The Political Director for Serbia pays courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

The Political Director, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, His Excellency, Ambassador Zoran Vujic; last Friday ( 16 Feb., 2018) paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Kaifala Marrah at his Tower Hill office in Freetown.

According to Ambassador Zoran Vujic, his visit to Sierra Leone was to enhance and strengthen the bilateral relationship between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Sierra Leone. He further informed the Minister that draft copies of the MOU on Technical Cooperation between both countries will be presented to the Minister of Foreign affairs and international Cooperation after the March 7, 2018 general elections.

Dr. Kaifala Marrah welcomed the Political Director for the Republic of Serbia to the Republic of Sierra Leone and assured him of the full support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs both at bilateral and multilateral levels.

Some of the issues discussed during the meeting focused on building the bilateral relations, technical cooperation in areas of common interest, as well as the people to people relations between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Present at the ceremony were: the Director General and Ambassador at Large, Ambassador Kadijatu Bassir; the Deputy Director General for Operations, Mr. Paul S. Minah; the Acting Director for Europe, Mr. Mohamed Dumbuya; and the Director of Protocol of the Ministry.

ECOWAS POWER POOL DELEGATION UPDATES FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY

A delegation of senior officials from ECOWAS Electricity Power Pool project led by the ECOWAS Commissioner, Energy and Mines, Dr. Morlaye Bangoura today paid a courtesy call on the Director General and Ambassador-At Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Khadijatu Basirr at her Tower Hill office, Freetown.

The purpose of their visit, Dr. Morlaye Bangoura disclosed, is to reaffirm ECOWAS Commission’s commitment in promoting and developing infrastructure for power generation and transmission, as well as, to assure the coordination of electric power exchanges between ECOWAS Member States. Sierra Leone’s Foreign Ministry Dr. Bangoura said, is playing a pivotal role in actualising this sub-regional objective, underscoring that access to energy is crucial to enable economic opportunities and ensure access to basic services. This he maintained, is in line with ECOWAS Vision 2020 that is aimed at setting a clear direction and goal to significantly raise the standard of living of the people through conscious and inclusive programmes that will guarantee a bright future for West Africa and -shape the destiny of the region for many years to come.

The ECOWAS Commissioner, Energy and Mines lamented that the delay in the implementation of the sub-regional power Interconnector was due to several challenges including the Ebola scourge in the sub-region.

The ECOWAS Secretary General ECOWAS Power Pool, gave a brief overview on the current status on the implementation of the sub-regional power Interconnector project and highlighted key areas that have been implemented thus far with funds provided for emergency energy supply in the country.

Welcoming the ECOWAS Electricity Power Pool delegation on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Director General and Ambassador-At Large, Ambassador Khadijatu Basirr, expressed profound thanks and appreciation for the ECOWAS humanitarian, financial and social assistance in the aftermath of the devastating mudslide on August 14, 2017 and the personal visits by various Heads of State including the ECOWAS Chairman, His Excellency Faure Gnessingbe Eyadema and the President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Marcel A. De Souza.

The Director General and Ambassador-At-Large of the Foreign Ministry underscored the significance of the Electricity Power Pool Project in the actualization of the ECOWAS Vision 2020; in enhancing a borderless community of people through economic, political, social, cultural integration and prosperity. She further reiterated the pivotal role of the ECOWAS electricity project to the economic development of Sierra Leone which is in line with the government’s Agenda for Prosperity.

Amb. Khadijatu Basirr appealed to the ECOWAS power pool delegation for the speedy conclusion of the final phase of the construction of the Lungi Logistics Depot and the deployment of staff to commence operations. ‘Let me also extend my sincere thanks and appreciation for the unanimous election of Sierra Leone to  the position of Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission for a term of four years during the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers held in Lome Togo in 2017’, she concluded.

The Director of Energy in Sierra Leone, Engineer Benjamin Kamara also made meaningful inputs with regards the updates on the present status of the ECOWAS power pool.

Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs to Visit Sierra Leone

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of the Republic of Lebanon, His Excellency Gebran Bassil, is expected to arrive in Sierra Leone on Sunday 4 February, 2018, for a two day visit in the country.

His Excellency Gebran Bassil, will be accompanied by a fourteen-man delegation including Lebanese government officials and the press.

According to the Lebanese Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Amb. Ms. Brigitta AI Ojeil, the aim of the visit is to further broaden and deepen the bilateral relations between the Republic of Lebanon and the Republic of Sierra Leone. She further disclosed that the Lebanese Foreign Minister will interact with the Lebanese Community and members of the diplomatic and consular corps in a dinner on Sunday 4 February, 2018. On Monday, 5 February, the Lebanese Foreign Minister will pay courtesy calls on the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Mohamed Gibril Sesay and thereafter, the Honourable Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Amb. Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh, she added.

