John Pa Baimba Sesay – Information Attaché, China
1 June 2012
Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China has commenced talks with the China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund). The discussions will explore potential investment opportunities in Sierra Leone.
With representative offices in four African countries – South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia, CADFund was established in 2006 as the first Chinese equity investment fund, primarily focusing on investment in Africa.
The fund is aimed at enhancing China – Africa economic cooperation as well promote Africa’s development through direct investment.
Speaking at a meeting with the Vice President of the China-Africa Development Fund, on Thursday, 31st May, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to China, Abubakarr Multi-Kamara expressed his profound thanks and appreciation, on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone to the Government and people of China for the support they have given to Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone, he mentioned has had a long standing relationship with the People’s Republic of China “and this is treasured by Sierra Leoneans.”
Ambassador Multi-Kamara informed the Vice President that prior to his arrival in Beijing, he had sought to understand the development cooperation landscape in China, especially in terms of key institutions and best practices.
He noted that CADFund “has been a principal agency in Africa’s development efforts”.
He promised to use his expertise and exposure on development issues as an opportunity to engage effectively with the CADFund.
Discussing about investment opportunities in Sierra Lone, he informed the Vice President that “Sierra Leone is a small country, but one with huge potential in agriculture and tourism…” and that at present the country has a leadership that has inspired everybody in the country.
“My posting here is a deliberate action by His Excellency the President to restore confidence and strengthen cooperation between the two countries to a much higher level.”
Ambassador Multi-Kamara also informed the CADFund Vice President that he is a true believer in the Sino-Africa cooperation.
He is hoping that his tenure will not only focus on strengthening the Sino-Sierra Leone relations, but will seek to be actively involved in strengthening the Sino-Africa ties, through the framework of ECOWAS Ambassadors in China.
In his response, the Vice President of the CADFund – Hu Zhirong, congratulated the Ambassador in his posting to China.
He said that China and Sierra Leone have had strong friendship ties, spanning over a period of forty years and therefore encouraged the Ambassador to “ step up cooperation between the two countries and work closely with CADFund so as to make use of the huge potential” in Sierra Leone.
The Vice President explained that the CADFund was established in 2006, as one of the eight measures announced by the Government of China in line with the objectives of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
He said that they are an equity investment agency that is different from Chinese government’s direct aid to Africa.
The agency has invested about 2.3 billion dollars in Africa with over 30 projects, including investment in Real Estates in Sierra Leone.
According to Hu Zhirong, the agency focuses its attention on infrastructural development as well as in the area of transportation, electricity, railway and manufacturing sector.
With long years of experience in investment in Africa, the Vice President explained that CADFund has often focused its investment opportunities in industrialization and urbanization.
In his words, “natural resources are the power of industrialization and CADFund has been giving a lot of incentives to countries to develop their infrastructures”.
He expressed hope that Sierra Leone, as a developing country just like China will benefit from such opportunities, and called on the Ambassador to “work closely with CADFund to identify projects with investment potential in Sierra Leone”
In a related development, the Ambassador on Wednesday, 30th May also held discussions with Zhigang Cheng, Secretary-General for the China-Africa Industrial Cooperation and Development Forum (CAIF), on possible lines of cooperation for development in Sierra Leone.
Ambassador Multi-Kamara told Zhigang Cheng of his desire to see the Embassy of Sierra Leone in China strengthening its relationship with CAIF.