Dressed in traditional African attire, Sierra Leoneís new¬†Ambassador in Saudi Arabia received high-ranking Saudi Government officials, members of the Diplomatic and Consular corps, Saudi & Gulf Investors, among many other dignitaries at a reception hosted at the Riyadh Palace Hotel to celebrate Sierra Leoneís 53rd Independence Anniversary. In opening remarks, Ambassador Alhaji M.S. Kargbo said that Sierra¬†Leoneís Independence on 27th April, 1961 was an important milestone and deserved to be observed and celebrated in a grand¬†style by Sierra Leoneans in the Kingdom and all over the world.
He added that 27th April serves as a day for all Sierra Leoneans to¬†pay glowing tribute to the founding fathers and mothers of Sierra¬†Leone and all those who played pivotal roles for the countryís Independence from British rule.
Ambassador Kargbo conveyed the fraternal and friendly greetings of His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President¬†of the Republic of Sierra Leone and those of his Government to the¬†Custodian of Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin¬† Abdulaziz Al Saud;¬†His Royal Highness, Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; Crown Prince,¬†Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, First Deputy Prime Minister¬†and Minister of Defence; His Royal Highness, Prince Muqrin Bin¬†Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Premier, Advisor¬†and Special Envoy of the King and the Government and people of the¬†Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Kargbo expressed his satisfaction on the excellent bilateral¬†relations between Sierra Leone and Saudi Arabia, which he said has¬†spanned for over thirty years. The Ambassador also used the¬†opportunity to highlight the economic developments and achievements¬†his country has attained since Independence, particularly under the leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. He proudly announced that Sierra Leone is one of the fastest growing economies in the African continent and that it has successfully realized economic and social development since its foundation 53 years ago. He noted that such developments canít happen without the support of the international community.
In spite of the uncertainties in the global economy, the Ambassador¬†told his audience, Sierra Leoneís economy remained resilient and¬†relatively stable. ďThe economy grew strongly by 15.2 percent in 2012,¬†and was on course to achieve the projected growth rate of 13.3 percent¬†for 2013. Real GDP is projected to increase to 14.0 percent this year and 12.4 percent in 2015Ē
Though there are still monumental challenges after 53 years of¬†independence, the envoy noted, there are indicators showing that the¬†national economy is growing rapidly based on the assessment of the¬†IMF, World Bank and other International financial institutions.
He encouraged the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to continue being a strong¬†partner of Sierra Leone in pursuing economic and development¬†objectives, adding that, there is a solid foundation for Sierra¬†Leone-Saudi relations, with extensive cooperation in various fields.
However, due to his mindset, which is focused on wooing businessmen¬†and investors to Sierra Leone, he used the just concluded¬†independence anniversary as a timely and golden opportunity to¬†showcase his countryís numerous investment opportunities to Saudis.
The Ambassador told his audience that the new business laws in Sierra¬†Leone have made it relatively simple for any business person to¬†register his/her business in Sierra Leone in less than 48 hours,¬†adding that, Sierra Leone is the best¬† and safest investment¬†destinations in Africa.
He also encouraged Saudi and Gulf investors to come and invest in¬†mining, infrastructure, agro-industries, energy, tourism, marine and¬†fisheries and many more. He concluded by calling on investors to think differently about Sierra Leone.
¬© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.