By Amin Kef (Ranger)
During an auspicious diplomatic gathering, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Uganda to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Deepak Bhurani, on the 26th September, 2023 presided over the official opening of Uganda’s Consulate in Freetown.
Gracing the event were esteemed dignitaries, including the Chief of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, Saspo Ibrahim Sankoh, His Excellency the High Commissioner of the Republic of Uganda in Sierra Leone, Ambassador Nelson Ocheger, Neeraj Kumar Saini, Charge d’ Affaires of the India High Commission, some Members of Parliament of Sierra Leone and the Press.
In his welcome address, Deepak Bhurani underscored the profound significance of the occasion in strengthening diplomatic ties between the Republic of Uganda and the Republic of Sierra Leone. He referred to the gathering as a testament to the unwavering commitment of both Governments to enhance their relations and improve the quality of life for their respective citizens.
He further extended heartfelt gratitude to the Governments of both nations for their incisive and tremendous support and also extended appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Uganda, led by His Excellency General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, for proposing his appointment, and to the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone, under the leadership of His Excellency Brigadier General Maada Bio, for granting an approval.
Acknowledging him for the pivotal role he played, he highly Ambassador Nelson Ocheger for facilitating and coordinating the efforts that led to the establishment of the Consulate.
Upon taking up office as Honorary Consul, Deepak Bhurani, solemnly committed to foster economic and commercial ties between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Republic of Uganda.
His Excellency Nelson Ocheger, the Uganda High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, who resides in Abuja, Nigeria, delivered a powerful statement in which he emphasized the significance of deepening bilateral relations between the two nations and commended President Julius Maada Bio for his leadership in the Committee of Ten Heads of States and Government (C-10) discussions on the reform of the United Nations Security Council.
Ambassador Ocheger mentioned the shared values of Sierra Leone and Uganda, particularly in post-war peace building and state reconstruction and further drew attention to the significant agreements forged during President Bio’s visit to Uganda in 2019, including the visa waiver for holders of Service and Diplomatic passports and the signing of a Joint Cooperation Commission between the two countries.
He also underscored the paramount importance of promoting trade and investment between Sierra Leone and Uganda, reaffirming Uganda’s unwavering commitment to bolstering bilateral relations.
Chief of Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saspo Ibrahim Sankoh, in an eloquent speech he delivered on behalf of his Ministry, emphasized the profound significance of the Consulate’s inauguration.
The event ended with a symbolic cake-cutting ceremony forming the highpoint of the momentous occasion which was chaired by Robert Kondema Kargbo.
The inauguration of Uganda’s Consulate in Freetown stands as a historic milestone in the ongoing endeavor to fortify diplomatic, economic, and cultural bonds between Sierra Leone and Uganda, forging a path towards enhanced cooperation and goodwill between the two nations.