Harish Agnani Inaugurated as Honorary Consul of Sweden to Sierra Leone

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By Amin Kef (Ranger)

In a momentous ceremony held at Choithram Head Office on Rawdon Street in Freetown on May 7th, 2024, Harish Agnani was officially inaugurated as the Honorary Consul of Sweden to Sierra Leone. The event was graced by esteemed guests including Her Excellency Dr. Mrs. Victoria M Sulimani, Director General representing The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Excellency Urban Sjostrom, and his team, as well as colleagues, and members of the media.

Addressing the gathering, Harish Agnani expressed his deep gratitude for the appointment, acknowledging the trust bestowed upon him by His Excellency Urban Sjostrom, the Ambassador of Sweden, and his team. He also extended his thanks to the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and his staff for their unwavering support throughout the appointment process.

He took a moment to recognize the pivotal role played by Kan Azad, whose guidance and support have been instrumental since his arrival in Sierra Leone 35 years ago. Harish also expressed heartfelt appreciation to his family for their continuous support, highlighting the strength they provide.

Emphasizing his commitment to strengthening the ties between Sweden and Sierra Leone, the newly appointed Consul pledged to uphold and promote the values and interests shared by both nations. He affirmed his dedication to fostering mutual objectives and ensuring that collaborations between the two countries are marked by success and lasting friendship.

He concluded by extending a warm welcome to all present, expressing gratitude for their participation in the historic occasion. He urged everyone to seize the opportunity to make a significant impact, emphasizing the importance of looking ahead and building a future together.

On his part, Ambassador Urban Sjostrom, representing the Embassy of Sweden in Liberia, expressed his delight at the inauguration of the Swedish Honorary Consulate in Freetown.

He emphasized the enduring ties between Sierra Leone and Sweden, noting the establishment of the Consulate as a testament to their longstanding relationship. The Ambassador highlighted the unique model of sharing the same Honorary Consul with the Kingdom of Norway, showcasing the close Nordic cooperation between the countries. Expressing gratitude to Harish Agnani for his dedication and professionalism, Ambassador Sjostrom conveyed eagerness for fruitful collaboration ahead.

Reflecting on his experiences traveling to Freetown from Liberia, Ambassador Sjostrom commended the infrastructure development facilitated by the EU-Sierra Leone partnership, making the journey smooth and rewarding. He also commended Sierra Leone’s progress in implementing agreements for national unity and investments in sustainable development.

Acknowledging the challenges facing Sierra Leone, Ambassador Sjostrom underscored the importance of collective action involving the Government, development partners, civil society and academia to seize opportunities for prosperity. He reaffirmed Sweden’s commitment to supporting Sierra Leone through its partnership with the EU and looked forward to strengthening bilateral ties with the opening of the Consulate.

Ambassador Sjostrom ended by thanking Harish Agnani for accepting the role of Swedish Honorary Consul and expressed optimism for a long and fruitful cooperation between Sweden and Sierra Leone.

Representing the Minister, the Director General of Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Victoria Sulimani, conveyed warm regards and best wishes from His Excellency, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, to Sweden’s Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Urban Sjostrom, and the newly appointed Honorary Consul of Sweden to Sierra Leone, Harish Agnani.

She highlighted the deep-rooted bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and Sweden, which have flourished over the years, particularly through Sweden’s in-country cooperation program initiated in the 1980s. The Director General mentioned Sweden’s significant contributions to Sierra Leone’s social protection policies, including support for education and health sectors, which have benefited communities across the nation.

Dr. Sulimani hailed the establishment of the Swedish Consulate in Freetown saying it is a pivotal moment, signifying the strength and depth of diplomatic ties between the two nations further expressing optimism that the Consulate’s presence would further enhance bilateral relations and contribute to the mutual prosperity of both countries.

She commended Sweden’s choice of Harish Agnani as Honorary Consul, noting his strategic relationships within the State authorities, which would facilitate effective diplomatic engagement.

On behalf of President Julius Maada Bio, the Government, and the People of Sierra Leone, Dr. Sulimani extended heartfelt congratulations to Sweden for the establishment of the Consulate in Sierra Leone. She assured full cooperation and support from Sierra Leone in strengthening Swedish-Sierra Leone relations for the benefit of both nations.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Director General reiterated her commitment to fostering enduring diplomatic ties, proclaiming, “Long live The Kingdom of Sweden! Long live The Republic of Sierra Leone! Long live Swedish-Sierra Leone relations!”

The cutting of the tape by Dr. Victoria Sulimani, symbolizing the opening of the Swedish Consulate in Sierra Leone, formed the highpoint of the inauguration ceremony.


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