By John Baimba Sesay-China :
News updates from Jarrah Kawusu-Konte, State House Communications Manager, made clear the arrival of Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma on Monday 18th November arrived in Kuwait ahead of the 3rd Africa-Arab Summit slated for 19th. According to him, President Koroma will among other schedules, “participate in a closed session on the consideration of the Activity Report of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States…” A busy presidential visit, I suppose. With over 60 countries expected to attend, including 34 Heads of State and Government, the 3rd Africa-Arab Summit, organized under the theme “Partners in Development and Investment,” will focus “on the role of economic cooperation for sustainable development as well as discuss the activity report of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.” (www.allafrica.com).
Sierra Leone continues to rise globally in the last couple of years, with specific reference to the governance period of President Ernest Bai Koroma. The country continues to enjoy the confidence of regional and world leaders. For instance, the country has got a blueprint project through which she is performing a global responsibility in her role as Coordinator of C 10. In the words of Dr Samura Kamara, Foreign Affairs Chief, “Sierra Leone is the eyes of the world; everybody is looking upon Sierra Leone to the extent to which the country would be able to galvanize international support towards the African common Position. It is in the interest of Sierra Leone that we succeed in the canvassing responsibility that we are given; the leadership of the C 10”
Indeed, Dr Samura Kamara could not have been more apt in his assessment of international expectations from Sierra Leone. As Chairman of the African Union Committee of ten on the reform of the Security Council, the President, Dr Ernest Koroma has been leading negotiations on the issue of fair global representation. In working towards ensuring regional and world peace, the country has also been contributing troops to Sudan and Somalia; under the Koroma leadership, the country has not only expanded, but at the same time diversified and consolidated her partnership within the context of South-South cooperation. From the diplomatic front, by expanding its bilateral relationship, reaching out and strengthening ties with countries such as Brazil, India, South Africa, Kuwait and other countries in the Middle East, Sierra Leone keeps becoming a friend of the world. And because of the strategic position Sierra Leone maintains internationally, Dr Samura Kamara, as Foreign Chief, has working tremendously hard to ensure we live up to international expectations.
Speaking from the perspective of international cooperation, the country is strategically placed in projecting her image from the description of war torn to one of hope and tremendous progress in a number of sectors. And to this, credit should be given to the presidency of Ernest Bai Koroma. Sierra Leone has effectively positioned itself as a strong self-confident democratic and peaceful nation and with strong and apparent commitment to international peace and stability, enhancing the country’s image, and ensuring international support for her government’s agenda for national development. Notwithstanding these achievements, one knows there still are challenges for the country. But the country’s leadership has been working round the clock to get things moving. This is why the President and his government have given premium to moving the country to a middle income nation in the coming decades, as indicted in the pillars of the Agenda for Prosperity, a blueprint for national development.
Held under the theme “Partners in Development and Investment,” Sierra Leone is sure of making use of whatever outcome there will be, from the 3rd Africa-Arab Summit. This is especially so, given our quest for socio-economic development and being the type of go-getter leader President Koroma is, coupled with his astuteness. With a zest to leave uncountable legacies, one is certain the President will continue to go places for the good of Sierra Leone. This, we saw during his last visit to China, a visit that brought about positive results in the areas of agriculture (rice and rubber plantation project)infrastructure(airport) and a host of other developments like a grant of millions of dollars toward government’s projects in Sierra Leone by the Chinese Government. There is therefore, the optimism that this visit will, in a way help foster Sierra Leone’s development platform. And generally, Africa cannot underestimate the urgent need to fully activate the Arab-African Partnership Committee as well as work towards strengthening cooperation in energy, telecommunication, transport and a host of other areas.