Manuel Müller,

Excellencies

Ministers of Government,

Honourable Members of Parliament,

Your Lordships,

Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps,

Your Worship, the Mayor of Freetown,

Chairpersons and representatives of District Councils,

Representatives of the Civil Society and the fourth Estate, distinguished guests,

ladies and Gentlemen Good Evening.

On behalf of the Government and the People of Sierra Leone, I would like to express my appreciation to Team Europe led in-country by Ambassador Müller for his leadership and insightful remarks and to congratulate him on this day of celebration of EU Day. We are pleased that the European Union Delegation continues to foster cooperation and collaboration with the Government and People of Sierra Leone.

As today marks the commencement of the European Union-Sierra Leone Bus Tour, which would showcase a testimony of our enduring partnership. Team Europe’s support for Sierra Leone’s development initiatives underscores our collective determination to create a brighter future for all our citizens.

I commend the EU’s alignment for priorities with Sierra Leone’s National Medium Term Development Plan and the Big 5 Game Changers, reflecting a strategic approach to addressing our nation’s development aspirations. The EU’s focus on areas such as green transition, education, and good governance resonate with our commitment to sustainable growth and inclusive development. It is our hope that a platform will be created for sustaining, financing and monitoring the country’s development aspirations.

Additionally, Team Europe’s spotlight Initiative, aimed at combatting Sexual and Gender Based Violence, exemplifies our joint efforts to advance gender equality and empowerment of women in Sierra Leone. We are already seeing the fruit of the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Law, which has led to increased female representation in government and parliament.

The EU’s support for creating a conducive business climate and enhancing access to affordable loans for the private sector is pivotal for driving economic growth and job creation. Initiatives like Feed Salone demonstrate our shared vision for unlocking the immense potential of agricultural value chains and promoting entrepreneurship.

I also appreciate the EU’s recognition of the progress made in implementing the tripartite agreement on National Unity and its continued support for electoral reform and constitutional review processes. These efforts are crucial for strengthening democracy, upholding the rule of law, and fostering national unity.

As we celebrate Europe Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to multilateralism and the values enshrined in the UN Charter. While we also recognise that our partnership should not be based on paternalism but on mutual respect and equality.  Together, we can address global challenges, promote peace and security, and build a more prosperous and equitable world.

Let me conclude by inviting all of us to raise our glass and drink to the enduring friendship between Sierra Leone and Europe, and to the prosperity and well-being of our people. Happy Europe Day to all!

Thank you.

 

Sierra Leone is Safe for Investment, Foreign Affairs DG Assures Chinese Investors

Monday, May 6 2024

The Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Victoria Sulimani, has assured visiting Chinese-Business moguls that Sierra Leone is Safe for Business and Investment.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation Monday welcomed a team of Chinese investors at their Tower Hill conference room. The team was accompanied by the Sierra Leone’s Presidential Spokesman Alhaji Alpha Kanu, who said the high powered delegation comprised big investors from Shenzhen province in China with portfolios that resonate with the government Medium Term Economic program and the Big Five Agenda.
Ambassador Sulimani on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, called on the investors to explore untapped opportunities in the mining sector, tourism and culture, agriculture, health and investment, assuring them that the government has in place mechanisms for the protection of foreign direct investment.

Ambassador Sulimani said that the business visit presents massive opportunities for partnership and investment between Sierra Leone and Chinese Investors; adding that proper arrangements have been made to facilitate their interactions and meetings with relevant authorities during their stay in the country.

“The importance of this visit cannot be overemphasized as it coincides with the renewed mandate of His Excellency the President Dr. Julius Maada Bio to consolidate the gains made in his five years by investing in human capital development. This investment has laid a solid foundation for foreign direct investment and we are assuring you that our investment climate is friendly and accommodating”, she said.
The Presidential spokesman said that China stands out above all other nations by lifting 300,000,000 of its citizens out of poverty within thirty years and the tools they used are not different from the big five Game Changers. “We want to learn from that to be able to feed our people within the next five years,” he said.
Introducing the Chinese team, Eva Wu, Head of the Delegation said that, their visit to Sierra Leone was to actualize what was discussed between Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio and the President of China Xi Jing Ping during Bio’s recent state visit.

She said that the bilateral relationship between China and Sierra Leone has existed since 1970 and such an investment platform is meant to further strengthen the bond and friendship.
Eva Wu said that the delegation comprised CEOs of big technology firms, industrial players, solar manufacturers, energy, road infrastructure, mining companies and agricultural investors.
The delegation expressed interest to visit potential agricultural sites and mining areas within Sierra Leone.

From the Directorate of Strategic Communications
MFAIC Building Tower Hill, Freetown.

Strengthening Diplomatic Ties… Republic of Iceland Opens Embassy In Sierra Leone

Country Lodge, Freetown – 2nd May 2024
The Republic of Iceland Thursday opened an Embassy in Freetown, making Serra Leone the third African bilateral partners of the Nordic nation after Malawi and Uganda.
The occasion was later in the evening celebrated at the lush Country Lodge in western Freetown graced by government officials and the diplomatic community.
Welcoming guests at the cocktail party, Head of Chancery, Asdis Bjarnadottir said that Sierra Leone and Iceland are both small coastal nations that make use of the sea for a living irrespective of the difference in climate. The establishment of the Iceland embassy in Sierra Leone, she said, would contribute to the shared values of peace cooperation and development.
Like Sierra Leone, Iceland used to be among Europe’s poorest countries receiving aid and other development assistance in the 70s. But by harnessing their natural resources mainly fishery and renewable energy, the country has built a resilient economy with a prosperous livelihood for their people, Bjarnadottir explained. Iceland, through their embassy in Sierra Leone, would love to share their resilient experience and be of assistance to Sierra Leone, she emphasized.
“As a development partner, Iceland strives to work in countries where their presence adds value by creating synergy with other development partners to produce tangible development results and these can be achieved in Sierra Leone by impacting the lives of the people,” she said.
She said Iceland’s development impacts cut across various sectors in Sierra Leone ranging from the WASH project which supports 60,000 people access to clean water through collaboration with the Sierra Leone Government, UNICEF and other implementing partners.
She commended the government of Sierra Leone for progress made so far in promoting gender; noting that their embassy was developing an Iceland’s Country Partnership Strategy with Sierra Leone so that they could contribute to Sierra Leone’s National development plan in Gender Equality, Human rights, and the blue economy; a key policy of the Iceland government.

Ms Elin Rosa Sigurdardottir, Iceland’s Foreign Affairs Director-General, said that Sierra Leone and Iceland are two small countries trying to make a difference in the international communities as Sierra Leone is in the United Nations Security Council and Iceland is a candidate for the Human Rights Council.

She said that with a sound educative system, Iceland has transformed its story into a much better one which could be replicated in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Musa Timothy Kabba, on behalf of His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio thanked the Government of Iceland for strengthening and reaching a high point of diplomatic ties with the Government and people of Sierra Leone.
“The opening of an Iceland Embassy here today is a direct testament to the excellent bilateral relations that have existed between our two countries over the past years. I am pleased to note here that the generosity of the Icelandic people has been quite impactful in the marine resources sector where Iceland’s comparative advantage in the sustainable management of the blue economy has become most beneficial to the people of Sierra Leone”, the minister said.
Kabba said Sierra Leone’s fishing communities were direct beneficiaries of Iceland cooperation thereby enhancing livelihood through improved capacity and increased productivity.
Minister Kabba assured the Embassy of the government full commitment to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two nations.

Sierra Leone Hosts First Regional Conference on Autonomous Weapons

Sierra Leone Hosts First Regional Conference on Autonomous Weapons

Bintumani Conference,
Aberdeen Freetown -17th April 2024-

ECOWAS Foreign Ministers, Security Experts, and Artificial Intelligence Specialists Wednesday commenced a two-day workshop at the Bintumani Conference Center in Freetown to discuss sub-regional regulatory measures that would inform a global treaty in the near future on the use and control of Autonomous Weapons.

Welcoming other ECOWAS Foreign Ministers, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Musa Timothy Kabba, underscored the urgent need for a regional ECOWAS conference to address the rapidly advancing and menacing military technology known as autonomous weapons systems.
“We are gathered here today against the background of multiple global crises that have put a strain not only on the international order, but also on our political, legal, and ethical systems – the current conflict situations …, the climate change crisis with its attendant costs, and the geopolitical instabilities rocking the foundation of our global system”, he said.
Kabbah described the Autonomous Weapons System as a lethal new threat to global security and human dignity in conflict situations.

He said the implications of the use of such systems are not only dangerous but indicative of a deterioration of valued principles of accountability and responsibility which are protected by International Law.

Giving the significance of the ECOWAS sub-regional conference on autonomous weapons systems, Kabbah said that it seeks to critically assess and analyze these new phenomena in military hardware and their application in conflict situations, with the view to decide on a regional position on their existence or application in contribution to the global efforts to establish a regulatory framework through a legally binding international instrument.
Though ECOWAS recognizes developments in other regions regarding decisions and declarations on autonomous weapons and the growing field of Artificial Intelligence, he said, they also had a responsibility to be a part of discussions concerning security, peace, and human dignity.
“My hope is that this Conference will serve to unite us for a formidable regional voice regarding autonomous weapons systems and their use in conflicts”, the minister said.

He said ECOWAS owes it to their people to initiate an African regional position on Autonomous Weapons and be part of the global response to the progressive discussions at the multilateral level, especially at the United Nations General Assembly and at the Human Rights Council since 2013.
“I therefore implore you all to use these few days in Freetown to build a regional policy that we would present on behalf of our various peoples to the international community indicating our standpoint on the issue of autonomous weapons systems,” he added.

Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio who gave the keynote address said the conference aligns with his country’s role as an elected member in the Non-Permanent Category of the UN Security Council, which advocates for a rules-based world order to enhance global security.
He said Autonomous Weapons Systems are emerging as one of the most fundamental challenges that confront the world’s collective responsibility to safeguard global peace, security, and human dignity.
“Autonomous Weapons Systems represent a significant advancement in technology, offering capabilities that were once in the realm of science fiction. However, with this advancement comes a range of complex ethical, legal, and security challenges that demand our urgent attention”, the president said.
President Bio said respective national leaders must ensure technologies are developed and used in a manner that upholds the principles of international law, human rights, and humanitarian values. Therefore, he said, the prospect of machines making life-and-death decisions on the battlefield is deeply troubling and demands rigorous debate and careful consideration.

“By bringing together experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from across the region, we can forge common understanding and develop strategies to address the challenges posed by Autonomous Weapons Systems”, Bio emphasized among other significant points.

Ambassador Dr Abdel-Fatao Musah, Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of ECOWAS, underscored the timely hosting of such a crucial conference not only for Africa but for the world at a time when the evidence of a Third World War is glaring.

From the Directorate of Strategic Communications
MFAIC

Foreign Service Academy Signs MOU with UNIMAK

Thursday, 18 May, 2024

From the Directorate of Strategic Communications

 The Foreign Service Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Political Science & International Relations of the University of Makeni (UNIMAK).

The purpose of the MOU is to establish a framework for cooperation and collaboration between UNIMAK and FSA in the field of political science and International Relations; collaborate in joint research projects; exchange programs, information sharing, seminars, workshops, and other activities, part of the agreement reads.

“It signifies our shared commitments to excellence, innovation, and the advancement of education in our respective domains”, Foday Augustine Bangura, UNIMAK’s Registrar said Thursday. Bangura said  UNIMAK is dedicated to providing quality education that prepares students for global challenges and opportunities. Hence, the collaboration with the Foreign Service Academy aligned perfectly with their vision of internalization and academic enrichment. The Foreign Service Academy’s expertise in diplomatic training and international relations, he said, was highly commendable.

“Through this partnership, our students will have access to specialized programs, workshops, and resources that will enhance their understanding of global affairs and diplomacy… it is about building bridges of knowledge and understanding. It opens doors for academic exchanges, joint research, projects and collaborative initiatives, that will benefit both institutions and contribute to the development of our society”, Bangura said.

 

Ambassador Soulay Daramy, the Ag. Director General of the FSA recalled that since the institution kicked off nearly a year ago, they have signed several MOUs with international institutions, missions and foreign organizations. But he was excited to state that UNIMAK was the very first local institution of higher learning that the FSA was entering an MOU with particularly that the initiative came from the leadership of UNIMAK. To the ambassador, it showed that the FSA had a position of relevance in society. “Over the years we have seen the records, the academic standing of UNIMAK; we’ve seen the percentage and quality of products that come from UNIMAK. We want this academy to be able to provide the advantage position for people of those sorts”, he said.

The ambassador said he was hopeful that the partnership with UNIMAK would provide students of UNIMAK’s Department of Political Science and International Relations the upskilling, polishing and professional training they will require to make them become good foreign service officers.

He encouraged other universities or academic institutions to partner with the FSA.

Ambassador Daramy said the FSA was not a primarily an academic institution. It is a skills-based institution backed by academic qualifications. He said the Foreign Service Academy was established primarily to train and upskill Foreign Service officers in the country and to provide training facilities and opportunities for Sierra Leonean diplomats or people who wish to have any activities in the international space.

But those were just the rudiments, Ambassador Daramy said. When in full swing, the academy will have something for everybody since the facility was equipped to offer so much more including the teaching of international languages. For now, the academy offers training in French, Russian, Chinese and Arabic and is developing an e-library in addition to several other resource materials already available at its resource centre.

 

“We are going to have a lot of seminars, lots of workshops. Particularly, we are going to have topical master classes – classes that will involve public speaking, dining properly, dress etiquettes, general protocol and the behaviour of people in public spaces. These will be essential for the upcoming students we produce?, he clarified. He said students from UNIMAK in the political science department who wish to pursue careers in diplomacy stood to benefit a lot from the array of learning opportunities the FSA will be providing in the future.

For now, the FSA offers Basic, intermediate and advanced level courses in diplomacy in addition to lessons in Arabic, Russian and Chinese.

 

New UN Resident Coordinator Presents Copies of Letter of Credence to Foreign Affairs Minister

MoFAIC Building, Tower Hill Freetown, 14th December 2023.

The newly appointed United Nations Resident Coordinator, Seraphine Wakana, today presented copies of her Letters of Credence to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Musa Timothy Kabba.

Mrs. Wakana during her presentation expressed a condolence message on behalf of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Country Team over the unfortunate attempted coup on November 26th, 2023 that claimed the lives of some military and security personnel.

Mrs. Wakana said that she had been briefed on the crucial role that her office will be playing as Co-Chair in the implementation of the National Dialogue framework between the Government of Sierra Leone and the opposition party the All People’s Congress.
She said that the role of the UN is not only to sustain peace but to work towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals ahead of Agenda 2023.

She noted that the Government of Sierra Leone is on track in the implementation of the ‘Big Five’ agenda that addresses some of the SDGs.
She assured the Minister that the UN Resident Coordinator’s office is ready to mobilize support from development partners in any capacity or expertise in realizing some of the priority areas of the government that are also in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (2024-30).

Receiving her Letter of Credence, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Musa Timothy Kabba welcomed and congratulated Mrs. Seraphine Wakana on her appointment as UN Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone; adding that she was coming at a time when the country’s record of being one of the most peaceful nations was being tested as a result of the November 26 failed coup.

He assured the UN Resident Coordinator that the Government and partners were working to restore calmness in the country.
Minister Kabba said that the role of the United Nations since its formation in 1945 in maintaining global security cannot be overemphasized; noting the role of the UN in transitioning Sierra Leone from a war-ravaged country to a post-war reconstructive nation.

The Minister briefed the UN Resident Coordinator that the Election Review Committee was a recommendation made after the National Dialogue between the Government of Sierra Leone and the main opposition APC that was facilitated by the UN and other partners to address Sierra Leone’s election challenges.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francess P. Algali highlighted key components of the Feed Sierra Leone initiative and how the UN can complement government efforts in realizing some of the development projects in the country.

Strengthening Bilateral Relations… Guinea Government Appreciates Sierra Leone After Fire Disaster Intervention


MFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 5th January 2024-

The Government of the Republic of Guinea has sent a high-powered delegation to Freetown in appreciation of Sierra Leone’s prompt intervention when an explosion in Conakry recently took lives in addition to property worth millions of dollars.

Led by their Prime Minister, Dr. Bernard Goumou, the Guinean delegation comprised their Foreign Minister, Minister of Energy and Petroleum, and other key stakeholders from the Government of Guinea who visited Sierra Leone from the 4th to the 5th of January 2024.
The delegation met with His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio and top Sierra Leone government officials and conveyed messages of appreciation to the Government of Sierra Leone for supporting Guinea in time of need.

A special ceremony was held in the auditorium of the Foreign Service Academy where the Prime minister lavished praises on Sierra Leone’s Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh who led an emergency medical team to Guinea at the time. The VP together with the medical team and leaders of the Sierra Leone Petroleum Regulatory Agency were adorned with decorations of honor by the Guinean envoy on Friday.

Earlier in the day, the delegation held bilateral trade and investment talks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Musa Timothy Kabba, said that part of the provisions of the new trade agreement will ensure that Guinea gains access to Sierra Leone’s port facilities for the importation of their petroleum products for onward trucking to Guinea since their petroleum depot was gutted by fire during the explosion, and it will take time to reconstruct.
Minister Kabba said that the bilateral agreement will also ensure collaboration between Guinea and Sierra Leone in the area of security and education.

Dr. Bernard Goumou, Guinea’s Prime Minister said that the fire incident seriously affected the running of their country. However, the timely intervention from the Government of Sierra Leone has helped to address their petroleum challenges.
Dr. Goumou on behalf of the leader of Guinea Col. Mamady Doumbouya, thanked Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the people of Sierra Leone for coming to their aid in time of need.
In his keynote address, Sierra Leone’s Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh thanked the government of Guinea for honoring Sierra Leoneans for their timely support during the crisis.
Emphasizing the need for peace and stability, Dr. Jalloh said Guinea and Sierra Leone are two countries with one people with the same culture and tradition.
The Vice President, Dr. Juldeh Jalloh said that both countries have been enjoying bilateral relations for ages and that for Sierra Leone to stand in solidarity with the people of Guinea was the best thing the country did.

*From the Directorate of Strategic Communication*
+23276571819.

China Grants Sierra Leone 13M USD

MFAIC Building, Tower Hill Freetown, 29th November 2023

In an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement Between the Government of The People’s Republic of China and The Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Chinese Government has granted the sum of 100 million RMB Yuan (an equivalent of $13m) to the Government and the people of Sierra Leone. The grant agreement was signed Wednesday, November 29 by the Republic of Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Musa Timothy Kabba, and the Peoples Republic of China’s Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E. Wang Qing at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Tower Hill, Freetown.

With a view to further deepen the friendly relations, economic and technical cooperation between the two countries, the agreement aims to support the economic and social development of Sierra Leone.

Ambassador Wang Qing recalled that China and Sierra Leone have a long-standing relationship and that in recent years, the two countries have together continuously enhanced geo-political mutual trust and achieved fruitful results in practical cooperation and related closely in international affairs. The signing of the agreement on Wednesday, was another practical demonstration by China to support the economic and social development of Sierra Leone, the ambassador said. He said China was willing to take the opportunity to implement the important consensus of the two heads of state and promote the continuous development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Sierra Leone to benefit the people of both countries.

