Foreign Affairs Minister eulogises China
February 12, 2015 By Alusine Sesay
While delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of the China-Sierra Leone Friendship P3 bio-safety laboratory at Jui yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura Kamara, observed that Chinese aid to Africa is easy to access and comes in a timely manner with better quality.
“It is the kind of aid African countries need. It is flexible and the only conditionality for Chinese aid is to request for it. They would allow you to own it when it comes and it comes with mutual respect,” Dr. Kamara said.
He reiterated that unlike other donors, “The Chinese do not act as spies or talk down on people. Chinese aid is tangible.”
The Chinese government, through its embassy in Sierra Leone, had promised to complete the lab within three months. The turning of sod ceremony for the lab was done in November 20, 2014, witnessed by President Ernest Bai Koroma and Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E. Zhao Yanbo. The project has been completed and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, ready to conduct tests for all viral and other dangerous diseases.
“This lab is envy to not only the Mano River Union region but the entire West Africa region,” said Dr. Samura effusively.
Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E. Zhao Yanbo, noted that since the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease, “China has wasted no time in providing comprehensive assistance with medical materials, mobile laboratory, holding centre and treatment centre, medical personnel and public health training experts to Sierra Leone.”
He noted that the China-Sierra Leone friendship lab is one of the most important parts of China’s aid to Sierra Leone.
“China not only makes its efforts to the current battle against Ebola with Sierra Leone, but also focuses on the building of a public health system for the country for the future,” said Ambassador Zhao.
He reiterated that the completion of the laboratory marks a milestone in the China-Sierra Leone relations.
“It would lay a very solid foundation for Sierra Leone to improve its capability for infectious disease prevention and control. I believe that with this laboratory, Sierra Leone will enhance its public health human resources building, and can eventually challenge any kind of epidemic crisis in the future,” he maintained.
The envoy further said that the two countries have enjoyed outstanding friendly relationship which has been strengthened through China’s support to the country in the fight against Ebola.
“The laboratory vividly interpreted Chinese policy towards Africa proposed by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, featuring sincerity, results, affinity and good faith,” he further noted.
He expressed thanks to the government of Sierra Leone for facilitating the construction and commended the Beijing Urban Construction Group and Jin Yan Company for what he referred to as their extraordinary dedication to the construction of the building and the installation of the laboratory.
Also, Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah and Chief Executive Officer of the National Ebola Response Centre, Rtd. Major Alfred Palo Conteh, praised the Chinese government for assisting Sierra Leone fight against Ebola, as well as laying a solid health foundation for the future.