July 26, 2016 By John Baimba Sesay in Beijing, China
His Excellency Ambassador Alimamy P. Koroma on Monday, 25th July, 2016 said China’s support to, and intervention in, Sierra Leone’s growth are highly appreciated, laying special emphasis on the Ebola outbreak, improving Sierra Leone’s infrastructure and addressing key social services in the health sector.
Ambassador Koroma spoke during a courtesy call on Deputy Director of West Asia and Africa Division, Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), Mr. Zhou Zhaoming.
Both Amb. Koroma and Mr Zhou Zhaoming discussed ways of furthering ties of cooperation between the two nations, as well as ongoing development cooperation projects in Sierra Leone, including the proposed Mamamah Airport and establishment of a Regional Centre for Tropical Disease Control in Freetown.
Amb. Koroma referred to MOFCOM as a major development cooperation institution of China, and “the hub of China’s development cooperation” framework.
Both China and Sierra Leone, the ambassador said, have had long lasting diplomatic ties, emphasising that when Sierra Leone had her challenges, like the Ebola outbreak, the Chinese were the first to intervene with support.
The construction of a regional centre for disease control in Sierra Leone, he said, was a clear manifestation of the unbroken ties of friendship and long standing bilateral cooperation between the two nations.
Though Ebola is gone, he noted, there are existing post-Ebola challenges, highlighting ongoing efforts by the Government of Sierra Leone, aimed at ensuring effective post-Ebola recovery drive.
He added that support would be welcomed from the Chinese in meeting Sierra Leone’s post-Ebola recovery drive.
Mr. Zhou Zhaoming, in his brief statement, congratulated Amb. Koroma on his appointment and subsequent arrival in Beijing as his country’s envoy.
His government, he said, attaches great importance to both the disease control centre and the airport projects, adding that they were looking forward to the commencement of the airport construction this year.
He maintained that both Sierra Leone and China have indeed had close trade and economic ties, and expressed optimism that such cooperation would grow at all fronts.