From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Photo News
Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister Unveils Portraits of her Predecessors
By Augustine Samba
Apr 6, 2009, 19:14

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Hon. Zainab Hawa Bangura, on Friday 3rd April 2009 displayed photographs of all Sierra Leone’s former Ministers of Foreign Affairs at an auspicious occasion held at her offices in Freetown.

Current Foreign Minister listened with smiles as former 3-times Foreign Minister Ramadan Dumbuya gave the Vote of Thanks last Friday. Looking on is Vandi Minah, current Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs who is also the son of a former Foreign Minister, the late F.M. Minah

The occasion attracted scores of personalities including, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Political Affairs, Alhaji Alpha Khan, the Minister of Defence, Rtd Major Palo Conteh, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Hindolo Trye, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Capt. Allieu Pat-Sowe and his Deputy, Mr. Sylvester Hanciles, Deputy Minister of Fisheries, Ms. Oya Sankoh, Police AIG Tamba Gbekie and scores of others.

In her speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hawa Zainab Bangura noted that the selfless services of many illustrious past politicians especially those who have served as Ministers and Political Heads of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were worthy of remembrance. She said her predecessors had demonstrated their strong commitment to serve the Nation with the best intentions and not for private gains.

Sierra Leone’s first Female Deputy Director General, Mrs. Kadi Bashir unveils the portrait of Sierra Leone’s first female Foreign Minister, Mrs. Shirley Gbujama.

She therefore said the display of photographs of all these past ministers will acknowledge their respective roles played in national development.

"The display of these photographs will bring vivid memory in the minds of people now serving as well as visitors to this Ministry and it would serve as a History" Mrs. Bangura expressed adding that henceforth, all living past ministers of Foreign Affairs will be invited to major functions of the ministry adding. She said the ministry will henceforth continuously engage these former ministers opining that such continuous engagement and affiliation with them by this regime can only yield a good fruit.

The ceremony was climaxed by the unveiling of photographs of former Minister of Foreign Affairs by either the Ministers themselves or their designated relative. Amongst those distinguished past ministers who unveiled their own photographs was Dr. Ahmed Ramadan Dumbuya who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs a total of three times for the APC, the NPRC and the SLPP.

Whilst giving the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the former ministers, Dr. Dumbuya said it was due to his hard work in the ministry that gave him the chance to serve in various governments. Among the many who unveiled photographs of former Ministers was Awareness Times Publisher, Dr. Sylvia Blyden who unveiled two photographs of her distinguished maternal grandfather, Professor Solomon A.J. Pratt who was Sierra Leone’s Foreign Affairs Minister a total of two times, first in the late sixties and then a second time in the early seventies.

At the occasion, it was revealed by the Foreign Ministry that there are so far only three distinguished Sierra Leoneans who have held the position of Foreign Minister more than once. In addition to Prof. S.A.J. Pratt and Dr. Ramadan Dumbuya is Mr. Maigore Kallon who was Foreign Minister first in the sixties under Sir Albert Margai and again in the nineties under Dr. Tejan Kabbah.

Another emotional moment was the unveiling of the photograph of the late former Foreign Minister Francis Mishek Minah by his son, Mr. Vandi Minah who is currently the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The unveiling of the portrait of the country’s very first Foreign Minister Dr. John Karefa Smart was done by his younger brother Frank Karefa-Smart. Other former Foreign Ministers whose portraits were unveiled included Dr. Sama S. Banya, Mr. Momodu Koroma, Mrs. Shirley Gbujama, Mr. Maigore Kallon, Dr. Abass Bundu, Dr. Alusine Fofana, Mr. Karefa Kargbo, Dr. Sheka Kanu, Dr. Abdul Karim Koroma, Dr. Mohamed Lamin Kamara, Dr. Abdulai Conteh, Mr. Desmond Luke, Mr. Luseni Brewah, Mr. Cyril Patrick Foray, Mr. William Leigh and Mr. C.B. Rogers-Wright.

Ms. Arabella Foray who unveiled the portrait of her late Dad, Prof. Cyril Foray poses for Awareness Times alongside Ambassador Tom Kargbo and his wife who unveiled the portrait of their son, Mr. Karefa Kargbo

The Ceremony itself was efficiently handled by DG Soulay Daramy and was followed by light refreshments and socializing amongst invited guests.

Dr. John Kerifa Smart

Mr. C.B Rogers-Wright

Mr. Maigore Kallon

Mr. William Leigh

Mr. Solomon A.J. Pratt

Mr. Cyril Patrick Foray

Mr. Luseni A.M Brewah

Mr. Desmond Fashole Luke

Mr. Francis M. Minah

Dr. Abdulai O. Conteh

Dr. Sheka H. Kanu

Dr. Abdul Karim Koroma

Dr. Ahmed Ramadan Dumbuya

Dr. Mohamed Lamin Kamara

Lt Karefa Kargbo

Dr. Abass Bundu

Dr. Alusine Fofanah

Mr. Melvin Chalobah

Mrs. Shirley Y Gbujama

Dr. Sama S. Banya

Mr. Momodu Koroma



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