NEW GIZ DIRECTOR ARRIVES IN SIERRA LEONE ON SUNDAY .

Christian Widmann is arriving in Freetown on Sunday the 12th January 2020 as the new Director of GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation) for a three year period as a successor to Malte Kirchner whose tenure have come to an end.

GIZ works in direct collaboration with the German Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) which supports numerous projects in Africa, several of which are ongoing in Sierra Leone.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Widmann paid a courtesy call on the Sierra Leone Ambassador to Germany Dr. MBaimba Lamin Baryoh and their discussion centred mainly on GIZ operations in Sierra Leone wherein the ambassador suggested a further strengthening of relationship between GIZ and Sierra Leone. Mr. Widmann informed Dr. Baryoh about pending funding expected from the European Union for its projects.

Dr. Baryoh also briefed him on matters of national interest namely the political, economic and security situation as it is presently and where Sierra Leone as a country is coming from; rebel war, Ebloa etc. to a very peaceful and politically stable country today. He drew his attention to the recent visit of the German Foreign Minister to Sierra Leone where he returned with a very good impression.

Mr. Christian Widmann had previously worked in both Ghana and Nigeria.

NEW YEAR’S ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, DR. JULIUS MAADA BIO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE.

Fellow citizens, welcome to a new year – a time to   bid   farewell   to   2019   and   a   time   to   look forward to 2020.

As   we   look   back   into   2019, we   were   shackled with high domestic and foreign debt repayments, unfavourable   mining   lease   agreements, low domestic   productivity, high   youth unemployment, high   inflation   and   currency depreciation.   Throughout   the   year, our confidence   and   optimism   as   a   nation   were shaken   by   mild   economic   turbulence   and unavoidable shocks we inherited.

Typically, Sierra Leoneans have made light of the situation with the usual humorous jibe, “the grown dry”. But in 2019, we also made huge progress. We   launched   the   medium-term   national development   plan; increased   domestic   revenue mobilisation   by   streamlining   and   automating revenue   collection   and   deposit   processes; clarified and reduced the tax and duty burden on businesses; made it easier to establish and run a business   including   providing   aftercare   at   the highest   levels   and   provided   more   support   for small to medium enterprises. We do this with the firm belief that private enterprise is the engine for economic expansion.

As we look forward into 2020, our Country is at peace   with   falling   crime   rates, lower   prison populations and no security threat. At Bintumani 3, Sierra   Leoneans   suggested   ways   to   further lower   tensions   and   establish   a   permanent infrastructure   for   peace.   We   have   moved   to repeal   criminal   libel   laws   that   successive governments had used to suppress free speech. We   continue   to   open   up   civic   spaces   and   we encourage our citizens to speak up and make our democracy stronger and better.

In spite of the cynicism about foreign travel, we have, through   those   travels   transformed   the reputation and image of Sierra Leone abroad by comprehensively telling our friends and partners who we really are and where we are taking our nation. And they have   watched our unrelenting and determined fight against corruption. We passed the MCC’s “Control of Corruption „indicator with very high scores.   They   have   watched   us   crack   down   on fraud   and   waste   and   reform   public   institutions and practices. And you know what, the IMF, EU, DFID, World Bank and our international partners have   all   expressed   confidence   in   what   we   are doing and they have re-engaged fully. We have actively   promoted   business   in   Sierra   Leone through   various   investment   conferences   and foreign   delegations   have visited   our country   to explore investment opportunities.

The   fisheries, tourism, and   agricultural   sectors are   set   for   significant   foreign   private   sector investments in the near future. We are focused on   rice-sufficiency, cash   crop   production   and agricultural value-chain addition.

As   we   go   into   2020, more   than   two   million children, especially   girls, have   access   to   free quality   education, free   teaching   and   learning materials, expanded healthcare services, school buses and free school feeding in some areas. We have   intensified   our   national   campaign   against early   child   marriage, introduced   robust enforcement   and tougher   sentencing guidelines for sexual and gender-based violence. Teenage pregnancy, menstrual health and hygiene are no longer taboo topics. Our women are   at   the   centre   of   our   country’s   future development and security and we have recruited more women into our armed forces than at any time in our country’s history.

We   are   investing   heavily   in   STEM   disciplines especially for girls and through the Directorate of Science, Technology, and   Innovation, we   are harnessing the power of data and technology to support   governance, business, healthcare, education, and agriculture. We recently launched the   first   drone   corridor   in   West   Africa   and   the first   block-chain-based   national   digital   identity platform   that   will   improve   financial   inclusion among other benefits.

Soon, we   will   convene   a   national   forum   on   the future   of   education.   We   do   so   mindful   of   our national   development   priorities   and   goals   and knowing   that   for   our   children   to   lead   and participate   in   the   Fourth   Industrial   Revolution and the global economy, they must be equipped with a 21st century education.

We enter 2020 in a Sierra Leone where mothers in   labour   and   critically   ill-cases   can   now   be rushed   into   a   nearby   hospital   or   community health centre by an ambulance they can call toll-free   from   the   comfort   of   their   homes.   We   will continue   work   on   lowering   maternal   mortality rates, expanding   primary   healthcare, training and   recruiting   more   healthcare   workers, and refurbishing   or   building   new   health   centres   all over the country.  In 2020, we will   turn   sod   for the   construction   of an   ultramodern   diagnostic health Centre using funds recovered from corrupt officials as seed money. Our public sanitation and waste disposal   investments have   yielded   public health benefits.

We   enter   2020 with   a renewed   commitment   to fighting   climate   change   while   improving   clean

energy access in off-grid rural areas and tackling energy   poverty   through   the   nearly-complete regional grid and other new initiatives.

We   enter   2020   with   extensive   judicial   reforms that   have   led   to   more   access   to   justice.   Our social   protection   programmes   continue   to support   vulnerable   families   and   we   have launched   a   $50   million   urban-mobility   project. We are also rehabilitating key trunk roads from Kailahun to Freetown and building new bridges nationwide.   Big   impact   and   high-value infrastructural projects will commence in 2020.

Our   youth   empowerment   projects   and   our support   for   sports   development, especially   the Sierra   Leone   Premier   League, have   been   very significant.

Fellow   citizens, together   we   have   started   an inspiring   journey.   The   challenges   are   huge   but they are not insurmountable. Your expectations are high but they can be met. Your aspirations are boundless but they can be fulfilled. Nothing is impossible, even the miracles you expect us to perform.

Therefore, I call for your relentless optimism and hard work to develop our nation. If you share my belief   that   we   can   make   Sierra   Leone   a   better place, I urge you to share the responsibility with me for doing so with a firm commitment to make, act and be the change you want to see.

NEW YEAR’S ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, DR. JULIUS MAADA BIO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE

Fellow citizens, welcome to a new year – a time to bid farewell to 2019 and a time to look forward to 2020.

As we look back into 2019, we were shackled with high domestic and foreign debt repayments, unfavourable mining lease agreements, low domestic productivity, high youth unemployment, high inflation and currency depreciation. Throughout the year, our confidence and optimism as a nation were shaken by mild economic turbulence and unavoidable shocks we inherited.

Typically, Sierra Leoneans have made light of the situation with the usual humorous jibe, “the gron dry”. But in 2019, we also made huge progress.We launched the medium term national development plan; increased domestic revenue mobilisation by streamlining and automating revenue collection and deposit processes; clarified and reduced the tax and duty burden on businesses; made it easier to establish and run a business including providing aftercare at the highest levels and provided more support for small to medium enterprises. We do this with the firm belief that private enterprise is the engine for economic expansion.