Minister Kabba expressed sincere gratitude on behalf of President Bio, to the Chinese Government and people for their long-term valuable assistance to Sierra Leone. The Minister said that the signing of the agreement was symbolic of the strong friendship between the two countries. He said the grant would help advance President Bio’s second-term governance agenda of the BIG FIVE GAME CHANGERs and that Sierra Leone would work with China to deepen the friendly cooperation between the two Great Nations.

America Congratulates Sierra Leone for Defending Democracy and assures approval of MCC Compact

Directorate of Strategic Communications
MFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown
29 November, 2023

The US Government has unequivocally condemned the Freetown November 26th Security Breach, calling it an attack on democracy, Ambassador Bryan David Hunt says. The Ambassador congratulated the government of Sierra Leone for stopping “those who wanted to avert democracy and bring chaos to Sierra Leone”.

The US position was made clear during the ambassador’s courtesy call on Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Musa Timothy Kabba, on Wednesday, at his Tower Hill Office.

Ambassador Hunt said the American Government stands with the Sierra Leone Government for taking the stance to repel, pursue, arrest, and hold accountable all the dissidents involved in the failed coup.
Hunt told the minister, that he has on behalf of the American Government, congratulated Major General Dauda Alpha, the Joint Forces Commander of the Republic of Sierra Leone’s Armed Forces through a telephone call. He said he congratulated the commander and his men for standing tall to defend the assault on democracy. The US government was pleased with the military’s dedication and gallantry in repelling the assailants, he emphasized. Hunt said the American government will support the government of Sierra Leone with investigations to ensure that the assailants account for their actions.

The American government will continue to stand with the Government and people of Sierra Leone as they support the Sierra Leone Government’s action to search, cordon, arrest, and prosecute all the assailants.

On another note, Ambassador Hunt said Sierra Leone remained on track for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The United States Embassy in Sierra Leone, he said, will continue to work with the Government of Sierra Leone to ensure the compact valued at around $480 Million is realized.

He said Sierra Leone as a non-permanent Member of the UN Security Council, has a key role to play in the peace and stability of West Africa and beyond. Hence, the United States encourages President Julius Maada Bio to play a critical role in resolving the political crises in West Africa.
He called on Sierra Leone to join the United States and other nations in endorsing the Declaration on Atlantic Cooperation so that Sierra Leone could become a full member.

Minister Kabba welcomed the ambassador and expressed his appreciation on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone. He appreciated the United State’s stance on democracy as well as law and order in Sierra Leone, especially for demonstrating early support for the Government of Sierra Leone on the unfortunate events of November 26. He stressed that the Government of Sierra Leone will continue to encourage the security forces to act within the confines of the law as they engage the remnants of the insurgents who are still lurking out in the dark.
Kabba said despite the threat to the security situation posed by the insurgents, Sierra Leone will forge ahead with the work of the Electoral Review Committee.
The minister acknowledged the ambassador’s positive overview of Sierra Leone’s fulfillment of the MCC criteria, noting that some detractors were using the MCC to play politics without understanding the progress Sierra Leone has made on the MCC over the years. Kabba said that President Bio’s experience as having been a military leader before and now as a democratic leader places him strategically to play a key role in resolving the political crises in West Africa. He assured the ambassador that Sierra Leone would endorse the Declaration on the Atlantic Cooperation.

Outgoing UN Resident Coordinator Bids Farewell to the Foreign Minister, Commends Gov’t Timely Responses to Global Challenges

MoFAIC Building, Tower Hill Freetown, 20th November 2023

The outgoing United Nations Resident Coordinator to Sierra Leone Dr. Babatunde A. Ahonsi today bid farewell to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Musa Timothy Kabba in his office.

Dr. Ahonsi described his three years of serving in the country as awesome; looking at development initiatives that have been instituted by the Government.

“As I leave Sierra Leone, I firmly believe that the important building blocks for economic and social transformation that have been put in place many of which the United Nations development systems were associated with would yield significant returns in terms of economic and social transformation for the people of Sierra Leone. These are not like building bridges that people see. But with time they will yield return,” Dr. Ahonsi said while citing significant gains in Free Quality Education, access to elementary education, and a drop in maternal mortality.

Dr. Ahonsi recalled the time of his arrival in the country in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when Africa was considered vulnerable due to inadequate preparedness to combat the pandemic. But it turned out that due to the strong leadership of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio, Sierra Leone became one of the few countries that had a response in place even before the outbreak of the first case. This he said was because the government was able to quickly implement past experiences of Ebola.

He commended Sierra Leone for being one of the first countries in West Africa to fully vaccinate 70% of its citizens against COVID-19 which was in line with the 70% WHO targeted population by November 2022.

Dr. Ahonsi applauded the Feed Salone initiative of the government which he believes will lead to job creation, boost the economy, and lead to food sovereignty thereby attaining some aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals.
He also commended the establishment of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the Presidential Initiative on Climate Change and Renewable Energy which demonstrates the political will in the fight against climate change.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Musa Timothy Kabba thanked Dr. Ahonsi and the United Nations for being strong partners in supporting government initiatives like the Free Quality Education and other priority areas.

“The United Nations is a strong and reliable partner with Sierra Leone. When you talk about the United Nations, the first thing that comes to our minds is the support to ending Sierra Leone’s civil war and the role that was played in the transformation of the country to the extent that the country now takes part in peacekeeping operations in the world.,” the Minister said.

He said food insecurity is a global malaise, especially in Africa and the move by His Excellency President Bio to initiate the Feed Salone is to respond to that threat which has the potential to undermine the growth of any country.
“President Bio is doing everything to get the Feed Salone right. Our bilateral engagements have been largely on investment in agriculture, and job creation for young people and we continue to work closely with related UN agencies to achieve this initiative.” He said.
The Minister talked about the country’s presence in the United Nations Security Council at a time when there are emerging conflicts across the globe. This he said is the right time for Sierra Leone to share its experience and push for peace in West Africa and other parts of the world.

Sweden Ambassador Pays Courtesy Call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs Congratulates Sierra Leone’s Return to the United Nations Security Council

MoFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 2nd November 2023_

His Excellency Urban Sjostrom, Ambassador-designate to Sweden with resident in Monrovia Liberia, has paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Musa Timothy Kabba at his office.

His Excellency Sjostrom congratulated Mr. Timothy on his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and also congratulated the Government and People of Sierra Leone on the country’s election to the United Nations Security Council non-permanent seat (2024-2025).
He expressed hope that Sierra Leone will not only achieve its goals but the goals of other supporting nations as well.

His Excellency Sjostrom said that over the years, Sweden and Sierra Leone have been enjoying multilateral cooperation through the United Nations and European Union platforms. But it is time both countries established strong bilateral ties which Sweden is committed to doing.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Musa Timothy Kabba thanked Ambassador Sjostrom for such a visit as it reiterates the long-standing relations the country has with Sweden.
Minister Kabba said that the idea of establishing bilateral cooperation with Sweden comes at the right time as His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has launched the big ‘5 Game Changers’ which gives more opportunities for foreign direct investment in the area of agriculture, energy, youth empowerment, tourism, and culture, innovation, and technology.

The Minister also highlighted the government’s effort in building strong human capital by investing in education and technology. These he said are the foundation of building a strong nation.
He reiterated the government and the ministry’s commitment to maintaining a strong bilateral relation and to always reach out to him whenever the need arises.

From the Directorate of Strategic Communications
+23276571819

Sierra Leone and South Africa Agree on Visa Waiver For Holders of a Diplomatic, Service Passport MoFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 2nd November 2023.

In furthering the diplomatic ties between the two countries, Sierra Leone and South Africa have agreed on a visa waiver for holders of Diplomatic and Service passports in both countries.

During a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Timothy M. Kabba, South African High Commissioner to Ghana and Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Grace Jeanet Mason, said that this will benefit both countries in terms of easy access and strengthen diplomatic and bilateral ties.

She said that the entry visa waiver for holders of Diplomatic and Service passports will take effect on the 30th of November 2023.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Timothy M. Kabba welcomed the development as it resonates with the mandate of the Ministry in promoting diplomatic and bilateral relations.

The Minister said that the visa waiver is a win-win situation for both countries as they seek to facilitate free movement, investment and development.

The Minister noted how Sierra Leone and South Africa continue to benefit from their mutual bilateral relations in the area of education, development, and development.

Minister Timothy highlighted the key priorities of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio in the areas of education, food security, energy, mining, tourism, and investment as he called on investors to explore those opportunities.

As the Kingdom of Morocco is Set To Open an Embassy in Sierra Leone… Foreign Affairs Minister Assures Strong Bilateral & Diplomatic Ties

MoFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 31st October 2023

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Timothy Musa Kabba has assured Morocco’s Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia His Excellency S.E.M Isam Taib that his country remains committed to upholding strong diplomatic bilateral ties with Morocco.
During the courtesy call on the Minister, Ambassador Taib said that Sierra Leone and the Kingdom of Morocco continue to enjoy mutually beneficial cooperation, and the signing of the 3rd Session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation between the two countries in Dakhla shows their commitment to strengthen the existing bilateral ties.
Ambassador Taib reiterated Morocco’s commitment to the implementation of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) in the areas of education, agriculture, tourism, mining, and to see how Moroccan SMEs can invest in the country.
He informed the Minister that Morocco has already secured a building for the hosting of an embassy in Freetown which will start operating soon.
He assured the minister that Morocco stands ready to support Sierra Leone in the United Nations Security Council in the area of experts since they have previously served in the Council.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Musa Timothy Kabba thanked the Kingdom of Morocco for being a strong and reliable ally to Sierra Leone for years.
The Minister commended Morocco’s commitment to support Sierra Leone in the UN Security Council as that will not only strengthen the country’s participation but also provide a strong representation of the African continent.
On the Joint Commission for Cooperation, the minister said that it has received the highest consideration from the Government of Sierra Leone as the Cabinet has already approved its provisions and it is currently in Parliament for ratification.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said that they look forward to the earliest implementation of the provisions in the JCC which also resonate with the Big Five agenda of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio especially the ‘Feed Sierra Leone’ where Moroccan experts are needed to boost the agriculture sector.
He said that Sierra Leone has established a Foreign Service Academy for diplomatic training and that he looks forward to the support of Morocco in building the capacity of the Academy.

On the opening of an embassy in Freetown, the Minister expressed his appreciation and hope to receive the Charge’ D Affairs as he also looking forward to the support of the Moroccan government for the reinvigoration of the Mano River Union.
The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Francess P. Algali, the Director-General and Ambassador at Large of the Ministry Dr. Victoria M. Sulimani, and the Acting Director of the Africa Directorate, Mr. Steven Levey.

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At The Opening of ECOSOCC Training of Trainers Session… Foreign Affairs Minister Calls On CSOs To Be Ambassadors of the AU Peace and Security Architecture

Sierra Palms Hotel, Aberdeen Freetown-30th October 2023

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Affairs, Musa Timothy Kabba has called on Civil Society Organizations to be Ambassadors of the African Union Peace and Security Architecture.
Minister Kabba made the call during the opening session of a three-day Training of Trainers program organized by the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) for Civil Society Organizations on Information gathering, conflict analysis, and Early Warning Response at the Sierra Palms Hotel in Aberdeen Freetown.

The Foreign Affairs Minister described the event as a step in deepening CSO’s understanding of political context and also an opportunity to learn how to generate evidence that will inform political decisions through conflict analysis. This he said will intensify the collective actions of both the Government and CSOs in protecting democracy from sliding into tyranny.

“Let me express my gratitude to the ECSOCC Leadership for choosing Sierra Leone to host this Training of Trainers program for Civil Society Organizations on Information Gathering, Conflict Analysis, and Early Warning/ Response under the EU-APSA IV Programme.

It is a privileged moment for me and for those who don’t know, a couple of years ago that I was actively engaged with ECOSOCC so, I am honored to welcome my civil society family home. It is time for the continent to recognize that we have a common problem and we can either have a common solution or no solution at all; this is a message that I also want to convey to my colleagues at the Executive Council when I get to meet with them but also to all Civil Society actors on the continent,” he said.
Minister Kabba reiterated the significance of the event as it underscores the shared commitment of our great continent, Africa to achieving peace, security, and stability.
“The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) serves as the cornerstone of our collective efforts to ensure a peaceful and secured continent. Within APSA, the Continent Early Warning System (CEWS) plays a pivotal role, allowing us to promptly identify potential conflict triggers and respond swiftly to mitigate conflicts across Africa,” the Minister said while underscoring the importance of the ECOSOCC training to empower and enhance the capacity of CSOs in information gathering, conflict analysis, and early warning/response.

The Minister urged participants to see the training as an opportunity to strengthen the collective role of government and CSOs’ to ensure peace, security, and stability across the African continent.
“Together, we can build a better future for our nations, our people, and our beloved continent,” he added.
The three-day ECOSOCC training of Trainers seeks to empower CSOs on the continent’s early warning systems, covering their components, operations, and functions, highlighting its essential role within the APSA framework.

They will also be trained in the components that underpin the effectiveness of Early Warning Systems, unpacking the various methods and sources for data collection, and the intricate analytical processes that transform these data into practical recommendations.

Strengthening Bilateral Ties with Sierra Leone… South Korea Donates IT Equipment to Foreign Service Academy

MoFAIC Building Tower Hill, Freetown, 16th October 2023.

The Republic of South Korea has supported the Foreign Service Academy of Sierra Leone with modern IT equipment worth Two Hundred Thousand United States dollars.
The donated items include laptop and desktop computers, cameras and accessories, and HD TV screens.

Presenting the items, Ambassador Kim Young Chae South Korea’s Ambassador to Sierra Leone, said it was the first time such a high-powered delegation from South Korea was visiting Sierra Leone, which he said was a demonstration of strong bilateral relations between the two countries.
Ambassador Chae said that South Korea will open an embassy in Sierra Leone in 2024 to show the country’s deepening bilateral relations with Sierra Leone and to also support the development trajectory of the Government of Sierra Leone.

Earlier, the delegation met with His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio at the State House.

Head of the delegation and South Korea’s Minister of Agriculture H.E Chung Hwang Keun said their engagement was fruitful and promising; noting that both countries can collectively work together in the interest of their people as they take their non-permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council for the 2024-2025 period.

H. E Chung Hwang Keun said the meeting with President Bio led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understating between the two countries which is in line with the K Rice Belt project.
The MOU was signed at a time when Sierra Leone is implementing the ‘Feed Salone’ program which was launched by President Bio.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy M. Kabba welcomed the donation and said it extended the relation beyond diplomatic ties.
Minister Kabba said South Korea has a lot to share with Sierra Leone when it comes to Human Capital Development because South Korea used human capital development to grow its economy.
Kabba said that a country’s growth is not determined by the amount of natural resources it has but the strength of its human capital. That, he said, was the reason why President Bio is building a strong educational pillar for generations yet unborn.

Minister Kabba said both Sierra Leone and South Korea exist in regions with security challenges but together in the UN Security Council, they could collectively work to foster peace and security.
The Acting Director of the Foreign Service Academy, Ambassador Sullay Daramy thanked the Government of South Korea for boosting the institution with the much-needed facilities that will be utilized judiciously to provide diplomatic training and to make the FSA a center of excellence within the sub-region.

The Foreign Service Academy was commissioned by His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio in January this year to build the capacity of the country’s diplomats and other nationals through diplomatic training.

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Uganda Opens Consular Office in Freetown

The Directorate of Strategic Communications
26th September, 2023
MFAIC Building, Tower Hill Freetown

Uganda is opening a consular office in Freetown, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Nigeria and all other ECOWAS member states, Ambassador Ocheger Nelson said Tuesday while formally introducing the new Ugandan Honorary Consul to Sierra Leone’s Ag Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francess Alghali, at her Tower Hill office in Freetown.

“Because we are not yet able to establish a fully functional embassy here as a country, we thought it fit that we could identify somebody who could be an immediate link between me as ambassador in Abuja and the Government and people of Sierra Leone”, Nelson said as
he introduced Deepak Bhurani as Uganda’s new Honorary Consul whose appointment, he was pleased to say, has been approved by the Government of Sierra Leone.

“So, I am here to formally introduce him to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and by extension, the government of the Republic of Sierra Leone so that as he commences to discharge his responsibilities, he is formally known to you”, the ambassador said.

“This afternoon, we are also formally opening a consulate where Deepak is going to be working…So I look at this as a milestone in our diplomatic relations because it now gives us the opportunity to finally scale up our interactions in the areas that I’ve already enumerated”, he said. “This in my view is a very important milestone….I’ll do my utmost to guide him, advise him, to make sure that our relations could grow from strength to strength”, he said.

Ambassador Nelson used the occasion to formally congratulate President Bio for his re-election into office and said his government was pleased to work with the Sierra Leone Government and the people of Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone and Uganda established diplomatic ties in 1973. Over the years, the relationship has been very cordial and continues to grow built on understanding, Pan-Africanism and shared commitment to developing human capital in both countries. Both countries are former British colonies who have shared experiences in civil strife, rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-combatants.

For Nelson, the most memorable event of the bilateral relation, was in 2019 when President Julius Maada Bio visited Uganda where he had the privilege to interact with the president very closely. At the time, the Sierra Leone President visited a few areas of interest in Uganda. He said President Bio prioritized Health, Agriculture and Value Addition to agricultural products, as key areas of cooperation.

The Minister welcomed the ambassador to Sierra Leone as she congratulated Bhurani upon his appointment as Uganda’s Honorary Consul to Sierra Leone. She asked the ambassador to convey Sierra Leone’s appreciation to President Yuweri Museveni for opening a Uganda consular office in Sierra Leone.
She said Sierra Leone and Uganda have had a long-standing relationship which was further enhanced by President Bio’s visit to Uganda in 2019 when several agreements of cooperation were signed between the government of Sierra Leone and Uganda. The minister said presidents Bio and Museveni at the time agreed on several areas of cooperation prominent among which was a visa waiver for holders of diplomatic and service passports from both countries which she said was a huge step in furthering friendly movement between the two countries.
She said now that the relationship is being upscaled, Sierra Leone is interested in strengthening cooperation in agriculture, an area in which Uganda has excelled, especially in value addition. “We view the opening of a consular office taking our cooperation, friendship and collaboration to the next level, particularly as the two heads of state agreed on the formation of a joint permanent council to foster economic cooperation”, she said.

The minister further informed the ambassador and honorary consul that Sierra Leone will be on the Security Council for Africa in the non-permanent category. “We continue to count on the support of Uganda as we take our seat in the Council in 2024-2025”, she said.

She hoped Bhurani would perform his responsibilities excellently as a representative of a friend of Sierra Leone, further assuring him that the doors of the Foreign Affairs ministry are always open to him to be accorded the necessary courtesies and preferments. “We look forward to continued working relationship with you”, she said.
Bhurani thanked the minister and Ambassador Nelson for granting him the opportunity to maintain the relationship between the two countries. He pledged to give up his best.

New US Ambassador Presents Letters of Credence to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Commits to Heighten Sierra Leone US Relationship

Strategic Communications Directorate

September 11, 2023

MFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown

 

Bryan David Hunt, the new US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Monday, presented copies of his letters of Credence and letter of recall of his predecessor to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Francess Alghali.

New US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Bryan David Hunt(right) Monday presented copies of his letters of credence to Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Francess Alghali (left). The short ceremony took place in the Minister’s Tower Hill office before the Ambassador was accompanied to State House where he met with President Bio to conclude the diplomatic gesture.

The Minister thanked the new ambassador and wished him a successful tenure, assuring him that the doors of her ministry will always be open to receive him. “Please feel free to contact us at any time if there are any issues you would want to discuss with us bilaterally”, she said, further affirming that the American Embassy is assured of cooperation at all times, especially from the Director General whom the minister described as “a diplomat of long standing” who has also worked at the Sierra Leone embassy in the US. “Please be assured that you have friends in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we look forward to working with you.

She hoped the new ambassador would continue with the work of bilateral relations and projects that have been done so far and those yet to be pursued, especially on issues of mutual benefits to both Sierra Leone and the US Government.

 

Ambassador Hunt thanked the minister further pledging to continue to strengthen the US Sierra Leone bilateral relationship by working with the Deputy Minister together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. “I have every confidence that working with you and the minister, we will be successful in doing that and expanding the relationship between the United States and Sierra Leone”, he said.

“I Certainly look forward to working with you and the Director General particularly as you become a member of the United Nations Security Council in January. I think that will only heighten the importance of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the United States of America. And I’m sure we will have a very cooperative relationship, especially given the Director General’s expertise from her time in New York”, Hunt said.

The Minister together with other senior officials of the ministry later accompanied Ambassador Hunt to State House where he presented his credentials to President, Brig. Rtd. Julius Maada Bio. President Bio welcomed Ambassador Hunt and said that Sierra Leone and the US have strong bilateral relationship and that he looked forward to broadening and deepening the relationship. The two had further discussions on issues of strengthening democracy and collaboration as Sierra Leone looks forward to take her seat in the non-permanent category at the UN Security Council.

In attendance were several ministers of government and other state dignitaries.

 

Hunt was publicly sworn-in as the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Sierra Leone on August 23, 2023. Prior to his current appointment, Ambassador Hunt served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the U.S. Transportation Command from July 2022 to July 2023.

 

Ireland Ambassador to Sierra Leone Presents Copies of his Letter of Credentials to Foreign Affairs Minister

MoFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 7th September 2023

Aidan Fitzpatrick, the Ambassador Designate of Ireland to Sierra Leone, today presented copies of his letter of Credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy Musa Kabba.

Ambassador Fitzpatrick said he is happy to return to Sierra Leone as ambassador since he and his wife first came to Sierra Leone in 1997 and worked in development programs for some time while they were residing in Segbwema, Eastern Sierra Leone.

He recalled the diplomatic relations between Sierra Leone and Ireland that started back in 2014, and he is coming at a time when the Irish embassy is in the process of developing its new strategy for the next five years.

“Because of the progress we have been making together and the successes within our programs, we are expanding in terms of staffing and finance. I think it’s indicative of our commitment to the country but also of the progress we’ve made together over the last number of years”, he said.

He said though his embassy’s programs focus on gender issues, they are equally interested in the nutrition and agriculture space; governance issues, and the education sector.

The Ambassador congratulated the Minister on behalf of Sierra Leone’s election to the UN Security Council in the non-permanent category which he called “a huge achievement”.

He recalled that the Republic of Ireland too was in the UN Security Council in 2021 and 2022 in the same non-permanent category. He appreciated the support his country enjoyed at the time from Sierra Leone and assured that Ireland would be pleased to share their UN Security Council experience with Sierra Leone as well.

The Minister welcomed the new ambassador to Sierra Leone and described his appointment as homecoming.

“I am very pleased that the Republic of Ireland has chosen someone that has hindsight into the affairs of Sierra Leone and at a very critical time like this when your program stream resonates with the national program of our government”, the minister said.

The Minister said that Ireland’s support for women and women’s affairs in Sierra Leone is huge which is in line with His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio’s overarching vision in terms of empowering women and girls.

He said that the enactment of the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Act of 2022 promotes the affairs of women which has enabled them to have 30.4% representation in the Parliament of Sierra Leone as opposed to 14% previously.

This he said has also been replicated in government offices across the country where you have women as heads of parastatals, as ministers and deputies.

He commended the Ireland government for supporting education which is the flagship program of the government; noting the allocation of 22% of its national revenue.

The minister said Sierra Leone is aware of the support from the government and people of Ireland in the education, health care, food, and nutrition sector in the country.

The Minister highlighted investment opportunities in the areas of mining, agriculture, tourism, and other sectors and called on the ambassador to explore those opportunities for investors in Ireland.

“We look forward to working with your embassy… It is encouraging that you are expanding on your staff and the support to Sierra Leone. It is a testament to the peace, quietness, and the good governance of the country. I believe when embassies are very comfortable with the way the people are led, the way governance is conducted, it gives the country and our bilateral partners the confidence to properly establish in that country to seek and protect our mutual interest and values,” he affirmed.

Ambassador Fitzpatrick is a development specialist. Before his appointment to the Foreign Service of Ireland, he managed community development projects in Ireland, Sierra Leone, India, Angola, DRC and Rwanda.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Meets With the African Platform on Children Affected by Armed Conflict

September 5, 2023, MFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown

Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Francess Alghali today received a team from the African Platform on Children Affected by Armed Conflict, an agency of the African Union.

The team leader, Her Excellency Jainaba Jagne, conveyed appreciation to the Government of Sierra Leone and the Foreign Affairs Ministry for honoring the request of AfCAAC for the solidarity and lessons-learning mission in Sierra Leone and expressed profound gratitude for the exceptional protocol and warm welcome they received in Sierra Leone since their arrival.

“The main objective of our mission will be to provide us the opportunity to learn from your best practices, your strategies, and the programs that you have implemented to rehabilitate and reintegrate and develop the children affected by armed conflict”, she said.

She said that the African Union’s commitment to protecting the rights and welfare of children in situations of conflict was unequivocal. She was however sad to report that, children continue to suffer high rates of great violence in situations of conflict. In recognition of the pervasive negative impact on the children, therefore, the African Union has stepped up efforts to address the violence against children before, during, and after conflict.

She said that the commitment was translated into a document of several instruments such as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and several other documentations. But despite those efforts, she said, children continue to suffer from great violations in situations of conflict including killing, maiming, abductions, sexual violence and recruitment by armed forces and armed groups indiscriminate attacks on schools and hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian access.

“It is on this basis that the African Platform on Children Affected by Armed Conflict was established at the African Union to keep the issue of protecting the children high on the agenda of the African Union and to ensure the rights and welfare of children in situations of conflict remains a priority for decision-makers”, she emphasized.

As part of the strategy, the platform identifies countries with opportunities for field visits and interactions with member states with the children and other key stakeholders. The Sierra Leone mission, therefore, is a solidarity and learning mission.

She also expressed concerns about the increase in conflicts on the continent in recent months.

“The platform has to assist children in these conflicts. Thus, we have to learn from countries that have been through such conflicts and have successfully supplied the requisite support to their citizens such as you have done here in Sierra Leone”, the Ambassador said.

In welcoming the team, the Deputy Minister thanked the Commissioner for congratulating Sierra Leone and said that Sierra Leone will continue to look forward to the support of the African Union and all member states to ensure that Africa makes a difference at the UN Security Council.

“We are happy to have you here to learn from us…We are glad that the team from the AU chose Sierra Leone to come and see what we have done to continue to consolidate the peace in our country and to continue to help our children”, she said.

Mrs Alghali recalled several institutions that were set up after the war in Sierra Leone to address issues of child soldiers; key among them were the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and the National Commission for Social Action(NaCSA).

Though the DDR had been dissolved, she encouraged the team to visit NaCSA which has continued to date to address issues of disadvantaged groups like women and children linked with the war.
She recommended the team visit civil society organizations that played a key role in reintegration, trauma, and counseling after the war while citing Fambul Tok as instrumental in resolving conflicts in the typical African methods to address healing, reconciliation, and peacebuilding at the community level outside the formal judicial setting.

The team will be visiting other related ministries in charge of such projects and programs, like the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs, Ministry of Social Welfare, Education Health and Sanitation, and the Justice Ministry among others.

The visit will additionally facilitate the learning opportunity and the sharing of the best practices including the development of programs and projects that promote the rights and welfare of children in post-conflict situations which can be replicated in other member states.

From the Directorate of Strategic Communications
MoFAIC, Freetown.
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Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hosts Heads of Diplomatic Missions, assures Gov’t Commitment to Strengthening Diplomatic Ties

MFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 21 August 2023-

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy M Kabba, on Monday 21st August 2023, met with members of the diplomatic missions including Ambassadors and High Commissioners at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
the Minister’s maiden meeting with the diplomats was an interactive session that enabled him and his deputy Madam Francess Algali to meet and engage heads of the various diplomatic missions in the country after his recent appointment to head the ministry.

In his address, the Minister expressed sincere appreciation to the government and the people of Sierra Leone for the cordial relations and mutual benefits between the country and the diplomatic communities in crucial times such as the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Minister Timothy Kabba highlighted the achievements of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s first term administration which includes huge investment in human capital development.

“We substantially increased investment in educating future generations of this country–improving the healthcare systems, addressing poverty and unemployment, empowering women and youth, protecting the environment, mitigating public safety and disaster risks…”, he said.

the Minister informed the Diplomatic community on gains made in the fight against corruption, deepening democratic governance as well as promoting reforms to strengthen the government’s effectiveness, regulatory quality, and the Rule of Law, citing a few international benchmarks such as the MCC scorecard and the extractive industry’s transparency initiative requirements, government policy of Radical Inclusion in education with the government allocating an unprecedented 22% of the national budget to education.

“For us educating the girl-child is a central component in the radical inclusion program… Gender Equality is now firmly on our national agenda”, he emphasized, recalling that the recently concluded multi-tier election increased women’s representation in Parliament for the first time in the history of the country,” he said.

The Minister shared the Big Five agenda of President Bio’s second term with the diplomatic communities;
Feed Salone, Human capital Development, Youth Employment Scheme, Revamping of the Public Sector architecture, Technology and infrastructural initiative, and calls for collaboration and support in those areas.

On the election of Sierra Leone to the non-permanent seat category to the United Nations Security Council on June 6, the Minister thanked the diplomatic communities for making that happen while he promised to tap into the experiences of countries that had been there before.

he said President Bio during the State Opening of Parliament made it clear that a National Electoral System Review Committee with the inclusion of independent bodies will be set up to look into the just concluded elections and made recommendations on how to improve the electoral cycle. This he said shows the commitment of government in promoting democracy, peace, and security.

“We respect the diversity of political ideologies and firmly believe that such diversities of thoughts and actions are the building blocks for peace and prosperity. We also recognize the inclination for political factors to trigger hard conversations especially when interests seem to sway. However, our call to service should see us putting the interest of our sovereign nation above all else”, the Minister said.

The Dean of the Diplomatic Community, the Nigerian High Commission to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Henry John Omaku, commended the Minister for hosting all diplomats through an interactive session which has given them much understanding of development programs and priorities of the government.
“We have listened to your intention and have seen the fact that you are extending a hand of friendship, partnership, and cooperation to the diplomatic community. We are fully aware of the Vienna Convention of 1961 which stipulates some of our responsibilities and our guide in discharging our functions as Ambassadors and Heads of missions. We appreciate the fact that you have been in the system and are familiar with the policies of the government. By your speech today, we do not doubt that the government of Sierra Leone is still open and still has national interest at heart”, High Commissioner Omaku said.
The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Wang Qing, said China and Sierra Leone are friends based on mutual respect, support, benefit, and cooperation. He pledged support to work with President Bio’s Government under the south-south cooperation.

The UK High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Lisa Chesney thanked the Foreign Minister for the opportunity and appreciated the spirit of the interactive meeting.
“The UK-Sierra Leone relationship is strong and enduring between the two countries and people, she said. Chesney appreciated Minister Kabba’s focus on dialogue in terms of how the country faces the challenges and opportunities of building bridges and on the importance of diversity of views which she said is at the center of any functioning democracy. She said her government would support the government of Sierra Leone, opposition parties, and the people in addressing the challenging issues the minister mentioned in his speech.

She appealed to the Sierra Leone Government to help check the proliferation of fake news on social media which she said is holding the country back. She congratulated Sierra Leone for winning the UN Security Council seat in the non-permanent category.

Outgoing US Ambassador, David Dale Reimer appreciated the partnership between Sierra Leone and the US which he said was long-term. He said the US Embassy had always enjoyed access to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. He hoped it would continue under the new Minister Kabba’s leadership. He reminded the Minister of the US Government’s concern about the conduct of the June Multi-tier elections. He said he appreciated the fact that Government has always created an atmosphere where they would talk about matters in a face-to-face and civil manner.
Minister Kabba wished him well and looked forward to receiving the new US ambassador to Sierra Leone.

Ghanaian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Her Excellency, Mrs. Worwornyo Agyema, said Sierra Leone has taken a seat on the US Security Council where Ghana was just exiting. She assured the Minister of Ghana’s support. She asked that Sierra Leone share notes on issues of illicit mining concerning Ghanaians.

EU Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Manuel Muller, appreciated the minister for the invitation and openness. He pledged the EU’s commitment to continue to work with the people of Sierra Leone and further emphasized his appreciation of the opportunity to continue to have a frank dialogue with honest intentions with the Government of Sierra Leone.
He said the EU Electoral Observer Mission’s final report on the conduct of the June elections will soon be out with the usual recommendations. He said the EU appreciated the government’s commitment to strengthening the electoral process in Sierra Leone but importantly appreciated the government’s effort in finding ways to dialogue and find a common ground among actors.
“We appreciate your government’s commitment to support peace in the region.
We appreciate Sierra Leone’s election into the UN Security Council, and we look forward to working with Sierra Leone as a member of the UN Security Council to support peace and security in the region”, he said.

The Director-General and Ambassador at Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Victoria Sulimani thanked the diplomatic communities for their comments and reactions in the meeting which are all geared towards building and maintaining a strong bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and their nations.
She called on them to always engage the Ministry when they have concerns to address

AU Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child Meets With the Minister of Foreign Affairs

MoFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 8th August 2023

The Africa Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) has met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Timothy M. Kabba in his Ministerial conference room, Tower Hill, Freetown.

 

The delegation was welcomed by the Director-General and Ambassador at Large, Dr. Victoria Sulimani who said that such a courtesy call on the Minister shows the level of progress Sierra Leone is making in the implementation of all international instruments to which the country is a party to.

Honorable Aver Gavar, Country Rapporteur of the Republic of Sierra Leone commended the Government of Sierra Leone for ratifying the Africa Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the submission of its initial report on the status of the implementation of the Charter in 2017.

She said that their visit to the country was to follow up with government ministries and organizations on progress made on the recommendations and observations made by the Committee.

She reminded Government that the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child requires State Parties to submit reports on the steps taken to ensure the realization of the rights of the child, adding that State Parties commit to submit an initial report two years after ratification and periodic reports every three years.

In his response, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Timothy Musa Kabba, thanked the delegation for noting the significant gains made by the Government in addressing children’s issues.

Mr. Timothy Kabba informed the delegation that the separation of the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs into two Ministries shows the commitment of the government in prioritizing the well-being of the child.

“Government has invested a lot in terms of addressing the concerns of the children to give them a brighter future.

Under the leadership of His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio Sierra Leone has been globally recognized as the Champion for foundation learning. 22% of the country’s budget has been allocated towards the provision of good education for our children. Children in the rural areas now have access to better education just like those in Freetown. The Radical Inclusion policy of the government has also given equal opportunities to pregnant girls to attend school which was not happening in the past.
Through the support of our partners, the government has been able to roll out the School Feeding Program in the provinces which has led to over 120% primary school enrollment,” the Minister said.

Mr. Timothy Kabba highlighted the impact of the ‘Hands off Our Girls’ campaign and the free sanitary pad for girls that were launched by the First Lady Madam Fatima Bio in support of girls’ empowerment and the review of the Sexual Offences Act in 2019. This according to the Minister has given more protection to women and girls in society.

The Minister assured the delegation of his ministry’s support in facilitating their interactions with other ministries during their engagements.

Directorate of Strategic Communications
MoFAIC, Tower Hill, Freetown.
+23276571819

British High Commissioner Lisa Chesney Pays Courtesy Call On The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Commends President Bio’s Move on Electoral Reforms

News Brief!

MoFAIC Building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 7th August 2023

The British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Lisa Chesney today paid a courtesy call on the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Timothy Musa Kabba in his office at Tower Hill Freetown.

During the close discussion, Minister Kabba reiterated President Bio’s Government commitment to building strong bilateral and diplomatic ties with development partners.

Both the Minister and the High Commissioner discussed and agreed on resolving diplomatic concerns through appropriate diplomatic channels, citing the historical relations between Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom.

The High Commissioner reiterated UK government’ s neutrality in Sierra Leone’s domestic politics.

“The UK government is happy with President Bio’s Government decision to review the operations of ECSL” the envoy concluded.

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hosts Miami-Dade County Business Development and Cultural Mission from the USA

 

FSA Conference Hall, MoFAIC, Freetown, 4th August 2023-

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) Friday hosted a Business Development and Cultural Exchange Mission from Miami-Dade County in the United States of America.

The Business and Cultural Mission delegation comprises 38 dignitaries including the Commissioner of Miami Dade County and other private sector investors, some of who are visiting Africa and Sierra Leone in particular for the first time.

Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Timothy Kabba, The Director General and Ambassador at Large, in the Ministry Dr. Victoria Sulimani, commended the delegation for choosing Sierra Leone as a destination for cultural exchange and investment opportunities.

She commended the high-powered delegation as one of the best to recently visit the country as it was led by Honorable Kionne Mcghee, Miami-Dade County Commissioner – District 9, and over thirty (30) Public Officials as well as Private individuals interested in exploring win-win opportunities in Sierra Leone.

“The importance of this Business Development and Cultural Mission to Sierra Leone cannot be overstated. Your visit coincides with the renewed mandate of the Government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, to consolidate the strong development gains made in the last five years. Sierra Leone is a country of rich and diverse resources; a country of many untapped or underexplored opportunities; a country with a unique and rich cultural heritage. In the last five years, Sierra Leone has invested heavily in Human Capital Development with a focus on education, health, and agriculture. These investments have laid a solid foundation as well as creating a conducive environment for foreign direct investments and other forms of win-win partnerships. Going forward, in the next five years, one of our flagships for propelling transformative growth is an initiative called Feed Salone, through which the Government aims at boosting our staple food production with the view to reducing reliance on food imports, increasing exports and creating jobs. This presents massive opportunities for partnerships and investment,” Ambassador Sulimani said.

Ambassador Sulimani expressed hope that the visit will explore business opportunities around tourism, education, agriculture and also promote cultural exchange between Miami-Dade County and Sierra Leone.

The Commissioner from Miami-Dade County Hon-Kionne L Mcghee outlined the historic background of Africa and America and how both continents have existed for ages with mutual respect for culture and diversity.
“We stand here because it is our shared ancestral connections that allow for us to be here not as guests but as family. This is a family reunion. We traveled over 4555 miles from Miami-Dade County to Freetown with a delegation of business leaders, non-profit leaders, political leaders, and government leaders who are willing to share their expertise and knowledge with you.
While we look forward to sharing business opportunities back home, we also hope to tap from your tourism, agro-tourism, and other opportunities that we can take back home,” Commissioner Mcghee said.
The delegation also informed that Africa is the least continent to explore business opportunities in Miami and that August is a month known as Black Business Month in Miami-Dade County where black businesses are recognized.

Commissioner Marleine Bastien from District 2 in Miami-Dade County and some of the delegations expressed thanks and appreciation for being part of such a wonderful delegation as they learnt a lot.

Power point presentations were done by senior Government representatives consisting of ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Professional/Technical Experts from Ministries, Department and Agencies from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Transport and Aviation, Education, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Agriculture and Food Security, Local Government and Community Development, Freetown City Council, the National Investment Board (NIB) of Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone Import and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA).
Some of the historical sites like the old Fourah Bay College, the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, and cultural sites were visited by the delegation.

Foreign Affairs Minister Receives Sierra Leone’s Validated Human Rights Report

By the Directorate of Strategic Communications
Wednesday, August 2, 2023 /Radisson Blu, Freetown

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy M. Kabba has received the validated report on Sierra Leone’s Human Rights after a two-day inter-ministerial workshop.
In collaboration with the Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the Foreign Affairs Ministry organized a two-day validation workshop on Sierra Leone’s State Party to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Freetown.

The team led by Matilda Lasseko-Phooko, Program Manager, Women’s Rights Unit of the University of Pretoria handed over the validated report on Wednesday to the Minister. Lasseko-Phooko noted that comments from the workshop were captured in the validated report.
Sierra Leone ratified the Maputo protocol in 2015. State parties commit to producing reports every two years. However, many regions either do not report accordingly or submit reports late, Foreign Affairs Director General and Ambassador at Large, Dr Victoria Sulimani who moderated the opening ceremony explained. Hence, the Radisson Blu training, she hoped, would support the groups attending to meet their reporting obligations. Sierra Leone has been popularizing and implementing the African Charter and the Maputo protocol but timely reporting remained a challenge, she emphasized.

“We are confident that this exercise will strengthen Sierra Leone’s human rights institutions, practices and policies”, keynote speaker, the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Timothy Musa Kabba said Tuesday.

In 2016, the African Commission issued its recommendations following the review of Sierra Leone’s human rights report. “We are therefore taking steps to bring up-to-date Sierra Leone’s State Reports under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights”, the minister said.
The essence of human rights reporting, he said was for governments to monitor human rights situations and where necessary review and update laws, policies and practices to better respect, protect and promote the human rights of their citizens. He said the Sierra Leone government under the leadership of President Bio is investing in human rights and promoting democracy through budgetary support to the Human Rights Commission, judiciary, National Commission for Democracy and other rights-promotion institutions.

He said the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone meets most of the provisions and aspirations of the Maputo Protocol. Where there are shortfalls, however, he said, the government has taken further steps by adopting pro-women policies and enacted legislations, citing the three Gender Acts of 2007, the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act of 2019 and the Women’s Empowerment Act of 2022 as examples.
“Today, women in Sierra Leone have the protection of the law so that those who commit rape and other sexual offenses against women and girls could face up to life imprisonment if convicted”, the minister asserted, adding that women lawmakers now account for 30.4% of the elected seats in parliament compared to 14.5% previously.
He appreciated the cross-section of civil society representatives, members of the inter-ministerial committee representing ministries, departments and agencies participating in the validation of Sierra Leone’s human rights report that will be submitted to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.
The minister further appreciated the contribution of the Women’s Rights Unit at the Center for Human Rights from the University of Pretoria in South Africa which is helping to strengthen Sierra Leone’s state reporting capabilities.

The Chairperson Human Rights Commission, Patricia Narsu Ndanema expressed delight in the progress being made by Sierra Leone to submit a periodic report and emphasized that reporting creates a platform for the state to showcase the extent it has met human rights state obligations, of respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights within the specified human rights framework.
The chairman of, the National Commission for Democracy, Marian Samu and the Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs Dr Isata Mahoi also spoke in support of the partnership that has moved the process to the validation stage.

One of the world’s most comprehensive and progressive women’s human rights instruments, the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (‘the Maputo Protocol’) was adopted by Heads of State and Government in Maputo, Mozambique on 11 J

The Protocol guarantees extensive rights to African women and girls and includes progressive provisions on:
• Harmful traditional practices, eg child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM)
• Reproductive health and rights
• Roles in political processes
• Economic empowerment
• Ending violence against women
Human rights groups and civil societies in Sierra Leone including Women’s Forum Sierra Leone, Human Rights Defenders Network, Defence for Children, UPR Monitoring Group and One Family are participating in addition to representatives and members of Inter-Ministerial Committee representing Ministries, Departments, and Agencies. The team will over the two days work with the Center for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria to edit and validate the draft report covering the period 2015-2021. Sierra Leone last submitted its combined human rights reports under the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights in 2013.

New Foreign Minister Takes Over, Commends Reforms By Professor David Francis

By the Directorate of Strategic Communications
Wednesday, August 2, 2023 /Foreign Service Academy, Freetown

The new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy Musa Kabba has officially taken over his new role in the Ministry following his appointment by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio and his approval by Parliament. 

During the handing-over ceremony at the Foreign Service Academy in the Ministry, the Director-General and Ambassador-at-Large thanked Professor David Francis for playing a pivotal role in the transformation of the Ministry.

“Your exemplary and dynamic leadership, your professional reforms of this ministry, and your outstanding performance in repositioning Sierra Leone on the global stage. Your resolve in seeing that the Foreign Service Academy transitions are now a concrete reality that is now up and running and your leadership in pushing the Foreign Service Bill to the level of Cabinet and your efforts at ensuring Sierra Leone gets a clean slate winning for one of the non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council over 52 years are something this ministry is grateful for,” she said.

Dr. Sulimani welcomed the new Minister Mr. Timothy Kabba, who she said did well in his previous assignments in transforming the mining sector, with an increase in revenue from mineral exports and increased employment.

the outgoing Minister Professor David J. Francis gave a detailed report on reforms and achievements made during his three-year leadership.

Some of the reforms he highlighted include the facelift of the Headquarters, effective engagements with diplomatic partners, the fulfillment of His Excellency’s strategic goal for Sierra Leone to be elected a member in the non-permanent category at the United Nations Security Council, the securing of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Compact, the securing of lands for the construction of Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, and Morocco embassies.
 
“Mr. Minister, you are taking over at a time when the Foreign Ministry is effectively and professionally managed with a functioning Foreign Service Academy with a credible and distinguished leadership team. You are coming in at a time when Sierra Leone is internationally and globally recognized and respected as a country of standing in the international community of states. You are coming in when Sierra Leone has made its mark in the UN Security Council, in terms of ECOWAS, African Union, the Commonwealth,” said Professor David Francis.

Professor Francis called on his successor to work on the challenges and consolidate those gains he had left and to note that the Foreign Ministry is an extension of the Presidency.
Professor Francis assured his unflinching support to the new Minister whenever he is needed.

He thanked the former Deputy Minister Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, the Director-General and Ambassador at Large, Dr. Victoria Sulimani, foreign missions, and other former ministers that worked with him to achieve those goals.

Responding, Minister Timothy Kabba thanked His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio for appointing him to further the country’s foreign policy and to promote the national interest of Sierra Leone.
He thanked Professor Francis for his outstanding leadership and transformation in the Ministry during his tenure.
“I feel satisfied that I am coming to provide leadership for a ministry and a sector that is already equipped with people that are experienced and drawn from all the geographical regions of this country. It is going to be very difficult to even attempt to scale on the successes of Professor David Francis. I want to thank you Professor for giving me a detailed report of the Ministry and having looked at it, I felt proud for such wonderful work you have done. 
The Foreign Ministry coordinates affairs around our country and put them out in the international arena. Our representation must reflect the characteristic of our nation, peace security, and national cohesion. Despite your tribe or the language you speak, I want to assure everyone that I am a Minister of Government. I shall be taking a very daunting task from a gentleman and a distinguished patriot who has done his best in serving our country,” Minister Timothy said.

He assured staff of his fullest corporation in service delivery.

Parliament Approves Newly Appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation designate Mr Musa Timothy Kabbah was among the 13 Ministers who were approved today by parliament.

Mr. Kabba appeared before the Committee on Presidential Appointment and Public Service on Friday, July 21st, 2023, for screening and assessment of his suitability in terms of skills and qualifications for the new role of Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation to which he has been appointed.

Presenting the nominees in the Well of Parliament, the Leader of Government Business Honorable Matthew Nyuma, described them as fine gentlemen and ladies who have been appointed by His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio to deliver on his government’ five Big Changers. He noted that they were thoroughly grilled to ascertain their various qualifications in line with their appointments.
He called on those approved to work in the interest of the country and not to betray the trust of the President.

Honorable Member of Parliament from Kailahun district, Hindolo Gevao Esq, described the Foreign Minister’s appointment as a step in the right direction as the Minister designate has proven track records in his previous appointments.

Hon. Gevao admonished the Foreign Minister to address the challenges he would be faced with which may have also served as stumbling blocks for his predecessors.

Hon. Alice Konnia Sandy Esq. from Kenema District said that the appointment of Minister Timothy Kabba serves as a testament to the trust that President Bio has bestowed on the youths in terms of leadership.

Hon. Emerson Lamina from Kono District described Minister Timothy as a fine gentleman that changed the face of the mining sector in Sierra Leone.

“Timothy Kabba is amongst the best multilingual in this country. He was able to negotiate better mining agreements for this country through his diplomatic approach. We do not doubt that he would also succeed in his new assignment.

Other Honorable Members included Sheka Sama from Pujehun District, Veronica Kadie Sesay Bashiru Silikie, and Mohamed Bangura from the opposition All People’s Congress who made meaningful contributions on the appointment of Minister Timothy Kabba.

From the Directorate of Strategic Communications
MoFAIC, Tower Hill, Freetown.
+23276571819

Following Due Diligence… IPRP Exonerates Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

The Independent Procurement Review Panel (IPRP) has exonerated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation over a matter that was brought before the Panel by a bidder, Fayia, Unity Garage against the Ministry over the awarding of contract.

In a press release dated 14th July 2023, the IPRP published its findings on the matter that was brought before the Panel.

According to the Panel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation followed due process by widely advertising a bid in local newspapers, for a Framework Contract for the supply of Spare Parts and Maintenance of Vehicles (Lot 1), and also evaluated all applicants before awarding the contract to the successful bidder and those that were not successful in the evaluation stage were notified as well.

During the hearing, the Ministry informed the Panel that the said garage has proven ineffective over the execution of similar contracts in the past due to poor maintenance of vehicles as well as during the cause of repairs seven vehicles were grounded among which were VIP vehicles.

“The Panel finds that the Appellant’s garage space can only house eight vehicles at a time and the recommended winner of the bid had a more spacious garage. The roads leading to the Appellant’s garage were not in good condition. The Panel finds that the Appellant had all documents required, coupled with his lowest bid but was evaluated on the status of his garage, and it is evident that his garage is not spacious…. The Panel, therefore recommends for the MoFAIC to proceed with the contract and award the winner,” the release states.

Reacting to the IPRP verdicts, the Director General & Ambassador at Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Victoria Sulimani commended the Panel for laying the matter to rest in the interest of the public.
“In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we believe in transparency and accountability in whatever we do. This has been proven by the IPRP over this matter,” she said.
Dr. Sulimani admonished journalists and the media to always crosscheck any information with the Ministry before publication.

From the Directorate of Communication,
FSA, MoFAIC, Tower Hill, Freetown
+23276571819.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Congratulates President Bio On His Reelection: Calls For Strong Bilateral Relations & Partnership

MoFAIC Buiding Tower Hill, Freetown, 7th July 2023-

The Iranian Ambassador to Sierra Leone Seyed Khalil Sadati Amiri Friday congratulated His Excellency the President Dr. Julius Maada Bio on his re-election through the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Professor David J. Francis.

Delivering a congratulatory message on behalf of the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hussein Amir Abdollahian, Ambassador Seyed Khalil Sadati Amiri, said the people and government of Iran congratulate President Bio for his re-election by the people of Sierra Leone and also congratulated the Government for winning a seat in the non-permanent category of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2024-25.

With growing bilateral and diplomatic ties with Sierra Leone, Ambassador Seyed said, Iranian companies are expressing interest to explore opportunities for cooperation in the country in the areas of medicine, trade, and investment. 

He extended an invitation to the Hon. Foreign  Minister to the planned  Iran – Africa conferences – one for Foreign Ministers of African countries and another for Cultural Ministers. These high-level engagements will advance joint cooperation with African countries including Sierra Leone.

Ambassador Seyed highlighted projects that are currently being undertaken by the  Iranian Embassy in Sierra Leone which includes the establishment of a Nursing School which has enrolled 87 students.  

Ambassador Seyed also called for a JCC on visa waiver between the two countries which will encourage Iranian investors to come and realize the tourist potential of Sierra Leone. It also open doors for the Sierra Leonean business community in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Professor Francis thanked the Government of Iran for their support and congratulatory message on the victory of President Bio.

“We thank all our friends, allies, and partners for congratulating His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio for winning an election that was peaceful, credible, free, fair, and transparent. Your congratulatory message will be conveyed to His Excellency appropriately and be rest assured that Sierra Leone will be participating fully in the upcoming Ministerial conferences for Africa in Tehran at all levels,” he said.

Professor Francis thanked the Iranian government for their support during the UN Security Council elections. This he said demonstrated the strong bilateral relations Sierra Leone has with other nations.

He commended the Iranian Embassy for establishing a health institution for the training of nurses which is in line with the government Human Capital Investment of the President.

Professor Francis recommended the hosting of a trade and business forum between the two countries as there are opportunities in the mining sector, health, agriculture, and infrastructure that Iranian investors would love to tap into. 

The Minister said that Sierra Leone will be invited to the UN Security Council on the 1st of October to observe principles and procedures, in preparation for their full engagement in January 2024. 

He emphasized that Sierra Leone will be playing a crucial role in promoting peace, security, and stability around the globe.

 

For more information,

Contact the Directorate of Strategic Communications

+23276571819.

Lungi Bridge Construction… Foreign Affairs Minister Led A High-Level Delegation To China

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Professor David Francis, has led a high-level delegation to the People’s Republic of China.

The delegation which comprises the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. David Francis, Minister of Finance, Sheku Fantamadi Bangura, and Ambassador Ernest M Ndomahina, on Tuesday, held a fruitful bilateral discussion with His Excellency Qin Gang, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs on key strategic areas to enhance growth and development in President Bio’s second term after June 2023.

Key to the discussion was the financing models for the construction of the Lungi Bridge, an increase in trade and investment between the two countries, and investment in the agricultural sector.

In welcoming the delegation, the Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, committed to lead, mobilize, and coordinate the needed support for the construction of the Lungi Bridge.

The delegation also engaged the China Development Bank and the China Exim Bank on government priorities on agriculture, construction of the Lungi Bridge, trade, and investment.

As the Special Envoy of His Excellency the President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, the Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Professor Francis said that the engagement was part of President Bio’s government agenda in strengthening the long-standing bilateral relations & multilateral cooperation in areas of trade & investment & support for global peace and security between Sierra Leone & China.

From the Strategic Communications Dept.
MoFAIC Building,
Tower Hill, Freetown.
±23276571819.

Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Receives New UNICEF Country Representative, Calls For More Collaboration

MoFAIC building, Tower Hill, Freetown, 12th May 2023

The Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Professor David Francis has welcomed the newly appointed Country Representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF), Rudolf Schwenk in his office.

In his address, Professor Francis said the Government of His Excellency the President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, has always maintained an open-door policy for diplomats and development partners.
He commended UNICEF for an excellent working relationship with the Ministry of Basic & Senior Secondary School, the Ministry of Labor, and the Office of the First Lady in promoting girl-child issues.

“Focusing on children and women are key priorities of this government. We have legislated the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment law which seeks to give 30% elective positions to women, 30% appointment positions to women, and 30% private financial access to them.

His Excellency the President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has focused on three pillars of development: Education, health, and agriculture. We have allocated 22% of our GDP towards education and that has translated into 2 million pupils returning to school.
As this government looks forward to working with you, I believe with the continuous support from UN agencies like UNICEF, we can achieve a lot,” Professor Francis added.
He also called on the UNICEF Country Representative to explore the beauty of Sierra Leone by visiting other places outside Freetown.

Professor Francis called on Mr. Schwenk to serve as Sierra Leone’s Goodwill Ambassador as the country seeks to return to the non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (2024/25).

Presenting his Letter of Credence to the Minister, Mr. Schwenk said that, the work of UNICEF cannot be underestimated in any country as it cuts across most of the sectors including health, education, and children’s affairs.

He promised to closely work with government agencies through collaboration on development areas.

For More Inquiries:
Contact the MoFAIC Directorate of Communications
Tower Hill, Freetown
±23276571819

Strengthening Economic & Bilateral Ties… Sierra Leone & Morocco Hold 3rd Joint Commission for Cooperation

Dakhla, Morocco- 28th April 2023

To enhance effective and efficient bilateral relations, the Government of Sierra Leone held the 3rd Joint Commission for Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco.

Under the Joint Commission for Cooperation, thirteen agreements were signed ranging from Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Tourism, Energy, Health, Education, Justice Sector, Land and Urban Planning, Mining sector, and Infrastructure.

Welcoming the Sierra Leone delegation, the Morocco Minister of Foreign Affairs and Moroccans Living Abroad H. E. Nasser Bourita, said that Sierra Leone and Morocco have maintained longstanding bilateral relations ranging from 1996 to date.

Underscoring the significance of the Dakhla agreements, H. E Bourita said that, both Legal teams from Sierra Leone and Morocco’s Foreign Ministries did well in drafting the various agreements which are in the best interest of both countries.
H. E Bourita highlighted the significant benefit of Dakhla city where the Morocco government is constructing a mega port to ease trade and investment in the country, noting that the signing of the agreement in Dakhla, is a manifestation of their commitment towards a sustainable investment partnership with Sierra Leone.

“Sierra Leone under the enlightened leadership of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio is becoming a strategic partner with a special development model.
With these Dakhla agreements, we will be able to take advantage and explore opportunities in the mining sector, agriculture, energy, and more areas,” he assured.

Leading the Sierra Leone delegation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis, described Morocco as a trustworthy, and reliable partner.

“What we are doing here today is in line with the goals and aspirations of our two leaders; His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio and His Majesty the King of Morocco Mohammed the 6th. We are not just friends, or partners, we are allies. Your interest is our interest.
We are also here to learn from the development models of Morocco as agreements signed today, cover the critical aspect of a country that aspires to middle-income status. President Bio has established a credible institution known as the National Investment Board that ensures the protection of Foreign Direct Investment in the country,” Professor Francis assured while emphasizing the mutual benefits of the agreements.

The Minister said that the launching of the Special Industrial Zone by President Bio over the week is a manifestation of the existence of peace and security in the country.

