The Chinese ambassador in Sierra Leone, Cheng Wenju, has disclosed that an expert team on power supply will soon come to Sierra Leone to explore the possibility of developing thermal and mini hydro power stations in the provinces.
Briefing media practitioners at the Chinese embassy in Freetown, Ambassador Wenju also revealed that plans were afoot for discussion with the Education ministry to conduct Chinese language teaching in Sierra Leone.
The emphasis of this “is that more Sierra Leoneans will learn more about Chinese culture and come to understand why China is developing so fast.”
Speaking on the relationship between China and Sierra Leone, he stressed that, “the Chinese people cherish the friendship with the Sierra Leonean people and always keep in mind great contribution made by the APC party and former President Siaka Stevens to build and develop the friendly cooperative relations with China and support the restoration of China’s legal seat in the United Nations.”
He went on, “what the Sierra Leonean side did has laid solid foundation for effective cooperation between the two countries thereafter,” stressing that during the period of former President Kabbah, the China-Sierra Leone friendly and cooperative relations saw new developments.
Ambassador Wenju affirmed further that China took Sierra Leone as a reliable partner of cooperation, respected Sierra Leone’s independent choice for the development path and its foreign policy, stressing further that “the Chinese side is willing to further enhance mutual political trust, continue to provide assistance in its power without any pre-condition, promote mutual development and realize win-win cooperation.”
The Chinese envoy ascertained that “2007 was proved to be an extraordinary year for Sierra Leone as she stood the test of the presidential and parliamentary elections,” indicating that, “we commend the performances of the different parties to maintain the peaceful situation in Sierra Leone.” On Chinese assistance, he explained that two schools would be built by the Chinese government in the northern province and Freetown respectively, as well as the commencement of a 100-bed hospital with an anti-malaria centre in the capital.
He went on to reveal that the Chinese agricultural and technical team would proceed with their work this year to cultivate better rice varieties for Sierra Leone and teach the residents in Bo and Kenema the skills to plant rice.
He said this would be coordinated by 18 agricultural experts for the tri-party cooperation to help the farmers in different regions to promote agricultural development.
Ambassador Wenju stated further that, “in December last year, assisted by my office, they launched the second phase of ‘Brightness Project’ and ‘Women Health Care Project’ to alleviate the suffering of the patients with cataract and gynecological tumors.” A statement was also made by Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, Information and Communication Minister.