Welcoming the delegation, President Koroma expressed regret for not being able to attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in December last year but mentioned that the outcome of that summit undeniably strengthened the relationship between China and Africa. Mentioning the dividend of the outcome of the summit was the US$ 60 Billion pronouncement made by the Chinese President Xi Jinping to be used in various sectors especially in the area of infrastructural development in Africa.
The president highlighted three main projects including the Mamamah Airport project, the Rubber project and the Rokel Water project which he said are due to commence shortly. He described the Mamamah project as transformational project which Sierra Leoneans are waiting for. He informed that contractors have pre-financed the airport project to the tune of US$ 10 Million, and the first phase of the project he further said, is US $200 million dollars.
Meanwhile, President Koroma also meticulously discussed the Africa Common position in the reform of the United Nations in which he urged China to not only support Africa, but also influence other countries about what he referred to as simple request by Africa to be represented especially in the United Nations Security Council. “Africa must be given enhanced position to determine the affairs of the UN,” he said. Regarding this, the president disclosed that they are having a C-10 meeting in Namibia next week to discuss the African Common position in the UN. He noted that the UN should serve as an example of good democracy and democracy of inclusiveness.
The president also expressed his profound gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China for their unflinching support to Africa, especially Sierra Leone during the Ebola scourge. He assured that Sierra Leone will always do what it takes to strengthen the bilateral relationship between China and Sierra Leone.
In his response, Mr. Yang Tao in company of the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone said he was impressed with the implementation of the outcome in Europe and that of Johannesburg, South-Africa and impressed by President Koroma’s efforts and dedication in diverse ways. “What I saw in this visit in terms of energy supply and infrastructure amazed me,” he said. He disclosed that China is in full support of Africa’s move to call for reform in the UN Security Council and further disclosed that the people of China desire to see that China/Sierra Leone cooperation continues.