By Sanpha Sesay, The Texas Chief
At a ceremony held in the City Hall of Dallas, Texas, USA on April 1st, diplomats, business people, members of different chambers of commerce, and a large contingent of Sierra Leoneans, were all present in the dedication of the Sierra Leone National flag by His Excellency, Mr. Bockari Korto Stevens to the City of Dallas, in Texas. It was the first time Sierra Leone National flag was flown atop of the city of Dallas. (Photo: H.E.Ambassador Stevens & Honorary Consul General Mr. Patrick Jackson)
The occasion was marked as part of the inauguration of the newly appointed Consul General, Mr. Patrick Jackson. He took the oath of office as Honorary Consul General serving the state of Texas and the surrounding states on November 2015 at the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington, DC.
His Excellency, Ambassador Stevens made an appreciated speech to the city of Dallas for what he described as an impressive ceremony to inaugurate the newly appointed Honorary Consul General. He underlined how the already excellent relationship between Sierra Leone and the USA can develop further with the help of a devoted and influential honorary consul general, Mr. Patrick Jackson.
H.E.Ambassador Stevens & Honorary Consul General Mr. Patrick Jackson
Ambassador Stevens pointed out that Sierra Leone’s great wealth is in its natural resources, adding that it is now an ultimate environment for entrepreneurs to do businesses in his country either in on a small or large scale. Sierra Leone has an extremely fertile land that enables us to produce an impressive number of food products and has rich waters that are promising for the fishing sector opportunities, and considerably a potential for mining of different minerals, the ambassador informed business people. He enumerated the country’s principal growth sectors which are in agriculture, fisheries, forestry, palm oil, cocoa, coffee, and rice; all are good areas for investment by any determined business person, he said.
Patrick Jackson & fellow Consulate Generals
In light of Sierra Leone’s new strategies for investment, Ambassador Steven explains the protocol and the contented way of applying for business licensing which he said, it used to be months in process, but it is now taking just few days to complete a business licensing process for any investor.
In his remarks at the inauguration, Honorary Consul General Mr. Patrick Jackson expressed his appreciation to Ambassador Stevens upon his appointment and his warm personal regards to the organizers of his grand inauguration. He acknowledged the presence of his fellow Consul Generals and other diplomats who flew from other parts of the States saying that their presence was an underscoring of the value that Sierra Leone and the United States relationship is congenial.
Mr. Jackson vowed that, being a dual citizen of Sierra Leone and the USA, he has the obligation to perform the duties not limited to, enhancing bilateral relations in trade, economy and culture between Texas and Sierra Leone. He reaffirmed his commitment to do more than before to in contribute enormously to the president’s agenda for prosperity.
The Jackson family
It was an amazing weekend for the Honorary Consul Jackson, one that will live on in the hearts and minds of the Sierra Leone community not just for the immensity of Mr. Jackson’s inaugural accomplishment, but for the fact that the city of Dallas took the whole lot of it to honor him.
In the presence of Ambassador Stevens, the Association of Sierra Leonean Organizations in Texas (ASLOT) in collaboration with Mr. Jackson’s Church community jointly organized a jubilee and Thanksgiving service on the following day, April 2nd at the Redeemed Church of God in the city of Garland. The support which ASLOT gave to Mr. Jackson was not just a lip service; it was clearly demonstrated in action, words and presentation. Lead by the President, Mr. Reuben Ndomahina, ASLOT conferred on Honorable Patrick Jackson a plaque for what the Executive members of that organization described as, faithful, conscientious, and valuable service to the community.
At the end of the thanksgiving service, many people I interviewed told me that the new Honorary Consul General deserves the esteem and admiration of his communities, ranges from Krio Descendent Union (KDU), ASLOT, the All People’s congress Social and Cultural (APC-SC) and the West African Chamber of Commerce. Business people and community leaders greatly commended Mr. Jackson for the love he has for his country. He stands as shining example of the American way, a member of the City of Dallas told me. Mr. Jackson assumed office since the day he took an oath of office in Washington.