Sierra Leone - UAE Joint Working Meeting Opens at Radisson Blu Hotel in Freetown
A two-day joint working group meeting between the Governments of Sierra Leone and the United Arab Emirates, aimed at exploring possible areas of investment between the two countries, has today started at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown.
In his welcome address, Chief Minister of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Professor David John Francis said that the two countries had made tremendous progress and that was the result of the visit; to deliberate and come up with roadmaps to build strong lasting bilateral relationship focusing on economic diplomacy that would change and transform the two countries.
He said that the government of Sierra Leone was committed to develop strong long-lasting bilateral high level strategic partnership between the two countries and expressed hope that the high level visit would provide an opportunity for the joint working group to share ideas and to identity the critical sectors for development.
Director of African Affairs Department at the UAE, Her Excellency Shaikha AlZaabi, said that the two countries were meeting for the second time in Freetown in order to enhance their bilateral relations and through the signing of six agreements and Memorandum of Understanding that would be an evidence of the willingness from the two countries in enhancing diplomatic ties through trade, economic cooperation and shared dialogue.
She said that the UAE praised the strong bilateral relations between the two countries adding that they were pleased with the exchange visits already made which had resulted in discussing ways of cooperation in various fields such as health, education, energy and renewable energy, agriculture, infrastructure, mining and oil and gas.
She also commended Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the UAE, Ambassador Rashid Sesay for his constant contribution and involvement in enhancing the bilateral relations between the two countries.
GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE STATE HOUSE OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY AND PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN PRESS RELEASE:
"President Bio’s agenda will guarantee his legacy and place in history” Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Group Interim President
“We are impressed with your performance just 10 months in Office. So we are ready to support your government” Hafez Ghanem, World Bank vice President for Africa Region
Washington, DC, Tuesday, March 12, 2019 – The World Bank Group has committed US $325 million to increase financial support in Sierra Leone during a meeting held in Washington on Monday 11th March 2019 between His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio and the World Bank Group Interim President Kristalina Georgieva. President Georgieva commended President Bio for his bold economic reforms and added that she recognized the President’s aspiration for the dignity of a nation and standing in the world. She said “President Bio’s agenda will guarantee his legacy and place in history.”
Also commending President Bio, the World Bank Vice President for Africa Region, Hafez Ghanem said “we are impressed with your performance just 10 months in Office. So we are ready to support your government.” The meeting discussed a range of issues from increased World Bank Support to Sierra Leone under IDA-18 (US$ 325m); progress on the new Extended Credit Facility (US$ 172m) under the program with the International Monetary Fund; fiscal consolidation efforts by the Government of Sierra Leone; plans on debt restructuring and arrears clearance (US$ 1.4 billion) and prospects for financing the gap of US$1.5 billion under the country’s new Medium-term National Development Plan (2019–2023).
President Bio expressed appreciation to the World Bank for the support to his new government and Sierra Leone. He stated that the new development paradigm in Sierra Leone has ensured strategic shifts toward (i) Human Capital Development for national development (ii) Science, Technology and Innovation and (iii) greater Private Sector Participation to address the country’s vast infrastructure needs and support its growth prospects. He also spoke about his determination to fight corruption. The meeting included discussions on Sierra Leone’s new Medium-term National Development Plan (2019–2023) and the strategic alignment with the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF).
The meeting concluded with agreements on the following: a World Bank’s support to the energy sector through additional financing for electricity generation, distribution and transmission; a proposed roundtable discussion on Energy in April 2019 during the World Bank/IMF Spring meetings; commitment to rural electrification and solar energy; support to women and girls through women’s empowerment, addressing high maternal mortality, addressing girls education and incentives to keep girls in school and Support to reproductive health services; support to the private sector growth; increased access to internet; increased budgetary assistance and the additional support for social safety nets for vulnerable groups, women, and youth, including people living with disabilities.
The increased financial support to President Bio coinciding with his first year anniversary in office demonstrates the international economic credibility President has restored in Sierra Leone. He inherited a country which the International Monetary Fund had suspended its Extended Credit Facility in 2017 because of economic mismanagement by the previous government. President Bio has also shown sterling leadership by investing in Human Capital Development and earned the confidence of donors and international community. It can be recalled that the World Bank has also recognized Sierra Leone as an “Early Adopter” of the Global Human Capital Development Project because of government’s commitment to human capital development.
Other senior management officials from the World Bank in attendance at the meeting with President Julius Maada Bio were Hafez Ghanem (Vice President for Africa Region), Annette Dixon (Vice President for Human Development), Henry Kerali (Country Director for Sierra Leone) and Gayle Martin (Country Manager for Sierra Leone). High ranking officials from the Government of Sierra Leone included Professor David Francis (Chief Minister), Ambassador Sidique Abou-Bakarr Wai (Sierra Leone Ambassador to the US), Patricia Laverley (Deputy Minister of Finance), Dr Moinina David Sengeh (Director, Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation) and Sahr Jusu (Financial Secretary). The Technical teams on both sides will work together to develop a more robust pipeline of transformative projects to deliver in Sierra Leone.
About the Government of Sierra Leone: https://statehouse.gov.sl/
About the World Bank Group: http://www.worldbank.org/
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 February 2019:
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – Dr. Alie Kabba, has concluded a four-day working visit to the UK, hosted by the Sierra Leone High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland, Mr Tamba Lamina.
The aim of Minister Kabba’s visit was to promote the Sierra Leone Government’s new Foreign Policy orientation of Economic Diplomacy, and his desire to strategically redirect the focus of the London Mission in deepening bilateral cooperation with the Government of the United Kingdom, as well as strengthen Sierra Leone’s multilateral engagement with the Commonwealth.
