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President Koroma and delegation transit in Senegal en route to Ticad, Japan

President Koroma and delegation transit in Senegal en route to Ticad, Japan

President Ernest Bai Koroma and a strong delegation en route to Japan to attend the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) from 1st to 3rd June,  made a stopover in the Senegalese capital of Dakar.  (Photo: President Ernest Bai Koroma and Sierra Leone Ambassador Khadijatu Bassir)

The President and delegation were received and welcomed on arrival at the airport by H.E. Ambassador Khadijatu Bassir, high ranking officials from State House, including the Special Adviser to President Macky Sall, Head of Chancery Sahr Johnny, First Secretary Samuel Kaikai and my good self

Talking with regards the conference, President Koroma said Tokyo is looking for ways to strengthen its relationship with Africa, and Sierra Leone is now proven that it is currently one of the fastest growing economies.  As a result of that, he went on to say that the Japanese Institutions will be very much interested in seeing what they can do with Sierra Leone Institutions.

Dr. Sylvia Blyden, Senior Executive Assistant to President Koroma, at work in Senegal Dr. Sylvia Blyden, Senior Executive Assistant to President Koroma, at work in Senegal

Dr. Sylvia Blyden, Senior Executive Assistant to HE President Ernest Bai Koroma further explained that the forthcoming TICAD meeting is going to provide a major global framework for Asia and Africa to collaborate in promoting Africa’s development. She said it is held once every five years with follow-up meetings in between. The conference is being sponsored by AUC, World Bank, UN and UNDP and the government of Japan.

Dr. Blyden expressed anticipation that given Sierra Leone’s growing presence on the world map as a destination for positive returns on investment, and one of the promising economies in the world, the TICAD meeting can only serve to strengthen the already excellent ties between Japan and Sierra Leone.

According to Dr. Blyden it is now time for Sierra Leone to open up her doors to Japanese companies and Japanese investors to have a more profitable relationship with Sierra Leone. “Our doors are open,” she concluded, is the message the delegation is going to convey.

Records show that the 1st TICAD Conference was held in 1993,  2nd in 1998,  3rd in 2003, and 4th in 2008, in which 40 Heads of State attended.

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