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Swedish Ambassador Presents Credentials To President Koroma

Swedish Ambassador Presents Credentials To President Koroma

FREETOWN: On Tuesday, June 5th, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sweden met in Freetown with the President of Sierra Leone, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma and officially presented his credentials as the new Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Sierra Leone.

President Koroma welcomed the Ambassador and expressed deep appreciation of the warm sentiments directed at him, the government and people of Sierra Leone, and noted that he expects the participation of the Government and People of Sweden in the ongoing transformation of Sierra Leone.

President Koroma further stressed the need to strengthened bilateral relations in the areas of investments and technology. “Bilateral relations between Sweden and Sierra Leone are getting stronger. As a development oriented government we appreciate the presence of Swede investments and technology know-how in my country’s bio-energy sector. Investment and trade are fundamental to the new Sierra Leone we are creating”, he said.

According to the President, policies and programs have been put in place to ensure Sierra Leone is a prime investment destination in the West African Sub-Region. President Koroma was very upbeat about the gains made so far, “We are amongst the best reformers in the world, our economy is projected to grow by over 35 percent this year, and hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in our agricultural, iron ore, rutile and the emerging oil sector.”

His Excellency, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma also maintained that the Government and People of Sierra Leone remain committed to the principles of democracy, while adding that “Nothing will distract this nation from continuing along the path to sustainable peace, justice, gender equity, security and development.”

In conclusion, President Koroma acknowledged with profound appreciation “the keen interest shown by the Government and People of Sweden in our efforts at consolidating peace, building democracy and enhancing development”, saying that “Your great country, Mr. Ambassador, has been a valued contributor to our endeavours. Your contributions to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone have been hallmarks of your country’s commitment to securing peace, healing and justice in our country. We also applaud your country’s contribution to building the capacity of the Sierra Leone Police”.

Ambassador Per Carlson conveyed the heartfelt compliments of His Majesty King Carl Gustaf of Sweden and the sincere salutations of the people and Government of Sweden. He also expressed his great admiration for President Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone in ongoing efforts to consolidate peace and create conditions that will continue to build a prosperous, democratic and peaceful Sierra Leone.

The Swedish Ambassador emphasized that Sierra Leone has been a good example of how a country in conflict can change for the better, adding that there remain a number of fundamental challenges, such as continued economic growth to ensure sustainable development, the implementation of the TRC report as well as organizing peaceful elections later this year.

He disclosed that Swedish involvement in Sierra Leone was now entering a new phase through investments in Addax Bioenergy by the Swedish Development Finance Institution SWEDFUND. This fund is currently “participating in the development of Sierra Leonean agricultural sector with the aim of creating sustainable development, including developing sugar cane production and establishing an ethanol refinery, a biomass power plant and related infrastructure.”

In conclusion, Ambassador Per Carlson noted that Swedish engagement in the private sector of Sierra Leone was geared towards escalating further development of economic ties and improved trade between the two countries.

The ceremony which took place in the Credentials Hall at State House and was attended by government Ministers, members of the Foreign Ministry’s Protocol team as well as the State House Press.

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