S/L Hosts Indian Vice Minister for Foreign Office Consultation 

By Amin Kef Sesay

Ms. Florence Bangalie, the Director General & Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation recently hosted the Secretary (Economic Relations) In-charge of the African Continent at the Ministry of External Affairs of India, Rahul Chhabra, at the Ministry’s conference hall on Tower Hill in Freetown.

The delegation included Sevala Naik, Joint Secretary & Head of Division for Central & West Africa in New Delhi, the resident High Commissioner Rakesh Arora, and Second Secretary Lakshmi Swaminathan.

The delegation was present for the inaugural Foreign Office Consultation between Sierra Leone and India following the MoU signed to this effect in October 2019 during the visit of the Vice President of India.

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & IC, detailed discussions were held between the two delegations on issues of mutual interest. They reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral partnership and exchanged views of regional, international, and multilateral issues of interest.

The delegation also called on the President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio during which the Indian delegation, among other things, conveyed the greetings of the Indian Leadership and the desire to further strengthen bilateral relations. The delegation also conveyed gratitude of the Government of India to the Sierra Leonean Leadership for the welfare of the Indian community in Sierra Leone, some of whom were early settlers in Sierra Leone.

India is an important development partner of Sierra Leone having provided loans of US$ 250 million for a number of important infrastructure projects for supporting development of Sierra Leone. India has also been at the forefront of providing scholarships, 175 every year, for pursing Diploma, UG, PG, Ph.D. as well as short-term courses.

India has recently introduced on-line education programme for Sierra Leoneans which enables them to avail scholarships and study while staying in the country. A Learning Centre funded by India will be set up soon at Fourah Bay College which will have computers with internet facilities.

India never lags behind providing humanitarian assistance whenever needed by Sierra Leone. In the recent past, India sent 1000 metric tonnes of rice and a large consignment of medicines to fight against COVID-19.

The delegation called on the Foreign Minister, Nabeela Tunis, on the 26th March 2021.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here