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.