May 17, 2021
At the end of the EU Week Celebration- Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor David Francis commends the European Union for conducting the #EU&Me RoadShow which uses two characters, Ami and Ahmed showcasing Eu’s support to development programs in Sierra Leone.
He says the show was a brilliant idea by the EU delegation to exhibit its support to the government of Sierra Leone.
“EU programs have supported us in diverse areas, in socio-economic development aspiration, including agriculture, food security, public sector management, access to education, youth employment, intervention in the transport sector and the list goes on and on,”
The Bus with Ami and Ahmed left Freetown on 3 May to Porto Loko Makeni, Kenema Bo and returned to Freetown on 7 May showcasing EU’s support to development programs in Sierra Leone.
The European Union-EU Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Tom Vens has ended the TheEUandMeRoadShow which took place from 3 to 10 May 2021 across Sierra Leone.
On Monday 10-May, Ambassador Tom Vens together with the Irish Ambassador Lesley Ní Bhriain, German Ambassador Horst Gruner and French Chargé d’Affaires Romain Vuillaume engaged with the pupils at the Peninsular Secondary School and Methodist Girls High School in Freetown by talking about the origin, purpose and significance of Europe Week and Europe Day celebration.
The Ambassadors explained that the purpose of the #TheEUandMeRoadShow which took place across Sierra Leone, was to take messages about the EU’s values and development cooperation with Sierra Leone to a wider audience and to allow the EU to capture feedback from their partners and beneficiaries who have experienced the positive impact of projects the EU is supporting.
At both schools, a discussion followed on ‘the role of young people in the EU partnership’. The diplomatic visitors also listened to the pupils debating on issues around climate change, education, skills development and about their personal and professional ambitions.
Pupils in particular cited agriculture and health as priority sectors for cooperation with the EU and expressed the wish that Sierra Leone would be a flagship of development in 20 years’ time.
Speaking during the Cocktail event which marks the end of the EU week, Ambassador Tom Vens assured the government and the people of Sierra Leone, that EU will continue invest in education, climate change and good governance in the country.
“We want to continue contributing to the government’s flagship priority of providing quality education and preparing youths with the right skills that a stronger economy needs.”
He says the EU is aware that this will be a longer-term endeavor, but is ready to be partners because without a better educated population, development will be as peachy as best.
Ambassador Tom Vens says EU will continue to support the government of Sierra Leones’ Free Education flagship program and other development programmes that aim to address the gaps in education in the country.
The Ambassador says EU will also beef up its effort with its partners in complementarity with EU member states and in close cooperation with environment actors to protect the environment, promote the use of renewable energy and support sustainable food systems in Sierra Leone.
In promoting democracy and good governance in Sierra Leone, the Ambassador says the EU will continue to work closely with government and other partners to maintain peace and stability.
“This is the substance of what we want to focus on in the coming years and I am very pleased that through consultation over the past month, we received a strong confirmation that these are indeed the right priorities for our future partnership” he says.
He confirms that EU’s commitment to continue to supporting the country’s development agenda and more broadly sustainable development agenda will be matched with unlimited resources.
Speaking on behalf of the government of Sierra Leone, the minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor David Francis thanked the EU for its countless support to the government and the people of Sierra Leone.
He says “EU programs have supported us in diverse areas, in socio-economic development aspiration, including agriculture, food security, public sector management, access to education, youth employment, intervention in the transport sector and the list goes on and on,”
This corporation, he notes, was brilliantly exhibited during the EU& and ME Road Show and exhibition in Porto Loko Makeni, Kenema and Bo of its support to development programs in Sierra Leone.
The Minister reemphasised the government o Sierra Leone’s renewed commitment with the EU.
The Mayor of the Freetown Municipality, Yvonne Aki-Sawyer, Speaker of the House of Parliament Hon. Abbas Bundu, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development Dr. Francis Kai Kai, and other dignitaries from the government and civil societies attended the event at the EU residence at Spur Loop.