‘His Excellency Gebran Bassil is expected to visit the Lebanese International School and the Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture of Sierra Leone before his departure to Monrovia, Liberia, Ambassador Ms Brigitta AI Ojeil concluded.

CHINESE ASSISTANT FOREIGN MINISTER PAYS COURTESY CALL ON DR. KAIFALA MARAH.

The Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, His Excellency CHEN Xiaodong accompanied by the Chinese Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Wu Peng and top officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, today paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Kaifala Marah at his Tower Hill office in Freetown.

Welcoming the Chinese Foreign envoy and entourage to the Ministry, Dr. Kaifala Marah underscored the significance of the visit of the Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister to the Republic of Sierra Leone, which is aimed at broadening and deepening the existing bilateral relations between the two countries. Dr. Marah lauded the contributions of the Chinese government in enhancing the socio-economic development of the country, particularly, following the official visit of His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to China in 2016. He further dilated on the long standing bilateral relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Sierra Leone spanning a period of 47 years. Dr. Kaifala Marah expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to the Chinese government for their support and assistance to the Republic of Sierra Leone during the Ebola scourge in 2014-2015 and the mudslide and flood disaster that struck Freetown on August 14, 2017.

The Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, His Excellency CHEN Xiaodong on behalf of the government and people of China extended sincere fraternal greetings and best wishes to the government and people of Sierra Leone, while congratulating Dr. Kaifala Marah for his recent appointment as Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. ‘‘I am here to further broaden and deepen the existing bilateral relations and to affirm our commitment to agreements reached between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Sierra Leone’’,  His Excellency CHEN Xiaodong concluded.

The two Foreign Ministers discussed several issues aimed at enhancing the existing bilateral relations and furthering cooperation on multilateral issues including the reforms of the UN Security Council and FOCAC, with the Republic of Sierra Leone. They further emphasised the need to cooperate on issues of common interest, particularly on economic development. They underscored the significance of broadening their engagements and scaling up cooperation in areas such as Agriculture, Infrastructure and education.

A MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCES SENT BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Kaifala Marah has today signed the book of condolence at the Embassy of the Republic of The Gambia following the death of His Excellency Ingram Reginald Olufemi Peters, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Republic of The Gambia to the Republic of Sierra Leone, on Sunday 21 January, 2018.

Dr. Kaifala Marah in his special condolence message to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Mr. Ousainou Darboe, on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Sierra Leone, expressed deep shock and sense of loss upon receipt of the news of the death of His Excellency Ingram Reginald Olufemi Peters.

‘Let me, on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Sierra Leone and my own behalf, extend deepest condolences through you to the Government and people of the Republic of The Gambia, especially to members of the bereaved family for this great loss’, the statement concludes.

It could be recalled that His Excellency Ingram Reginald Olufemi Peters on September 5, 2017 presented copies of his Letters of Credence to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation following his appointment by President Adama Barrow. He subsequently presented his Letters of Credence to His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on the October 5, 2017 at State House.

FOREIGN ENVOYS PAY COURTESY CALL ON THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

With a view to enhancing and deepening the existing partnerships and bilateral relations between their respective countries and the government and people of Sierra Leone, eight foreign envoys including the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Amb. Guy Warrington; the Ambassador of the Republic of the Gambia, Ambassador Femi Peters; the Honourary Consul of the Republic of Serbia and Dean of the Consular Corps, Dr. Adonis Aboud; the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada; the Ambassador of Republic of Liberia, Amb. Musu Jatu Ruhle; the Ambassador of the Republic of Lebanon, Amb. Brigitta Al Ojeil; the Honourary Consul of the Republic of Malaysia, Khalil Lakiss; the Honourary Consul of the Republic of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; and the Charge D’ Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nadali Heydari, have paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Kaifala Marah at his Tower Hill office in Freetown.

The foreign envoys, during their separate meetings with Dr. Kaifala Marah, discussed several issues aimed at enhancing the existing bilateral relations and furthering cooperation on multilateral issues with the Republic of Sierra Leone. They further emphasised the need to cooperate on issues of common interest, particularly on the current spate of migration affecting developing nations such as Sierra Leone, and economic development. They underscored the significance of broadening their engagements and scaling up cooperation in areas such as Agriculture, education and Good Governance. The current electoral climate and cycle in the country was also discussed within the context of bilateral relations, underlining the common interests in developing political, cultural and economic relations as well as the interpersonal relations between the eight countries and Sierra Leone.

