Top diplomats from Saudi Arabia jet in Freetown Wednesday, June 1st
The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is to pay a two-day official visit to seven West African OIC Member States, including Sierra Leone.
According a press release issued by the General Secretariat in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu (in photo) will visit Sierra Leone from June 1st-2nd 2011, as part of his West African tour including the Republics of Togo, Benin, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Niger.
The OIC Secretary General, according to the release, will hold talks with His Excellency, the President Dr. Erenest Bai Koroma and some senior Government Ministers on Multilateral relations and ways to develop and strengthen these relations.
Essentially, the Secretary-General will utilize the occasion of the visits to apprise the Sub-Regional leaders of these countries on the progress made in the implementation of the OIC Ten Year Programme of Action and the various programmes dedicated to the socio-economic transformation of African countries, says a senior OIC official last night.
The visit, according to the official, will ultimately enable these countries to accelerate their accession to the various OIC instruments on trade facilitation, while taking advantage of the OIC programmes for South-South cooperation for increased foreign direct investment, employment generation, youth and women empowerment, competitiveness, poverty eradication and infrastructure development.
“Other poverty alleviation projects include Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Security; which is very important in your President’s “Agenda for Change” programme,” the soft-spoken official who preferred anonymity said on the phone.
It will be the first- ever visit to Sierra Leone by the head of the 57-member pan-Islamic organization since its inception on 25th September, 1969.
Earlier, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Permanent Representative to the OIC, H.E Wusu Munu, and Acting Head of Chancery, Mr. Eric B. Gamanga, paid a courtesy call on the Secretary-General and informed him of their Government’s preparedness to receive him and his accompanying delegation in Freetown. The two sides also discussed OIC- Sierra Leone relations and to explore ways and means to further strengthen them.
The OIC is an august body which works to promote political, economical, social, cultural and scientific cooperation among its member states. The OIC, in 2003, established a Trust Fund to assist the government of Sierra Leone with its post war reconstruction programs.
The Secretary General is a man who travels extensively to mobilize resources, strategize, coordinate and facilitate activities with OIC member states with its affiliated institutions.
He will be accompanied by a delegation comprising the Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs, Ambassador Hameed Opeloyeru; the Director, African Affairs, Ambassador Yahaya Lawal and a host of senior officials from the General Secretariat.
Alhaji M.B. Jalloh, Information Attaché, Sierra Leone Embassy, Riyadh – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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