Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 June 2022:
President Bio last Sunday, held bilateral discussions with the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Emir’s Palace in Doha.
Welcoming the President of Sierra Leone, the Emir said that the state visit is an opportunity to rekindle the bilateral relations between the two countries, adding that Sierra Leone is an important partner to the State of Qatar.
The Emir of Qatar also stated that the bilateral engagements must be a win-win relationship for both countries, as he commended President Bio for the progress he had made in the West African nation for the past four years.
President Bio thanked the Emir of Qatar for his hospitality andspoke about the progress his government has made in various sectors, including education and the fight against corruption.
The President also expressed strong desire to focus on agriculture through mechanised farming and private sector partnership, adding that with the right investment in agriculture, Sierra Leone could become an exporting nation.
Later, President Bio and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani observed the signing of six Memoranda of Understanding including: an MoU for Cooperation in the Legal Field; an MoU for Cooperation in the Fields of Tourism and Business Events; Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance for Optimal Application of Customs Laws and Repression, Investigation and Combating Violations; Agreement Concerning the Regulation of the Employment of Sierra Leone Workers in the State of Qatar; an MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Education, Higher Education and Science Research and Agreement on the Establishment of a Joint Committee for Cooperation.
With Sierra Leone’s economy in serious decline and cost of living taking its toll on an impoverished population, president Bio needs financial backing from those he calls rich friends in the Middle East to help prop his government’s spending and attract investments.