Meet Siray Timbo, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador Designate to the UAE

 By Alhaji M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States :

His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has appointed many
Sierra Leoneans from various walks of life to high-profile positions
in his administration since he assumed power in September 2007. But
one of his recent appointments that resonate with his Agenda for
Prosperity is that of the Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates
(UAE), Architect (Arc.) Siray Alpha Timbo, who has been the Special
Envoy of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
to the UAE, GCC and the Middle East from 2009 to date.

SIRAYTIMBO

Mr. Timbo’s diplomatic finesse in carrying out the diplomatic
assignment may have culminated in his promotion to the mainstream of
the diplomatic world. Mr. Timbo is currently the Chairman of the
Presidential Implementation Committee on Investment and Development
(PICID) in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) and Middle East. He has
been collaborating with our Mission and other concerned Sierra Leone
Embassies in matters relating to Trade, Investment, Tourism, Economic
and Industrial Development within the G.C.C. and the Middle East.

Well, the UAE has been accredited to our Mission in Riyadh and will be
until Mr. Timbo assumes office as the first Sierra Leone resident
Ambassador to that oil-rich nation. His appointment is in accordance
with Section 153 (2) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991 (Act.
No. 6 of 1991), subject to the approval of parliament.

Who Is Arc. Siray A. Timbo?

Born in the Bombali District, Northern Province on the Ides of March
1959, Siray Alpha Timbo attended the prestigious St. Francis Secondary
School in the Northern city of Makeni and completed his secondary
education with distinction and secured a government scholarship to
pursue Architectural studies in Europe. The soft-spoken architect
graduated with Master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from
the University of Bucharest in 1986. The illustrious son of the soil
with a pang of patriotism promptly returned to his home country,
Sierra Leone to prove his mantle by contributing to national
development.

Timbo’s urge to acquire a second construction experience swayed him to
take up employment as a contractor’s architect at the International
Construction Company (ICC), one of the leading construction
engineering firms in Sierra Leone. At ICC, the renowned architect
designed and supervised several projects, including the Presidential
Lodge, Wilberforce Military Barracks, Lebanese School – all in the
capital, Freetown – and several residential houses in Sierra Leone and
Lebanon.

The newly appointed Ambassador to the UAE has, under his own baby –
IDEAS Limited – provided consulting services for projects financed by
the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), African
Development Bank (AfDB), UNOPS, BADEA, Islamic Development Bank and
the European Union.

Some internationally funded projects Arc. Siray Timbo has either
designed and/or successfully managed their implementation, include,
the specialist hospital for the War Wounded at Goderich in the Western
Rural District (funded by an NGO : Emergency and UNDP), the complete
design/master plan of phase 1 of the Sierra Leone War Crimes Tribunal
(UN- funded), proposals for upgradement of Kenema Government Hospital
of referral facility (BADEA financed), designed and supervised the
animation and Educational Resource Centre in Sierra Leone (AFDB
financed), and the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) Regional
offices (EU financed).

After a seven-year stint at ICC, Arc. Timbo resigned and took up a
directorship position at IDEAS Ltd., a position he still holds in
addition to his former appointment as Chairman and Commissioner of
National Telecommunication Commission (NATCOM). As Chair and
Commissioner of NATCOM, Arc. Timbo embarked on restructuring the
commission in terms of personnel, focus and policy direction. Chairman
Timbo and six additional commissioners collectively advised the
president on matters of telecommunications, television and wireless
broadcasting services. Several workshops were held, all aimed at
putting together a comprehensive strategy for Universal Access, the
drafting of regulations to regulate the industry, amending the
Telecoms Act to bring it in line with the ECOWAS Supplementary Acts
and dealing with Spectrum Management, Interconnection and tariff
regulation issues.

To encourage frequent interactions and consultations with the
industry, Chairman Timbo initiated quarterly interactive sessions with
operations and service providers. In this regard, he held two such
sessions that were to all intent and purpose successful and
productive.

Another immense and timely initiative of the Chairman was the
establishment of the consumer parliament by the Commission as a forum
for consumers to come face to face with their operators and regulator
to address their concerns and put to rest their fears. Besides,
Chairman Timbo opened bilateral relations with sister regulators in
the region, including the NCC of Nigeria, ARTP of Senegal, LTA of
Liberia, PURA of the Gambia and NCA of Ghana. He also established ties
with multilateral organizations including but not limited to the ITU,
USTTI, ATU, CTO, ORASCOM and WATRA.

Diplomatic and Business Positions

On the diplomatic front, Mr. Timbo was appointed as Special Envoy of
His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the
UAE, GCC and the Middle East in 2009, a position he holds to date. As
a certified Project Management Specialist registered with the
Association of Project Management (APM) United Kingdom and the
Association of Home Builders (United States of America), Arc Siray
Timbo was appointed Director/Founder of IDEAS limited (Architects,
Engineers and Development Consultants) in 1992 and he still occupies
more coveted positions. He served as Chairman/Commissioner of NATCOM
from 2008 to 2013.

The new Ambassador’s other engagements include, Consultant Architect
to National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) from 2002 to
date, and Consultant Architect/Director, Sierra Leone Teachers Union
(SLTU) from 1999 to date.

Timbo is a versatile Architect that belongs to many professional
bodies. For instance, the quintessential gentleman is a member of the
following professional bodies: Sierra Leone Institute of Architects
(SLIA), Sierra Leone Architects’ Registration Council, Association of
Project Management (APM), United Kingdom, and Association of Home
Builders (AHB) in the United States of America. Timbo has widely
traveled within Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Americas. He is
married and has three children and is a devout Muslim.

One of the local tabloids in Sierra Leone recently reacted to his
appointment in a way befitting the diplomat. It states: “The timing
of the appointment is very appropriate. From his track record, Siray
Timbo is certainly the right man in the right place everybody agrees.
Honest, modest, humble, friendly and generous. The new
Ambassador-designate will succeed in selling a positive image of
Sierra Leone in his mission to the United Arab Emirates and far beyond
the Middle East.”

The tabloid described Arc Timbo as “a born diplomat, registrar and
peace maker. He is a man of few words who believes in action and
architectural precision in most of his endeavours”.

With such compliment coming from a very critical paper, it is certain
that President Koroma has got his man for the right diplomatic job in
the UAE and even beyond. I personally wish the Ambassador designate a
very pleasant and successful diplomatic mission in the UAE.

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