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Ambassador Adikalie Foday Sumah presents letters of credence to President Guinea-Bissau

Ambassador Adikalie Foday Sumah presents letters of credence to President Guinea-Bissau

Speech by His Excellency Mr. Adikalie Foday Sumah, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau on the occasion of the presentation of his letters of credence to His Excellency Malam Bacai Sanha, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau on February 8, 2011

It is my great honour to present to your Excellency Malam Bacai Sanhá, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau; the Letters of Credence by which President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, has appointed me Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau as well as the Letter of Recall of my predecessor, Alhaji Dr. Shekubah Saccoh.

Your Excellency, Sierra Leone is proud of the enlightened history she shares with your country, Guinea-Bissau, which encompasses our interwoven cultural, social and economic ties spanning to several scores of years.  It punctuates our contacts with hitherto your Colonial Masters, Portugal.  In particular, the discovery of Guinea-Bissau by the Portuguese Explorer, Nuno Tristão, in 1446, was replicated 16 years later in my country, by another Portuguese Explorer, Pedro da Cintra, in 1462.  This common historical experience was gradually but steadily concretised by the significant presence of Sierra Leonean citizens in your friendly Nation State.  Today, as I stand before you Sir, the population of Sierra Leoneans in Guinea-Bissau, has multiplied into several thousand mainly engaging in the artisanal fishing activity in the Kasseck; Kaninie; Pupressa and Boubac to name but a few areas. 

His Excellency, it is all the more astonishing to inform you that, the name of your country’s Capital City- Bissau, shares the name with one of our ancestral villages of Bissau, in the Northern Region of Sierra Leone.  The name itself came as a result of the visit to the area by the Portuguese Traders who navigated through the Great Scarcies River.

The socio-economic interaction between our two great nations has been in existence long before the establishment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).  The trade in cola nut across the Forest States of West Africa in the 19th Century was a strategic linchpin for our inter-connections; and because of this, we have been able to enrich our common culture and tradition; and without doubt, enhances our common aspirations for sustained development of our people.

His Excellency, as Nation States, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone have proudly stood shoulder to shoulder with each other during the challenging periods we respectively experienced in the cause of our political developments.  Sierra Leone’s humble contribution to the struggle for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau through the Pan-African Institution of the Organisation of African Unity- now the African Union, has been richly reciprocated in diverse ways by your country which, among others, include the provision of safe haven for a number of our citizens who fled the carnage of civil war in my country.  The Constituency of Sierra Leoneans in this Country is therefore partly made up of Refugees.  The hospitality which you have continued to extend to my compatriots is well noted and appreciated by every Sierra Leonean at home and abroad.  It is for this reason and more that, His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, extends his fraternal greetings and note of thanks to you, His Excellency, President Malam Bacai Sanhá and the people of Guinea-Bissau.

His Excellency, my President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has asked me to give you his assurances of sustained collaboration with you in pertinent global; continental; and regional matters pursuant of our bilateral and multi-lateral relations under the auspices of the United Nations, the Non Aligned Movement, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States. 

His Excellency; your brother and friend, President Koroma has expressed interest in working together with you in the fight against cross border activities which militate against the well-being of our people especially the youths, and undermine the respect and good image of our countries. 

His Excellency; Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone have immense economic endowments which could be exploited to the potential advantage of our novel democratic nations- particularly in the areas of agriculture and commerce.  That is why, I am honourably encrusted with delight to inform His Excellency that, I would soon commence consultations with my Colleague, Elhadj Braima Embalou, being your Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Sierra Leone with Residence in Conakry, for the possibility of establishing a Joint Commission for the development of our fishing and cashew nuts plantations industries.  A Shared experience in these agricultural domains would ensure direct benefit to our people which; among others would serve as mechanism for job creation for our young and dynamic citizens and reduction of rural poverty.

His Excellency, Guinea-Bissau is home to me outside of Sierra Leone.  My determination to come here regularly would clearly demonstrate my affection for the country and further epitomises His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma’s yearning desire to strengthen the bilateral relations extant between the two countries.

Therefore, I passionately look forward to a happy return to this historic and friendly City for the purpose of furthering a cordial and fruitful working relationship with your Government and people of Guinea-Bissau and, to share her wonderful weather condition and beautiful landscape.

I thank you.      

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