John Baimba Sesay – Information/Press Attaché (Beijing)
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 March 2017
Sierra Leone’s former ambassador to China has said he remains thankful to President Ernest Bai Koroma for according him the opportunity to serve his country in various capacities, including as envoy to the Asian nation.
Ambassador Alimamy P. Koroma spoke on Friday 17th March, 2017, during a brief ceremony at the embassy, marking an official handing over ceremony of notes to his former deputy, Madam Kumba Momoh.
Ambassador Koroma said, he would forever remain “grateful to the President for that show of kindness and confidence in me to serve.”
He said, he was leaving with satisfaction that during his tenure a number of things happened in the embassy, especially in strengthening the ties between the two republics, calling on all to “take credit” for whatever success that may have been achieved.
In particular, he referenced the Six Cooperation Agreements signed during the visit of President Ernest Bai Koroma to China in December, 2016.
“I did not have any direct say except by way of working with the Chinese. But again it happened during my tenure and we must all take the credit.”
Ambassador Koroma also paid tribute to the warm support he enjoyed from colleagues in the embassy during his brief spell as envoy, saying “I enjoyed my work here and the support and cooperation of my team.”
His decision to resign, he said, was personal as he had taken the decision to resign from his “job as ambassador because he has “other plans which will not be possible to execute should I continue to be an ambassador.”
Responding, Madam Momoh thanked ambassador Koroma for his service to the embassy and generally the country.
She said, within few days of his arrival as ambassador, ambassador Koroma was able to present his credentials to the Chinese president, which was unprecedented and “you started preparing for the visit of President Koroma.”
She said, she was also impressed with the style of leadership of the former ambassador and especially the team work.
Sierra Leone, Madam Momoh said, is a small country where we all would meet one day. “We are sorry to see you leave but God has a reason for your departure and as a team, we wish you good luck.”
Unisa Sahid Kamara, Head of Chancery/Minister Counselor said, it was with heavy heart that the embassy was seeing the departure of ambassador Koroma, also wishing him success in his endeavors.
“I must confess, it has been a good experience working with you”, Kamara said.
Alimamy P. Koroma was on 13th March 2016, appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of China by President Ernest Bai Koroma. He was accredited to several other nations in the South East Asian region.
He resigned his job on 1st March 2017, a decision said to have “been necessitated by the constitutional implications regarding his desire and plan to run for office in the forthcoming elections scheduled for 7th March 2018,” stated a press release issued by State House.
During his tenure, he succeeded in encouraging Shandong Iron and Steel Group Co. Ltd to consider processing iron ore in Sierra Leone into finished product, given the company’s huge presence in the country through its operations in the Tonkolili District.
He also helped in lifting the bars of cooperation between Sierra Leone and China and at the political front, successfully fostered ties between Sierra Leone’s governing Party and the Communist Party of China.
He is slated to depart for Sierra Leone in the morning hours of March 21st, 2017.