Titus Boye-Thompson, Communications Expert
The new Secretary General of the Mano River Union, Ambassador Medina Wesseh has been urged by the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, HE Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, to make swift progress in delivering on the mandate given to the Union by the Meeting of the Heads of States and Governments to revive the Union. President Koroma made this request in a closed door meeting with the Secretary General of the MRU attended by Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development at State House, Freetown on Tuesday 9th August 2017.
It should be recalled that in May 2008, the Heads of States and Government of the four countries of the Union namely, Liberia, Guinea, Cote D’Ivoire and Sierra Leone took a decision to revive the Union and accordingly mandated the Mano River Union Secretariat to pursue the revival, growth, socio economic development and integration of the Sub-region within the framework of four pillars viz; institutional revitalization and restructuring with focus on the Union Secretariat and public sector of the member states; peace and security; economic development and regional integration and social development.
Ambassador Medina Wesseh who took up office officially in June this year apprised President Koroma of the work that has already started by the Union Secretariat including the preparation of a strategic plan that has been prepared to deal with all the issues related to the pillars identified by the Heads of States and Governments. Ambassador Wesseh who came to the post of Secretary General of the Mano River Union hails from Liberia. She is a lawyer by profession, a lead partner in an international law firm in Monrovia and was until she joined the MRU, worked as a Senior Executive Assistant to Her Excellency President Eileen Johnson Sirleaf and Director General of the Cabinet of the Republic of Liberia. She is a seasoned community development activist and has held several high profile positions in the public service and the NGO sector in Liberia.
This meeting with the new Secretary General at State House comes at the heel of another very important guest who was last hosted by President Ernst Bai Koroma in the person of President Alassane Ouattara of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire. It is expected that the two leaders engaged on their renewed commitment to see the Mano River Union succeed and for the measures already adopted to undertake that task is put into full operation.
The accession of Cote D’Ivoire to the Mano River Union is significant in maintaining joint peace and security framework within the sub region and to provide for expanded trade and exchanges between the peoples of cross border areas shared by the nations of the Union. The new Secretary General, Ambassador Medina Wesseh has expressed her desire to make a difference to this position by pursuing economic and social integration objectives that would impact on the lives of the citizens of the four countries of the Union. She has already prioritized telecommunications as a key intervention area for the Union and is committed to moving forwards the One Area Network already agreed with the Gateway Managers in the Mano River Union countries. Other areas such as peace, security and social development would accord for key interventions that would create a closer and more impactful Union outcomes for the citizens of the member states.
Amb. Medina Wesseh, Secretary General of the MRU being welcomed by President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House, Freetown 9th August 2017
President Koroma exchanging a print artwork of the famous Cotton Tree, a symbol of the founding of the capital city of Freetown to President Alassane Ouattara of Cote D’Ivoire when the latter paid a two day working visit to Freetown recently