The new Egyptian Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Amr A. Moussa, last Thursday November 28 presented his letters of credence to President Ernest Bai Koroma at the Credentials Hall, State House in Freetown.
Receiving the Ambassador, President Koroma noted that Egypt has been a friend of Sierra Leone since independence. “It is one of the very few countries that did not close its embassy even at the height of our civil war. We salute Egypt for standing with us,” President Koroma said.
He further told the diplomat that Egypt is still standing with Sierra Leone, supporting the country with technical assistance in various sectors and providing training in fields as diverse as Law, Order and Security, Medicine, Anti-Corruption, Information and Communication, Technology, Agriculture, Diplomacy, Marine Transportation and Islamic studies.
“We have been closely following political developments in Egypt and we do hope that an amicable, fair and democratic solution would be found soon,” said President Koroma, and disclosed that his government has commenced a new national development program, the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’, hoping that Sierra Leone’s historic friend, the Arab Republic of Egypt, will stand with the country to achieve the goals set forth in the Agenda.
“My country is amongst the fastest growing economies in the world and we seek the participation of the Egyptian government, people and private sector in sustaining the growth for the mutual benefit of both countries,” he said.
In his response, Ambassador Moussa assured President Koroma of the Egyptian government’s commitment to strengthening ties with Sierra Leone, saying: “We are ready to assist Sierra Leone in various fields as we have done in the past. Our aim is to ensure that the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ achieve its goal.”
In a similar development, President Koroma also welcomed the new European Union Head of Delegation, Peter Versteeg, to the country, paying glowing tribute for the immeasurable support by the EU for the social, political and economic aspirations of the people of Sierra Leone. He said the EU has been an invaluable contributor to the country’s achievements in sectors as diverse as infrastructure, health, food security, agriculture, democratic good governance and strengthening of civil society.
President Koroma described Sierra Leone as a country on the move: “Our goal is to become a middle-income country in 22 years. We have commenced our ‘Agenda for Prosperity’, our development program for the next five years, with our sights on achieving this aspiration. We greatly value our partnership with the European Union; we believe it is a partnership for asserting the values of peace, democracy, and development; and we trust that this partnership will be a most valuable one for achieving the goals set forth in the Agenda for Prosperity.”
Responding, Mr. Versteeg assured the President of the EU’s continued close cooperation with Sierra Leone, by building on the current joint country strategy that addresses key objectives, including good governance, road transportation infrastructure, agriculture, health and the environment.