Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 June 2018:
Sierra Leone’s president Julius Maada Bio who yesterday declared his assets to the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) as required by law, will tomorrow be joining other African leaders in Nouakchott, Mauritania for the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly.
Ironically, the theme for the AU summit which starts tomorrow 30th June 2018 and ending Monday, 2nd July 2018, is: “Winning the fight against corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s transformation”.
Policy analyst say that president Bio should feel comfortable addressing the summit. And according to a statement from State House in Freetown, he is expected to reveal the strategy for his “democratic war on corruption”. (Photo: President Bio – right, handing over his asset declaration form to ACC boss Kaifala).
Also, on the AU Summit agenda, president Bio will deliver a statement on the signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, aimed at promoting intra-African trade.
President Bio has taken over from former president Koroma as the Coordinator of the African Union Committee of Ten (C-10) on United Nations Security Council Reform and will be chairing a C-10 Meeting on the margins of the summit.
In another but related development, there was confusion in Sierra Leone yesterday, when president Bio decided to swear-in his chief minister David Francis to act as foreign minister in the absence of the incumbent – Alie Kabba who is also in Mauritania attending the AU Summit.
This confusion prompted questions as to why there are two foreign ministers – one in Sierra Leone in the person of the chief minister and the incumbent who is away in his capacity as foreign minister.
Foreign minister Kabba who has been in Mauritania since Monday, 25th June 2018, is chairing various meetings of the Ministerial Committee on African Candidatures in the International system.
He also chairs the Peace and Security Council meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers, ahead of the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union, which starts tomorrow, 30th June 2018.
The Chairman of the AU and the President of the Republic of Rwanda, His Excellency, Mr. Paul Kagame, is expected to deliver the official statement for the declaration of the opening of this year’s session.
Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International delegation attending the AU Summit include: the Director General, Mr. Paul Minah; Director for Multilateral and International Division, Franklyn Fawundu; and the Acting Director for Africa Division, Mrs. Juliana Sia Hawa Fallah. (Photo Below: The incumbent Foreigner Minister – Alie Kabba hard at work representing his country at the AU Summit).