As we look forward into 2020, our Country is at peace with falling crime rates, lower prison populations and no security threat. At Bintumani 3, Sierra Leoneans suggested ways to further lower tensions and establish a permanent infrastructure for peace. We have moved to repeal criminal libel laws that successive governments had used to suppress free speech.We continue to open up civic spaces and we encourage our citizens to speak up and make our democracy stronger and better.

In spite of the cynicism about foreign travel, we have, through those travels transformed the reputation and image of Sierra Leone abroad by comprehensively telling our friends and partners who we really are and where we are taking our nation. And they have watched our unrelenting and determined fight against corruption. We passed the MCC’s “Control of Corruption”indicator with very high scores. They have watched us crack down on fraud and waste and reform public institutions and practices. And you know what, the IMF, EU,DFID, World Bank and our international partners have all expressed confidence in what we are doing and they have re-engaged fully. We have actively promoted business in Sierra Leone through various investment conferences and foreign delegations have visited our country to explore investment opportunities.

The fisheries, tourism, and agricultural sectors are set for significant foreign private sector investments in the near future. We are focused on rice-sufficiency, cash crop production and agricultural value-chain addition.

As we go into 2020, more than two million children, especially girls, have access to free quality education, free teaching and learning materials, expanded healthcare services, school buses and free school feeding in some areas. We have intensified our national campaign against early child marriage, introduced robust enforcement and tougher sentencing guidelines for sexual and gender-based violence. Teenage pregnancy, menstrual health and hygiene are no longer taboo topics. Our women are at the centre of our country’s future development and security and we have recruited more women into our armed forces than at anytime in our country’s history.

We are investing heavily in STEM disciplines especially for girls and through the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation, we are harnessing the power of data and technology to support governance, business, healthcare, education, and agriculture. We recently launched the first drone corridor in West Africa and the first block-chain-based national digital identity platform that will improve financial inclusion among other benefits.

Soon, we will convene a national forum on the future of education. We do so mindful of our national development priorities and goals and knowing that for our children to lead and participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the global economy, they must be equipped with a 21st century education.

We enter 2020 in a Sierra Leone where mothers in labour and critically ill-cases can now be rushed into a nearby hospital or community health centre by an ambulance they can call toll-free from the comfort of their homes. We will continue work on lowering maternal mortality rates, expanding primary healthcare, training and recruiting more healthcare workers, and refurbishing or building new health centres all over the country. In 2020, we will turn sod for the construction of an ultramodern diagnostic health Centre using funds recovered from corrupt officials as seed money. Our public sanitation and waste disposal investments have yielded public health benefits.

We enter 2020 with a renewed commitment to fighting climate change while improving clean
energy access in off-grid rural areas and tackling energy poverty through the nearly-complete regional grid and other new initiatives.

We enter 2020 with extensive judicial reforms that have led to more access to justice. Our social protection programmes continue to support vulnerable families and we have launched a $50 million urban-mobility project. We are also rehabilitating key trunk roads from Kailahun to Freetown and building new bridges nationwide. Big impact and high-value infrastructural projects will commence in 2020.

Our youth empowerment projects and our support for sports development, especially the Sierra Leone Premier League, have been very significant.

Fellow citizens, together we have started an inspiring journey. The challenges are huge but they are not insurmountable. Your expectations are high but they can be met. Your aspirations are boundless but they can be fulfiled. Nothing is impossible, even the miracles you expect us to perform.

Therefore, I call for your relentless optimism and hard work to develop our nation. If you share my belief that we can make Sierra Leone a better place, I urge you to share the responsibility with me for doing so with a firm commitment to make, act and be the change you want to see.

My family and I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year. I thank you.

German Foreign Office hosts 7th GEFA Ambassadors Roundtable on agriculture digitalization.

German Federal Foreign Office Thursday 12th December hosted the 7th Ambassadors’ Roundtable on the topic “IMPROVING PERFORMANCE AND SUSTAINABILITY OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD PRODUCTION THROUGH DIGITALISATION” organised by the German Export Association for Food and Agriproduct (GEFA) and attended by Deputy Ambassador of Sierra Leone to Germany, Jonathan Leigh.

