India and Sierra Leone sign $30 million loan to boost rice production

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 October 2019:

India’s vice president Shri Venkaiah Naidu, met with Sierra Leone’s president Julius Maada Bio at State House in Freetown today Sunday, where he announced major areas of support for Sierra Leone to promote economic development in the country.

The support package includes a US$30 million credit line to implement a major irrigation development project that will boost Tomabom rice farming and help Sierra Leone achieve food self-sufficiency.

Praising president Bio and his government for the ongoing economic reforms, the Indian vice president said that the agreement with Export–Import Bank of India would encourage public-private partnerships, and development of Sierra Leone’s private sector.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Sierra Leone’s vice president- Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and his Indian counterpart said that both the Indian and government of Sierra Leone have signed other cooperation agreements, including the establishment of a joint commission, cultural exchange and capacity building programmes aimed at promoting president Bio’s flagship human capital development agenda.

Sierra Leone’s minister of foreign affairs – Mrs. Nabeela Tunis, and the Indian Director of Telecommunications Consultants – Mr. Kamendra Kumar, also signed an MoU to participate in the e-VBAB Network Project – a Pan-Africa e-Network venture.

The Indian vice president is visiting Sierra Leone along with his country’s Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries – Shri Sanjeev Kumar Balyan; a Member of Parliament in the upper House of the bicameral Parliament of India – Shri Ramvichar Netam; and senior officers of the Government of India.

President Bio paid tribute to the long-standing relationship between the two countries, mentioning the role the Indians played as peacekeepers with the United Nations in post-war Sierra Leone.

He said that the Indian community in Sierra Leone has contributed greatly to Sierra Leone’s economic development.

“Sierra Leone and India have had a long-standing relationship. Today, as a country, we want to assure the people of India that we will continue to strengthen that relationship for our mutual benefit. Enjoy your stay and thanks for visiting Sierra Leone,” president Bio said.

Speaking about the importance of the meeting, vice president Naidu, who concludes his three-day visit to Sierra Leone tomorrow Monday, 14 October, said the visit is the first ever high-level visit the West African nation has had from the Republic of India.

7 Comments

  1. Delighted to hear Agriculture is now being pursued, particularly rice plantation with help from India and elsewhere. Rice is the staple food of the country. Once upon a time the country was self-sufficient, e.g. The Galfetti brothers ( Swiss ) from Rokuprr.

    Producing rice in the country will save us a lot of foreign exchange and should be cheaper. I congratulate the Government.

  2. Maxwell Bakarr,I have never been a supporter of the APC so there is no need to dump anything.I like the way Saidu thinks – his sincerity,and intelligence,are unmatched.I do not endorse,or subscribe to his insults,but i certainly enjoy reading them,and so does my wife,and friends. Saidu make us laugh,and happy through his use of words,insights,and observations.If you have an Axe to grind with Saidu thats entirely up to you,but please leave me out of it.I thank you sincerely sir.

  3. Maxwell Bakarr, my brother, how did you come to the erroneous conclusion that I am a supporter of the APC? Why are you people so quick to judge criticism that doesn’t suit your personal agendas. I am not a member of the APC or the SLPP. So next time get your facts right and ask if there is something you need to know.

    • BRAHIM, I know you to be a close ally of Saidu Conteh, who is head and feet deep into the APC. I have also on numerous occasions, read comments from you endorsing Saidu’s nostalgic utterances relative to APC rule. They say birds of the same feather flock together.

      However, if you have now dumped the repugnant APC, then I withdraw my accusation of you being APC but will maintain my assertion that had the APC not bankrupted Sierra Leone, the current SLPP government would not have had any desire to resort to external borrowing to accomplish its programs.

  4. BRAHIM, this government would never have had to borrow a penny if your feckless and vain APC government had not deliberately destroyed the economy of Sierra Leone through a shameless grandiose embezzlement scheme. There is no shame in borrowing to pursue development objectives. What is shameful and criminal is the looting of the public treasury for personal gain.

    Relax my friend, Sierra Leone is in good hands. APC has destroyed. SLPP will rebuild.

  5. How many more loans is this government going to take before their tenure in office finally ends? What are we teaching the younger generation? Are lessons on how to borrow and payback with high interests, examples we would like our children to emulate? Our nation is lost, drifting on the wrong track – thats for sure.

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