The foreign envoys further underscored their governments’ commitment to continue to provide assistance and support to Sierra Leone. They concluded by extending fraternal salutations and congratulatory messages from the government and people of their respective countries to the government and people of Sierra Leone.

Dr. Kaifala Marah welcomed the foreign envoys to the Ministry and assured them of the full support and cooperation of the Ministry both at bilateral and multilateral levels. The Minster also assured the foreign envoys of government’s commitment in ensuring a free, fair and credible election on March 7, this year. He lauded the support of the various countries that have in diverse ways made financial and material contributions since the commencement of the electoral cycle.

Present at the meeting were: the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, the Deputy Director General for policy and operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the Deputy Director of Protocol of the Ministry.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation attends Migration Meeting in Rabat

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Kaifala Marah has joined other African Foreign Ministers in Rabat, Morocco to participate in a meeting convened to discuss issues affecting Africa with regards to Migration within and out of the continent.

The Committee on Migration Issues in Africa was set up during the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in June 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Heads of State and Government Committee on Migration is headed by the King of Morocco, His Majesty Mohammed VI.

The meeting of all African Ministers of Foreign Affairs started on Monday 8 January and would end on Tuesday 9 January 2018. The African Foreign Ministers are expected to make meaningful contributions or input to enrich the preliminary draft of the African Agenda on Migration, which will be presented to the Assembly of the AU during the January, 2018 Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Kaifala Marah, his decision to participate in this all important meeting is to contribute to the ongoing discussions on migration with a view to reaching sustainable solutions to the issue, which has been making its way steadily to the top of the continental and international agenda. This agenda, he maintained, calls for the urgent attention of governments, whatever the nature of their involvement or interest, in the management of the migratory processes. ‘‘There is  need for a comprehensive and balanced approach to migration taking into account migration realities and trends as well as linkages between migration and other key economic, social, political and humanitarian issues-Sierra Leone not being an exemption’’, he concluded.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation was accompanied by the Director of the Economic and Technical Cooperation Division of the Ministry, Mr. Obai Taylor-Kamara.

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation presents AWOL Awards to outgone Minister

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Kaifala Marah has presented the All Walks Of Life (AWOL) prestigious award of ‘Best Ministry of the Year 2017’  to the outgone Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara at a press conference held at the Ministry’s conference Hall, Tower Hill, Freetown.

In his brief statement before officially handing over the award to the outgone Minister, Dr. Marah gave a brief overview of the introduction of performance contracts in 2014 by His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma that set in motion the process of enhancing and operational mandates in various MDAs. It is against this background that the Ministry was among the five best performing Ministries based on the outcome of the Ministry’s Performance Contract Assessment Report for 2016/17 (Performance Tracking Table – PTT) in the country. Dr. Kaifala Marah lauded the relentless efforts of Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, during whose tenure the Ministry developed and articulated, for the first time ever, a comprehensive strategy to guide and re-invigorate the national approach to foreign policy and international cooperation in a rapidly changing global environment. ‘The selection of the Ministry for the National Achievements Awards 2017 as the ‘Best Ministry’ clearly manifests the dynamic and professional leadership demonstrated by Dr. Samaura M.W. Kamara, Dr. Marah added. ‘I therefore have the honour to officially dedicate the AWOL 2017 Best Ministry trophy to you in recognition of your strong leadership’, Dr. Marah concluded.

In his acceptance statement upon receipt of the ‘Best Ministry Award 2017’, the outgone Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and now the APC Presidential candidate, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara stated that he was incredibly honoured to accept the award on behalf of the hard-working and dedicated men and women of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. ‘I am extremely grateful for this extraordinary recognition’, he added.

Dr. Samura Kamara maintained that during his tenure, he endeavoured to introduce reforms in the Ministry through the establishment of Embassies and Consulates abroad in strategic geographical locations to promote Sierra Leone’s interest which subsequently makes our country a force to reckon with in the international community.

The approach to achieve the Ministry’s mandate, he reiterated, was the introduction of the Sierra Leone Foreign Service Transformation Strategy 2014-2018 (SLFSTS). This strategy shifted our focus on the traditional diplomatic practice and also scaled up economic diplomacy, which puts poverty and human development at the heart of the Government of Sierra Leone’s agenda for international cooperation and engagement.

‘‘Although within my tenure the Ministry encountered several shortcomings, however, with the support of the professional staff of the Ministry we were able to overcome these challenges’’, he added. Dr. Samura Kamara furthered that the human resource base of the Ministry has increased not only in numbers but with specialized personnel who can deal with the exigencies of diplomacy through the use of modern technological facilities.

