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Your Excellencies, Heads of Missions and International Organisations, The Vice Marshall, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me first of all start by welcoming you and thanking all of you for celebrating this historic day with me and staff of the Sierra Leone High Commission. The occasion of this day marks the enduring good relationship that has existed between the United Kingdom and Sierra Leone spanning more than two hundred years.
Let me convey a message of warm felicitations from His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma the President, and people of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Head of State of the United Kingdom and the diplomatic community in London for celebrating this significant event with us.
I also want to acknowledge and equally appreciate the gesture of managing your very busy and tight schedules so as to be present here today. This is a great honour bestowed on me as it is on the Government and people of Sierra Leone. The good gestures indeed underscore the continued strengthening of our valued diplomatic ties with your individual countries.
In addition, I wish to express a special heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Government of the United Kingdom, for their continued support to the Government of Sierra Leone especially through the Department for International Development (DFID). It is worthy to mention that the contribution of the United Kingdom towards the socio-economic development of Sierra Leone, in particular, by assisting to bring the civil conflict to an end, are values that continue to echo in our recent history of nation building, and we very much appreciate it all.
Ladies and gentlemen, I feel very honoured today to have had an audience with Her Majesty the Queen on the presentation of my letters of credence. On this note, let me assure Her Majesty’s Government that I will work tirelessly to continue to deepen our cordial long term diplomatic relationship. The Government of the United Kingdom has always provided assistance to the Government of Sierra Leone and at the moment there are a number of ongoing projects which come in the form of infrastructural development, institutional development and public sector reform, etc. We are delighted that the complementary assistance of the UK and other development partners has marked a turning point in the development effort of our government.
I want to seize the opportunity of this occasion to inform you ladies and gentlemen that Sierra Leone has bounced back from the malaise of the civil conflict to a status of improved electricity supply in Freetown and other major cities, which is backed by a massive reconstruction of roads and infrastructure. We are also creating a friendly investment environment that is on par with the most advanced sister countries within the region. President Koroma has also made the fight against corruption a priority agenda to the amazement of everyone, such that a couple of senior cabinet ministers have been called before the law to explain allegations of corrupt practice.
We are aware that our post conflict development agenda poses significant challenges that require your continued and collective intervention both at the bilateral and multilateral levels. On this note, I do hope to be able to engage you on one on one level as I have already started to keep the ball of development rolling. We hope you will at individual levels continue to support our post conflict Agenda for Change, which contains and guides the countryâ€™s development aspirations within the medium term.
In concluding, let me once again extend my sincere and heartfelt appreciation for your presence here today, and in particular, to thank Her Majesty the Queen, on behalf of President Koroma, for upholding this significant tradition. I thank you all.Sorie Sudan Sesay, Information Attache, Sierra Leone High Commission, UK/NI
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