Tanja Werheit, Deputy Head of Division International Economic Affairs, Focal Point for German Business in the Federal Foreign Office says this was the last round table for the year and with a different topic which is digitalization and Smart farming. Describing it as complex and challenging for years to come as it is in line with climate change. The world, she says, is faced with the challenge of feeding the growing population.

Patrick Honcoop, Head of Product Partnerships of 365FarmNet Group spoke on the way to Smart Farming in his keynote address. He called it a major trend. No future. It is happening today.

Prof. Dr. Karin Schnitker addressed her audience on the Hype or real application potential for the international agri-food supply chain in the context of block chain which is a 24/7 data availability farm management and automated documentation of field operation with three core fields of application.

The next such meeting is on 21 st January 2020.

IAEA Nuclear Safety Workshop Hosted In Sierra Leone.

A national workshop to raise awareness on nuclear safety for high level officers and decision makers in Sierra Leone was recently hosted in Freetown through the initiative of the Sierra Leone Ambassador to Germany, Dr. M’Baimba Lamin Baryoh and organised by the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Authority with support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna Austria. Ambassador Baryoh is  the country’s Permanent Representative to the IAEA as ambassador also accredited to Austria.

 

The workshop was one amongst series hosted to review Sierra Leone’s intergrated nuclear security support plan to identify achievement on further needs the country has in nuclear security. And to assist the relevant stakeholders to prioritise such needs in a three year plan.

 

Formally launching the one week technical workshop, Ambassador Baryoh stated that the Sierra Leone government recognises the IAEA support in ensuring member states benefit from peaceful nuclear technology towards the wellbeing and prosperity of the world. And the launch of the workshop is President Bio’s commitment to pursue the bold vision of eradicating poverty and promoting good health and wellbeing. Adding that the 2030 agenda clearly states that least developing countries like Sierra Leone must explore technology for development if the SDGs are to be achieved.

 

However, according to Ambassador Baryoh, this technology must be carefully handled within the lamination of safety and security and it is important for Sierra Leone to strengthen its nuclear regime to enhance transparency, build confidence and facilitate peaceful nuclear cooperation.

 

He stated further that the IAEA is now supporting Government in its technology programmes in nuclear and radiation safety which will see the establishment of the first ever cancer treatment centre with radio therapy and nuclear diagnostic  facility and the IAEA is to deploy nuclear physicist and other specialists.

 

He also noted that the workshop will serve as a lynchpin to support Sierra Leone’s effort in establishing an effect nuclear security regime that is in compliance with the IAEA standards.

 

Credit SLBC TV News

Sierra Leone Heath Minister Attends Health Forum In Germany.

Sierra Leone is close to meeting the mandatory 15% budgetary allocation to its health sector in line with the Abuja Declaration, Health and Sanitation Minister Pro. Dr. Alpha Wurie told German government officials in a series of bilateral meetings, and in separate meeting with SIEMENS Healthliners   during his recent invitation to Berlin to attend the World Health Forum and the 6th German-African Healthcare Forum respectively, the latter in which he participated in two panel discussions.

According to the Minister, 10.6% allocation was made to the health sector this year which is above 7.5% last year and 6.7% in 2017. He described it as moving in the right trajectory more so when President Bio has given instructions for a new intake of 4,000 staff meaning more personnel to work in the health sector something that was impossible some five years ago.

The Minister, accompanied by the Ambassador Dr. M’Baimba Baryoh and the Deputy Mr. Jonathan Leigh, was briefing Dr. Stefan Oswald Director-General Marshal Plan with Africa, displacement and migration in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation on the status of the health sector in Sierra Leone and seeking Germany support in getting the sector upgraded specifically when there was glaring demonstration of weakness in the system during the Ebola scourge. He however thanked the German government for its support to Sierra Leone during that period. He spoke about equipping Community Health Centres in Chiefdoms to make them the epicentre they should have been despite getting support from different countries.

