CHINA-SIERRA LEONE DEEPEN BILATERAL RELATIONS

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sierra Leone in 1971, bilateral political relations have been increasingly deepened on the basis of respecting and taking care of each other’s core interests and major concerns.

Today, Saturday August 8, 2015, the Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi paid a courtesy call on His Excellency, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House in Freetown. The visit is part of a tri-nation tour of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to assess the Ebola situation in the three worst-hit countries and hold discussions on ensuring a total eradication of the disease and what role China could play in the post-Ebola recovery of the affected countries.

President Koroma and the Foreign Minister exchanged views on post Ebola recovery as well as Africa’s common position on the reform of the UN Security Council, the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria and the Malian conflict, which are posing serious challenges to peace, security and development in West Africa.

The Foreign Minister expressed China’s continued support to Sierra Leone and commended President Koroma for his effective leadership of the national response against Ebola.

He said the visit is to discuss with the government of Sierra Leone on the specific needs of the country in terms of development and also the need to create the necessary independent development to move the country forward.

Mr. Yi’s visit seeks to focus on five main areas – to strengthen Sierra Leone’s medical and public health infrastructure, establish a West African Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which will be based in Sierra Leone, and send more medical personnel; mining and industrial cooperation to focus on processing of mineral products for value addition; Fishing and agriculture to encourage Chinese fishing companies to invest in Sierra Leone; continue to do more in infrastructural development, for instance, the Mamamah Airport; and promote human resource development by speedily kickstarting the construction of the Youth Village.

China has provided substantial support and assistance to Sierra Leone in the form of tangible infrastructural development, including bridges, government buildings, stadiums and roads.

Currently, China-aided infrastructure projects such as Charlotte, Bankasoka and Makali hydropower stations are legion, and the completed state of the art Regent to Kossoh road project, the Bo stadium and even the Siaka Steven stadium are all examples of over 40 years of fruitful and bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The Youth Village and proposed new airport are landmark projects the Chinese government is helping Sierra Leone to pull off within the shortest possible time.

France – Sierra Leone to strengthen relations

The French Ambassador to Sierra Leone resident in Conakry, Guinea, Jean-Marc Grosgurin, last Thursday 1st June expressed firm commitment to further consolidate bilateral relations with Sierra Leone.
He made the declaration during a courtesy visit to President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House in Freetown. Ambassador Jean-Marc Grosgurin disclosed that he was in the country to explore avenues to enhance cooperation following his second visit to Sierra Leone preceded by meetings with a number of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to identify their areas of interventions.
He informed President Koroma about the proposed joint naval exercise by the French, Sierra Leone and Guinean navies in Conakry where each country will be represented by forty personnel. Ambassador Grosgurin said they are looking at possibilities for the opening of more French companies and businesses in Sierra Leone and that French companies need to diversify their interventions and attract more investment to Sierra Leone.

On diplomatic ties and the consolidation of bilateral relations, the ambassador reported that the French government wholeheartedly welcomed the re-opening of Sierra Leone’s Embassy in Paris, underscoring the significance of strong bilateral relations between the two countries.

President Koroma recalled the fantastic relations between the two countries since independence with ambassadors in both countries. He vividly reflected on the involvement of French experts in the commencement of water projects in the country.

The Head of State informed Ambassador Grosgurin about the warm hospitality tourists were receiving when the country’s tourism was at its peak, adding that Mammy Yoko was run by the French. He therefore welcomed interventions in tourism and diplomacy.
The president also gave a nod to the proposed joint military exercise as security issues were no longer limited to a single state. He stressed the need for cultural exchange between the two countries, saying that government was committed towards making the business environment friendly. He congratulated President Emmanuel Macron on his recent elections victory.

Five new ambassadors present credentials

Five new ambassadors from The Gambia, European Union (EU), Nigeria, United States of America and Liberia presented their letters of credence to His Excellency President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House today, Thursday 5thOctober 2017, to mark the beginning of their diplomatic mission in Sierra Leone.

The President indicated Sierra Leone’s determination to continue to strengthen the economic, social and cultural cooperation with their respective countries. He also assured that Sierra Leone will do everything possible to maintain and deepen the values of participatory democracy, the rule of law and to promote peace, prosperity and security of other countries.

President Koroma also expressed profound appreciation for the timely response of these countries as well as the European Union to the August 14 landslides and flooding. Their messages of condolences and the financial and medical support provided during such trying times, the president said, reinforced their commitment, as longstanding partners in the building of a better Sierra Leone.


President Koroma also expressed profound appreciation for the timely response of these countries as well as the European Union to the August 14 landslides and flooding. Their messages of condolences and the financial and medical support provided during such trying times, the president said, reinforced their commitment, as longstanding partners in the building of a better Sierra Leone.us brewerVirtually expressing similar sentiments in succession, the ambassadors assured of their commitment to increase and further strengthen the constructive relations which exist between Sierra Leone and their home countries.

In his presentation, the EU head of delegation Ambassador Tom VENS assured of EU’s commitment as a long-standing partner to overcome the challenges Sierra Leone is facing. “In a common effort with other partners, as EU we also stand ready to join you in reflections on how Sierra Leone can further develop robust disaster prevention strategies and mitigate risks,” he said.

On her part, the new US Ambassador Maria Elena Brewer expressed similar sentiments, saying that the US will work closely with other international partners to steadfastly support the country as relief attempts transition to what she referred to as “more permanent efforts to assist those displaced from this horrendous event”. She further assured of the United States’ willingness and determination to continue to support efforts at promoting democracy while increasing economic growth and investment, and through their assistance programs, continue to strengthen local governance, public health, agricultural development, responsible mining, food security and education.


High Commissioner of Nigeria Dr Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada commended the giant strides being taken by Sierra Leone under the dynamic leadership of President Koroma, adding that Sierra Leone has witnessed rapid socio-economic and political transformation which has translated into commendable massive infrastructural development. He promised to take Nigeria/Sierra Leone relations to higher heights for the benefit of the peoples of both countries.High Commissioner of The Gambia Ambassador Ingram Reginald Olufemi Peters said that the recent political crisis which hit his country and the role of ECOWAS (of which the two countries are members) as well as the personal role played by President Koroma in resolving the impasse is a living example of symbiotic relationship that has continued to flourish between the two sister countries.


Liberian Ambassador Mrs Musu Jatu Ruhle pledged to work tirelessly, in concert with officials of the Government of Sierra Leone, to further solidify the already excellent relations subsisting between the two countries and peoples. “The natural ties that bind our two peoples transcend the physical boundaries,” she stated. A quarter guard was mounted by a detachment of the 5th Battalion under the 3rdInfantry Brigade of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).