The President, on his arrival at the Beijing International Airport was received by staff of the Sierra Leone Embassy, led by Ambassador Alimamy Philip Koroma, ambassadors from various African embassies, Sierra Leoneans in China and Chinese government officials.
In his brief statement, His Excellency President Koroma highlighted the tremendous progress Africa has made over the years more so in the continents’ democratization process and economic growth.
President Koroma said, notwithstanding the challenges the continent is faced with, there continues to be huge progress, with the continent accounting for highest number of fastest growing economies, saying “Africa has come a long way.”
Speaking on Africa’s relationship with China, His Excellency the President said, the Forum On China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has been a key platform through which cooperation is fostered between the two, referencing the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit in South Africa, which outlined core development frameworks.
On the African Common Position on reform of the UN Security Council, President Koroma, as Chair of the C-10 said, Africa is the only continent that is underrepresented in that organ of the world body and as a result, the continent is fully committed to speak with one voice, through the continent’s common position.
Africa, the President went on, will continue to engage China for her full support towards the Common African Position, which calls for equal representation at the UN Security Council.
Such calls, he said are justified and legitimate given that it is the continent’s issues that are mostly discussed by the UNSC.
On his visit, President Koroma said, he had arrived on the invitation of his counterpart, President Xi Jinping, at a time that both countries have continued to ensure a surge in diplomatic ties, especially during a period marking forty-five years of such ties between the two nations.
He highlighted the outstanding ties of friendship and development cooperation between his country and China, touching on China’s role in Sierra Leone’s development path especially in infrastructure.
His Excellency President Koroma specifically paid tribute to the Government and people of China for their great and timely response in tackling the ebola virus.
His visit, he said was to also express Sierra Leone’s thanks and appreciation to the Chinese Government for having stood by Sierra Leone.
President Koroma said he was delighted to be received by African envoys to China in support of the Sierra Leone Embassy, something he said, was in demonstration of the African solidarity.
Speaking on behalf of the African ambassadors, Ambassador of Chad said, it was a great honor to receive the President, wishing him a successful trip, saying, the success of Sierra Leone should be seen as success for all African countries.
John Baimba Sesay
Sierra Leone Embassy
People’s Republic of China