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NEWS  

Prince Charles to Assist President Koroma Rebuild Sierra Leone
By Our Correspondents
Nov 20, 2009, 17:48
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The heir to the British throne and future King of Great Britain, Charles, the Prince of Wales has yesterday Thursday November 19th 2009 held fruitful discussions with the President of Sierra Leone, H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma in London. This Special Meeting follows his accompaniment of the President into the Hall on the first day of the two-day event.

Many Sierra Leoneans, around the globe, have expressed sentiments of pride for the active show of public moral support given to the country by Charles, the Prince of Wales & Heir to the British Throne.

One of them is APC strongwoman, Madam Nannette Thomas, President of APC-Dallas Chapter in America. She travelled from Texas to London to participate at the event. Nannette Thomas told Awareness Times on the line from London that the scene of President Koroma walking into the Conference Hall with Prince Charles was unexpected but "so much appreciated" and left many attendees very emotional and exhilarated.

"I shed tears of pride for President Koroma when I saw him walk in shoulder to shoulder with the future King of England. Things are so hopeful for Sierra Leone with Ernest Koroma leading our country," Nannette Thomas opined adding that she was "privileged to be introduced to Prince Charles and shake hands with him and I could tell how very happy he was, to be in the company of President Koroma and to associate with Sierra Leoneans".

A Warm Handshake between two men who respect each other

President Koroma is shown as he markets a point or two to the future King of England

Prince Charles & President Koroma in London

Meanwhile, a Report by Royal Correspondent Richard Palmer is being reproduced below for our local readership:

The heir to the thrones Architectural Charity, Foundation for the Built Environment has been working with authorities in Sierra Leones capital Freetown to help them rebuild the city, which was severely damaged in the 11-year conflict that ended in 2002.

Next year Charles hopes his foundation will bring together key representatives from the country at a conference, known as an inquiry by design, to discuss the best plans for regenerating the poorest areas of the capital.

At a central London conference held to showcase the African countrys potential for international investors, the Prince, who visited Sierra Leone in 2006 and launched his initiative shortly afterwards, thursday met the nations President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma to discuss this next stage of the Foundations work.

Hank Dittmar, the Foundations chief executive, said after the meeting held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster: "Following the 2006 scoping event the Princes Foundation has continued to work with the Mayor of Freetown and the Government of Sierra Leone to look for ways to undertake an inquiry by design for the regeneration of communities in Freetown."

"We hope an inquiry by design will take place in 2010."

Many of Freetowns main landmarks survived the civil war but a shanty town of slums built up on the fringes of the coastal city. It is hoped that next year local communities, landowners, local authorities and other interested parties would be consulted on ways of regenerating their communities.

Britains former Prime Minister Tony Blair co-organised the conference and his African Government Initiative charity has been working with President Koromas administration for more than a year. It has placed nine experts in key government departments to help the leader in his aim of reducing poverty and developing the economy.

Mr Blair said: "Investors are now prepared to think differently about Africa and there are a new generation of leaders who are rising to this challenge. A prime example is President Koroma. His administration in Sierra Leone is making enormous strides forward thanks to his determined leadership."

International Development Minister Gareth Thomas was also at the event and said: "This is an important and symbolic day for Sierra Leone and demonstrates just how far the country has come since peace was declared in 2002. Economic growth has been steady, in 2007 the country held peaceful and democratic elections, and just last year the World Bank named Sierra Leone the easiest place to do business in West Africa."


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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