Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 February 2019:
Sierra Leone’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation – Dr. Alie Kabba, has concluded a four-day working visit to the UK, hosted by the Sierra Leone High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland, Mr Tamba Lamina.
The aim of minister Kabba’s visit was to promote the Sierra Leone government’s new foreign policy orientation of economic diplomacy, and his desire to strategically redirect the focus of the London Mission in deepening bilateral cooperation with the government of the United Kingdom, as well as strengthen Sierra Leone’s multilateral engagement with the Commonwealth.
Sierra Leone needs $500 million of investments in key economic sectors, such as fishery, tourism, agriculture, agro-processing, timber products manufacturing, and energy, to end its over-reliance on mining exports.
Millions of young people are unemployed and looking up to the almost a year old government led by president Julius Maada Bio for job opportunities.
The economy suffered a massive blow from the recent Ebola epidemic and global economic downturn, which saw prices of mining exports fell by almost 50%, with an unprecedented impact on government revenue.
Minister Kabba held meetings with the UK minister of state for Africa – Harriet Baldwin, the Commonwealth Secretary General – Patricia Scotland, and Conservative MP and former UK international development minister – Andrew Mitchell, to speak about the core priorities of the New Direction and the anti-poverty agenda of the government of president Julius Maada Bio.
Kabba drew the attention of the UK government to the changing priorities on the ground in favour of trade and investment, rather than social programmes that have attracted the bulk of UK Aid to Sierra Leone.
The minister also met with a cross section of Sierra Leone Diaspora community and discussed the positive transformation taking place in Sierra Leone under the New Direction. He spoke about the very important role that Sierra Leoneans living and working in the UK has to play in helping to develop the country.
Also this week, Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland – Mr Tamba Lamina, presented his credentials to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in London.
Addressing a reception held after meeting the Queen, High Commissioner Lamina spoke about the immense changes taking place in Sierra Leone today, and called on Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora to engage with the High Commission to support the government’s efforts. (Photo: Tamba Lamina meeting the Queen).
Alie Kabba was also was on the BBC Focus On Africa speaking to Hassan Harouni:
The is what the Sierra Leone High Commission to the UK and Ireland said: