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President Bio concludes on Saudi-Africa, OIC Summits

HomeAYV NewsPresident Bio concludes on Saudi-Africa, OIC Summits

President Bio concludes on Saudi-Africa, OIC Summits

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AYV News, November 14, 2023

His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio is returning to Freetown after a successful 2-day Saudi-Africa and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Summits in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he also held bilateral talks on the sidelines with other Presidents, global companies and public investment funds.

President Bio also had very fruitful meetings with the Saudi Minister of Education, Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, CEO of the Saudi Fund for Development, Saudi-ARAMCO oil company, Public Investment Fund, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, a leading humanitarian organisation serving people and communities in 86 countries around the world.

Accompanied by Chief Minister, Dr David Moinina Sengeh, Foreign Affairs Minister, Timothy Musa Kabbah, Minister of Health, Dr Austin Demby, Minister of Trade, Ibrahim Alpha Sesay, Minister of Agriculture, Dr Musa Henry Kpaka and Minister of Tourism, Madam Nabeela Tunis, the President shared his government’s Big Five Gamechangers – FEED SALONE, Human Capital Development, Youth Empowerment, Revamping the Public Service Architecture and achieving Sustained Economic Growth through Technology and Infrastructure.

It could be recalled that the three important summits, the Saudi-Africa Summit, the Arab Summit and the OIC Summit, have been fused into two major summits, now the Saudi-Africa Summit and the OIC Islamic/Arab Summit. The Arab-Africa Summit, which was originally scheduled, was eventually postponed indefinitely.

The just concluded Saudi-Africa Summit created an opportunity to expand and deepen partnership and development between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Africa. As an economic powerhouse in the Middle East, with an increasing influence globally, Africa can leverage relations with the Kingdom to foster development and strengthen partnerships in agriculture, health, education and humanitarian assistance on the continent.

On the other hand, the OIC Summit focused on the situation in Palestine, preceded by the meeting of OIC Senior Officials and the Conference of Foreign Affairs Ministers, which considered and adopted a resolution on the situation.

The Saudi Kingdom has had a long-standing relation with the African continent and recognises Africa’s huge resource potential and opportunities for trade and investment. With a population of 1.4 billion and a combined GDP of over USD 3 trillion, both sides can chart new horizons in trade and development partnership.

In a similar development, President Bio engaged Sultan Abdulrahman Al-Marshad, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Fund for Development, a Saudi Arabian government agency that provides development assistance to developing countries by financing social and infrastructure projects.

The President started off by expressing deep gratitude to the Saudi King, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries as well as for the development assistance rendered to Sierra Leone.

His Excellency then spoke about his government’s key priorities with the Fund, which also seeks to support the economies of recipient countries by enhancing economic growth and promoting job opportunities, and expressed his country’s desire to deepen cooperation with the Kingdom.

CEO of the Fund, Sultan Al-Marshad, welcomed President Bio and outlined the range of development programmes that existed during the over forty years of bilateral ties between the Kingdom and Sierra Leone.

He also mentioned several recent infrastructural projects, including the Kenema-Pendembu Highway and the Fourah Bay College rehabilitation-BADEA project. He noted the $50 million soft loan that the Kingdom had signed with Sierra Leone for the construction of an ultra-modern hospital in the northwest of the country.

Sultan Al-Marshad also reiterated that the $5 billion fund for Africa that was launched the previous day by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud at the Saudi-Africa Summit would benefit Sierra Leone.

Both sides expressed delight in meeting and agreed on developing a cooperation framework that would usher in an expansion of the ties between the two countries.

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