The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has expressed their strongest determination to market Sierra Leone to the International Community for donor support and investments that will rapidly revamp the economic base of the country.
Making this disclosure at a press conference held over the weekend at the Ministry’s conference center the Director of Administration and Finance Mrs. Khadijatu Bassir at the Foreign Affairs Ministry took time to explain about their activities and highlighted some of the progress made, while also cataloguing some of the challenges towards soliciting donor support from the International Community.
Mrs. Bassir noted that, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Zainab Hawa Bangura is an aggressive and enthusiastic individual who is capable of marketing Sierra Leone to the outside world, pointing out that she knows all the methods of harnessing and out sourcing resources in the Diaspora for the benefit of the country.
She also highlighted the benefits of the Minister’s visit abroad which focus on reshaping and re-branding the image of Sierra Leone to reassure partners in development and friends of the country that she is ready for business and the climate is ripe for investment.
Mrs. Bassir however disclosed, that the essence of the press conference is not to debunk press reports but to establish a friendly chart to enable them explain about the ministries activities in portraying the good image of Sierra Leone. She also commended the media for their role in educating the public about relevant issues affecting the country.
The Personal Assistant to the Minister who also doubles as an Independent Researcher Mr. Abdulai Bayraytay intimated that, the essence of the press conference is to respond to various Newspaper articles and discussion bloggers with speculations that the Minister of Foreign Affairs travels all around the world in order to accumulate more per diem there by not reflecting the enthusiasm with which she accepted the position.
He noted that, the press conference is a way of creating a channel between the press and the Ministry as a way of promoting democracy and good governance and knowing the viability of the Foreign Affairs Ministry is to attend to bilateral and multilateral levels.
He added that the Minister has been undertaking various trips abroad to attend fora and deliver papers on various issues affecting the world and also take part in multi lateral and bilateral meetings with International organizations in Africa and other parts of the continents, and the ministry have also established another link with the South- south Cooperation in North America and Brazil have expressed willingness to open an embassy in Sierra Leone.
Abdulai Bayraytay spoke about some of the benefits the minister will be bringing to Sierra Leone which include the joint technical cooperation between Sierra Leone and Morocco in the provision of scholarship and energy sustenance.
He boastfully intimated that, the Cuban government has agreed to send fifty medical doctors in to the country to help boost to shortage of medical doctors at the various health centers in the country.
Libya has also expressed determination to establish a five star hotel as a major investment to boost the tourism industry and also create employment opportunities for competent youths in the country and also rehabilitate the Magburaka Government Hospital.
He called on the media to always cross check their information with the Ministry before going to press as their doors are always open to inform the public about relevant achievements and challenges facing the ministry.
Abdulai Bayraytay confirmed that all visits made by the Minster are with the consent of the President and the Finance Ministry which is geared towards the development of Sierra Leone, the Minister is reportedly using her personal account to honor her bills and later is being reimbursed by the Finance Ministry so that she effectively and efficiently execute her functions at International levels.
The press observed that, the Ministry building is currently in bad shape and needs urgent repairs, because the elevator is no longer workable and broken windows are visible from top to bottom with bullet holes all over the ministry building. Some of the newly appointed press attachés and ambassadors are also yet to reach their various postings, since the APC Government came to office eight months ago.