Dr. Wurie also briefed him about the introduction of a nationwide ambulance service, procurement of an ambulance boat for Bonthe, the plans for the renting of holding houses for easy access to treatment facility and the expansion of the blood bank service etc.

Other topical issues discussed were the First Lady of Sierra Leone project against child pregnancy and early marriage, and her “HANDS OFF OUR GIRLS CAMPAIGN” which she is taking nationwide. Both Rene Franke, Senior Policy Officer in the Ministry and Ambassador Baryoh took part in the discussion.

Dr. Wurie also met with officials in the Federal Foreign Ministry and thanked the German government for providing training to the Sierra Leone Army whilst also requesting from the federal foreign Ministry training for Sierra Leonean Protocol Officers.

In the meeting with SIEMENS, led by its Senior Vice-President for Africa Luc Van Overstraeten, Dr. Wurie reported on the status of the Primary Health Care facilities, Community Health Post and Maternal Health Post respectively across the entire country with every of the 149 chiefdoms having at least one to deliver maternal and productive health service and do basic diagnostic work. Discussions also included the establishment and equipping of the Intensive care units in 15 secondary and tertiary hospitals and labs vital for sustaining life.

The meetings were organised and facilitated by the Ambassador to Germany, Dr. M’Baimba Baryoh

German Ambassador to Sierra Leone urges political parties to work towards political stability and peace.

Relationship between the Government of Germany and Sierra Leone is being further strengthened by a meeting in Berlin of the German Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Horst Gruner and Ambassador of Sierra Leone to Germany, Dr. MBaimba Lamin Baryoh.

Relevant issues discussed included more German investment in Sierra Leone and the latter’s proposed membership of the G20 Compact with Africa of which Germany is a very important key player. At the moment, there are few German owned businesses in Sierra Leone namely; DHL courier service, LEOCEM manufacturers of cement and Brussels Airlines which is part of the Lufthansa group, a reputable international air carrier.

Ambassador Gruner’s assessment of the situation in Sierra Leone sounds positive but a bit worrisome on the political front. This is where he is urging the political actors in Sierra Leone to work towards political stability and peace as it has the propensity to scare away potential investors.

For his part, Ambassador Baryoh lauded the German government’s readiness to always support Sierra Leone and gave the assurance that all conditions are been met for investment as the country is rich in mineral wealth, marine resources  and with available facilities to attract tourism. He too isn’t happy that only 1% of German investment is in Africa.

In an unrelated development and an event at which ambassadors accredited to Germany were present, Ambassador Baryoh in his presentation spoke about Sierra Leone observing democratic principles, the ongoing  infrastructural development, maintenance of peace, security and the aggressive fight against corruption; referencing the country’s high scores in the recently released corruption index of the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

AMBASSADOR BARYOH PAYS AFRICA VEREIN C.E.O COURTESY VISIT.

Ambassador MBaimba Baryoh, on Tuesday August 20th paid a courtesy call to Mr. Christoph Kannengießer, Chief Executive Officer of the Africa Association of German Business (Africa Verein) and their discussion centred around an upcoming event later this year at which Sierra Leone will possibly occupy centre stage.

It is going to be the first German-African ICT Forum to be hosted on 19th September whose agenda Mr. Kannengießer says will be an interesting event connecting German companies with African countries and coinciding with the hosting also of the annual Green Week at which a roundtable discussion about Sierra Leone on health and Agri-business will be hosted.

Ambassador Baryoh emphasised that Energy, Health, Agriculture and Education, (particularly vocational training) are the areas he would love to see attract attention of investors in relation to Sierra Leone.  He expressed how happy he was to have found his way to Africa Verein.

