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Page added on August 8, 2012

German Envoy Boosts Sierra Leone

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Minister for Economic Cooperation in the Federal Republic of Germany, Dirk Niebel on Tuesday August 7 congratulated President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone for setting a clear cutting pace ahead of the forthcoming elections in November 17.

During a presidential meeting between the two statesmen at State House, the German minister noted that President Koroma has done extremely well for a peaceful conduction of the elections. Minister Dirk Niebel cited the current non-violent atmosphere, which he said is a big plus for the incumbent and the people of Sierra Leone. He further noted that the involvement of different important groups into the election process is a key point for President Koroma’s election records.

According to the Bavarian Minister for Economic Cooperation, the peaceful atmosphere leading to the Nov 17 elections is worth emulating by countries within the sub-region, with direct reference to the previous situation in Ivory Coast.

Germany's Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Mr Dirk Niebel

He went on to explain that his visit to Sierra Leone is to foster a closer economic relationship between the nations. Promising that, more German investors are on their way to invest more money into Sierra Leone’s natural resource sectors.

Minister Niebel, however, cited the 70% unemployment rate in Sierra Leone which he noted is a very big problem in the country considering the stability risk.

The German Minster revealed that an additional grant of Euro 6 million has been made to Sierra Leone to support skills training and other job promotional activities.

Responding to a question on human rights status in Sierra Leone, the German minister praised the strides made by President Koroma in a free media but noted that FGM is still a major challenge.

Political analyst, Faud Kanu, at State House said the timing of the high powered German delegation visit to Sierra Leone is a three point plus for the election campaign of President Koroma. According to Faud Kanu it is very rare for major european nations to visit developing countries during an electioneering period, but the German’s visit has shown a sign of second term endorsement for President Koroma.

Listed below are members of the German delegation that visited State House yesterday morning.

(1) Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Mr. Dirk Niebel
(2) Mr. Rudiger John, Ambassador
(3) Mr. Christian Grun, Office of the Minister
(4) Dr Friedrich Karl Kitschelt, Director Africa Department
(5) Mrs. Julia Kaiser, Head of West Africa Division
(6) Dr Rolf Steltemeier, Director Communication and Cooperation
(7) Mrs. Katharina Manz, Desk Officer Press
(8) Mrs. Anne-Kristin Kramer, Interpreter
(9) Mr. Johannes Selle (Member of the Bundestag)
(10) Mr. Karl Joachim Gunther

By Boyzy Balogun

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