By State House Communication Unit
On Monday March 20, 2017, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma met with the Head of West Africa Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Rob Dixon. According to the Minister of State 1 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Mohamed Gibril Sesay, the envoy was in the country for the very first time to get first-hand information on the country’s electioneering process.
In the meeting that took place at State House in Freetown, the two sides discussed the strong and healthy relationship existing between Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom (UK). President Koroma laid special emphasis on the UK’s support during the country’s eleven-year civil war, the fight against the unprecedented Ebola outbreak as well as the design of the ongoing recovery programme.
The president reiterated government’s commitment to the electioneering process, and emphasized the preparedness of the concerned national institutions to conduct the 2018 general elections. He noted that the commencement of the national registration exercise is an indication of government’s commitment and readiness to move the process forward, adding that he had already registered as a potential voter in the 2018 elections. He also disclosed his keenness to go round the country to call on people to register.
President Koroma stated that he had informed donor partners about the funding gap during his last meeting with them, and reiterated the need to avoid any postponement of the 2018 elections date. He called for timely provision of resources from donor partners.
During the meeting, both sides spoke about the political situation in Guinea Bissau with firm promise by President Koroma to continue negotiations with his Guinean counterpart, Professor Alpha Conde, to amicably resolve the political situation in Guinea Bissau.
Describing President Koroma’s leadership as astute, Head of the West Africa Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office commended President Koroma for his efforts in not just the fight against Ebola, but also in resolving the political stalemate that rocked The Gambia following last year’s December vote.