Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Friday 10 November 2023 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio is part of a large number of African Presidents and Heads of State attending the Saudi-Africa Summit, to share his government’s Big Five Gamechangers with global business leaders and Saudi partners.
During his stay in Riyadh, the President is expected to hold bilateral meetings of mutual interest with key institutions relating to his government’s 2023-2028 Big 5 Gamechangers – FEED SALONE, Human Capital Development, Youth Empowerment, Revamping the Public Service Architecture and achieving Sustained Economic Growth through Technology and Infrastructure.
Africa and the Arab world are known to have maintained fruitful exchanges in trade, culture and civilization through people-to-people contact.
Africa-Saudi cooperation, which was initially Hajj-centric, has witnessed significant diversification over the past six decades, covering a number of mutually beneficial areas such as sustainable development, trade, investment, education, health, sports, culture, agriculture, mining and oil and gas.
President Bio, who is visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, is also joining his colleague Heads of State to attend the first Saudi-Africa Summit in the Kingdom’s history.
Other heads of state include Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu; Eritrean President, Isaias Afwerki; Gabonese interim President, Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema; Mauritanian President, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani; Mauritius President, Prithvirajsing Roopun; Malawian President, Lazarus Chakwera; Tanzanian President, Samia Suluhu Hassan; and Nigerien Prime Minister, Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy Musa Kabba, has signed two landmark agreements with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – a Cooperation Agreement to deepen economic relations in areas like agriculture, infrastructure, education, defense, mining, marine resources and energy.
The Minister also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Political Consultation to enable both countries to consult and collaborate as Organisation of Islamic Cooperation members as well as Sierra Leone’s role in global peace and security as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
On the eve of the Summit, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ibrahim Jalloh, who studied in the Kingdom in the 1980s, told the Saudi Ministry of Media that he was keen to see greater cooperation between the two countries in the form of university exchange programmes.
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