Professor Francis also highlighted developments in the area of fighting corruption, abolition of the death penalty, gender empowerment, the repeal of the Criminal Libel Laws, the successful implementation of Free Quality Education, and other reforms under the leadership of President Bio.
He commended the leadership of Morocco for promoting Global peace and security amidst rising tensions in the region while calling for the support of Morocco in Sierra Leone’s bid for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (2024-25).

On the part of the Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr. Hinga Sandy, commended the agreements as they form an integral part of the principles of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement which both countries have signed to.

Morocco’s Port of Dakhla & the Special Industrial Zone in Sierra Leone Share Common Economic Values

Professor David Francis Tells His Moroccan Counterparts

During his recent visit to the Kingdom of Morocco, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Professor David Francis highlighted the economic benefit of the Special Industrial Zone that was recently commissioned by His Excellency the President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio in Koya, outside Freetown.

During their fruitful bilateral engagement, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs & Moroccans Living Abroad, H. E Nasser Bourita, said Morocco is currently constructing a new Atlantic port in Dakhla, and when completed will be the biggest port in Morocco.
This according to H. E. Nasser Bourita, is in line with the kingdom’s investment policies to expand its economic and trade base in Africa.

Revealing the economic potential of the Special Industrial Zone, Professor Francis said that, the establishment of Sierra Leone’s Industrial Zone outside the capital city of Freetown is in line with the investment policies of the New Direction government of His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio to enable foreign direct investments in the country through the development of a port and rail system in the Koya Industrial Zone (SiZ-Koya).
Professor Francis said that the Port of Dakhla and the Special Economic Zone in Sierra Leone share common trade values aiming to ease business in Africa.

“Sierra Leone is a land of opportunities in various sectors. His Excellency the President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has launched a Special Industrial Zone in Koya, the outskirts of the capital city where over 50 companies will be hosted to establish various factories and manufacturing companies. When you invest in Sierra Leone, you are not just doing so for the 7+ million Sierra Leoneans but for the over 450 million people in the sub-region. This is because, Sierra Leone is strategically located within the Atlantic Ocean, thereby making it easy to trade across the world.
We have a President that is not just focused on making Sierra Leone attractive for doing business, but also ensuring that every foreign direct investment in the country is protected. I want to use this opportunity on behalf of His Excellency the President Dr. Julius Maada to invite the WALI and private investors in Morocco to lead a special trade envoy to Sierra Leone which I believe will lead to more investment between our two countries,” he said.

Professor Francis called on his Moroccan counterparts to ensure the timely implementation of the Dakhla Agreements that were signed by both Ministers on behalf of their respective countries.
The Dakhla Agreement seeks to promote among others trade and investment, energy, agriculture, housing, and education.

For More Inquiries:
Contact the Directorate of Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tower Hill, Freetown.
+23276571819

Strengthening Economic & Bilateral Ties…Sierra Leone & Morocco Hold 3rd Joint Commission for Cooperation.

To enhance effective and efficient bilateral relations, the Government of Sierra Leone held the 3rd Joint Commission for Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco.
Under the Joint Commission for Cooperation, thirteen agreements were signed ranging from Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Tourism, Energy, Health,  Education, Justice Sector, Land and Urban Planning, Mining sector, and Infrastructure.
Welcoming the Sierra Leone delegation, the Morocco Minister of Foreign Affairs and Moroccans Living Abroad H. E. Nasser Bourita, said that Sierra Leone and Morocco have maintained longstanding bilateral relations ranging from 1996 to date.
 Underscoring the significance of the

Dakhla agreements, H. E Bourita said that, both Legal teams from Sierra Leone and Morocco’s Foreign Ministries did well in drafting the various agreements which are in the best interest of both countries.

H. E Bourita highlighted the significant benefit of Dakhla city where the Morocco government is constructing a mega port to ease trade and investment in the country, noting that the signing of the agreement in Dakhla, is a manifestation of their commitment towards a sustainable investment partnership with Sierra Leone.
“Sierra Leone under the enlightened leadership of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio is becoming a strategic partner with a special development model.
With these Dakhla agreements, we will be able to take advantage and explore opportunities in the mining sector, agriculture, energy, and more areas,” he assured.
Leading the Sierra Leone delegation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis, described Morocco as a trustworthy, and reliable partner.
“What we are doing here today is in line with the goals and aspirations of our two leaders; His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio and His Majesty the King of Morocco Mohammed the 6th. We are not just friends, or partners, we are allies. Your interest is our interest. 
We are also here to learn from the development models of Morocco as agreements signed today, cover the critical aspect of a country that aspires to middle-income status. President Bio has established a credible institution known as the National Investment Board that ensures the protection of Foreign Direct Investment in the country,” Professor Francis assured while emphasizing the mutual benefits of the agreements.
The Minister said that the launching of the Special Industrial Zone by President Bio over the week is a manifestation of the existence of peace and security in the country.
Professor Francis also highlighted developments in the area of fighting corruption, abolition of the death penalty, gender empowerment, the repeal of the Criminal Libel Laws, the successful implementation of Free Quality Education, and other reforms under the leadership of President Bio.
He commended the leadership of Morocco for promoting Global peace and security amidst rising tensions in the region while calling for the support of Morocco in Sierra Leone’s bid for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (2024-25).

On the part of the Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr. Hinga Sandy, commended the agreements as they form an integral part of the principles of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement which both countries have signed to.

Foreign Minister Secures Parliamentary Ratification On Four Agreements….. Says these were President Bio’s Travels benefits.

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis has today 21st March, 2023 secured Parliamentary ratification on four key agreements between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of Hungary and the Government of the State of Qatar.

The agreements which were ratified includes:

  1. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of Hungary on Economic and Technical Cooperation.
  2. Agreement on the Establishment of a joint commission for cooperation between the Government of the State of Qatar and the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
  3. Agreement on Mutual Administrative assistance for the optimal application of Customs law and Repression, Investigation and combating of Customs violations between the Government of the State of Qatar and the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
  4. Agreement between the Government of the State of Qatar and the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone Concerning the Regulation of the Employment of Sierra Leonean workers in the State of Qatar.

    Professor Francis said the visits of President Bio to Qatar in 2018 and in June 2022 was to showcase Sierra Leone’s untapped opportunities to potential investors and to attract foreign direct investments. He said these bilateral relations have earned Sierra Leone an increase of Hungary Scholarships from Ten to Fifty a year and support to 45,000 Out-of Schools Children by the Qatar foundation for Education, Research and Community Development.

    The Minister in his presentation said the Agreement concerning the Regulation of the Employment of Sierra Leonean workers in the State of Qatar will address the Employment challenges faced by Sierra Leonean migrant workers regarding the protection and promotion of their rights and obligations in the State of Qatar.

    These agreements present a shared vision of cooperation in diverse areas, to concretize our ever-expanding diplomatic ties, and ensure the wellbeing of our people. He said.

    Members of the House of Parliament thanked the Minister for his efforts in rebranding the Country on the Global stage. The agreements according to the members of Parliament were in the internet of the ordinary people of Sierra Leone.

Prof. David John Francis Attends the ECOWAS Delocalized Meeting of Joint Committee on Energy & Mines

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis has commended the Country’s energy Sector at the ECOWAS Delocalized Meeting of joint Committee on Energy and Mines organized at the Sierra Leone’s Foreign Service Academy, with theme: “Building the Regional Energy Market for a Just Energy Transition.”

He said the meeting was timely particularly when the world is moving towards achieving renewable energy transition.

Professor Francis added that, energy security is an urgency, if only the African Continent wants to gain sustainable development and attract more private sector developments.

𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐫 𝐅𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐬 𝐀𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐀𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐄𝐱𝐞𝐜𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐥 𝟒𝟐𝐧𝐝 𝐎𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐒𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐈𝐧 𝐀𝐝𝐝𝐢𝐬 𝐀𝐛𝐚𝐛𝐚, 𝐄𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐚.

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis has joined Colleague Foreign Ministers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the 42nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council meeting organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) to consider the draft agenda, draft decisions and declarations with appropriate recommendations for consideration by the Heads of State and Government during their 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly, scheduled to take place on 18 and 19 February 2023.


Among the high moments during the Executive Council Session will be the election of Two (2) Judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, election of Six (6) Members of the African Union Advisory Board Against Corruption, nomination of Three (3) Judges to the Administrative Tribunal of the African Union, and appointment of One (1) Member of the AU Board of External Auditors, for the Two-Year Term, 2022 and 2023.

The Foreign Minister is also attending the Executive Council meeting to prepare for the presentation from His Excellency, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio at the Summit. President Julius Maada Bio’s presentations include two statements on the African Union Committee of Ten (C-10) and Statement on Africa Peer Review Mechanism to colleague Heads of States and Governments.
President Bio is currently the Only African Leader that Chairs/Coordinates two AU mandated Committees, i.e. African Union Committee of Ten Heads of States and Governments (C-10) and the Africa Peer Review Mechanism.

Sierra Leone as Chair of the Africa Union Committee of Ten (C-10) has made much progress in the AU on the reform of the United Nations Security Council, while maintaining Africa’s Common Position, which called for no less than two permanent seats for Africa at the UN Security Council, abolition of veto or if it is retained should be extended to new permanent members.

The opening ceremony of the Executive Council Session took place in the presence of the leadership and officials of the AU Commission, Ministers from the AU Member States, officials of AU organs and offices and partners.

The Time for Reform of the UN Security Council is Now… Says Foreign Minister, Professor Francis at the C-10 Meeting in Congo Brazzaville.

 

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David Francis has joined H. E Dennis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, to formally open the 10th Foreign Minister’s meeting of African Union committee of Ten Heads of State and Governments (C-10). He made a strong case for Africa’s common position as enunciated in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration, which calls for no less than two Permanent Seats and five Non-Permanent Seats for Africa, in the United Nations Security Council, abolition of the Veto or if it is retained should be extended to new permanent Members.

The meeting which focuses on examining recent developments on the issue of UN Security Council Reform, including the outcome of the Meetings of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) during the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, and a reflection on progress made so far at the Intergovernmental Negotiations process, the C-10’s engagements at the bilateral level and other multilateral fora and to share perspectives on ways to further advance the mandate of the C-10 in defending and canvassing the Common African Position was co-hosted by the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone, in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Congo and the African Union Commission.

Professor David John Francis in his statements, said ‘‘there will be no better time for the reform of the United Nations Security Council, if ‘‘NOT NOW’’. He called on all committees to work in line with the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration and reflect on the strength and shortcomings of the Common African Position vis-à-vis the various positions of Interest Groups and Member States claiming closer similarity with the Common African Position.

 

Today’s meeting will provide the opportunity for C-10 Foreign Ministers to engage and take stock of the current state of play in the on-going Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) at the UN General Assembly, with a view to calibrating strategy as the Group continues to advance the Common African Position (CAP) on the reform of the Security Council.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Democracy Today Is a Challenge – Prof. David Francis Tells U.S. Under Secretary At The US-Africa Summit

 

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis at a bilateral meeting with Victoria Jane Nuland, U.S. Under- Secretary of State for Political Affairs, has said the practice of democracy has become a challenge in the world today. In the meeting held at the Washington Convention Center, Professor Francis cited the January 6th event that the United States is grappling with, which no longer makes any Country the prophet of democracy.

The Minister further informed journalists who were in the United States for the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit that the government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio is determined to continue upholding the precept of democracy in Sierra Leone.

Professor Francis also told the VOA Network that he has informed the U.S. Under- Secretary, Victoria Jane Nuland that Sierra Leone has successfully organized, and funded the midterm census which has given the Country the leverage to plan its development agenda. He further informed the U.S. Under -Secretary of State for Political Affairs during the bilateral meeting that Sierra Leone has introduced a biometric system that will help manage data system for accurate and reliable information.

On the conduct of the June 2023 elections, Professor Francis appraised the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs that Sierra Leone has passed a Proportional Representation system of election in Parliament which will usher in a free, fair, and democratic elections.

As a Sovereign State, Professor Francis went on, Sierra Leone has to fund the 2023 elections, but that he said does not mean Sierra Leone do not need support. Professor Francis appealed for technical support to Sierra Leone during next year’s elections.

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Jane Nuland, informed Professor Francis that the United States will continue supporting Sierra Leone in its democratization process.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

𝐒𝐢𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐚 𝐋𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐞 – 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡 𝐊𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐚 𝐂𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬 𝟔𝟎 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐁𝐢𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐓𝐢𝐞𝐬.

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Prof. David John Francis and the South Korean Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E Kim Young Chae, have in a Ceremony organized at the Freetown City Council Hall commemorated the long standing bilateral ties that has existed between the two Countries Since 1962.

Professor Francis in his statement said, since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Korea has always been a close friend of Sierra Leone and vice versa. During the Ebola crisis, the Korea government sent a team of medical experts and medical supplies to help contain the virus and also supported the Government and People of Sierra Leone during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Korea donated 19,200 test kits to Sierra Leone through the World Health Organization and 200,000 face masks through UNICEF.

He said the friendship between the two Countries goes further than just fighting diseases. Korea and Sierra Leone share similar histories, as they both suffered from civil war. But the people of both Countries also share great optimism and hope for a brighter future. The share a common vision of peace, prosperity, and progress. This is why they both continue to closely collaborate with each other in various areas including politics, economy, culture, public health, fisheries and education.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Professor Francis Signs The Queen’s Book of Condolence.

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis has today 10th September, 2022 signed the Queen’s book of Condolence at the British High Commissioner’s residence, H.E Lisa Chesney, at Runnymede, Hill Station.

Professor Francis sends his thoughts to the people of Britain as they celebrate the life of Her Majesty the Queen. He said Sierra Leone and Britain had good memories to share. He wish them peace and comfort during this challenging time.

The Minister also used the occasion to send a congratulatory notes to the Britain’s new Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, who was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on 6th September 2022.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

MoFAIC Holds a Two-Day Human Rights Training Workshop On The Monitoring and Implementation Of UPR Of Sierra Leone.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has today 7th September, 2022 hosted key stakeholders from different MDA’s and the United Nations on a two-day workshop on the monitoring and implementation of the GoSL’s nascent Human Rights development in relation to recommendations of the 3rd Cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Sierra Leone.

The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their Countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations. The UPR is also a unique process which involves a periodic reviews of the human rights records of all UN Member States.

The Director of Legal Affairs, Int. Conventions and ECOTECH in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abass Salieu Kamara Esq in his welcome address said the purpose of the workshop was to Share a methodology to identify existing human rights-based indicators and contextualize them, to monitor the implementation of UPR recommendations received by Sierra Leone in the past UPR cycles, including those received in 2021.

‘‘Today we take another milestone for the implementation and monitoring of UPR of Sierra Leone. Following the submission of the 3rd circle report in 2021, we have established a National Reporting Mechanism Secretariat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make sure all reports are completed in due time. Launched the National Implementation Plan and National Strategy for the implementation and monitoring of the UPR recommendations. ’’ He stated.

Mr. Christian Mukosa, a Senior Human Rights Adviser to the United Nations Resident Coordinator expressed appreciation to the Government of Sierra Leone for taking engagements on volitional pledges, including the abolition of the death penalty, removal of seditious libel law and the many positive contributions to other treaty bodies.

He commended the Foreign Minister for launching the National Reporting Mechanism in November followed by the validation of the national development plan on human rights.

The workshop was facilitated by Nicoletta Zappile UPR Programme Manager in Geneva, Mona M’Bikay, Executive Director, Christian Mukosa, Senior Human Right Adviser to the United Nations Resident Coordinator and the United Nations Country team in Sierra Leone and Samuel U.B Saffa Esq. Deputy Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

The workshop which started today 7th September, 2022 will end on Thursday 8th September, 2022.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Deputy Foreign Minister hosts Delegation From SLARI And IITA

A delegation from the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture has today, Thursday, 1st September, 2022 paid courtesy call on the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam, Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara at her Tower Hill Office in Freetown.

According to Professor Michael Abberton, the Country Convener from IITA from Ibadan, Nigerian, the visit was for IITA to collaborate with SLARI through integration and cooperation on food security and how to fill their role in Sierra Leone by coordinating and supporting SLARI.

The head of Administration for IITA, Mrs. Sylvia Oyinlolo, said they will focus more on systems that will help tackle the current climatic issues in order to put Sierra Leone on the global stage when it comes to food security.

The Deputy Minister thanked the team, as she welcomed them to the Foreign Ministry. She said Agriculture is a key component on the Government’s flagship programs under the Human Capital Development agenda.

“We are open to partner and to work with well meaning organizations. We will do our part as a Ministry to support the integration, collaboration and cooperation needed.” She reaffirmed.

Madam Gobeh-Kamara committed the Ministry’s willingness to quickly work on the pending MOU’s which are to be signed by both SLARI and IITA as a way of deepening collaboration.

A delegation from the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture has today, Thursday, 1st September, 2022 paid courtesy call on the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam, Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara at her Tower Hill Office in Freetown.

According to Professor Michael Abberton, the Country Convener from IITA from Ibadan, Nigerian, the visit was for IITA to collaborate with SLARI through integration and cooperation on food security and how to fill their role in Sierra Leone by coordinating and supporting SLARI.

The head of Administration for IITA, Mrs. Sylvia Oyinlolo, said they will focus more on systems that will help tackle the current climatic issues in order to put Sierra Leone on the global stage when it comes to food security.

The Deputy Minister thanked the team, as she welcomed them to the Foreign Ministry. She said Agriculture is a key component on the Government’s flagship programs under the Human Capital Development agenda.

“We are open to partner and to work with well meaning organizations. We will do our part as a Ministry to support the integration, collaboration and cooperation needed.” She reaffirmed.

Madam Gobeh-Kamara committed the Ministry’s willingness to quickly work on the pending MOU’s which are to be signed by both SLARI and IITA as a way of deepening collaboration.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone, Professor David John Francis has led a delegation to the Tokyo International Conference

The Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone, Professor David John Francis has led a delegation to the Tokyo International Conference on  Africa Development -TICAD-8 summit in Tunis, Republic of Tunisia. A summit that is expected to bring to the African continent a US$ 30 Billion investment on human Capital Development and US$ 4 billion on green growth.

The Hon. Foreign Minister in his statement suggested that Sierra Leone will develop a strategy paper on how to leverage and access the Japanese funding opportunity.

Professor Francis suggested for the establishment of an African Union -TICAD monitoring framework to ensure the roll out of the Japanese investment funding as announced.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The Deputy Chief of Mission , Embassy of Philippines in Abuja Pays Courtesy Call on Deputy Foreign Minister

Mr. Roderico C. Atienza, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Philippines in Abuja has today 29th August,2022 paid Courtesy call on the Deputy Foreign Minister, Madam Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara at her Tower Hill Office in Freetown.

Speaking to the Deputy Minister, Mr. Atienza thanked the People and Government of Sierra Leone for the long standing friendship that has existed between the two Countries, since 1980’s. He said both Countries already have a laid out framework on the signing of two MOU’s. One on Technical Cooperation and the other, on Vocational Training.

“Philippines is fastly realizing the importance of the African Continent in the future. For this, we are advocating for Sierra Leone to have a Honorary Consul in Philippines to help tap into the opportunities we have in Education, Agriculture and Technical and Vocational Trainings.” He stated.

