• December 12, 2022

Sierra Leone, Namibia Rekindle Ties

Sierra Leone, Namibia Rekindle Ties
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By Solomon A.J Jamiru Esq. (Deputy Minister of Information and Communications)

Today Saturday, 10th December, 2022, Excellencies Julius Maada Bio (President of Sierra Leone) and Hage Gengiob

(President of Namibia) expressed their commitment to deepen ties between the two sister countries.

This commitment was made during a short press briefing at the President’s Lodge at Hill Station, Freetown following bilateral talks between the two leaders.

H.E Hage Gengiob and his wife First Lady Monica Gengios are in Freetown from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th December on the invitation of H.E and Lady Fatima Bio, as special guests of honour in commemoration of the 4th anniversary of the “Hands Off our Girls” campaign.

Like First Lady Fatima Bio, madam Monica Gengios (current President of the African First Ladies) is deeply committed to empowering women and girls. The two first ladies seek to transform their nations into safe spaces for women and girls. Madam Fatima Bio’s efforts are being applauded and celebrated all over the world. At the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, she successful pioneered a resolution for an International day in honour of survivors of sexual exploitation and violence. Lady Fatima Bio was also recently a special guest of Lady Camila, the Queen Consort in UK.

On this milestone visit, President Julius Maada Bio and his brother President Hage Gengiob, recall the special historical and friendly ties between Namibia and Sierra Leone. They recall the days of Namibia’s colonial struggle particularly 1966 to 1990 and the guerilla movement led by the South-West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), during which Sierra Leone was home to many Namibian freedom fighters in the SWAPO leadership, and others who escaped the scurge of colonialism. Those Namibians also became part and parcel of Sierra Leonean families. Both heads of state recalled that many Namibians pursued secondary and tertiary education in Sierra Leone, including Namibia’s current Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila who attended the Koidu Secondary School for Girls (Kono) and the St. Joseph’s Secondary School in Freetown, and many others in past and current leadership positions in Namibia. President Hage Gengiob was pleased to note that amongst many Namibians, he also was carrying a Sierra Leone passport which had saved him from deportation abroad at some point.

Namibia (a country of 2.5 million people) is one of the youngest populations in Africa and the world, gaining independence in March 1999 under the auspices of SWAPO.

Both Presidents have agreed not just to rekindle ties but also expand the current narrow framework of Cooperation to include collaboration in mining and minerals, fisheries, agriculture, etc.

It could be recalled that in 1980 Sierra Leone hosted the OAU summit in Freetown, and Namibia’s Sam Nujoma delivered a fiery speech where he recounted Namibia’s struggle against colonialism. And now, President Hage Gengiob is here to represent a new Namibia and to explore ways our two countries can contribute to global peace, sustainable development goals and prosperity for our two nations. Namibia and Sierra Leone are members of the Committee of Ten African Heads of State seeking reform of the United Nations, and coordinating Africa’s bid for a seat in the non-permanent category of the UN Security Council. President Julius Maada Bio is the current Coordinator of C-10.

In the course of their stay, First Lady Fatima Bio and her sister First Lady Monica Gengios, will hold discussions revolving around the work they do on women and girls, jointly visit the 34 Military Hospital, meet with several women and girls, and make some room for sight-seeing.

Just to let our readers know that, I checked out the motto of Namibia and it reads “unity, liberty and justice”. It bears such a striking similitude of our motto “unity, freedom.and justice”. Floriat Sierra Leone-Namibia relations.

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