Our mission seeks to rebrand the image of Sierra Leone”
By Gunther AB Daramy
Ambassador Ismail Koroma, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Mission of Sierra Leone to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has updated the media on the just concluded two-day Pre-summit Media Workshop held at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown.
Ambassador Ismail Koroma at the usual government press conference said, their Mission, which is led by Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara, is exploring beyond Addis Ababa, noting, they seek to rebrand the image of Sierra Leone, which had suffered serious image blow overseas.
He said they strive to bring people into Sierra Leone for them to have the real feel of the nation, saying, the just concluded conference is a pointer to this reality. He noted that the event was very symbolic, as 36 years back, Sierra Leone hosted the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) which is now called the African Union (AU), describing the summit a big one hosted again in the Sierra Leonean soil.
He maintained that the main objectives of the workshop was to discuss pertinent issues of communication prior to the AU confab scheduled for July this year in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali and also to look at the Agenda 2063 and the role journalists will play in achieving such agenda for Africa. Ambassador Koroma said the conference was very successful and that it was very important for the reason that, it happened after the country suffered the Ebola virus crisis. He said few years ago, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia were projected negatively abroad.
These negative perspectives, he stressed, should be changed only by professional media people from these countries. These people, he maintained, are no less a persons’ other than journalists, who have the expertise. Ambassador Ismail Koroma explained that the Agenda 2063 is a vision and action plan. The vision, he said: “We are all yearning for the true picture of Africa. We are all looking forward to an Africa continent where people from Europe and America will troop in’’. The agenda 2063, he continued, talks on the potential of Africa, which will witnessed a case whereby Africans, including Sierra Leoneans, even yet unborn, will have no reason to travel to abroad to seek greener pastures.
Ambassador Koroma added that all in Africa have the responsibility to change the trajectory of the continent for prosperity. He added that the workshop was to let all Africans understand the importance of Agenda 2063, what it entails, how it can be achieved and what is expected of all Africans in this agenda. He explained about his attendance of the 10th Joint Annual Consultative Meeting between the Peace and Security Council of the African Union and the United Nations Security Council.
The event, he added, commemorated a decade of the joint consultation between the two Councils. Ambassador Koroma said the meeting provided the opportunity for members of both Councils to take a strategic view at their partnership, as well as find ways to strengthen their cooperation moving forward. Sierra Leone, he revealed, participated as a member for the first time in such meeting since it officially became a member of the AU Peace and Security Council in April this year.
He said for the first time under the dynamic leadership of President Koroma, Sierra Leone was elected as a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council. He added that the country is part of 15 member states. These gains, he maintained, were as a result of the astute leadership of President Koroma and the commitment of the Mission out there to achieve the collective dream of all compatriots. “We are now boasting of being troop contributing country as well as police contributing country,’’ said Ambassador Koroma, adding, our security personnel are performing exceptionally well in peacekeeping missions around the world.