According to Mr. Kannengießer, there is going to be a plenary session during the event at which a Minister from Sierra Leone should be available to present a case for Sierra Leone. He lauded the Ambassador who in the absence of Ministers at past events has made interventions in presenting a case for Sierra Leone. Besides the plenary, specific workshops are also going to be held, Kannengießer said,

The Ambassador assured him that every effort will be made to get the Minister of Tertiary Education of Sierra Leone, Prof. Gbakima attend the event as it would be a huge boost for the country particularly so, because the focus will be on vocational training. He also briefed him how the Sierra Leone Import and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) can be a useful component in an event like this. Partnership with the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce with companies in Germany was also suggested by Mr. Kannengießer to serve as an interface between the private sector and the government.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alpha Wurie has also been invited by Africa Verien and the German Health Alliance to attend the 6th German-African Healthcare forum on 30th October 2019 organized as side conference of the World Health Summit holding from 27th to 29th October in Berlin.

The forum will discuss major healthcare topics and focus on Healthcare Business: Partnerships with Multi-sectoral Approaches, taking into account the digitalization process in the health sector.

AMBASSADOR BARYOH MEETS AMBASSADOR ROBERT DOGLER, DIRECTOR FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA AND THE SAHEL IN THE FEDERAL FOREIGN MINISTRY. THURSDAY AUGUST 14, 2019.

Sierra Leone is pushing desperately to become a member of the G20 Compact with Africa grouping, an initiative launched in March 2017 under the G20 German Presidency by countries of the G20 (the world leading industrialised nations), which partners with the World Bank, IMF and the ADB and with a current membership of 12 African Countries to boost private sector investment in Africa and is co-chaired by Germany and South Africa.

Ambassador to Germany Dr. M’Baimba Lamin Baryoh is working assiduously to ensure Sierra Leone become a member at the next annual meeting of the World Bank and IMF schedule for October this year and in pursuit of this he met Ambassador Robert Dogler, Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel in the German Federal Foreign Ministry last Thursday for discussion.

Accompanied by Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Leigh and Protocol Officer Beatrix Brewer, Ambassador Baryoh explained the present status of Sierra Leone’s intention to joining the group and how much efforts are being made. He was informed by Ambassador Dogler that an African country will have to volunteer itself for membership and approval giving at the margins of the World Bank and IMF meeting. But the offices of both financial institutions in the African country will have to do the recommendation. He then advised that Sierra Leone get in touch with both offices in Freetown.

According to him further, the G20 framework is an initiative committed to reform based on good governance targeting the economic sector, human rights etc. He further described it as a sectoral thing marked with reform partnership and a martial plan not specific at the overall look of the economy as there are other instruments from which every country can benefit.

The so-called marshal plan with Africa is supposed to treat African states differently than before; this time as equal partners in the promotion of development focussing on expansion of economic cooperation based on the German Marshall Plan Concept.

Ambassador Baryoh earlier briefed him on the successes of the free education programme, laying emphasis on vocational training and thus seeking German support. Mr Dogler highlighted the bilateral cooperation between Germany and Sierra Leone and explained that there is an envelope of money used for feasibility study into certain sectors away from the traditional support to private sector development like energy, education and finance and referred Ambassador Baryoh to get in touch with a Mr. Rauh who is his counterpart for West Africa.

Migration as it affects and involves Sierra Leoneans and the urgency of getting an immigration officer come to Germany for verification and identification of asylum seekers was also discussed. In the words of Mr. Dogler “we cannot allow people without passport to come and stay here. It is important to have an immigration officer come over”. Katja Dedar of the German Federal Foreign Ministry also took part in the discussion.

Meanwhile in a related development, Ambassador Baryoh also met with the Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr. Maria Flachsbarth at a diplomatic reception wherein they briefly discussed the Compact with Africa in the area of reform partnership. They are to meet on a later date to expand on the discussion.

600 Sierra Leonean Asylum Seekers In Germany.

German Federal Interior Ministry have briefed Ambassador MBaimba Baryoh on the status of Sierra Leoneans legally residing in their country and those applying for asylum. The latter for whom the Ambassador asked to be provided with skill training, if possible after the verification and identification process would have been completed.