The Deputy Minister expressed delight for the visit and that the meeting was timely and gave hope for the two Countries to continue benefitting each other in a win-win situation.

She said the Ministry will fast track the signing of the two pending MOU’s inorder to deepen the bilateral ties between both Countries.

The Deputy Minister presented Sierra Leone’s unique opportunities in areas of Education, Agriculture and Technical and Vocational Trainings. She reaffirmed the Government’s willingness to work with the Philippines as they hope for a continuous and fruitful relationship.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Ghana High Commissioner and 2 Ambassadors Designate from Germany and Iran Presents Copies of Letters of Credence To Foreign Minister

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 17th August, 2022. The Ghanaian High Commissioner designate and two Ambassadors Designate from Germany and Iran have presented copies of letters of Credence to Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis.

High Commissioner, H.E Mrs. Worwornyo Agyeman, designate of the Republic of Ghana, H.E jens Kraus- Masse, Ambassador designate of the Republic of Germany and H.E seyed Khalil Sadati Amiri, Ambassador Designated of the Islamic Republic of Iran, all expressed their delight to have been assigned by the Various Head of States to work with the People and Government of Sierra Leone. The all condemned the August 10th insurrection and asked on the Government to Continue maintaining peace as they carry on with investigations.

On behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, Professor David Francis welcomed the Ambassadors designate 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 letters of Credentials to His Excellency President Maada Bio. 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.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

ECOWAS Chairman Visits President Bio After August 10 Violence, Expresses Shock at Killing of Security Personnel

State House, Freetown, Monday 15 August 2022 – Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, has paid a solidarity visit to Freetown after the violent insurrection of August 10 that killed innocent Sierra Leoneans, including Police Officers on duty.
His Excellency President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, told a meeting of ambassadors, heads of missions, the United Nations and journalists that he had been fully briefed by His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio, on the sad events east of the capital city and in some parts of the country.

“Your Excellency, as Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority, let me start by condemning this act of gruesome violence where law enforcement officers have been brutally killed in cold blood. On behalf of the ECOWAS Authority, the Government and people of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, let me express my heartfelt condolences to all those who have lost loved ones.
“I was shocked when I saw the killing of policemen. This is the first time I have seen such gruesome violence against law enforcement officers after 20 years in the ECOWAS region. That won’t happen in my country. It is not a good example. Good citizens don’t kill security personnel,” he said.
He also emphasised that violence had no place in a democratic dispensation, particularly in a country like Sierra Leone which was making immense progress in building a stable democratic nation over the years and one that was recently ranked the 4th most peaceful country in sub-Saharan Africa.
“As Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority, I am equally pleased that the President has launched an investigation into the events of 10th August 2022, which is in line with the ECOWAS position.

“I want to encourage the President to continue to engage with various stakeholders in the coming days, including getting the Peace Commission to undertake strategic engagements with youth and opposition parties in various parts of the country,” he noted.
He said he had also called up former President Ernest Bai Koroma, who was still in Kenya, to encourage him to support the government and work with President Bio, adding that the opposition leader had promised to engage him further when he returned to Sierra Leone.
“When you are in the opposition and you ignite a huge fire in society, it will rage on until you come to power one day and face the challenge of putting that fire out,” he warned.
“The President also informed me that he will be meeting with traditional chiefs, religious leaders, civil society and political party leaders. He also told me that government has briefed the international community and he has personally met and engaged with Ambassadors. I want to thank the President for all these efforts and encourage him to continue to engage,” he concluded.
He ended by thanking the diplomatic community in the country for their efforts and encouraged them to continue to use their good offices to support the good work of the President, reminding them that the international community, like ECOWAS, had invested enormously to bring peace to the West African nation.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

WFP Country Director bids Farewell Courtesies on Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 5th July, 2022. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director, Mr. Stephen Nsubuga has bid farewell Courtesies on Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis as he leaves for a new assignment in Ukraine.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.

 

Professor David John Francis thanked the World Food Programme for the tremendous support given to Sierra Leone during the Covid-19.

“These are challenging times, and the Covid-19 transition has been met with another global Crisis. Nations allover the world are struggling currently, it now takes proactive leadership to make gains in governing any state.” The Minister Said.
The Minister on behalf of the President, His Excellency, Rtd. Dr. Julius Maada Bio thanked Mr. Nsubuga and the World health organization while he assuring his predecessor of the Government’s fullest support.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Briefs Diplomatic Community on August 10 Terrorists Attack

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 11th August, 2022 Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis has briefed the diplomatic corps on what he referred to as a terrorist attack against the state by desperate politicians using vulnerable youths to cause unlawful violence and intimidation against civilians in the pursuit of political aims.

The ferocious and fatal attack which only took place in the political strongholds of the opposition APC party was described by the Country’s Foreign Minister as deliberately planned, financed and executed by hired thugs for the political self-interest of few inconsiderate politicians who wants to gain political points ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Professor Francis presented photos and video evidences of terrorists in the guise of protesters who took to the streets firearms (AK-47 & pistols) machetes, some holding placards, barricading roads and engaging in riotous conducts using innocent children as shields.
“There are asylum seekers who are out there in different Countries inciting violence and fanning the flame of war in Sierra Leone. Sponsored by few opposition Politicians who has nothing to offer but wants to be in Governance at all cost. Theses are the people who wants to Make Sierra Leone looks bad, the Sierra Leone that was ranked 4th most peaceful Country in West Africa before August 10.”
He stated.
The Foreign Minister reassured the diplomatic Community of the Government’s commitment to deescalate the situation, While reaffirming that they will do everything possible to investigate those who were behind the terrorist act that led to lost of lives and properties.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The Iranian & German Ambassadors To Sierra Leone Bids Farewell On Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 19th July, 2022: Both the Iranian Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Ambassador Akbar Khosravinejad and the German Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency, Horst Gurner have on Tuesday 19th July, 2022, paid farewell Courtesies on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis.They expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Sierra Leone for supporting them in various diplomatic ways in the achievements made during their four years official mission to Sierra Leone.

Foreign Minister Professor David John Francis thanked the outgoing Ambassadors for strengthening the bilateral relationships between the various Countries, taking it from a dormant phase to a proactive, interactive and developmental one. Professor Francis encouraged the outgoing ambassadors to Continue presenting Sierra Leone as an investors destination.

He assured them and their Governments of the continuation of the Ministry’s coordinating role in promoting the common interest of their Countries.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Foreign Minister Hosts Delegation From The African Union- ECOWAS Mission to Sierra Leone.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 21st July, 2022. A delegation from the African Union–ECOWAS mission to Sierra Leone have today met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis, to brief him and discuss the progress made from their engagements with various institutions that has to deal with boarder issues in the Country.

Mr. Saffa Kanneh, the Deputy Head of Delegation said their engagements was as a result of a correspondent received from the AU to collaborate with ECOWAS and GIZ in order to give support on boarder Management in Sierra Leone. He said they have met with critical MDA’s like the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Defense, the Office of the National Security and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, on issues relating to border delimitation and demarcation. Focusing on cross border cooperation, experience sharing and capacity building. Taking into account the African Union border Governance policy that centers around community integration on border approach.

Welcoming the delegation, Professor Francis thanked the team for their engagements with the various MDA’s in trying to understand and identify the progress made in handling border issues by the Government.

“To me, Border issues goes beyond security threats, It is a developmental issues, since people along the borders interacts on a daily basis in areas of trade, inter-marriages and other social issues.”

Professor Francis recommended for a policy shift in our border issues through the establishment of a National border Commission and a joint border Committee among the Mano River Union Countries.

He reaffirmed the Government of Sierra Leone’s commitment on border management with it neighbours and to strengthen cross border cooperation with local communities in the border areas for peaceful co-existence.

In attendance was the Director General and Ambassador at Large, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Victoria Sulimani.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

UNFPA County Representative, Mrs. Nadia Rasheed Present Letters of Credence to Foreign Minister.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 23rd May, 2022. UNFPA new Country Representative, Nadia Rasheed has today presented letters of Credence to the Hon. Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis at his tower hill office in Freetown.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was established by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1973 and reaffirmed in 1993, with tow objectives. To build the knowledge and the capacity to respond to needs in population and family planning, and to promote awareness in both developed and developing Countries of population problems. The organization delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA partners with Governments, other agencies and civil society to advance its mission around world.

Madam Nadia Rasheed in her presentation commended the Government of Sierra Leone for efforts made in areas of Health and Education sectors. She affirmed her commitment in working with the Government and people of Sierra Leone during her stay.

The Honourable Minister, in his response said the Government recognizes the role of Multilateral partners in the maintenance of peace and security in the Country. He welcomed the new Country representative on behalf of His Excellency President, Rtd. Brig. Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the Government of Sierra Leone.

Professor Francis encouraged Madam Nadia Rasheed to closely work with the Ministry of Health and the Office of the First Lady. He said those two offices will help her achieve her mission for UNFPA in Sierra Leone.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

President Bio Launched Sierra Leone’s UNSC seat bid, Thanked Foreign Ministry for putting Sierra Leone on the Global stage.

Sierra Leone will be presenting its candidature for a seat in the Non-Permanent Category of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2024 -2025. The United Nations Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. His Excellency the President Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio has today launched Sierra Leone’s United Nations Security Council Seat bid Nationally.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis, said the national launch and presentation of UNSC promotional materials will promote local awareness and ownership among citizens and galvanize local support in the pursuance of the Presidency at the United Nations Security Council.

He said Sierra Leone’s UNSC candidature has secured endorsement from ECOWAS and the African Union. Stating that, the AU endorsement ensures that Sierra Leone is not competing with any other African Country for the 3 seats allocated to Africa in the Council, hence a clean slate candidature is assured for Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone’s aspiration for the UNSC bid is with a clear vision that targets seven priorities that supports and strengthens the following:

1. Partnership and representation in the maintenance of peace and security,
2. Peace-making and peacebuilding
3. Human rights and accountability
4. Women and youth in peace and security
5. Terrorism and new threats to peace (climate change and human security)
6. Small arms control and
7. Security Council reform

Sierra Leone last served in the Security Council for in 1971. The elections for the 2024/2025 tenure will be held in the United Nations General Assembly in New York in June 2023.

The bid to serve in the UN Security Council in 2024-2025 is a testament to both our resilience and the efficacy of multilateral cooperation in successfully delivering peace in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone is currently serving as the coordinator of the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State (C-10) promoting, canvassing and advocating for the common African Position on United Nations Security Council Reform.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

MSF Signs Host County Agreements With Sierra Leone.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis, and the MSF County Representative, Mr. Whitney Ward, have today jointly signed the host Country agreement between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), in order to strengthen the health sector in the Country through medical and humanitarian needs.

The MSF is an international medical and humanitarian organization acting independently, impartial and neutral international solidarity, under the international humanitarian law and medical ethics since 1971, with it presence felt in Sierra Leone way back in 1986.

 

The agreement is to regulate and to preserve the effectiveness and protection of the medical and humanitarian character of MSF and it activities under the international law, humanitarian principles and International medical ethics, as well as to reinforce the cooperation between MSF and the Republic of Sierra Leone.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Allocates 12 China Donated Vehicles to 8 MDA’S.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 4th April, 2022. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has today allocated twelve (12) vehicles, including two (2) buses to eight MDA’s, donated by the Government of the people’s Republic of China. According to the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E Hu Zhangliang, the donation was a manifestation of the good bilateral relationship that has existed between the two Countries over the last fifty (50) years. He expressed his delight for witnessing the handing over ceremony in the capacity as the ambassador from China to Sierra Leone.

Ambassador Hu Zhangliang thanked the Government of Sierra Leone and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in particular, Professor David John Francis, for his professional and outstanding leadership in promoting Sierra Leone to global partners. He assured the Country of China’s continuous support in all areas of development.

Professor Francis in his remarks thanked the Government and people of China for the support to Sierra Leone over the years. He said Sierra Leone and China has a very long standing and sincere relationship, mutual respect in a win-win situation. He presented Sierra Leone as a land of opportunities and that the Country was ready for business inorder to Change the current situation in the Country and for the good of all.

The MDA’s which benefitted from the donation were; Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Cultural affairs, Office of the National Security (ONS), Ministry of Lands and Country Planning, Ministry of Information and Communication, National Disaster Management Agency, Independent Commission for Peace and National Commission, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Professor Francis crave on the indulgence of all MDA’s to make the best use of the vehicles.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

With 15 Postgraduate Scholarships, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Deepens Bilateral Relations with Sierra Leone

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 1st April, 2022 The Spokesperson and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr. Kateeb Zade has today met with Professor David John Francis, Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, in order to deepen bilateral relations between the two Countries.

The Deputy Minister said his visit was to strengthen the Importance of mutual interest, from economic affairs to Social, culture and public diplomacy.

Professor Francis in his remarks said Sierra Leone is a Country of choice especially for Iran that has a long standing relationship with Sierra Leone for 60 years now. Presenting Sierra Leone as a land for opportunities, Professor Francis highlighted series of areas where both Country’s can collaborate. From Education, Agriculture, Health, Tourism, Spots Mines and Culture.

The Minister said the 15 scholarships will be awarded to the three newly established Universities in the Country as a means of promoting His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio’s Human Capital Development dream. He reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the Iranian Government and the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Professor Francis Engages Turkish Press, Commends President Bio’s Role at the Antalya Diplomatic Forum

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Professor David J. Francis in an interview with Anadolu Agency has commended His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio’s Role in representing Sierra Leone on the Global Stage where he presented Sierra Leone as a nation of greater ambition. The three-day high-level event in the resort city of Antalya, brought together participants from 75 Countries, including 17 Heads of State , 80 Government Ministers , and 39 representatives from International Organizations. He said in his interview with Anadolu Agency on the margins of Diplomacy Forum in Antalya on March 12, 2022: Anadolu Agency is the forum’s global communications partner.

The Minister said that the Antalya Diplomacy Forum is a platform where world leaders in the political, diplomatic, economic and academic sectors share ideas on how to develop innovative diplomacy to address the problems that we face, from climate change, war and peace, conflict resolution and development issues.

Professor Francis in his interview said now was the time for all the regions of the world to support Africa. He called on all global actors to lead the debate for the reform of the United Nations Security Council, noting that, the UN Security Council has five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members where 70% to 75% of all the issues discussed in the council evolve around Africa.

He said no African Country is represented in the UN Five (5) Permanent Members Security Council, That he referred to as “historical injustice”. He furthered that, African Union has made a determination on this very pertinent issue by appointing Sierra Leone as the Chair of the African Union Committee of Ten on UN Security Council Reform to lead talks on reforming the UN Security Council. So, at this recording diplomacy forum, the Minister made it clear that it was not good just to come and talk but all African Heads of State and delegates translate their talks into actions.

Commending president Bio, Professor Francis noted that at the moment, under the New Direction of H.E President Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, Sierra Leone is focusing on “human capital development with three pillars: education, health, and agriculture. Today, Sierra Leone spends 22% of our GDP on education. In fact, ‘’we are in the top five countries in the world that allocate more resources to education’’.
He said that with this massive investment in education 2.5 million children are receiving free quality education. He also noted that Sierra Leone has managed the COVID-19 pandemic very well.

‘’ideally, the Ebola epidemic created social consciousness for the people to work with the government, and to comply with the social distancing and health hygiene protocols’’ and that the country is now moving into the post-COVID period where our focus is on strengthening the health system. We will definitely achieve the middle-income status in the next 10 to 20 years. I have no doubt,” he concluded.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

His Excellency Ahmad Bin Abdul Aziz Khattan On A Day Visit to Sierra Leone, Engages Foreign Minister and President Julius Maada Bio.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 2nd March, 2022. Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis has today received His Excellency Ahmad Bin Abdul Aziz Khattan, Adviser to the Royal Court and special envoy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who is on a day visit to Sierra Leone and his accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, H.E Khattan conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, while the Foreign Minister sent his greetings and appreciation to Custodian of the two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and his good wishes to the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of further development and prosperity, stressing that Sierra Leone stands with Saudi Arabia towards various issues aiming at realizing peace and security in Africa.

In a meeting with His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio , the President voiced Sierra Leone’s unweaving support to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s bid to host EXPO-2030 in Riyadh. This to delegation was a positive step and achievement of their visit. Both sides went over bilateral relations on the opening of Saudi Arabia Embassy in Sierra Leone and the future of the relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Following the discussions, both the Foreign Minister and H.E Khattan made statements to the media, during which they expressed happiness for the level of relations between the two Countries.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Philippines Ambassador Pays Courtesy Call on Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Discuss Opportunities in Mines & Agriculture

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, Tuesday, 1st March 2022: The Ambassasor from the Republic of the Philippines to Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Shirley Ho-Vicario and her delegation has on a Courtesy call met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis on bilateral engagements.

Speaking on the purpose of the visit, Her Excellency Shirley Ho-Vicario stated that her delegation was in Sierra Leone on a scoping mission and to discuss bilateral cooperation between Sierra Leone and the Republic of the Philippines. She tabled the idea of signing a Joint Communique on Technical and Agro-Processing Cooperation, and the possibility of bringing in skilled and qualified expatriates to train Sierra Leoneans especially in the Mining and Agricultural sectors. This initiative, she explained, has helped greatly in growing the economy of the Philippines and enabling the Country to have over 10 million skilled workers all over the world.

Welcoming the delegation, the Honorable Minister, Professor David J. Francis acknowledged the presence of the Philippines Honorary Consul in Sierra Leone as a man with high level commitment for cooperation between the two Countries. He reechoed that, the Government of Sierra Leone is highly interested in Human Capacity Building and therefore signing a Joint Cooperation on Technical and Agro-Processing will be taking the Country to a middle level and not always relying on foreign experts.

Professor Francis assured the delegation of the support of the Foreign Ministry to facilitate engagements with relevant Ministries in the implementation of the proposed Joint Cooperation.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

South African High Commissioner, Grace Jeanet Mason Pays Courtesy Call on Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hills, Freetown, 28th February, 2022. The South African High Commissioner to Ghana H.E Grace Jeanet Mason, former Deputy Chief of Protocol at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa has met with Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Professor David John Francis on bilateral issues on Economic and Development Diplomacy.

Presenting the delegation to the Hon. Minister, H.E Grace Jeanet Mason expressed delight to the Government and people of Sierra Leone for the warm reception accorded her delegation. She said South Africa will collaborate with Sierra Leone for trade and Economic opportunities. And that, the delegation will engage other key Stakeholders and sectors on those opportunities.

Professor David John Francis in his statement positioned Sierra Leone as a land of opportunities. Referring to Sierra Leone as the most beautiful Country in the world, he said the Country’s potential for investment range from Education, Agriculture, Health, Tourism, Mines, Oil and gas and more.

The Hon. Minister asked for development and Economic Cooperation between Sierra Leone and South Africa.
“The Sierra Leone Investment board which is headed by His Excellency the President and Co-chaired by the Hon. Vice President is ready to support private sector development and promote trade and development in all sectors ” He Added.

