By LEEROY WILFRED KABS KANU : Minister Plenipotentiary- Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN :
One thing that makes President Ernest Bai Koroma uniquely different from most of the past leaders of the nation is that he does not stop at anything to position Sierra Leone for sustainable socio-economic and political renaissance. Not the complacent leader who would rest on his oars, President Koroma continues to traverse the globe to continue to rebrand the country at home and abroad to create the stimulus and impetus for continued national development.
President Koroma’s two-prong global approach is not only to strengthen the relations between Sierra Leone and her traditional partners-in -progress and stakeholders but to plough new furrows in the international arena to open Sierra Leone up to more international exposure, trade, commerce and investment. A confident leader who knows the immense potentials his country possesses , President Koroma has always aimed for the best for Sierra Leone, despite the constraints provided by the global economic downturn. He has taken the nation’s interest to the highest levels of international cooperation and partnership.
PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA MEETS THE CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING
Yesterday, President Koroma was hosted by President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China at the Great Hall of The People in Beijing, China. Though the meeting was held behind closed doors, there is no doubt that it will not only boost the bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and China but will strengthen already existing areas of cooperation between the two countries while opening new opportunities for the achievement of better socio-economic and political synergies between the two countries .
Under President Koroma, Sierra Leone is no longer the unknown country that burst into prominence only for the wrong reasons–The devastating and very bloody civil war that tore the nation apart for 11 years.
Sierra Leone is now reckoned as a promising nation with abundant natural and human resources that qualify her as a useful development partner of other nations. Under President Koroma, Sierra Leone is not a pariah state or a failed nation but a country heading for the right direction and a useful participant in the international drive for socio-economic and political renaissance. All over the world and at the United Nations , Sierra Leone is now playing a visible and poignant role in the search for answers to global problems, whether it is climate change, sustainable global economic development, promoting human rights, strengthening the rule of law , finding a cure for AIDS, women’s and children’s issues or negotiations for reform of the organs of the United Nations, including the Security Council and the Economic and Social Commission ( ECOSOC ). When Sierra Leone speaks, other nations listen.
As the President and his party continue to brave the hazards of international travel to showcase Sierra Leone , the benefits will keep coming. Already, there are visible signs that Sierra Leone is on the ascendant in the the development sphere. That was why the Leader of Free World, President Barak OBama recently hosted President Koroma at the White House in Washington DC.
It must be recalled that after that meeting, President Obama made this statement in a press release : “Well, it is a great pleasure to welcome four leaders from Africa, all of whom are doing extraordinary work — President Sall from Senegal, President Banda from Malawi, President Koroma from Sierra Leone, and Prime Minister Neves from Cape Verde. ” There is no true and patriotic citizen of Sierra Leone who was not excited and thrilled when President Obama said : “The reason that I’m meeting with these four is they exemplify the progress that we’re seeing in Africa. All of them have had to deal with some extraordinary challenges. Sierra Leone just 10 years ago was in the midst of as brutal a civil war as we’ve ever seen. And yet, now we’ve seen consecutive fair and free elections. And under President Koroma’s leadership, we’ve seen not only good governance, but also significant economic growth. ” There cannot be any better source for such a grand recognition and acknowledgement of President Koroma’s great performance than the mouth of the Leader of the only superpower of the world, who has an unbending policy not to do business with any president or head of state who is not performing well to improve the welfare of his/ her people. This and all other international recognition of the President’s commitment to good governance and development will bode well for the nation.
Sierra Leone will surely benefit from President Koroma’s gallant efforts to position the country globally for sustainable socio-economic and political transformation. We are creating global partnerships and cooperation that will help to stabilize and improve our economy further; bring more infrastructural developments , help us acquire maximum benefits from our abundant natural resources ; build industries; stimulate tourism, commerce and investment and provide jobs for our people, especially the youth >