By: Mohamed B. Kallon Information Attaché
Sierra Leone Embassy Cairo
The Arab Republic of Egypt Email: firstname.lastname@example.org +201104336127
The Republic of Sierra Leone and the Arab Republic of Egypt have entered into a joint cooperation on Tuesday 24th August 2021 onpolitical consultation, Youth and Culture.
Professor David J. Francis who heads a five man delegation was accompanied by Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma-Leader of Government Business, Hon. Emilia Lolor Tongi representing Parliamentary Oversight Committee of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Victor Sheriff-Director of Africa Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Abraham John-Director of Ministerial Follow-ups to Cairo August 23 – 26, 2021.
The Minister declared that both President Bio and his Egyptian counterpart President Sisi had agreed to work together. Therefore, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, he is delivering on the strategic foreign policies of the Chief Diplomat H. E. Bio. He acknowledged the Egyptian hospitality demonstrated so far. David Francis affirmed that Egypt is among the first countries to establish Embassy in Sierra Leone. So, he was in Cairo to consolidate that special relationship.
During his stay in Cairo, David Francis’ delegation met and signed joint cooperation agreements with Egypt Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Culture, Minister of Tourism, Youth and sports trying to grace a new partnership that has faith in Africa as Africans, they can work together to address their own problems. He recognized Egypt as a global player; hence his engagement is to demonstrate their strength and quality of the Pan-African identity and African common identity.
David Francis and his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, both reciprocated views on a number of bilateral issues and regional objectives of mutual interest. The top Diplomats expressed their desire to intensify the degree of trade exchange to be equivalent to the political relations between the sister countries. Egypt Foreign Minister Shoukry pronounced that Egypt will send a package of medical aid to Sierra Leone to help support the health sector.
Shoukry advocated and spurred the intensification of bilateral and regional endeavor to dissuade terrorist organizations and organized crime groups in the Sahel Region as well as reconstruction and development process needed during the post-armed conflict stage. Shoukry proposed a visit to Sierra Leone, and promised taking a trade delegation with him.
The discussions further dealt with solidarity in respect of African call to reform and expand the Security Council, in light of Sierra Leone’s presidency of the African Union’s Committee of Ten (10) concerned with the matter. The Security Council includes five permanent members, who have the right to veto resolutions (USA China, Russia, UK and France) in addition to five non-permanent members who are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms, and five non-permanent members, who are elected each year. Only one seat is designated for Africa out of the 10 non-permanent seats, so the African countries want to expand the UN organ to be included in the permanent membership as well as increase the African representation in the non-permanent seats.
The delegation’s engagement with Egypt Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Khalid Abdulghafer was fervent on supporting cooperation with Sierra Leone education to make study easy by facilitating Sierra Leone students pursuing education in Egypt with all that is needed. Both Ministers were enthusiastic on strengthening Scientific and educational ties.
During the meeting, David J. Francis and Outgoing Ambassador Morie Fofana requested increasing educational Grants in different fields including Technical Education, Agriculture, Energy, Water resources and entrepreneurship.
David Francis discussed economic bilateral cooperation with Egypt Minister of International Cooperation Rania Ell- Mashat and expressed the desire to develop cooperation in the area of trade, investment, electricity, water, irrigation and renewable energy. David Francis expressed Sierra Leone’s wish to boost such ties with Egypt that will generate investment opportunities.
On Wednesday 25th August 2021, the delegation was received by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Dr. Khaled El Enany to discuss strengthening ways of joint cooperation between the two countries and take the values of the south – south cooperation and change the narrative on history and Human Capital Development since both countries are sharing same mission and vision to exchange on Tourism and Archeology. Professor David Francis and his delegation meeting with Dr. Enany stems from Egypt’s invaluable experience in the fields of tourism, hospitality and antiquities for which the delegation was keen on discussing ways of enhancing bilateral cooperation to benefit from the Egyptian expertise in the fields of tourism and antiquities.
Minister Francis stressed the need to develop commonality of purpose on how to leverage cultural diplomacy for which Egypt is renowned and use the framing to learn from how Egypt has transformed the exchange into diplomacy.
Egypt Minister of Tourism and Antiquities welcomed the accompanying delegation stressing the ministry’s full support to provide all possible means of cooperation and provide capacity building exchange training programs in Archeology. Both ministers consented on identifying core areas and thinking of a Joint Cooperation Commission out of which they can develop key pillars on education, youth, sports and tourism. At the end of the meeting, both ministers exchanged souvenirs.
The delegation later had two meetings concurrently, with the minister visiting the Chancery Building in Maadi to talk with Staff of Sierra Leone Embassy in Cairo and Sierra Leone Community Executive at the other end the Leader of Government Business of Sierra Leone House of Parliament and his counterpart meeting with their counterpart MP, Egypt Chairman of the African Affairs Committee to discuss matters of mutual parliamentary benefits.
In a meeting held in the Chancery building of the Sierra Leone Embassy, the Minister Professor David J. Francis disclosed that he was pleased with the support given by outgoing Ambassador Morie Fofana and his team. He pledged support to local staff and called for professional commitment given that H.E. Bio’s government is about delivery and he needs the support of the Embassies or missions to work harder to support the agenda of the president. He declared that, repatriated diplomatic staff to Sierra Leone will be provided 40ft. container instead of 20ft.
Speaking to executive members of Sierra Leone Union in Egypt, he declared that his purpose of meeting them was to share with them progress of the government, identified talents to bring home and to assure them of his ministry’s willingness to provide support to Sierra Leoneans. He also informed them that MFAIC is working hard on issues bordering on migration, labor and visa free & visa on arrival.
At a dinner organized in honor of the Minister, Prof. David J Francis was privileged to meet with the African Ambassadors Group in Egypt whose role has been complimenting. The minister also engaged multiple potential investors who expressed their intentions to invest in various areas. The minister revealed the private sector engagement is key, and the hospitality gave him the confidence that Egypt is capable to bolster cooperation ties with Sierra Leone at all levels. He declared that Sierra Leone is a land of vast opportunities for trade and investment as it is safe for doing business and it’s the new investment destination and the government is ready to build strong credible and reliable partnerships. He asked the investors to work with the Embassy in Cairo for the facilitation of a visit to Sierra Leone.
The ceremony was climaxed with presentation of plaques, photographs and dinner.