Sierra Leone needs $500 million of investments in key Economic Sectors, such as Fishery, Tourism, Agriculture, Agro-processing, timber products manufacturing, and Energy, to end its over-reliance on mining exports.
Millions of young people are unemployed and looking up to the almost a year old Government led by President Julius Maada Bio for job opportunities.
The economy suffered a massive blow from the recent Ebola epidemic and global economic downturn, which saw prices of mining exports fell by almost 50%, with an unprecedented impact on government revenue.
Minister Kabba held meetings with the UK Minister of State for Africa – Harriet Baldwin, the Commonwealth Secretary General – Patricia Scotland, and Conservative MP and former UK International Development Minister – Andrew Mitchell, to speak about the core priorities of the New Direction and the Anti-poverty Agenda of the Government of president Julius Maada Bio.
Dr. Kabba drew the attention of the UK Government to the changing priorities on the ground in favour of Trade and Investment, rather than social programmes that have attracted the bulk of UK Aid to Sierra Leone.
The Minister also met with a cross section of Sierra Leone Diaspora community and discussed the positive transformation taking place in Sierra Leone under the New Direction. He spoke about the very important role that Sierra Leoneans living and working in the UK has to play in helping to develop the country.
Also this week, Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland – Mr Tamba Lamina, presented his credentials to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in London.
Addressing a reception held after meeting the Queen, High Commissioner Lamina spoke about the immense changes taking place in Sierra Leone today, and called on Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora to engage with the High Commission to support the Government’s efforts. (Photo: Tamba Lamina meeting the Queen).
Dr. Alie Kabba was also on the BBC Focus On Africa speaking to Hassan Harouni:
Attached is what the Sierra Leone High Commission to the UK and Ireland said:
11 February 2019 - Abu Dhabi
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra, President of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, has promoted the UAE Red Crescent initiatives in Mauritania and Sierra Leone and intensified development programs and projects that meet the desired development needs and support the stability of the people there.
This came during a telephone call by His Highness the head of the delegation of the UAE Red Crescent Authority on the occasion of the opening of a number of development projects implemented by the Commission in both Mauritania and Sierra Leone on the directives of the leadership to improve life and alleviate the suffering of the vulnerable sectors in those countries.
A delegation from the UAE Red Crescent is currently visiting the two countries.
Mr. Fahad Abdulrahman Bin Sultan Deputy Secretary General of Development and International Cooperation in the Red Crescent, briefed HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the efforts exerted to enhance the humanitarian response to the humanitarian issues affecting the population there are still under construction in health, education, water supply and other services. The UAE's initiatives under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, enhance the development and stability of the African continent, he pointed out that the UAE has committed itself to stand by its side and face the consequences of the exceptional circumstances resulting from disasters and crises, through the adoption of humanitarian initiatives and development, which make a difference in the level of necessary services needed by the brothers. The UAE leadership and people are very hopeful about the efforts being undertaken by the UAE Red Crescent Authority to alleviate the human suffering and improve the current situation in the African continent which faces many humanitarian challenges, he said, adding that the coming period will witness the opening of more development projects in a number of African countries. The Red Crescent Authority recently opened a number of development projects in Mauritania, which were carried out by the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, President of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, Honorary President of the UAE Red Crescent, To provide water resources in five Mauritanian states. In addition, Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak projects in Mauritania included the construction of additional annexes in a number of poor families' homes in the village of Al-Liqa in the state of Tararza, as well as the construction of two primary schools for boys and girls and providing them with school supplies, along with a number of other projects that will be completed.
By soon. In Sierra Leone, arrangements are being made for the opening of a number of water supply projects in a number of vulnerable areas of this vital facility
By: Mohamed Massaquoi
The Director General of the Annual Investment Meeting, AIM, Walid Farghal, has engaged business stakeholders in Sierra Leone on the upcoming ninth Annual Investment Meeting scheduled for 8 - 10 April 2019 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UAE, during a meeting held at the Ministry of Development and Planning, Tower Hill in Freetown.
The AIM is the world’s leading platform for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). It is an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy and the largest global investment gathering of corporate leaders, policy makers, businessmen, regional and international investors, entrepreneurs, leading academics and experts showcasing up-to-date information, strategies and knowledge on attracting FDI.
In his opening statement, Sierra Leone Ambassador to the UAE, Rashid Sesay, said the AIM was an annual event that Sierra Leone had participated in over the years but had not benefitted a lot from the event and that was why he had decided to take a new approach, this time round, by bringing the Director General to Sierra Leone to engage government at the highest level.
He said it would be good for Sierra Leone to participate in this year’s forum so that the country could tap into investment potentials being offered by the forum. He reiterated that the AIM was the largest investment forum in the world, adding that it would be beneficial for Sierra Leone to participate and showcase its potential to the world’s leading investors who were ready to invest in Africa.
“Our foreign policy is largely guided by economic diplomacy and as Ambassadors we are charged with the responsibility of pushing that in line with the New Direction. Sierra Leone is an untapped place for investment with very attractive and high potentials, so we stand to benefit from those investors than any other country based on how we market ourselves. We are also working with the organizers in rebranding our country as a destination for investment,” he said.
Chairman of the AIM, Walid Farghal, said the aim of the Annual Investment Meeting was to enhance connectivity between the government and private sector projects with international investors who were participating with the objective of giving full exposure to emerging countries. He added that the forum would provide an opportunity for Sierra Leone to present to the world its business potentials.
He also mentioned that government and the private sector should work as one to be able to attract investment, saying that investment was very important for the country’s economic growth and for job creation. He said during the forum, they could help in organizing meetings with investors around the world for participating countries.
“Our objective is to help other nations to achieve prosperity and to attract more investments, which we have been doing for years now. Our focus is to attract government authorities in terms of investments as well as investors interested to make investment in countries. We also create partnerships with other bodies in other parts of the world,” he said.