Led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Samura Kamara, the Special Representative on United Nations Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Yang Tao and delegation Friday 8 January, 2016 met with President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House in Freetown.
Welcoming the delegation, President Koroma expressed regret for not being able to attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in December last year but said the outcome of that summit undeniably strengthened the relationship between China and Africa.
According to a State House report from Freetown, President Koroma added that the dividend of the outcome of the summit was the US$ 60 Billion pronouncement made by the Chinese President Xi Jinping. The money is to be used in various sectors especially in the area of infrastructural development in Africa.
The president highlighted three main projects including the Mamamah Airport project, the Rubber project and the Rokel Water project which he said are due to commence shortly. He described the Mamamah project as a transformational project which Sierra Leoneans are waiting for. He further stated that contractors have pre-financed the airport project to the tune of US$ 10 Million, and the first phase of the project will cost is US $200 million dollars.
Meanwhile, President Koroma also meticulously discussed the Africa Common position in the reform of the United Nations in which he urged China to not only support Africa, but also influence other countries about what he referred to as simple request by Africa to be represented especially in the United Nations Security Council.
“Africa must be given enhanced position to determine the affairs of the UN,” President Koroma emphasized.
Regarding this, the president disclosed that he and other selected African presidents are having a C-10 meeting in Namibia next week to discuss the African Common position in the UN. He noted that the UN should serve as an example of good democracy and democracy of inclusiveness.
The president also expressed his profound gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China for their unflinching support to Africa, especially Sierra Leone during the Ebola scourge. He promised that Sierra Leone will always do what it takes to strengthen the bilateral relationship between China and Sierra Leone.
In his response, Yang Tao, who was accompanied by Zahn Yanbo, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, said he was impressed with the outcome of the meeting in Europe in Europe and the other meeting in Johannesburg, South-Africa.
“He was also impressed by President Koroma’s efforts and dedication in diverse ways.”
“What I saw in this visit in terms of energy supply and infrastructure amazed me,” he said.
He disclosed that China is in full support of Africa’s move to call for reform in the UN Security Council and further disclosed that the people of China desire to see China-Sierra Leone cooperation continue.