By Jariatu S. Bangura
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor David Francis, has launched the 60 years anniversary celebration of the friendship between South Korea and Sierra Leone, an event that will be followed by cultural exhibitions till December 2nd, 2022.
He said the Freetown City Hall building is an evidence of the impressive relationship between the two countries that has been maintained since 1962.
He said the Korean Consul has given strong support on very clear programs of the country, nothing that over the years, students from Sierra Leone have benefited with educational support and for the past decades, South Korea has shared solidarity during the civil war, the Ebola endemic and Coronavirus pandemic, among others, which signifies a long standing relationship.
He stated that no country can ever develop without the private sector and that the Korean private sector investment is the key to taking forward the partnership to the next 60 years.
“As we celebrate, let us renew our commitment to improving on our trade and investment in the areas of mining, agriculture, education, tourism, energy and infrastructure. I am pleased to inform you all here that we have agreed, with discussion ongoing that, in the next coming years, there would be 20% increase in Korean private business investment establishment in Sierra Leone,” he stated.
He noted that gone were the days when government Ministers will have to go round to beg for development, but rather they should present opportunities for trade and investment so that they can work together.
He said no country has developed being alone and appealed that all come on board and join the country and showcase Sierra Leone in the trade fair process and become great like South Korea.
Ambassador Kim Young Chae from South Korea, said they were about to launch the celebrations to further deepen the symbol between the two countries.
He said the launching will be followed by cultural events and exhibition to showcase the 60 years of friendship between the two countries.
He expressed appreciation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for providing the necessary support to the event and the celebrations and commended the cultural team from across the country for making the event colorful.
Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyer said sixty years of diplomatic ties is an excellent one, adding that over two months they have been working with the Korean Consul to make the occasion a success.
She urged that all Sierra Leoneans come out in their numbers and witness the event within the next seven days.
She said she saw the transition period of Korea-from a low income country to where they are today and has a lot to learn from.
“We do not only have the opportunity to have the building to show how partnership can be but we also have the opportunity to be inspired. To the Korean family, this week we will be seeing our different cultures. Thank you for sixty years relationship and we pray to see more. It would be good to participate and also showcase our culture to Korea in the following years,” she said.