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A note on Sierra Leone’s new Ambassador to China

A note on Sierra Leone’s new Ambassador to China

China, having the second largest economy in the world has continued to ensure its presence is felt in, and appreciated by Africa and Africans. From West Africa to Southern Africa, East and Northern Africa, the presence of China is there for all to see. Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa has been one of those countries having diplomatic relations with China.  (Photo:  John Baimba Sesa, IA, Sierra Leone Embassy, China)

Diplomatic ties

Sierra Leone’s  diplomatic relations with China have been of exceptional standing, taking into account how both countries have been working over the years to not only improve on such relations, but also, to see how there could be mutual benefits between the two countries. The decision by then President Siaka Probyn Stevens to enter into diplomatic relations with  China has today been seen as a wise one, which has also be interpreted by many to mean, that  then President Stevens (RIP)was indeed a wise man who had the interest of his people in  mind even unto death.

Sierra Leone has a Diplomatic Mission in China. This Mission is also accredited to a number of countries in South East Asia and the Pacific Region, including Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, India and Australia among others. The Sierra Leone Mission in China, is one of, if not, the largest Mission.

Since entering into diplomatic ties in 1971, China  has  been of great help to  Sierra Leone in terms of  completing  a number of projects, such as stations for popularizing rice-cultivation techniques, road bridges, National Stadium, sugar complex, office buildings, hydropower station, power transmission and substation projects, civil housing. The Sino-Sierra Leone cooperation of mutual benefit started from 1984 and it has been making serious progress since then.

When President Koroma assumed power in 2007, one of his first priorities was to work towards the implementation of an Agenda for Change, which aims at moving the country to a new direction in the areas of agriculture, infrastructure, energy and power. To this end, the Mission in China has a crucial role to play in the implementation of the Agenda for Change, taking int0o account the strategic position of China in terms of sustainable support to African countries. President Ernest Bai Koroma’s government is one I could refer to as being pro-poor and pro-people, in the sense that it caters for every Sierra Leone, rich or poor, irrespective of political beliefs. And because of this, President   Koroma has decided to appoint His Excellency Abu Bakarr Multi-Kamara as Ambassador Extra-Ordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of China.

Who is Abu Bakarr Multi-Kamara?

Abu Bakarr Multi-Kamara has got 25 years of progressive professional experience both as a civil servant and in his tremendous service to the United Nations. Coupled with that, he also has extensive experience in partnership and collaborative work with governments, agencies of the United Nations regional and international bodies like ECOWAS, AU, DFID, among others and has a proven record and a strong ability to manage humanitarian emergencies.

Between September and November 2011, he was Events Coordinator in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Sierra Leone, where he coordinated and managed administrative and implementing processes towards a high-level Investments and Partnership Forum. Also, he was very strategic in the successes of the Strategy and Policy Unit, in the office of the President between October 2008-November 2010.  As Programme Manager, he ensured the day-to-day operations of the Unit; ensured compliance with established procurement and accountability standard.

In 2008 upon assuming the Presidency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma had in place a Presidential Transition Team which was there to ensure a smooth transition of power. And between August-September of that year, the newly appointed Ambassador to China served as Chairman of the Committee on National Security and Peace-building and he, together with others, worked with the then out-going government in ensuring a smooth transition with greater attention to institutions, projects and programmes dealing with national security and peace building.

He also severed the United Nations Development Programme in Nigeria, during the period 2004-2007 where he served as Governance Adviser/ECOWAS Focal Point.  Between December 2001 and October 2004, he was Deputy Director at the United Nations Office for Project Services, Programme of Coordination and Assistance for Security and Development, Bamako, Mali. He also served as Assistant Resident Representative (Programme), Team Leader: Emergency, Reconciliation and Recovery Unit, UNDP, between 1998 and 2000. Etc etc etc.

H.E Abu Bakarr Multi-Kamara holds a Master of Arts degree in Development Economics from the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. He also holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Estate Management from the Department of the Built Environment Polytechnic/University of the South Bank, United Kingdom.   Added to the above is a Post-Graduate Diploma in Economic Development with Distinction, Department of Business Studies, Polytechnic/University of North London, United Kingdom.

He had received several meritorious rewards from the United Nations Development Programme in recognition of his dedicated service to the agency and in 1994 the  UNDP rewarded him “in recognition of significant contributions to UNDP/WFP/UNFPA programmes in Sierra Leone, consistent hard work and willingness to accept additional responsibilities; and exceptionally high performance in the development of the United Nations strategy for peace, rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery in Sierra Leone”.

From the above, we see that he has got the required experience to be able to foster the good relationship between Sierra Leone and China.

Bringing more goodies

The strategic position of Asia, especially China to Africa’s economic and infrastructural growth could not be overemphasized. China has been a good partner with Sierra Leone, in terms of Sierra Leone’s development agenda. As President Koroma looks for re-election in November of this year, the development potentials that Sierra Leone stands to benefit from its development partners must be explored for the good of Sierra Leoneans. The appointment of Ambassador Abu Bakarr Multi-Kamara means a lot for Sierra Leone’s development. With his wealth of experience, Sierra Leone stands to get more goodies from Asia in general and specifically from China.

We have seen how China continues to demonstrate its preparedness to be a development partner with Sierra Leone. There is a China-aided road rehabilitation project and the construction of the Charlotte Hydro Power Project which was marked by an official turning of the sod ceremony by President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Chinese Ambassador Kuang Weilin late last year. The road project, which has an estimated cost of US$30 is the largest undertaken by the Chinese Government in Sierra Leone and will take 25 months to complete.

We have also witnessed an improved relation between China and Sierra Leone in the area of boasting the latter’s educational system with Sierra Leoneans graduating from Chinese Universities every year. China had offered scholarship to over 311 Sierra Leone students since 1976. The appointment of H.E Abu Bakarr Multi-Kamara would therefore serve as an impetus that will continue to strengthen the diplomatic relation between Sierra Leone and China and the other countries that the Mission here in Beijing is accredited to.

Wishing him tremendous success ahead and may the good works of President Koroma continue to be felt by Sierra Leoneans.

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