By Amadu Lamrana Bah in Washington
Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the United States of America, His Excellency Sidique Abou-Bakarr Wai, is very optimistic that Sierra Leone will benefit immensely from the U-S – Africa Leadership Summit that will commence tomorrow, Tuesday 13th December 2022 in Washington D.C.
Speaking to AYV, Amb Wai said since the Summit was announced by President Biden, they have as an Embassy been engaging with both the Office of the President, Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to develop proposals around President Bio’s flagship program- human capital development through education, and other sectors like health, energy, agriculture, environment, infrastructure, and mining.
“I am confident that those coming will engage the about 300 top corporate companies around the world that will be at this meeting with bankable projects and activities that they will be interested in,” he said.
In July 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that he would host leaders from across the African continent for a major summit this December in Washington to discuss pressing challenges from food security to climate change.
“The summit will demonstrate the United States enduring commitment to Africa, and will underscore the importance of U.S.-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities,” Biden said in a statement from the White House.
Speaking on the Embassy’s preparation for the Summit, Amb Wai said they have been working assiduously to engage existing and new private companies with interest to invest in Sierra Leone to create jobs and opportunities under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio.
“We will be hosting an Investment and Trade Summit to be chaired by the President and we have invited top executives already with a footprint in the country and those who are keen on knowing more about the investment climate and other opportunities in Sierra Leone,” he revealed.
The Summit will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., with additional official Summit events occurring at several other venues across the Washington area, from December 13-15, 2022 with about 50 African Leaders. The Summit will also bring together civil society, diaspora communities across the United States, and the private sector in the pursuit of a shared vision for the future of U.S.-Africa relations.
On the high level of engagement with U.S. government officials, Amb Wai confirmed that the Embassy has already received requests from a pool of officials including the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, the MCC Administrator, and other organizations that want to engage with President Bio.
“President Bio is highly respected by the U.S. government and globally so he will be here with his delegation, including the private sector, to work to achieve his vision of transforming Sierra Lone,” he said upbeatly.