Professor Francis diplomaticly send an invitation through the High Commissioner for south African Investors to tap into the rich Economic Opportunities of Sierra Leone, while assuring them of the Government’s fullest Support.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Professor Francis woos Qatar Foreign Minister, Presents Sierra Leone’s bid for United Nations Security Council Seat

Professor David Francis, Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister has on Thursday 25th February 2022 engaged Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, on a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues aimed at strengthening and deepening ties between the two friendly countries.
The Minister while Conveying His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio’s warm fraternal greetings to His Highness Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State Qatar, he recalled the visit of HE Dr Julius Maada Bio in April 2018, reckoning the remarkable transformation of the gas-rich country, which inspired him to transform Sierra Leone into a modern international community.

 

 

Briefing his Qatari counterpart on the engagement with respective state agencies, he expressed profound appreciation for selecting Sierra Leone as one of the priority countries for the implementation of the economic empowerment project to alleviate poverty.
“Your Excellency, as you may be aware, our country is known for its abundant strategic mineral resources, which have not translated in transforming the nation. Sierra Leone has invested significantly in the Human Capital Development projects of which the Free Quality Education project accounts for 22% of the country’s GPD, providing access to education for two and a half million children nationwide,” Prof David Francis noted.

The Hon Minister further described Sierra Leone as a land of investment opportunities, with a lot of untapped potentials in mineral resources, agriculture, energy, trade, among others. He proposed a trade and investment delegation mission to Sierra Leone to get firsthand information on potential investment opportunities in various sectors.
“For the first time in its history, Sierra Leone conducted an Airborne Geophysical Survey to assess the quantum of mineral assets in the country. We are now working with the World Bank to analyse the value of our mineral reserve, which can be used as a sovereign guarantee for capital development projects,” he mentioned.

Making a case on the margins of the candidature bid for the non-permanent Category of the United Nations Security Council, which is scheduled for June 2023, he observed that the country has progressed steadily on the international stage, referencing Sierra Leone’s role as Coordinator of the Africa Union Committee of 10 United Nations Security Council Reforms. He concluded by soliciting Qatar’s support as well as its allies as the country has been endorsed unanimously by ECOWAS and AU.
In his response, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani thanked Hon Minister for engaging state agencies on purposeful development. He welcomed the initiative to visit Sierra Leone for investment opportunities. The Deputy Prime Minister further suggested a visit of a team of experts from Sierra Leone to make a presentation to provide Qatari investors the requisite knowledge on Sierra Leone’s investment opportunities.
On Sierra Leone’s bid for a seat in the non-permanent category of the UN Security Council, he assured the Minister of not only voting for Sierra Leone but also providing support in the government’s pre-campaign bid scheduled for 2022.
Other members of the delegation included, Her Excellency Haja Ishata Thomas, the Non-Resident Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Abdul Aziz Turay, Director of Middle East and Asia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Momodu Wurie, Minister Counsellor/HOC and AbuBakarr Mbayoh, Arabic Translator.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

In finalization of GCM Report, Foreign Affairs, IOM and Others on a round table,

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the International Office for Migration (IOM) and other partners on Tuesday held a one-day stakeholder meeting to finalize the National review report on the implementation of the global compact for Migration (GCM) in Sierra Leone.

Speaking at the workshop, Deputy Foreign Minister Mamadi Gobeh Kamara informed the meeting that in 2020 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinated the review of the draft National report and noted that she is pleased that the final step to complete the report has been initiated.She said that the engagement is timely for two reasons: firstly, it coincides with the finalization of the Government’s Policy on Migration and secondly, to finalize a profound work undertaken by Government, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), MDAs and Non-governmental Organizations to develop a national document that deals with migration issues.

She called on participants to thoroughly examine the final report so that it will be in tandem with the country’s recent Immigration Policy developed under the auspices of the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.Mamadi Gobeh Kamara on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, appreciated the support of IOM to government development efforts. She further highlighted specific areas of IOM’s intervention; the provision of resettlement packages to returnees from the Middle East and the Maghreb, partnership with the Japanese Government to jointly sponsor a team of Sierra Leonean Diaspora Medical Mission that provided critical medical services, in hard-to-reach areas within Kamakwie in Karena District. This she noted, complement’s government’s effort towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 3), which is to ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all at all ages.

The deputy foreign Minister pledged the support of her Ministry to continue working closely with the IOM, the Immigration Department and all partners in their collective efforts to effectively harness the vast potentials of our diaspora community while also looking at ways of discouraging our youthful population from taking brazen adventures in the search of elusive greener pastures that have often ended in harrowing experiences and dire consequences.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Investors From The Republic Of Egypt Pays Courtesy Call on Deputy Foreign Minister.

Investors from the Arab Republic of Egypt to Sierra Leone have met with the Deputy Minister Of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara at her tower Hill office in Freetown.

The Head of delegation Eng. Osama M.K Abdelhamid in his remark extended warm greetings from his Country and introduced members of his delegation, he continued by stating the purpose for their one week visit to promote businesses by developing the Country.

He reiterated that the investments will be based on three companies; the World Wide Base Technology Limited, Pharco Pharmaceutical, African Economic Council/ Pan-African Movement, and Mosa Trade which will be operating in areas such as Energy, Mining, Chemicals and Waste water recycling.

In her response, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, acknowledged the steps taken so far by the delegation and applaud them for choosing Sierra Leone as an Investment destination to promote their businesses and further ensured to render necessary support to what is required from the Ministry.

“Investment and Country building has been a top priority to the Government and people of Sierra Leone, and Energy is key to Country development, which is why we are very deliberate to make sure we deliver to our people. She said”

The Honorable Deputy Minister noted that as much as the Country is looking for investors, they are also mindful to only involve in well meaningful investments that will benefit the people of Sierra Leone and in the end accomplish a win-win situation.

She thanked the delegation and reaffirmed the Ministries support to make their stay a successful one.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Sierra Leone Signs Economic and Technical Cooperation agreements with China

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, 11th February, 2022: The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis and the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E Hu Zhangliang have today signed Joint Economic and technical Cooperation agreement between China and Sierra Leone at the Ministry’s Conference room.

 

Professor Francis in his statement said the agreement process was initiated at the China-African Forum in Dakar, Senegal. He said the signing of the Economic and Technical Cooperation agreements with China symbolizes the cordial bilateral relationship that has existed between the two Countries and that, they will continue to cement the great win-win collaboration.

The agreement on Economic Cooperation will help reduce the costs of trade, improve the availability of goods and services, and increase consumer purchasing power in both Nations. . On technical cooperation, this will cultivate the human resources who will shoulder the burden of nation-building activities that will be primarily information and services oriented.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Seeks Commonwealth Support In Trade and Connectivity Programs.

 

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam. Mamadi Gobeh Kamara has requested for technical assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat through its trade and connectivity programme in a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to brief the Government on the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (GHOM) to be held in Rwanda.

The Commonwealth Secretary General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, said they have put together a whole lot of implementation phases for the Commonwealth trade and Connectivity programs so as to enable their member states to implement in practical ways. The programs she said covers access to Justice, prevention of terrorism, infrastructure and energy transition that will help Nations to move from fossil fuel to green gas. She assured the Government of Sierra Leone’s of there fullest Support.

The Deputy Minister in her statement made a request that will enhance Sierra Leone`s capacity for growth and expansion in digital trade for the up-take of e-commerce and the online delivery of certain services which she notes would be pivotal to support economic recovery, post- COVID as well as address future economic shocks and crisis.

The Deputy Foreign Minister made this request on Monday 24th January 2022 during Secretary- General Patricia Scotland’s courtesy call to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation.

Md Mamadi Gobeh Kamara expressed delight for the Commonwealth Office’s continued support to the government of Sierra Leone and thanked the Secretary- General and her Secretariat for their contribution and support to Sierra Leone during the global coronavirus Pandemic that continues to socio-economically ravage economies across the world, especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

” As a government, we have had extensive partnership with the commonwealth and I believe there is more that we can do together”, she added.

The support provided in Technical cooperation projects , especially ones dealing with the Environment, are worth noting. There have been some delays in some of the work we do together due to the coronavirus pandemic” but I believe now that things are slowing picking up, we will fast track the implementation of some of these interventions. The Deputy Foreign Minister said.

She further applauded the Commonwealth Secretariat’s technical assistance and support through their Human Rights Unit during Sierra Leone’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

We remain committed as government to institute policies and reforms for the betterment of our people and country.

She informed the Secretary General, that Sierra Leone has made tremendous achievements since the last CHOGM held in 2018 especially in the areas of democracy and the rule of law.
“As you may be aware as a government, we took an audacious step to repealed the 55-year-old ` Criminal Libel Law` in 2020, a move that saw Sierra Leone ranked as one of the top five Countries in Africa, supporting and facilitating freedom of expression in the 2019/2020 Global Expression Report”. Government has also repealed the death penalty, amongst other progressive legislation that has been ratified by parliament all of which the deputy Minister notes are pointers to Government’s commitment democratic good governance.

She calls for more partnership between the Secretariat and the government of Sierra Leone for more tangible outcomes

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Delivers Opening Remarks at the C— 10 Ministerial Summit in Kampala, Uganda

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Sierra Leone, Prof. David J. Francis has today, 19th January, 2022 in Kampala, Uganda delivered opening remarks at the Senior Officials meeting of the Ninth Ministerial-Level Meeting of the African Union Committee of Ten ( C-10) Heads of State and Government at the Speke Resort, Munyonyo, Kampala. The meeting was co-chaired by Sierra Leone and Uganda.

In his remarks, the Minister extended President Bio’s fraternal greetings to His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Government and the people of the Republic of Uganda, thanking them for hosting the meeting; commending their invaluable and unyielding efforts in ensuring that the continent achieves its ultimate goal of United Nations Security Council Reform.

“Impressive progress has been made in terms of canvassing, promoting and speaking with one voice, but the reform agenda cannot be achieved overnight. Africans should remain committed in upholding African Common Position and maintaining its integrity; and there is a need to continue speaking with one voice about a clear roadmap for effectively advancing the Common African Position on the United Nations Security Council reform” the Minister said.

 

The Minister also commended President Bio for his role as the Chair and Coordinator of the C-10 and his consistency in demonstrating strong leadership and commitment in the pursuit of the C-10 mandate as well as in advancing the objectives of the African Common Position in the reform of the UN Security Council.

In attendance were the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Gen. Abubakar Jeje Odongo; Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner Designate to Uganda with residence in Kenya, Madam Isatu Aminata Bundu; Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, HE Alhaji Fanday Turay; Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, HE Adekunle Joliff Milton King; African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs Peace and Security, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye; and Permanent Representatives from the C-10 countries to New York.

Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to United Nations, HE Alhaji Fanday Turay gave a comprehensive overview of the intergovernmental negotiations in the UN system. He expressed profound gratitude to all C-10 members for the collective focus and commitment in advancing the Common African Position on the Reform of the UN Security Council as enshrined in Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration.

The Meeting concludes with the Ministerial segment on Thursday 20th January 2022.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Launched 5 key Governance Documents to Enhance Effective Service Delivery

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 8th January, 2022. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Professor David John Francis has today launched 5 key Governance documents that will guide the day-to-day operations of the Ministry and it’s 24 Foreign Missions abroad at the retreat organized for all Heads of Missions and Senior Management of the Ministry.

The 5 Key Governance documents include:
a: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Strategic Plan 2022- 2025

b: The guidelines Governing the appointment and functions of Honorary Consuls for Sierra Leone.

c: Administrative guide for Ambassadors, Heads of Chanceries, and other Foreign Service officers accredited abroad

d: The Foreign Service Handbook and

e: The Foreign Service Diplomatic List of staff

The Minister further gave a step-by-step explanation about the benefits of the various documents to the government and people of Sierra Leone. According to the Minister, the 5 Governance documents will provide the roadmap for an effective service delivery by both the Ministry and Foreign Missions abroad, promotes the core values of Diplomatic relations in terms of good representation, coordination, supervision, clarity of roles and responsibilities between the Heads of Missions and Heads of Chanceries and the promotion of National interest.

Professor Francis and his team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assured Heads of Missions on the monitoring and implementation of the contents of these documents, so as to ensure that their contents are fully implemented for the benefit of all.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Promoting Foreign Policy Engagement, Foreign Affairs Host Heads of Missions on A Two- Day Retreats.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has engaged Heads of Foreign Missions on a two-day Foreign Policy engagement retreat on strategic operational issues in order to strengthen Sierra Leone’s engagements and diplomatic representation both at national and international levels with the committed involvement and valuable contributions by all foreign Missions and to enhance quality of work relationship, teamwork and Mission effectiveness and efficiency in pursuing Sierra Leone’s Foreign Policy Objectives as enshrined in Chapter 10 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

According to Professor David John Francis, the retreat will address number of issues which includes; lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities between Heads of Missions and Heads of Chanceries; issues around disbursement and procurements; misunderstanding of the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the coordinating Ministry for all Overseas Missions; Reporting lines and many others.

 

‘‘The pursuance of Sierra Leone’s foreign policy objectives by all overseas Missions is the raison d’être for their existence. In this regard, all activities and engagements of Sierra Leone’s Missions should be in pursuance in fulfilling Sierra Leone’s Foreign Policy objectives. Therefore, message discipline, coordination and teamwork is important among all Heads of Missions.’’ He stated.

The retreat is also said to examine the application of some Government Regulations, Policies and Acts with regards to the procurement, financial management, audit report, Civil Service Code etc.

The Heads of Missions who are key players and front liners of promoting and protecting Sierra Leone’s national interest in line with the President Bio’s agenda for a competitive Sierra Leone that foster better relations with our neighbours and the rest of the world will have the opportunity to meet and interact with colleague on knowledge sharing on their mandates and to dialogue and reflect on the national development process in tandem with the aspirations and goals of the Government and to chat the way forward in advancing their outreache with a view to achieving the foreign policy of Sierra Leone.

The two days retreat which started today, 7th January 2022 will end tomorrow with a clear understanding of all the issues highlighted.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Malian Special Envoy H.E Abdoulaye DIOP Pays Courtesy Call on Professor Francis.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs And International Cooperation, Sierra Leone, 4th January, 2022. A delegation from Mali, led by the Foreign Minister, H.E Mr. Abdoulaye DIOP, Special Envoy of His Excellency Colonel Assimi GOITA, President of the transition of the Republic of Mali has paid courtesy call on Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Professor David John Francis as part of their engagement with Authorities in Sierra Leone in order to learn how President Bio as Military leader then, was able to peacefully do a transition from the Military rule to democratic and constitutional order.

H.E. Abdoulaye DIOP in his address thanked President Bio for honouring their request to learn from his personal experience and journey as a former soldier and President that has served as both a military Head of state and now a democratic and civilian President. He said they were here to seek guidance from a Country they admired so much.

 

“Our Country Mali is going through both security and economic crisis and we want to change that narrative. We want you to know that elections alone cannot sove our problems. Until we address those issues that will prevent such crisis never to occur in Mali again”. He said.

Welcoming the delegation, Professor Francis said Sierra Leone was the right Country to visit for guidance and that President Bio has the expertise to offer such guidance being that he is the only President in West Africa who as Military leader and Head of state, conducted peaceful elections and handled over power to a Civilian Government.
He said President Julius Maada Bio will be willing to offer this expertise to what ever Country in order to support the ECOWAS region to promote peace.

“23 years ago, it was Sierra Leone running to Mali for support and today the Malian are here to seek our support. These are all bilateral gains for our Countries” He said.

He thanked the delegation for choosing Sierra Leone while wishing them a successful transition.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Sierra Leone Deepens Bilateral Ties With Turkey

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and international Cooperation, Professor David John Francis met with his counterpart, H.E Mevlut Cavsoglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey at the Margins of the 3rd Africa-Turkey Summit, Istanbul, Turkey.

The two Ministers spoke of mutual bilateral benefits for their respective countries including cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, Education and training, infrastructure and mines.

On Sierra Leone’s seat for the non-permanent category in the the UN security council for 2024-2025, the Turkish Foreign Minister, H.E mevlut Cavusoglu, indicated that his Government may consider to support Sierra Leone’s seat bid for the UN security council.

A quick win for Sierra Leone was that the Government of Turkey made a commitment to provide 15 scholarships to Sierra Leone annually for undergraduates/post graduate and PHD in various fields with a possibility to increase Sierra Leone’s Scholarship quota.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Government engages Peace Building Commission, Share lessons learnt on youths and Gender Issues

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs And International Cooperation, Tower Hills, Freetown, 9th December, 2021. Following the successful exit of Sierra Leone from the PBC configuration in 2020, the Government has engaged with the Peace Building Commission to share their lessons learnt in peacebuilding, with a particular focus on youth.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, in her statement said the Government of Sierra Leone’s exit strategy emphasized aspiration towards peacebuilding that was situated within the broader framework of the Country’s Medium Term National Development plan (2019-2023), which is aligned with United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development and the African Union’s 2063 Development Agenda.

She said despite Sierra Leone’s exit from PBC, the Country remains with the Commission through out it post-conflict transition phase.
” we have continued to consolidate our hard-earned peace within the identified roadmap priorities focusing mainly on National Cohesion, Human Capital Development, Economic Diversification, Institutional Resilience and Governance and COVID-19 Response and Recovery efforts”. She stated.

 

She thanked the PBC for the current funding portfolio of the Secretary General’s peacebuilding fund to the tune of US$ 7.66 Million , which focuses mainly on the areas of inclusive land Governance and land related conflict management and youth empowerment, including community conflict management and support for young people at risk of recruitment into gang related violence.

Other speakers at the meeting were the Minister of youth Mr. Mohamed Bangura, the Minister of Development and Economic planning Mr. Kaikai and a representative of the 50-50 women’s empowerment group.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Foreign Affairs Secures Ratification for 4 Agreements Between Sierra Leone and Turkey

House of Parliament, Tower Hills, 9th December, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and international cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, has today secured Parliamentary ratification for four bilateral agreements between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of the Republic of Turkey.

The agreements on trade and economic cooperation signed on October, 2012, agreement on the elimination of double taxation with respect to taxes on income and the prevention of tax evasion and avoidance, protocol on cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation and protocol of cooperation on Higher Education scholarships between the Ministry of Higher education of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related communities of the Republic of Turkey were all ratified by by the house of parliament.

These agreements, when implemented will help creating jobs, generate income for people, give consumers and businesses access to a wider range of high- quality products, strengthen institutional academic and administrative capacity, Improved quality of educational provision, Increased diversity of educational programmes and Increased efficiency of higher education systems achieved through economies of scale and scope resulting from transnational cooperation.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Foreign Minister Hosts H.E Yang Jiechi, Deepens Bilateral Relationship with China.

Freetown, Tower Hills, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs And International Cooperation, 6th November,2021. Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Professor David John Francis has today hosted His Excellency Yang Jiechi, Member of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee and Special Representative of H.E President Xi Jinping of the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on bilateral engagement in promoting common interests.

H.E Yang Jiechi commended President Julius Maada Bio’s efforts in promoting private sector developments, in the face of Coronavirus disease, adding that the two countries would fight the disease together in solidarity to achieve economic recovery.Professor Francis, in his comprehensive but concise statement welcomed H.E. Yang Jiechi and his delegation on behalf of the President, His Excellency Rtd. Brig Julius Maada Bio. He thanked President H.E Xi Jinping and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the continuous support to bilateral relations with Sierra Leone. He said both Countries will continue to work together in win-win situation to promote and safeguard their common interests.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Foreign Affairs holds a day retreat on the development of the soft infrastructure of the Foreign Service Academy

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, 2nd December,2021. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has today holds a day retreat on the development of the soft infrastructure of the Foreign Service Academy in order to ensure a buy-in (ownership) of specific key stakeholders across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as other relevant educational and professional institutions and faculties.

