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.