“Sierra Leone Is an Example of Success”… Says Chinese President, Xi Jinping
The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping has said that President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma is the first Head of State from West Africa to be hosted at the Great Hall of the People since he became president of China early this year. He made this statement on Wednesday, 26th June at the Great Hall of the People on the occasion of the bilateral talks held between the two countries.
“Whenever I am with African friends, I feel particularly happy and at ease. During my trip to Africa in March this year I could feel the warmth of the African people everywhere I went. So I do hope that this time you come to China you can also find yourself at home as China is indeed your home away from home”, the Chinese leader assured.
President Xi Jinping also said that the African continent is full of vitality and promise. He noted that his impression was that Africa is just like a lion running at even faster pace as there is no limit to its development prospects, saying, “I was deeply struck by this point when I visited Africa at this time, and Sierra Leone is an example of success for the pursuit of peace and development among African countries. Sierra Leone, he said, is also a microcosm of the development of the broader African continent.
The Chinese leader further noted that over the past twelve years and since the end of civil war, Sierra Leone’s improvement of human development indicators is the second fastest in the world, adding that “last year the economy of Sierra Leone grew by up to 17.5% and in the next few years the economy is expected to retain a double digit growth.”This in itself”, he said, “is an amazing story of Sierra Leone’s own development. But at the same time it also reflects the trend of the history which represents the overall growth and progress of Africa as a whole. So we are really happy for you”.
President Xi went on to note that China and Africa were in a community of shared destinies under the evolving situation, and they can achieve big things within the framework of China-Africa cooperation. “China and Africa should remain forever trustworthy friends and sincere partners and we should work together to promote comprehensive and in-depth growth of this new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa and bring greater benefits to the people of our two sides”, he urged.
On behalf of ECOWAS and Mano River Union, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma congratulated President Xi Jinping on his election as President of China early this year. He also lauded the efforts of China in the outstanding support provided in the areas of development, peace and security across the continent, including Sierra Leone.
The remaining part of the meeting was held behind close doors, outcome of which will be communicated in due course.
President Koroma was accompanied by Dr Samura Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Franklin Bai Kargbo, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dr Sam Sesay, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Alhaji Osman Boie Kamara, Minister of Trade and Industry, Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Momodu Maligie, Minister of Water Resources, Hon. Victor Bockarie Foh, Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Dr Mohamed Gibril Sesay, Special Assistant to President Ernest Bai Koroma and Brian Gilpin, Personal Assistant to President Ernest Bai Koroma.
By Jarrah Kawusu-Konte & John Baimba Sesay-Beijing, China.
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