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Prof.David Francis spurs up Salone Embassy Staff in D.C

June 25, 2021

PEL Koroma, Information Attache’,Embassy of Sierra Leone,Washington D.C

Foreign Minister Prof. David J. Francis at Embssy of Sierra Leone in Washington D.C

The newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prof. David Francis was yesterday at the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Washington DC where he met with the Embassy staff. “I have brought a new perspective to the Foreign Ministry”, Prof. Francis said, noting that with his personal diplomacy approach, ‘everyone is as important as the Foreign Minister’. He stressed that for any successful administration, it is the people that make the work possible, and for him, all of the members of the Foreign Ministry staff should take responsibility if the Foreign Ministry is to be successful.

 “I want to work with everyone, and I believe people should be treated with profound respect, and I am here to capacitate and empower all the workers under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”. Prof. Francis urged all of the staff at the Embassy to be committed and productive. “I will defend you at all cost as long as you are doing the right things, and I want to inspire you – we have competent staff at the Foreign Ministry”. Prof. David J. Francis acknowledged the challenges in the Foreign Missions, but reminded all to take ownership of their actions which is mostly lacking in the Foreign Ministry.

According to Prof. David Francis, the sense of urgency is another ingredient that is festered but it is the most rewarding and fulfilled aspect if carefully and wholehearted offered. The Foreign Minister revealed his approach in reviewing the functions of the Foreign Ministry. “I will tell you with all sincerity that career diplomats are needed, and I know leadership is about changing things, especially processes and structures that will benefit the people and nation”, Prof. Francis echoed.

For the Ambassadors of Foreign Missions representing Sierra Leone, Professor Francis reiterated that he believes the Ambassadors are doing very difficult jobs. “The Embassy of Sierra Leone in Washington DC is a Class A Mission, and it should be provided with a Class A facility”, citing that diplomacy is about perception, and that Development Diplomacy is all inclusive. The Minister appealed to the staff at the Embassy to continue serving the Embassy with enthusiasm, promising to come up with innovative ideas that will transform the foreign Ministry. “I am here at the Washington Embassy to see what is happening at the Embassy, and not necessarily to talk the talk but to work the work”.

 After listening to Ambassador Sidique Abou-Bakarr Wai, Prof. Francis admonished the entire staff that he is impressed with the leadership Ambassador Wai is providing, and continued referring to Ambassador Wai as the ‘people’s Ambassador’ as he is called in the communities in the United States for his bottom-top approach in running the Embassy as Ambassador of Sierra Leone in the United States of America with the best staff among the ECOWAS Embassies’  in  the United States.

Also present at the Embassy staff meeting was Hon. I.B. Kargbo of the APC who happens to be the Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee in Sierra Leone’s Parliament. “I have enjoyed the support of Hon. I.B. Kargbo and his colleagues in the Parliamentary Committee, we have developed a strategic plan, targeting the old Service Code of Conduct that needs drastic revisions”, Prof. Francis said.

In his response, Hon. I.B. Kargbo registered his appreciation to Ambassador Abou-Bakarr Wai for his kind nature and method of leadership. “Whatever that is in the interest of Sierra Leone, we will support as development of the country is paramount”, Hon. I.B. Kargbo said. He noted that he will engage his colleague parliamentary Committee members in the Foreign Affairs Committee to advocate in Parliament for additional budgetary support to the Foreign Ministry. “If we do not solve the problems now, whatever government that comes to power will have to deal with it again” Hon. I.B. Kargbo noted.

 “The Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. David Francis is quite a knowledgeable man and I am impressed with his professional approach. And the planned Academy of Diplomacy will surely yield dividend”, Hon. I.B. Kargbo concluded.

Also present at the meeting was Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Sierra Leone Mr. Sheku Mesali, Mr. George Hamilton, Consul General- Miami, Isha Sillah, Director of Americas and the South Pacific at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who form part of the Minister’s delegation to the United States, and Ms. Rakie Macarthy, Head of Chancery, Embassy of Sierra Leone- Washington DC.

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