Addis Ababa Mission bids farewell to outgoing Deputy ECA boss

By Abdul Karim Koroma

Sierra Leone’s Permanent Mission to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the African Union and

the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) threw a party to bid farewell to the outgoing Deputy Executive Secretary of ECA, Mrs. Jennifer Kargbo.

The ECA was established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations in 1958 as one of the UN’s five Regional Commissions. ECA’s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its Member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development.

Mrs. Kargbo was a seasoned and career diplomat plus an intergovernmental player who has worked for the United Nations for over 20 years.

The event which was held at the residence of His Excellency Mr. Andrew Gbebay Bangali was well attended by members of the Sierra Leonean Community in Ethiopia, a cross section of the Diplomatic Community and Friends of Sierra Leone.

Ambassador Bangali said the Sierra Leonean Community in Ethiopia held Mrs. Kargbo in high esteem.

“When she called me and informed me that she was leaving I was surprised as I was not expecting her to leave at this time,” he said.

He recalled the pivotal role played by the former UN Diplomat during the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations here, adding that she was personally able to provide funding for the Distinguished Guest Speaker, Dr. Monty Jones to participate at the Symposium that was organized by the Embassy and the Sierra Leonean Community in Ethiopia to jump start the celebrations.

Ambassador Bangali described Mrs. Kargbo as a strong woman of character and substance, adding that for her to have been appointed Deputy Executive Secretary of the ECA was a plus for the country and the people of Sierra Leone.

“I met Mrs. Kagbo twice in Lusaka when she was Director at the ECA Regional Office for Southern Africa, but we are going to miss her here in Addis Ababa,” he said.

Sierra Leone’s multi-accredited Ambassador also used the function to officially introduce Dr. Mustapha Kaloko as Sierra Leone’s Candidate for the Position of African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs during the Commission’s upcoming elections in January 2012.

Mrs. Jennifer Kargbo said: “I feel very honoured today. I am a proud Sierra Leonean.”

She thanked the Ambassador for all the support he has given her during her stay in Addis Ababa.

Mrs. Kargbo said her main objective of going back home was to serve the people. “I am going into business to create employment opportunities to help others,” she said.

Dr. Mustapha Kaloko, Chairman of the Sierra Leonean Community in Ethiopia said Mrs. Kargbo is the first Sierra Leonean to hold the position within the ECA.

He said when he came to Addis Ababa from the United Kingdom after his graduation as a Medical Doctor Mrs. Kargbo helped him in a lot of ways to settle down in Ethiopia.

Mrs. Florie Cole, a member of the Sierra Leonean Community and a Senior Library Assistant at the ECA who also gave parting words said  she knew Mrs. Kargbo16 years ago when she came to Ethiopia with her husband.

She described Mrs. Kargbo as hard working and that she has made a remarkable impression within the ECA. Mrs. Cole pointed out that Mrs. Kargbo’s credentials speak volumes, adding that the wealth of experience she has gained working with the United Nations will help move Sierra Leone in its development process.

The programme was climaxed by the presentation of a parting gift to Mrs. Kargbo on behalf of the Embassy and the Sierra Leonean Community in Ethiopia by Ambassador Bangali.

The event was chaired by Mr. Amadu Koroma, Sierra Leone’s Deputy Head of Mission to Ethiopia while Mr. Francis Edward Kandeh, Counselor and Head of Chancery, Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone in Addis Ababa introduced the former.

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