SISLAA Commemorates Chinese National Day 2023

By Foday Moriba Conteh

The Sino-Sierra Leone Alumni Association (SISLAA) has on Friday 6th October, 2023 celebrated the Chinese National Day, which marks the founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on October 1st each year. The celebration was held at a well-attended dinner held at the Bintumani Hotel on Aberdeen in Freetown.

Typically, the Chinese National Day is celebrated with grandeur in China, with official ceremonies taking place on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. However, Sierra Leone through the Sino-Sierra Leone Alumni Association joined in the celebration to strengthen the bond between the two nations.

In his welcome address, Alphaeus Koroma, President of SISLAA, highlighted the importance of the day for the Chinese community, emphasizing China’s remarkable journey from adversity to becoming a global powerhouse.

Koroma stated, “If you follow the history of the Chinese people, they struggled a lot at the start before they were able to rise to the pinnacle despite the challenges they encountered in their earlier development.”

He continued, “For us who have studied in China, it is a testament for Sierra Leone to be able to see the model the Chinese have used to develop their country to this level. If you can remember in the 1970s, China and Sierra Leone were almost at the same level in terms of development. But today, their story is completely different from ours. They have gone far, far ahead because of their commitment to development.”

Koroma congratulated the Deputy Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone and the Chinese community for their 74th National Day Celebration.

Ibrahim Seibureh (PhD), Chief Executive Officer of A to Z Media and an alumnus, shared his experience of witnessing the Chinese National Day celebration in China in 2009. He emphasized the mutual respect that has existed between Sierra Leone and China for nearly half a century.

He highlighted the role of SISLAA as a bridge between the two countries, saying, “We will continue in ensuring that the two countries’ respect is maintained, and we will continue to have the education that we need from both sides. We are the real Ambassadors. We tell the story. We have seen it, we have realized it, and we are here to bring it out.”

Soko Kai-Somba, the National Chairman of the Sierra Leone China Friendship Society, praised SISLAA as a sister and partner organization in promoting socio-economic and cultural advancement between China and Sierra Leone.

He emphasized the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries, rooted in the accountability of the Chinese people in Sierra Leone. “We consider them as brothers and sisters, irrespective of our varying skin colors,” he stated.

The Deputy Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Li Xiaoyong, expressed gratitude to SISLAA for joining in the celebration. He highlighted China’s economic progress, with a 5.5% rise in GDP in the first quarter of the year.

Ambassador Li emphasized the stable friendship between China and Sierra Leone, dating back to the early 1970s. He praised the mutual respect and support between the two countries and acknowledged the vital role of SISLAA in strengthening this relationship.

China has provided 155 scholarships to Sierra Leonean students to study in China this year and pledged continued support to Sierra Leone in various ways.

Closing the ceremony was a presentation of article on, ” My Journey to Discovery” was done by Foday Nyangai reflecting on his journey back then to China and the hospitality of the Chinese People which was followed by cutting of cake and various performances, reflecting the cultural exchange and strong bonds between Sierra Leone and China.


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