 

Statistical data read out to the ambassador who was accompanied by the deputy ambassador Jonathan Leigh, Head of Chancery David Gbenjen and Protocol Officer Beatriz Agudo-Breuer indicates that there are 4,564 Sierra Leoneans in Germany and 600 asylum seekers.

 

Dr. Christian Klos, Director of Return Policy at the Federal Interior Ministry informed the delegation of a voluntary repatriation programme, though it is a preference, most asylum seekers are not ready to accept and its success is a bit poor. According to him, the programme funded nine Sierra Leoneans to return home last year but so far this year no application has been filed.

 

Ambassador Baryoh inquired whether the data also includes those who claimed to be Sierra Leoneans but actually not. On the issue of verification and identification of asylum seekers, he told them it is the responsibility of immigration officers from Freetown and not the embassy since “we do not have the capability and logistic for such a process”.

Head of Chancery, Mr Gbenjen brought it to their attention that the embassy has been sidestepped over the years as the German authorities often maintain connection with immigration officials in Freetown without reference to the embassy in Berlin of their work and results.

Over the last several months, the embassy has been getting calls from persons claiming to be Sierra Leoneans and in need of consular assistance but their dialects are those of other African countries. They couldn’t respond to questions appropriately or satisfactorily. One Diamond Johnson with Nigerian accent claimed he was born at Freetown Memorial Hospital. No such hospital exists in Sierra Leone and wasn’t specific as to where the hospital is located. Another lady claimed to have attended FSSG but cannot tell where the National Stadium is and even the location of St. John. There are dozens more of such cases.

 

A representative from the Geman Police and two other officials connected with migration also attended the meeting.

AMBASSADOR BARYOH PRESENTS CREDENTIALS IN ITALY & AUSTRIA TO GOVERNMENTS AND MULTILATERAL ORGANISATIONS.

Ambassador to Germany, Dr. MBaimba Lamin Baryoh has presented his letters of Credence to the Presidents of Italy and Austria respectively, & to several multilateral organisations in both countries to which he is also accredited, and attended the 41 st conference of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in Italy.

On June 27, he met with His Excellency Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy at the Palazzo Quirinale for the presentation of his credentials. They both held bilateral discussion on enhancing relationship between both countries. Investment in Sierra Leone was high point of the meeting. The good work of the Emeregency Hospital in Freetown was also mentioned in the discussion.

The following day on June 28, Ambassador Baryoh performed similarly assignment with the presentation of credentials to the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Mr David Beasly at the Headquarters of the FAO.

Ambassador Baryoh conveyed greetings from President Julius Maada Bio and outlined the need for help to eradicate malnutrition of children in Sierra Leone by providing nutritional food for lactating mothers, thereby contributing in reducing the infant mortality rate in Sierra Leone. He used the occasion to ask WFP support of the school feeding programme as a supplementary contribution to the Free Quality Education introduced by the President last year. And also encouraged the WFP to provide logistics and training for the development of agriculture in schools.

Letters of credence of the Ambassador were also presented to the outgoing FAO Director, Graziano da Silva. The Ambassador was invited by the FAO Chief to take part in deliberations and meetings of the FAO and other UN agencies as much as possible since he is now accredited.

Another meeting of similar event was with the Vice-President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in the absence of the President who was away on official assignment. Ambassador Baryoh briefed him about the ongoing IFAD projects in Sierra Leone and the wide ranging topics of collaboration were discussed. The Vice-President was particularly interested in reasons for migration, youth unemployment, land tenure, gender equality and role of women in rural development, climate change all of which the Ambassador was updated.

Earlier this month, letters of credence were also presented to to the Federal President of Austria Van Der Bellen by the Ambassador, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to the Officer-in-Charge of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) Ms. Tammy Taylor in the absent of the Executive Secretary and to Fatou Haidara, Managing Director of Corporate Management and Operations of UNIDO, all in Vienna Austria.