According to the architectural plan, the complex presumably ranks among the very few purpose-built physical infrastructures in Africa. When completed the four-story building will offer Four (4) 30-seater Classrooms, a 100-pax capacity Library, two large100- and 200-pax Conference Rooms, five (5) Rooms for office accommodation, a 30-seater Computer Room, Offices for-the-Director and Deputy Director of the Academy, Archive, Waiting Room, Lounge, 6 Rooms (Offices spaces), 6 Standard Guest Rooms and 2 VIP Guest Rooms with Common Room for research plus restroom facilities on all floors.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis said the retreat will provide the opportunity to make further inputs into the plan, particularly the operational organogram, governance structure of the Academy, the curricúlum, business model and the annual budgetary Implication. He said the preparation was to enable the academy to start operations just after the completion of the construction work in September, 2022.

He encouraged every participant to be bold and contribute to the success of the first foreign Service academy in the Mano River Union.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Foreign Minister Receives Copies of Letters of Credentials from H.E. Jeroen Verheul, And 2 Others.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, 2nd December, 2021. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has received copies of letters of credentials from three Ambassadors designates from Netherland, Norway and Austria.

The copies of credentials were presented by H.E Jeroen Verheul, Ambassador designates of the Kingdom of the Netherlands based in Accra, H.E Mrs. Ingrid Mollestad, Ambassador designates of the Kingdom of Norway based in Accra and H.E Dr. Gerlinde Paschinger, Ambassador designates of Austria all residents in Dakar.

 

The Ambassadors 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 designate 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 Friday 3rd December, 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.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Meets With Delegation From Organization of Military Sports In Africa

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 29th, November, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Madam Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara has met with delegation from Organization of Military Sports in Africa who are on a planning visit for their next general assembly which will be hosted in Sierra Leone by 2022.

 

According to the head of delegation, Brigadier General Maikano Abdullahi, the courtesy call on the Deputy Minister was to engage and crave on the Ministry’s indulgence to help facilitate the invitation of their delegates for their next general assembly.

The organization also presented a proposal for His Excellency the President, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio to donate a trophy in one of the sports disciplines which will be named after him for the 2022 military sport which will involve the 51 member Countries of the organization.

 

The Deputy Minister in her succinct statement, welcomed the delegation and expressed her delight over the military organizing itself to internationally compete in sports.

” Sierra Leone is a sport loving nation, and our President is a fan of sports. This is important in view of the need for members of the armed forces to unite in the spirit of camaraderie and goodwill” she stated.

She assured the organization of Government’s fullest support and the Ministry’s willingness to provide whatever positive support that will enhance the general assembly become successful event.

 For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

On the Margins of FoCAC, China reaffirms Support for Sierra Leone

 

The minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis has met with his Chinese Counterpart, His Excellency, Wang Yi in the margins of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the forum on China -Africa Cooperation (FoCAC) in Dakar, Senegal.

In their bilateral discussion, Professor Francis highlighted the special relationship that existed between China and Sierra Leone for 50 years effective 1971. He said Sierra Leone has constantly supported China in all Global forums including the United Nations. Professor Francis asked for China support for Sierra Leone’s seat bid in the United Nations Security Council at the Non-Permanent Category for 2024-2025.

He ended by presenting the infrastructural plans for the Lungi bridge which will link freetown and Lungi and the construction of a smart city in Lungi to his counterpart for China’s consideration and support.

information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Reiterates ECOWAS Common Position on The Political Situation In Guinea

Farmington Hotel, Roberts International Airport, Margibi County, Republic of Liberia, 22nd November, 2021. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Professor David John Francis delivered a statement at the opening Ceremony of a two-day Conference on the Mano River Union Diplomatic, peace, security and Democracy in Monrovia, Liberia.

In his statement, Professor Francis reiterated the ECOWAS common position and commitment to support the Republic of Guinea in restoring constitutional order and return to Civilian Democratic rule within the timeframe set by ECOWAS. He called on the MRU to actively support the ECOWAS agenda and transitional roadmap on the Republic of Guinea and to engage the ECOWAS mediator in the person of Dr. Ibn Chambers and the ECOWAS Chair of council of Ministers as part of the collective effort to restore constitutional authority in Guinea.

In support of the above, Professor Francis presented Sierr Leone as the only Country in Africa and the world today that has a setting Democratically elected President in the person of President Julius Maada Bio who in 1996, as Military Head of State, Organized democratic elections under International Community’s supervision, restore constitutional rule and mediate the exit of the Military from Civilian Democratic politics.

He stated that Sierra Leone stands ready to make this expertise available to support the work of the ECOWAS mediators in Guinea and Mali as well as the African Union mediators in Sudan.

The Conference brings together Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Chief of staff, the special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa, Senior representatives and observers from the AU and ECOWAS.

more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Lays to Parliament 4 Agreements for Ratification

House of Parliament, Tower Hills, 16th November, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and international cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, has presented to parliament four bilateral agreements and Memoranda of understanding between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of the Republic of Turkey.

 

The agreements which were presented to Parliament consists; an agreement on trade and economic cooperation signed on October, 2012, agreement on the elimination of double taxation with respect to taxes on income and the prevention of tax evasion and avoidance, protocol on cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation and protocol of cooperation on Higher Education scholarships between the Ministry of Higher education of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related communities of the Republic of Turkey demonstrates the cordial bilateral relations between the two Countries.

 

These agreements, when ratify by parliament will help creating jobs, generate income for people, give consumers and businesses access to a wider range of high- quality products, strengthen institutional academic and administrative capacity, Improved quality of educational provision, Increased diversity of educational programmes and Increased efficiency of higher education systems achieved through economies of scale and scope resulting from transnational cooperation.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Foreign Minister Launched the popularization of the National Reporting Mechanism to International Treaty Bodies

Golden Tulip, Kimbima, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 15th November, 2021 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has today launched the populirisation of the First ever National Reporting Mechanism to International Treaty Bodies organized in collaboration with UNDP to assist Government meet its treaty reporting obligations.

 

 

The Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Prince E. O Cole in his welcoming address said, Sierra Leone being a signatory to many International human rights treaties such as the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the Convention on the right of the Child, the Convention of all forms of racial discrimination, among others, made it obligational to us as a nation to periodically submit our reports to treaty bodies to ascertain the level of compliance under such treaties.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis in his keynotes address registered his profound appreciation on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone to the directorate of Legal Affairs and ECOTEC in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who worked hard to produce the National Reporting Mechanism to International treaty Bodies, which he said will enable Sierra Leone to clear all backlogs on reporting, but to also ensure that Sierra Leone will no longer default on such reporting obligations as reliable partners on the international stage with a clear understanding of our foreign policy objectives as stated in section 10, with specific reference to paragraph (d) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, Act No.6 of 1991.

 

“Sierra Leone cannot project its International visibility as a credible and respectable member of the international community if we do not fulfill our international obligations ” He stated.

Professor Francis said Sierra Leone being a credible, respectable and rebranded nation is poised to become the envy of all with standard practice that can be emulated by all as we take the Country back to the glory days, when the rest of the sub-region would look up to our Country for the best in almost everything.

“The key reporting obligation of Sierra Leone is the universal periodic review that takes the form of a 4 year reporting cycle on the state of human rights in the Country. This he said was the 4th reporting cycle under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the key aim according to him was to guide and strengthen the reporting functions of the state to international treaty bodies.

 

He pledged the Commitment of the Government to fully support the implementation of the Mechanism. In attendance was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, development partners, stakeholders and staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information….
Membui Emmanuel,
+23276-631757
Director, Media & Strategic Communications
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Parliament Ratifies The Sierra Leone-Russia Visa Free Agreement.

 

The Sierra Leone House of Parliament has today 9th November, 2021, unanimously ratified an agreement tabled before it by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis on 21st October, 2021, between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of the Russian Federation on Visa-free travels for holders of Diplomatic and service passports.

While presenting the agreement to Parliament for the second time, Professor Francis said the agreement will pave ways for the establishment of the Russian Embassy in Sierra Leone, thereby ending the risk of traveling to Guinea for Russina Visas which has been a waste of time and resources to Sierra Leoneans. The Minister was optimistic that the agreement will bring more business and educational opportunities for Sierra Leone.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Minister and his Counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, during the one day state visit to Moscow in order strengthen the already existing relationship both Countries have enjoyed over the years.

 

With the agreement now ratified by Parliament, this will not only provide practical benefits, but also help in creating a sense of acceptance and inclusion, maintaining a high level of bilateral support, offers access to knowledge, exchange of experiences and directly shapes Cooperation between both Countries

 

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT AGENCY

 

 

 

 

GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT AGENCY

6th November 2021

In the late hours of Friday 5th November 2021, a fire incident was reported to the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) at Wellington PMD Junction involving a loaded fuel tanker and a truck carrying granite stones that led to the loss of lives and properties.

Initial findings revealed that both vehicles collided on the highway while the fuel tanker was about entering into a nearby filling station to discharge its fuel.

Footages and eyewitnesses intimated that while the collision took place, both drivers came out of their vehicles and warned community residents to stay off the scene while trying to address a leakage emanating from the collision.

In the interim, some community members rushed to the scene and took advantage of the leakage to scoop fuel and store it in nearby makeshift structures. In the cause of scooping the fuel, there was a major explosion that resulted in the fire disaster that occurred.

The NDMA immediately visited the scene and coordinated emergency response with partners. Ambulances were assembled to take corpses and those in critical situations to various hospitals in Freetown.

Data provided so far indicates that a total of 98 deaths have been recorded and 92 victims are currently admitted at various hospitals within Freetown. Of the total hospitalized victims suffering from varying degrees of burning, there are 48 at Connaught Hospital, 20 at 34 Military Hospital, 18 at Emergency Hospital and 6 at Choithram Hospital.

The Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has ensured that adequate Doctors and Nurses are fully on duty since last night. Also, sufficient medical supply has been provided to the victims in the various hospitals.

The NDMA held an initial coordination meeting with relevant partners at the All 4 One Orphanage centre at Wellington and agreed to activate a level 2 national response based on the enormity of the disaster. A Protection Desk has also been activated at the Ministry of Social Welfare to provide Mental Health and Psychosocial support for affected victims.

On behalf of the government, the Vice President, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh visited the various hospitals to ensure the provision of effective medical service to the victims. Today, 6th November 2021, the Vice President also visited the epicentre of the disaster in sympathy with families and members of the public affected by the inferno. He assured them of Government’s full support in responding to this crisis.

NDMA and partners have established an Incident Command Center (ICC) at the disaster scene to ensure effective coordination and ensured the activation of the National Situation Room (NSR) at its headquarters, Aberdeen, Freetown. This will be followed by a comprehensive assessment to ascertain the full extent of the damage left by the disaster and tracing of lost family members.

The public is encouraged to call the undermentioned numbers to relay or receive information on family members affected: NDMA Africell toll-free line 1199, Directorate of Communications, NDMA +23278388946, Col. Doc. Silvarlie at 34 Military Hospital +23280290824, Harold Thomas, Ministry of Health and Sanitation +23276602460, Connaught Hospital, Foday Musa, +23279974878 and Ministry of Social Welfare, Gbangay Kanu +23276575280.

The Government of Sierra Leone through the National Disaster Management Agency is hereby expressing its deepest condolences to the bereaved families and is assuring the public of its continued support towards alleviating the suffering of the affected population. The public will be duly updated on emerging issues relating to this unfortunate disaster.

For More Enquiries:
Directorate of Communications National Disaster Management Agency Contact: +23278388946
Email: mohamedlbah@ndma.gov.sl

At COP26 World Leaders Summit, President Bio Makes A Strong Case For Sierra Leone.

 

His Excellency President Brig. Julius Maada Bio is among the 120 World leaders in Glasgow for COP26. During the official opening courtesies, President Bio met a number of world leaders including the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, European Commission President, Madam Ursula Von Der Leyen and a host of Presidents from the African Continent.

 

Preside Julius Maada Bio made a strong case for Sierra Leone at COP26 world leaders summit on United Nations Climate Change and the opportunities for Sierra Leone to access climate finance for climate adaptation and resilience.

Sierra Leone is one of the 3 Countries on the Continent of Africa accorded the honor to construct a pavilion at the COP26 village in Glasgow, Scotland.

Deputy Minister Of Foreign Affairs Meets with EU Elections Observer Mission

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown, 28th October, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara has met with the European Union Elections Observer delegation who are in Sierra Leone to follow- up on the gains made in the implementation of the EU recommendations after the 2018 General Elections.

The team was welcomed by the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Prince E.O Cole, who commended the delegation for their commitment in promoting peace and security in the region.

Presenting the delegation to the Minister, The EU Ambassador, H.E Manuel Mueller thanked the Government for the strides made in promoting human rights and peace.
The head of the delegation, Norbert Nevser, a member of the European Parliament said they were in Sierra Leone in order to engage the Government and the opposition parties on how the recommendations made after the 2018 General Elections have been implemented so far for building a better electoral system. He said the team has already engaged some state institutions, including the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), and leaders of different political parties in order to see a continuous reform in electoral system in areas of inclusiveness and transparency so that every Sierra Leonean will have confidence in the electoral process. He commended the Government for maintaining peace and promoting national Cohesion.

The Deputy Minister in her remarks thanked the delegation for the professionalism exhibited during the 2018 General elections. She assured the delegation of the Government’s Commitment in implementing the recommendations made in 2018. This she said has been demonstrated by the abolition of the seditious libel law and the death penalty from our constitution. She thanked the European Union for it support to Sierra Leone in areas of Agriculture, Education, peace and security.

The Deputy Minister reaffirmed Government’s willingness to implement and follow all recommendations made in the 2018 general elections as a means of upholding the EU share values.

Deputy Minister meets AU Special Envoy for Women, peace and Security

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tower Hill, Freetown 26th October, 2021. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara has met with Delegation from African Union special envoy for women, peace and security who are on a familiarization tour in commemoration of the 21st anniversary of the United Nations resolution 1325 which is the first UN resolution on women.

Welcoming the delegation, the Deputy Director General for Policy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Sullay-Manah Kpukumu said the Ministry was honoured to engaged with the delegation on what he referred to as a Diplomatic engagement in order to discuss and suggest ways on improving women participation in assuming leadership in our society. He said it was reflecting that the delegation had already engaged with other MDA’s. He assured them of a fruitful stay as they meet with more stakeholders during their visit.

The head of delegation, Amb. Catherine Mogaka, Said Sierra Leone being a member of the Charter of African women’s Network was among the two Countries selected for their fact finding and familiarization tour due to the Country’s commitment in formulating and implementing policies on gender equality and women’s empowerment. She commended Sierra Leone for been part of the 35 member states that have worked towards achieving the resolution 1325.

The Deputy Minister, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara in her succinct statement expressed her appreciation to the delegation for the visit while welcoming them to both the Ministry and Sierra Leone respectively. She said the Government of His. Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has done so much in the empowerment of women and gender equality issues. Referring to President Bio as a “He for She” President, Minister Mamadi Gobeh mentioned the appointment of certain women into key positions.
” The appointment of a woman as Deputy Inspector General of Police, the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the gender and social welfare Ministries and the recruitment of 300 female into the security sector, including the appointment of women as Ambassadors, Deputy Ambassadors and Deputy Ministers, shows how committed President Bio is in the empowerment of women.” She stated.

 

The Deputy Minister also mentioned the formulation of the gender policy acts, the sexual offenses court, and the remarkable effort by the First Lady in the “Hands off our Girls” campaign as benchmarks to show that Sierra Leone is making progress in promoting gender equality and women empowerment.

She thanked the team for their visit while assuring them of the Government’s fullest support on issues dealing with gender and women’s empowerment.

Foreign Affairs Minister Attends AU-EU Ministerial Meeting In Kigali, Rwanda

 

Kigali, Rwanda, 26th October, 2021. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Profession David John Francis is representing Sierra Leone at the 2nd AU -EU Ministerial Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. The meeting aims at promoting partnership for peace, security, Strengthening Governance, migration and mobility, as well as resilient and inclusive development focusing on investing in People.

On the margins of the AU-EU Foreign Ministers Meeting, Professor Francis will hold series of bilateral Meetings with his colleague foreign Ministers. Professor Francis and the Foreign Minister of Rwanda H.E Vincent Biruta had fruitful meeting where they discussed issues relating to strengthening Bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, Agriculture and the mining sector.

 

Professor Francis also signed an MOU with his Counterpart H.E Peter Szijjrato of Hungary on behalf of the Minister of Technical and Higher Education for 50 Scholarships annually for a period of 5 years from the Government of Hungary. The 50 scholarships for qualified Sierra Leoneans will be for BA/BSc, MA/MSC and PHD at universities in Hungary, starting September, 2022.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Lays the Russian -Sierra Leone Visa-Free Agreement In Parliament.

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David John Francis has today, 21st October, 2021, presented to Parliament an agreement between the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Government of the Russian Federation on Visa-free travels for holders of Diplomatic and service passports.

The Memorandum of Understanding which was signed by the Minister and his Counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, during the one day state visit to Moscow will strengthen the already existing relationship both Countries have enjoyed over the years.

When approved by Parliament, the agreement will not only provide practical benefits, but also help in creating a sense of acceptance and inclusion, maintaining a high level of bilateral support, offers access to knowledge, exchange of experiences and directly shapes Cooperation in all segments.

Sierra Leone Emerges As Sole Candidate For West Africa For Un Security Council Seat Bid – 2024-2025

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis represented Sierra Leone at the 39th AU Executive Council Meeting organized by the African Union and held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from the 14th to the 17th October, 2021. Professor David Francis updated his colleague Foreign Ministers of the African Union that Sierra Leone’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat bid in the Non-Permanent Category for 2024-2025 was in principle, endorsed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Council of Ministers & Summit of Heads of States in Accra, Ghana in June 2021. Professor Francis also used the platform at the 39th Executive Council Meeting to formally present Sierra Leone’s UNSC seat bid in the Non-Permanent Category for 2024-2025 consideration and endorsement by the African Union.  As a show of solidarity and reciprocity, the Federal Republic of Nigeria withdrew its Candidature in favour of the Republic of Sierra Leone. In 2010, Sierra Leone also withdrew its candidature in favour of Nigeria. The Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone thanked Nigeria for their show of support for common solidarity to promote smaller states on the world stage. He profoundly thanked His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Foreign Minister of Nigeria for their magnanimity. 

In another engagement, the Minister of Foreign and International Cooperation, Professor David Francis has represented His Excellency President Bio at the 3rd mid-year Coordination Meeting of the African Union Heads of States and Governments. The Meeting focused on the status of Regional Integration in Africa; Division of Labour between the Member States, African Union Commission and the Regional Economic Communities; Covid-19 Pandemic in Africa and Provisional Appointment of the Chief Executive Office of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).    

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