By Betty Milton – Information Attaché Brussels
Brussels, 21st October – President Julius Maada Bio, widely regarded as a beacon of hope, leadership, and transformation in Africa, convened a significant gathering Saturday at the OACPS Headquarters in Brussels. The meeting brought together Ambassadors of the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (OACPS) nations, marking a pivotal moment in diplomatic discussions.
This high-profile gathering followed President Bio’s bilateral talks with the OACPS Secretary-General, underscoring the importance of continued collaboration within the organization.
During the meeting, President Bio conveyed his sincere appreciation for the OACPS’s commitment to reform, aligning with their vision to ensure the organization remains “fit for purpose.” The OACPS is set to sign the new OACPS-EU partnership agreement in SAMOA, and President Bio underscored the need to bolster trade cooperation and foster knowledge-based economies to expedite sustainable development and poverty alleviation across ACP nations.
In an impassioned speech, President Bio introduced his ambitious “Big Five Game Changers” agenda, with the ‘Feed Salone’ initiative at its forefront. His government’s unwavering commitment to agricultural transformation for food security, job creation, and wealth generation was a key focus, as agriculture is deemed a critical driver of Sierra Leone’s growth and a priority area for investment.
The President pledged to seek strategic partnerships aimed at fully unleashing Sierra Leone’s agricultural potential. He further emphasized Sierra Leone’s regional role in fostering peace, security, and stability within West Africa, reiterating the nation’s steadfast support for ECOWAS and its commitment to upholding democratic values.
As Chair of the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government on the Reform of the UN Security Council (The C-10), President Bio reaffirmed his dedication to championing the cause of addressing historical injustices against Africa. With a strong resolve for concerted action, he expressed confidence in achieving this shared goal.
Ambassador Isaac Wehyee Nyenabo, the Chairman of the Committee of Ambassadors, extended his heartfelt congratulations to President Bio for his resounding victory in Sierra Leone’s recent elections and for securing a seat on the UN Security Council. He lauded the President’s remarkable character and unwavering commitment to fostering sustainable and inclusive development throughout his tenure.
Highlighting Sierra Leone’s influential role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Ambassador Nyenabo acknowledged that President Bio’s membership and active participation provide a powerful platform for amplifying the voice of the OACPS community on the international stage.
The meeting was a testament to the OACPS’s commitment to fostering diplomacy, sustainable development, and regional stability, with President Bio at the helm of this collective effort. BM/24/10/2023