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Page added on September 8, 2012
A one day workshop for five Sierra Leone Government appointed Honorary consuls currently serving in different parts of the United States of America and the Bahamas, under the direct supervision of the 1701 19thStreet NW Washington DC Zip 20009 Chancery has ended. (Photo: One of the participants, Honorary Consul Methuselah Bradley IV Philadelphia making a point during one of the sessions)
The workshop with the theme “Rebranding Sierra Leone” saw presentations by Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens, Deputy Chief of Mission I.S. Conteh, Head of Chancery Sheku Mesali, First Secretary Saspo I. Sankoh, First Secretary Alan C. Logan, and Information Attaché Pasco Gerald Temple.
The five Honorary consuls are:Reginal Spiller, Houston, Texas, Ankur Purohit, Chicago, Illinois, Cynthia Jarrett-Thorpe, Atlanta, Georgia, Methuselah Bradley (IV), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Nikolaos Krathanassis, Bahamas.
The meeting was also characterized by interactive sessions held against the backdrop of refocused attention on rebranding the Country’s image, development diplomacy and the pending November 2012 scheduled all in one (Presidential, Parliamentary, Mayoral and local government) elections.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens gave a brief background about the status of the country before the assumption of office by President Ernest Bai Koroma, updated participants on both completed and ongoing developmental projects – emphasizing the need for them to be pro-active in dispelling rumors, rebrand the image of Sierra Leone and encourage investors to do business in the West African Country.
Ambassador Stevens said the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma began transforming the Foreign Service through a logical re-arrangement of the Foreign Ministry.
In addition, he said, Government through the help of the People’s Republic of China has constructed a new multi million dollar office building that is fully equipped with state of the art equipment.
The Ambassador said it is the expectation of President Ernest Bai Koroma and his Government that honorary consuls would be reliably informed to explain government policies in their areas of operation.
He said Honorary Consuls will serve under the supervision of accredited Embassies to enable sober representation of and expansion of government policies and services that will make them better serve Sierra Leoneans in different parts of the world. For your information “Sierra Leone is ranked 29th globally in protecting Investors (World Bank). Ranks 72nd in ease of starting a business; 12 days to start a business (compare to 37 days regional average) and our Real GDP growth forecast to grow from 5.1% 2011 to 51.4% in 2012.
In his presentation, deputy Chief of Mission Ambassador Ibrahim S. Conteh who spoke on the roles and responsibilities of Honorary Consuls – Expectations of Government and strategies for enhancing performance, gave a brief background to the origin of Honorary Consuls.
He further distinguished the roles of honorary consuls and Diplomats, and said Honorary Consuls do not have immunities from prosecution. “Whereas the diplomat does business through the central government, the consul does so through local and municipal authorities and the Police. He further went on to explain the rights and responsibilities of consuls before re-echoing the need to join other forces to rebrand the country.
The Head of Chancery Counselor Sheku Mesali presented a paper outlining the thirteen consular functions of honorary consuls including “protecting in the receiving state- the interest of the sending state and its nationals as well as the commercial, economic, cultural and scientific relations between the two countries”.
Mr. Saspo Sankoh spoke on consular districts, reporting obligations-Reporting Format and contents, while Mr. Alan Logan made his presentation on strategies for engaging US private sector –investment opportunities, Risks versus benefits through power point.
Mr. Pasco Gerald Temple Information Attaché presented a paper on the work of the office of the Information Attaché and government policy regarding information clarification and dissemination.
Other people who were in attendance were Information Attaché Ms. Elizabeth Foray, Financial Attaché Mr. Paul M. Kamara, Ms. Rakie Macarthy First secretary of the Sierra Leone High Commission in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and two few other personalities.
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