He said, “I am very proud of Ansumana. I feel proud that we have a Sierra Leonean outside there who has been transforming and influencing the minds of Australians and his Sierra Leonean compatriots to continue to help his homeland.” He avowed that, “we need a lot of Ansumanas that will go out there as Ambassadors of our country showing and telling our good stories.”
His Excellency further called on Ansumana to stay on cause and continue to do more.
President Koroma who is the current Chairman of the African Union Committee of 10 states on UN Security Council Reform (C-10) said that AUK is working for the advancement of his country and not for his personal benefits. He alsorecalled Ansumana’s role in the support provided by the Australian Government in combating the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease which claimed the lives of many Sierra Leoneans, and slowed economic growth.
He said Sierra Leone has gone through good and difficult times, referencing the eleven year devastating civil war to that of democratic elections and peaceful transformation of government. According to him, Sierra Leone was considered the second fastest growing economy in the world before the Ebola struck in 2014 yet, he emphasized, our people showed greater amount of resilience.
The President told Prof. Fleming that, “We are out of Ebola now and gradually returning to normalcy, through a robust recovery priority programmes, stressing that the new policy direction of the Australian government through economic diplomacy, is highly welcoming.
He informed Prof Fleming that before now, Sierra Leone had Australian companies involved in mining and called for such collaboration to be reawakened and extended in establishing vocational institutions where citizens can acquire innovative skills to develop themselves and the country.
Expressing thanks and appreciation, President Koroma said he is hopeful that Prof. Fleming’s next visit, will be extended to the former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard.
Prof. Fleming is in the country for the very first time to see how best Australia and Sierra Leone could move on with their economic diplomacy. She revealed that she is impressed with the development strides of the country and promised to bring in more Australians to invest in Sierra Leone.
She voiced out her excitement and admiration over the country’s development strides, irrespective of the long lasting civil war and the Ebola epidemic that ravaged the country for over a year. She acknowledged the significant gains made by President Koroma’s Agenda for Prosperity and therefore stated the need for collaboration especially now that the government of Australia is focusing on economic diplomacy.
She said education is the key to every development and therefore will love to direct her effort in investing in the sector.
Prof. Fleming told President Koroma that Ansumana Usman Koroma is a friend and a professional colleague for over seven years, noting that AUK’s dream is to see President Koroma’s Agenda for Prosperity succeed.