Another strategic visit to China by president Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone

John Baimba Sesay – China

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 November 2016

President Ernest Bai Koroma is slated to arrive in Beijing on Wednesday, 30th November, 2016, on the invitation of his counterpart President Xi Jinping of China.

During this all important visit, both leaders will be discussing ways of further lifting the bars of cooperation ties between the two nations.

Both countries have, for decades stood by each other. Not only did Sierra Leone play a crucial role in China’s entrance into the UN, China on the other hand, has been a key development partner of Sierra Leone. This is visible in the country’s infrastructure, health, and human resource development.

When Ebola struck Sierra Leone, the Chinese first provided an international response by providing capital funds and medical equipment. They deployed medical personnel and trained health professionals.

Realistically, there has been a positive surge in ties between the two nations, especially in the last couple of years and with particular reference to the presidency of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.

President Koroma is Chairman of the C-10. This is a Committee set up by the African Union (AU), mandated to promote the Common African Position on the UN Security Council Reform.

Ernest Bai Koroma, Hu JintaoThis has placed him strategically as a global voice for the African continent. China, on the other hand is an economic world power, next to the United States.

It is also a major player in global geopolitical issues. The pending visit therefore is strategically important.

But again at the bilateral level, the president’s visit coincides with a period marking forty-five years of diplomatic ties between the two nations.

Abdulai Bayraytay, Presidential Spokesman, in a news release announcing the departure of the President Koroma stated that, “the two leaders will reflect on forty five years of friendly ties between their countries and will commit themselves to scaling up diplomatic relations in promoting a comprehensive, strategic and cooperative partnership that would foster economic and technical cooperation at both the bilateral and multilateral levels.”

In an interview with Xinhua news agency prior to his departure, President Koroma spoke of also coming to “study the Chinese system of growth through its model of economic development and how the Chinese are able to create “economic zones” that have helped diversify the Chinese economy.” This is impressive and very timely for Sierra Leone’s  growing economy.

A very busy week therefore, awaits the President. Not only will issues around forging ties of friendship shall be discussed, the visit will also offer the opportunity for Sierra Leone to thank China for the assistance provided her during the Ebola outbreak.

It is also expected to open up new windows of development cooperation opportunities between the two nations.

About the author:

John Baimba Sesay is Sierra Leone government information attaché at the Sierra Leone Embassy in China.

2 Comments

  1. I’m looking forward to the day when our president will start presenting himself as a leader from the republic of Sierra Leone instead of the “REPUBLIC OF EBOLA “. It’s really pathetic to go around the world presenting himself as a victim, rather than a partner, so the world can feel sorry for him and dish out free money which again will end up in their (government officials) pockets.

    Ebola started in east Africa, but since defeating the decease they have moved on with their lives just as Asian countries did with the bird flu and SARS, or the way the US dealt with September 11 when they lost thousands of people in a day and the economy was devastated. They still picked up the pieces and moved on, instead of sitting around the toilet sucking their thumb so the whole world can feel sorry for them.

    The president has already thanked the whole world at the United Nations General Assembly, for their help towards the Ebola outbreak. He needs to stop begging and now present the country as an economic power, in terms of its rich natural resources which China needs. He should try to negotiate a fair deal for Sierra Leone, instead of surrendering to the Chinese.

    I hope he won’t spend most of his time having lectures on how to quell down public demonstrations, as the Chinese did decades ago (1986) against their students in Tienanmen Square, which has always been the tactic of the APC government.

    I’m really surprised the APC government perceives peaceful demonstration as opportunity to push students to lose their lives. The only method they use against demonstrators is to shoot and kill as they recently did in Kabala.

    I would like to remind the APC government of our Coat of Arms – “Unity, Freedom and Justice” which is always missing under the APC.

  2. Dear Editor,
    please permit me to comment on the recent interview by AWOKO newspaper of the current APC Attorney General,Hon J F Kamara about the issue of whether the ECOWAS court has jurisdiction over the matters decided upon by Sierra Leon courts.

    It surprised me to hear from the learned International law lecturer that once a matter has been heard and verdict given in the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, ECOWAS does not have the power to adjudicate over it. This is a blatant revocation of what he has been lecturing in his law classes.

    The essence of the ECOWAS court was to replace the erstwhile West Africa Court of Appeal (WACA). In fact up to today, precedents from that court are still persuasive in the jurisprudence of Sierra Leone. The guiding principle of the ECOWAS court is that, it is not a court of first instance. That citizens must exhaust the judicial system in their country before referring the matter to the ECOWAS court.

    But if because of political power he says that the Ecowas court has no jurisdiction to hear Sam Ansumana’s case, then why did the APC government honour the verdict of the same ECOWAS court over the Wanza case?

    Please advice the attorney general not to set an unprecedented precedent during his tenure as Attorney General, as none of his predecessors has ever done so.

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