Your trusted place for Sierra Leone and global news
HomeFeaturedPresident Koroma ends visit to Belgium and The Netherlands

President Koroma ends visit to Belgium and The Netherlands

President Koroma ends visit to Belgium and The Netherlands

His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma returned to Freetown on Sunday, 6th April, 2014 after attending the IVth EU-Africa Summit in Brussels (2nd-3rd April). He also paid working visits to the cities of Antwerp in Belgium, The Hague and Amsterdam in The Netherlands from 3rd – 5th April.  (Photo: President Koroma launching the APC Belgium Chapter)

The full text of the Summit Declaration is available on; www.european-council.europa.eu/eu-africa-summit-2014.

In Antwerp city, the President and entourage visited the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) on Tuesday, 1st April, where the importance of the trade relations between Sierra Leone and the Antwerp diamond industry was emphasized.

The CEO of AWDC, Ari Epstein said, “We are very honoured to welcome President Koroma. Sierra Leone is an important partner for the Antwerp diamond industry. In 2012, Antwerp imported 42% of Sierra Leone’s total diamond production, which translates to 45% of the total value of the country’s production. The average price per carat of a diamond mined in Sierra Leone amounted to USD310.56 in 2012, which demonstrates the high quality of the country’s diamonds”.

During the visit, the President and delegation were given a conducted tour of the diamond office, the HRD diamond Lab and the Antwerp Diamond Tender facility.

At the headquarters of the AWDC in Antwerp

At the headquarters of the AWDC in Antwerp

Earlier on the day, President Koroma officially launched the APC Belgium chapter in Brussels.

He admonished the APC supporters to be steadfast and continue to work hard for the progress of the party. “I’m sure with dedication, unity and hardwork, our party will continue to be in power for the next 50 years”.

The President later attended an interactive Town Hall meeting in Antwerp, jointly organized by the Open Government Initiative, the Sierra Leone Embassy and the Sierra Leone Progressive Union in Belgium.

The Antwerp session ended with a Business Dinner hosted in honour of President Koroma  and his delegation by the Sierra Leone Embassy in collaboration with the Sierra Leone community in Antwerp and other partners.

He admonished the Belgium Investors to make use of the business opportunities in Sierra Leone, furthering that the diamond business, if handled well, will create a win-win situation for both the citizens of Sierra Leone and the players in the diamond industry.

“As a country, even though we have mined diamonds for many years, we do not have much to show for it. But if we are able to sort, cut and polish our diamonds in Sierra Leone, it will take the country to another level”.

The President and entourage left Brussels on 3rd April for the historic visit to The Netherlands as it was the first official working visit to that country for a Sierra Leone Head of State and his first since assumption of office in 2007.

President Korma later that evening attended another Business Dinner jointly hosted and organized on behalf of the Sierra Leone Embassy by the Netherlands African Business Council (NABC) with over One Hundred potential Investors in attendance.

On April 4th, the President had an audience with His Majesty, King Alexander Willem 11 and later held bilateral meetings with the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Madam Lilianne Ploumen.

At the Heineken Beer HQ in Amsterdam

At the Heineken Beer HQ in Amsterdam

The President later visited the Heineken Beer headquarters in Amsterdam where the team was taken on a conducted tour and went through the Heineken Experience.

The President and team later paid a courtesy call to the Mayor of Amsterdam city where he also had audience with the management of the Amsterdam Port and discussed issues on Port development.

Addressing thousands of Sierra Leoneans in The Hague

Addressing thousands of Sierra Leoneans in The Hague

President Koroma ended his Netherlands visit with a Town Hall meeting at The Hague and updated thousands of Sierra Leoneans on current developments in Sierra Leone. This was followed by an interactive session where his compatriots had the opportunity to ask questions. The Town Hall meeting was organized jointly by the OGI and the Sierra Leone umbrella organization in The Netherlands, The Sierra Leone Central Union.

President Koroma’s delegation include;

 Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara
 Minister of Trade, Industry and State Enterprises, Alhaji Usman Boie Kamara
 Minister of State Finance, Alhaji FBL Mansaray
 Minister of Information and Communication,  Alhaji Alpha Kanu
 National Authorizing Officer, Mr. Soriba Kanu
Majority Leader, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu
Minority Leader, Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai
 SLPP Member of Parliament, Hon. Helen Kuyembeh
State Chief of Protocol, Mrs Rasie Timbo-Kargbo
 Director National Authorizing Office, Mr. Soriba Kanu
 Chairman Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Mrs Gladys Starsser-King
 Special Executive Assistant, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
 Director of Open Government Initiative, Madam Khadija Sesay
 Director of Europe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Margaret Matturi etc.

Also joining the Presidential delegation were Ambassador Jongo P. Stevens, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany and Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Nothern Ireland, Mr. Tamba Ngegbah.

The full speeches of President Koroma’s engagements in Europe could be accessed on, www.statehouse.gov.sl and www.slembassy.be

President Koroma departed The Netherlands on 5th April for Brussels before leaving for Freetown on April 6th, 2014.

Stay with Sierra Express Media, for your trusted place in news!

© 2014, https:. All rights reserved.

Share With:
Rate This Article
No Comments

Leave A Comment