Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma on Monday 24th June 2013 told a group of African diplomats, including Ambassadors that “Africa is the Future of the World”. He made these statements at a meeting with the African Diplomatic Caucus in Beijing shortly on arrival in the Chinese capital on Monday night.
According to the Sierra Leonean leader, China is playing a very important role in Africa, especially at a time when bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and China have clocked 40 years. He also noted that Africa today is no longer the Africa of the past as the continent is now looked upon as the future. “We have ensured that we put in place the kind of leadership that our people deserve”, President Koroma emphasized.
While acknowledging the challenges facing countries like Mali, Guinea Bissau and a few others, “Africa”, the president said, “is coming of age and must continue the on the path of democratization, and the efforts of the continent should be recognized, and should not be relegated as it used to be in the past”. “I believe we are on the right path, especially in terms of our agricultural and mineral resources which the world needs to continue to drive development everywhere, President Koroma said, adding that “we will continue to work with China to help develop Africa”.
President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has thanked the Vice President of one of the leading Chinese Universities for their invitation to be one of the guest speakers at the 2nd World Peace Forum organized by Tsinghua University in Beijing. President Koroma was also received by the Chinese Vice Minister of foreign Affairs; Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to China, Victor Bockarie Foh.
Following his arrival, President Koroma will be meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Mr. Xi Jinping, at the Great Hall of the People.
This will be the first meeting between the two leaders, following the reelection of President Koroma for another term in office and that of President Xi Jinping. He then, will on the 27th of June, be attending the opening ceremony of the 2nd World Peace Forum at Tsinghua University as a distinguished guest speaker, and where he is expected to share a platform with Vice President Mr. Li Yuanchao, who is expected to deliver the keynote Speech, and President of Suriname also delivering a speech.
The President arrived in the People’s Republic of China with a high-powered delegation, including, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Dr. Samura Kamara, Mines and Mineral Resources Minister, Hon. Minkailu Mansaray, Dr Sam Sesay, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security and many other state officials.
The World Peace Forum was, in 2012, launched as China’s first and only high-level non-governmental international security forum which won universal acclaim from all sectors of society. That opening ceremony in 2012 was attended by then Chinese President, Hu Jintao, and other world leaders.
President Koroma’s visit is expected to further lift the bars of cooperation and bilateral ties between the two countries.
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