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President Koroma Motivates Sierra Leoneans in China

By Jarrah Kawusu-Konte & John Baimba Sesay-Beijing

His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has said that a good number of Sierra Leoneans contributed immensely either directly or indirectly to his reelection bid last year. He spoke on Tuesday, 25th June at the Sierra Leone Embassy in China where he had gone to meet with Sierra Leoneans, including students.

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According to President Koroma, very soon the government will launch the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’, and as such was expecting every Sierra Leonean in and out of the country to seize the moment and opportunities thrown up by the agenda.

Speaking on concerns of students studying in China, including the harmonization of list of students coming from the Ministry of Education and those from other institutions; and the timely payment of their allowances, amongst others, he said he will instruct the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to do the needful. He called on all Sierra Leoneans to come onboard Sierra Leone’s development train and make the country one we should all be proud of.

President Koroma also informed the audience that he was in Beijing on the invitation of the Chinese Government and especially the University of Tsinghua to further push the cooperation ties between China and Sierra Leone on the one hand, and to deliver a talk on Peace around the world.

On the relevance of the invitation of Sierra Leone at the 2nd World Peace Forum, President Koroma noted that such an invitation by the university to deliver a keynote address was in recognition of the efforts Sierra Leone has made in consolidating peace and stability across the sub region, as anything that has to do with peace and security will impact the world. “The selection of Sierra Leone is therefore in recognition of the role we are playing towards peace in the sub region, the AU and the world at large.”

On issues of governance back home, he told citizens that he could not say much as today, “through social media, you are now well informed about happenings back home”. He acknowledged that Sierra Leone did not achieve all that was contained in the ‘Agenda for Change’ “but we have come a long way”, whilst assuring that by July of this year, his government shall be launching the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ and called on Sierra Leoneans, especially students in China to see this agenda as an opportunity to prepare themselves for the Sierra Leone of tomorrow.

The President further said that he was satisfied with the efforts of Sierra Leoneans in China, especially Maria who is an artist in China and making tremendous efforts to rebrand the country.

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Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh who gave the welcome address introduced the President’s delegation and noted that today in Sierra Leone, even the blind could see and acknowledge that a lot has happened in terms of development since the assumption of President Koroma of the presidency almost six years ago, adding that President Koroma scored in excess of 58% of the total votes cast in the last elections, making him a popular President. President Koroma, Ambassador Foh said, has been reelected into office with an ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ “that he wants to leave as a legacy even for our good friends doing business in Sierra Leone”

Giving a brief background to the bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and the People’s Republic, Ambassador Foh said that Sierra Leone made no mistake in identifying China 40 years ago when it threw all its support behind China at the United Nations General Assembly that saw the country being admitted to the comity of nations. He prayed for continued sustainable bilateral ties between China and Sierra Leone, especially in the wake of the current visit of the president to the Asian Giant.

By way of closing remarks, the APC Chairman, Asian Branch, Mr Lamin Turay, said, China is a difficult place for Sierra Leoneans to live but because of their friends they are doing very well as their Chinese hosts are very much receptive and hospitable. He said that he was very grateful to be a Sierra Leonean.

He also noted that, a good number of people who are close to the president are disseminating the good news among them in Asia, which has made him today one of the most peaceful men in China. Lamin Turay also commended government for the continued efforts being undertaken in developing the country as could be seen in a number of sectors.

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