New British High Commissioner starts work in Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 March 2013

Peter WestIn November last year, the British Foreign Office announced the appointment of Mr. Peter West, as the new British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone. He has replaced Ian Hughes.

Receiving the new High Commissioner at State House this week, president Koroma said:

“We aim at boosting trade with Britain; we aim at improving transparent relationships between British Private Companies operating in Sierra Leone and our citizens; we are acting towards greater reforms of our doing business environment to attract more foreign direct investment.”

The President received Mr. West at State House, Freetown, where he presented his letters of credence to the people of Sierra Leone, as the new High Commissioner of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Ireland.

Addressing Mr. West and conveying his message of appreciation of support received from  Britain, this is what the president said:

British High Commissioner - Peter West and president koroma“I am honoured to accept your letter of Credence by which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second has accredited you as High Commissioner of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Republic of Sierra Leone.

“As rightly stated by you, Britain and Sierra Leone have deep historical and cultural ties. Our country traces its ideals of freedom and justice to a joint enterprise between Africans and British citizens to end slavery, spread legitimate trade, and the worthier values of faith, education and security.

“More than two centuries after that historic compact, these ideals still power the relationship between Great Britain and Sierra Leone.

“Today British Companies are very much engaged in the economic transformation of Sierra Leone. Today, Her Majesty’s Government, through IMMAT and now ISAT, is engaged in entrenching security in our land; and Britain’s Department for International Development is supporting us meet challenges in the health, justice, extractive and other sectors.

“Let me, through you – transmit to Her Majesty’s Government and the people of Britain, our deep appreciation of Britain’s invaluable support for our democracy, our security, and socio- economic transformation.

“We very much value our relationship with Britain. We believe that the historic compact is on a sounder footing for greater engagement that will be mutually beneficial to the citizens and governments of our countries.

“We aim at boosting trade with Britain; we aim at improving transparent relationships between British Private Companies operating in Sierra Leone and our citizens; we are acting towards greater reforms of our doing business environment to attract more foreign direct investment.

“We will continue to boost security with support from ISAT, continue to strengthen our democracy, continue to act as a force for peace and freedom in Africa and the entire world, and we look forward to the support of our friendliest of countries, Great Britain, as we commence the implementation of our Agenda for Prosperity” – said president Koroma.

Mr. West’s first posting was to Argentina in 1980, after joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1977. He has worked in several countries, including South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand, Denmark, Thailand, and Australia.

In 2008, he was appointed to serve as Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria, until his latest appointment in Sierra Leone. He is married with three children.

Receiving news of his appointment as British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, last year, Peter said: “It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to work in Sierra Leone at this exciting and important time. The UK and Sierra Leone are the closest of friends. I look forward to building on the wide and strong range of bilateral ties, developing further our shared political, economic and security interests.”

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