He called on the staff of the Ministry at headquarters and abroad to continue to work together, to nurture and support each other.

Concluding, Dr. Samura Kamara implored his successor, Dr. Kaifala Marah and staff to build on these achievements; be innovative in managing Sierra Leone’s external relations, actively seek new ideas, and open up new prospects for Sierra Leone’s Diplomatic and International Cooperation. He dedicated the award to the Senior Management and Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and their diplomatic partners.

The welcome statement was delivered by the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Khadijatu Basirr, and the vote of thanks was delivered by the Deputy Director General for Policy, Dr. Michael Kargbo.

Questions and answers by journalists present formed part of the ceremony.

FOREIGN ENVOYS PAY COURTESY CALL ON THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Five Foreign Envoys including the Head of Delegation of the European Union, Amb. Tom Vens; the Honourary Consul of the Arab Republic of Syria, Hussein Jawad; Charge D’ Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nadali Heydari; Charge D’ Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Xinming; and the Honourary Consul of India, Harish Agnani; have paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Kaifala Marah at his Tower Hill office in Freetown.

According to the foreign envoys during their separate meetings with the Minister, their visit to the newly appointed Minister is to enhance and deepen the existing partnerships and bilateral relations between their respective countries and the Republic of Sierra Leone. They extended fraternal salutations and congratulatory messages from their Government and people of their respectively countries to the Government and people of Sierra Leone.

The foreign envoys underscored their Governments’ continuous assistance and support to Sierra Leone. The current electoral climate in the country was discussed within the perspectives of bilateral and multilateral relations, underlining the common interests in developing political, cultural and economic relations, as well as the interpersonal relations between the EU, the Arab Republic of Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the People’s Republic of China, India and Sierra Leone.

Dr. Kaifala Marah welcomed the foreign envoys to the Ministry and assured them of the full support of the Ministry both at bilateral and multilateral levels.

Present at the ceremony were: the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, the Deputy Director General for policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the Deputy Director of Protocol of the Ministry.

 

Dr. Kailfala Marah formally assumes office of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

The newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Kailfala Marah has today officially met with senior management staff of the Ministry in the Directors’ Conference Room, Tower Hill, Freetown.

In her welcome address, the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Amb. Khadijatu Basirr on behalf of the Ministry, congratulated the Minister for his appointment and extended a warm welcome to him on behalf of colleagues in the Ministry.

The Director General and Ambassador-at-Large expressed delight over Dr. Marah’s new assignment to the Ministry which she described as a crucial moment in the Ministry’s transformation process. Amb. Khadijatu Basirr underscored that staff of the Ministry hope to benefit immensely from the expertise and wealth of experience of the newly appointed Minister to enhance and project the new foreign relations outlook – Economic and Public Diplomacy. The new outlook she further explained represents the scaling up of the Ministry’s engagement with its partners. She emphasised that trade and investment, and image cultivation which are part of this new foreign outlook, are in line with the national development blueprint: The Agenda for Prosperity. The Director General and Ambassador-at-Large highlighted some of the major challenges in ensuring the successful execution of the Ministry’s new mandate, which include the required financial resources to implement planned programmes. She noted that with concerted efforts and unwavering political will, the Ministry succeeded in creating the much needed impact and difference in its foreign engagements. Ambassador Khadijatu Basirr assured the Minister of the Management Staff’s utmost cooperation and support to ensure a successful tenure of office. The Director General and Ambassador-at-Large presented a copy of the first ever Sierra Leone Foreign Service Transformation Strategy (SLFSTS) 2014-2018 to Dr. Kaifala Marah.

The newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Kailfala Marah expressed thanks and appreciation to the Management and staff of the Ministry for the warm reception accorded him. Dr. Marah further thanked His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for the confidence bestowed on him to the stir the ship of the Foreign Ministry, noting that this is another experience added to his career. His role in the Ministry he said, is to coordinate and/or facilitate the process of attaining the objects of the SLFSTS (2014-2018). He therefore called on staff of the Ministry to work towards the accomplishment of key deliverables in the transformation strategy through collaboration, effective communication and coordination considering the implementation timeframe. Dr. Marah lauded the effort of the outgoing Minister, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara for laying the solid foundation for the implementation of the transformation strategy and therefore called on the various Divisional Directors to evaluate the current strategy with a view to mapping the way forward for the roll-out of a successor five year strategy.

The vote of thanks was delivered by the Director of the Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTEC) Division, Mr. Obai Taylor-Kamara.

Present were: the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large; Deputy Directors General for Operations and Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; the Assistant Director General for Policy and Technical Cooperation,  Directors of various Divisions and Heads of Sections of the Ministry.