The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis has in Dakar, signed a Joint Economic Cooperation Entity Agreement with his Counterpart, Madam Aissata Tall Sall, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad.
The Joint Economic Cooperation agreements will make way for the creation of the Joint Economic Council which shall establish a Senegalese-Sierra Leonean Joint Economic Council at a Ministerial level for promoting and facilitating trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
The areas of cooperation shall focus on mineral and petroleum, energy, manufacturing agriculture; livestock development and food security, Fisheries, Trade, Banking, science and technology and tourism.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, The Senegalese Minister of Foreign Affairs Madam Aissata Tall Sall said “Our two Presidents are brothers and they want to cooperate very strongly between Sierra Leone and Senegal and we have to increase this cooperation and go ahead in many areas of investments inorder to develop the two countries”.
The Sierra Leone Foreign Minister, Professor David J. Francis said the agreement was a product of the visit of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio to his brother, President Macky Sall of Senegal where both of them agreed that given the long history of bilateral relationship between the two countries, they now have to concentrate on trade and investments. “Sierra Leone is a land of opportunities for investment in the mining sector, oil and gas, agriculture, tourism, energy and infrastructure. But what we want to learn from this agreement is a lesson from Senegal which has done tremendously well as a stable democracy in Africa. We also want to learn to be able to position ourselves how Senegal was able to secure the MCC for two times” Prof Francis stated.
The two countries are conscious of the fraternal and historical ties that unite them and considering their interest in strengthening bilateral cooperation on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual interest and full respect for sovereignty of both countries.
Article 4 of the agreement requires a special purpose corporate entity of which Senegal and Sierra Leone are equal shareholders. The said entity shall be incorporated through an Act of Parliament in Sierra Leone and the said Act, once passed, shall be ratified by the Senegalese Parliament or vice versa for the implementation of areas of cooperation.
This agreement shall enter into force on the date of receipt of the last written notification by which the parties notify each other, through diplomatic channels, of the completion of the internal legal procedures required for the entry into force of it. The agreement shall remain in force for a period of five years and thereafter its validity shall be automatically renewed for successive periods of same duration unless one of the parties notifies the other of its intention not to renew it six months prior to its expiration date.