By Hawanatu Conteh in Kuwait City :
Ahead of this year’s Third African-Arab Conference scheduled from November 19th to the 20th this year which His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma will attend as Special Guest of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the National Publicity and Outreach Coordinator in the Office of Government Spokesman, Abdulai Bayraytay has told journalists, including the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Kuwait Times, the Arab Times and the Al-Watan newspapers, among several others, that the theme of this year’s conference, “partners in development and investment” clearly resonated with President Koroma’s “agenda for prosperity”.
Speaking immediately after a press conference addressed by the Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister who doubles as Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah at the Al Raya Ballroom, the Courtyard Hotel Marriott in Kuwait city Saturday, November 16, 2013, Bayraytay stated that Sierra Leone enjoys the advantage of not only being among one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but that the economic environment is such that investors would not have to go through any rigorous red tape bureaucracy since within twenty-four hours they should be able to register with the Administrator General.
According to the National Publicity and Outreach Coordinator, President Koroma has on several occasions indicated that he would govern the country like a business and has therefore controlled inflation to the satisfaction of international monetary institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. Bayraytay further stated that Sierra Leone has a lot of natural resources such as aluminum and platinum, one of the world’s largest producer of titanium, as well as the country being very active in the fields of fishing and agriculture and produced coffee, cocoa, and ginger.
He recalled the recent commitment of President Koroma during the opening ceremony of a consultative dialogue on setting the vision for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation in promoting Agriculture, Fisheries and Industrial Development in Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Hotel at Aberdeen Village as a further demonstration of the President’s determination to setting the agenda of diversifying our education
that would be a driving force for foreign investments that would utilize the huge investment potential the country could offer.
The outspoken National Publicity and Outreach Coordinator Bayraytay assured his audience that Sierra Leone is presently enjoying some unprecedented security as demonstrated in the last national elections which went on without any incident amidst some skepticism by detractors. This, Bayraytay went on, was largely as a result President Koroma’s commitment to uphold the rule of law, respect for democratic institutions, respect for minority views and openness in the governance of the country and the robust fight against corruption. “Today, Sierra Leone is participating in international peace keeping missions not just because we have peace in Sierra Leone, but also because of the intrinsic belief that Africa is geopolitically connected and that peace and tranquility are fine prerequisites for any buoyant economic development on the continent”, Bayraytay acknowledged.
Speaking on the bilateral cooperation between Kuwait and Sierra Leone, Bayraytay stated that the two countries have many common factors and that the push towards further cooperation like investments would be able to provide employment opportunities for particularly the youth who are at the heart of President Koroma’s “agenda for prosperity”, adding that Sierra Leone is currently effectively managing its natural resources with a view to transform these resources into tangible wealth. “This is exactly President Koroma’s vision towards making Sierra Leone a middle income country by 2035, Bayraytay emphasised.
The National Publicity and Outreach coordinator paid tribute to the long lasting bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and Kuwait by recalling President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s visit to the Kingdom in 2010 in which he held bilateral talks with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah that bordered on cooperation between the two countries and issues of mutual interest, with particular focus on further developing political and economic ties.
It could be recalled that Kuwait has in the recent past provided support to Sierra Leone in the
fields of education, infrastructure, economy, and Islamic awareness. It could be recalled that Sierra Leone is one of the countries that sent forces to take part in the coalition that liberated Kuwait from the Iraqi occupation in 1991.