I am happy to put Sierra Leone on the map- Newly sworn in ICC Judge says

Justice Miatta Maria Samba


Newly sworn- in Judge of the International Criminal Court ( ICC); Justice Miatta Maria Samba has disclosed that “I feel very proud and elated to be one of the judges of the first permanent Criminal Court. I am particularly happy to put Sierra Leone on the map”.

Speaking to the Sierra Leone’s Information Attachè to the Embassy in Brussels after being sworn in at the ICC at the Hague, Netherlands, Justice Miatta Samba, the first Sierra Leonean to hold  such a top position stated that Sierra Leone will now be known for its respect for International Criminal Justice and how much “we as a people  and nation respect the human rights of other people” she emphasized.

Her appointment is consistent with the emphasis the government has placed on education for all especially the girl child. She commended His Excellency  President Julius Maada Bio  for his support to education as his flagship program.

Justice Miatta Maria Samba was  sworn in as Justice of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone following her appointment by His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio and approved by Parliament on 23 February 2021.

She explained that “my job at the ICC will be a full time job, but as much as I have been sworn in today, I will not yet be a full time judge until I am called to serve. I will continue to work at the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone until such a time I am called upon by the ICC”.

On the 8th March, the World Commemorated International Women’s Day what does her appointment mean for women? She stated  “this shows women are making headways, I can tell you that today’s swearing in at the ICC brings 18 Judges to the court of which half the number are women”.

Justice Samba said women were making headways in other tribunals and other areas of work. “We have female judges at the International Court for Justice and going back home, we have women appointed by President Bio to serve in various capacities and are doing exceptionally well” she stated.

 “I compete equally and I hope my fellow women will speak up for what they believe in”. She emphasized.



Betty Milton 

Information Attachè

+32 467605529

information.attache@be.slembassy.gov. sl

Minister of Planning pledges Sierra Leone’s commitment to climate change

During the 112th session of Council of Ministers of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr Francis Kai-kai pledged Sierra Leone’s commitment to the climate change.

This session was held virtually for three days with the Sierra Leone delegation led by the Minister of Planning and Economic Development and was attended by the Sierra Leone Ambassador to Belgium, H.E Samuel Tamba Musa and Mr. Saifu George, First Secretary in the Embassy.

The Session considered the report of the Secretary-General of the OACPS and the report of the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors submitted to the Council of Ministers for adoption.

 Key areas the Minister highlighted in an interview after the meeting was that of climate change, biodiversity and the resolution of the new name for the new partnership agreement which is the Samoa Agreement which has been endorsed by the Council.

This New Partnership-Agreement was initialed by both the OACPS and the EU in April, 2021 following negotiations by both sides and is to be signed later in 2021 or early 2022 in Samoa following the completion of procedures for approval.

As a country where fisheries remain a vibrant sector of the economy, the Minister of Economic Development endorsed the presentation on the state of play of the fisheries negotiations by the Foreign Minister of Jamaica, Kamina Johnson-Smith.

Minister Kai-Kai then committed Sierra Leone to the outcome of the next steps of negotiations on the matter.

 During the plenary proceedings relating to the presentation by the Secretary-General of the OACPS strategic plan of the organisation, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai made an intervention on the role of member states in the preparation of the strategic plan. He drew attention to the lessons learned from the European Development Fund (EDF) and counted on the preparedness of member states in terms of the benefits envisaged from the new partnership arrangement with the EU.

On the issue of climate change and climate financing, the Minister said in the interview that “climate change is a universal issue which we have recognized a long time ago” and as a country, he maintained, Sierra was very vulnerable to climate change in relation to some studies which have ranked the country as the third most vulnerable country to the affairs of climate change in the world.

He disclosed that Sierra Leone will continue to prioritize any action that would help mitigate the impact of climate change and the issue of biodiversity which contributes to climate change. He expressed Sierra Leone’s determination to be part of this global momentum to deal with climate change and sustainable development.  He expressed the willingness to support any legislation or resolution that would enable regulate the exploitation and ensure the utilization and conservation of our resources.

Another crucial area was one that had to do with the issue of digital connectivity and digital solutions programme to strengthen the resilience of education, health and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises systems to COVID-19 in ACPS countries.

With education being the flagship initiative of this government, Dr Francis Kai-Kai maintained that “we continue to support free, quality education” as according to the Minister, “22% of our national budget goes to this sector and a reasonable one goes to health and that of agriculture”. These are three legs of the flagship programme the Minister emphasized to promote human capital development and which the government remains very supportive of in terms of the resilience of the country to development.


Betty Milton 

Information Attachè

+32 467605529

information.attache@be.slembassy.gov. sl

Sierra Leone Ambassador to Belgium engages EEAS

By Betty Milton | Information Attache Belgium

The Sierra Leone Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, Kingdom of Netherlands, France, Greece, Dutch-of Luxemburg, Vatican and European Union Ambassador Samuel Tamba Musa has met with Mr. Richard Young, Head of  West Africa division  of the European union External Action Services (EEAS).

The meeting was held at the EEAS Building in Schuman, Brussels.

In his remarks, Ambassador Samuel Tamba Musa thanked Mr. Richard YOUNG, Head of Division, and his team for accepting the Embassy’s request for a meeting.

Stating further that the meeting is geared towards establishing a direct link with the EEAS and to inform the team about some of the transformations taking place in Sierra Leone, noting the opportunities and challenges and possibility of intensifying cooperation.

The Ambassador noted the importance to connect with the Department directly as to exchange ideas and build relationships and the need for the two sides to continue their collaboration to help Sierra Leone.

Ambassador Musa stated that as Mr. Richard YOUNG has toured and worked a lot in Africa, he must be familiar with the situations in the continent, revealing that Sierra Leone has achieved a lot of transformation through the partnership with the European Union.

The issues raised by the Sierra Leone Ambassador Samuel Tamba Musa included the EU-SL Cooperation, the MIP and current pipeline,  digitalization- building scientific and technological capacity, Green deal operationalization, Infrastructure support, Investment plans and Schengen Visa (EEAS).

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador highlight some of the achievements made by the Government as it has removed the death penalty from the law books and has also repealed the libel law which was an impediment to the practice of journalism in Sierra Leone.

In the area of peace, he stressed “the Government has set up Peace Commission following peace conference involving key stakeholders including all political parties and civil society for the consolidation of peace in the country”.

The government has rolled out the free quality education and developed a digitalization strategy and is committed to reinforcing the support for the digital technologies and services such as access to education, health and governance.

Further revealing that the government is deepening decentralization and has revised the Sexual offences act, set up the Sexual offences court and at an advanced stage with the gender empowerment bill.

On the issue of the Schengen Visa he said this remains a thorny issue in Sierra Leone as people have to travel out of Sierra Leone to be issued with visa. That ways be explored to see how the EU could help facilitate the issuance of Schengen visa in Freetown.

In his statement, the Head of the EEAS West Africa division, Mr.  Richard Young expressed satisfaction for the initiative taken to  visit by the Ambassador and delegation.

He commended the Government for the steps taken in the various areas highlighted by the Ambassador.

Noting that the death penalty is of concern to the EU given the challenges associated with situations where there are weak judicial systems, and where a person will not be given a second chance when once they have been sentenced so he appreciated the effort of the government.

He highlighted the priority areas for the EU including Human capital development, energy, education and the environment, which are being elaborated between the EU delegation and the government of Sierra Leone.

On the issue of the Schengen Visa, Mr. Young highlighted the challenges associated with the Schengen visa issue on the EU side. And that this issue he emphasized, requires careful dialogue.

The EEAS is the European Union’s diplomatic service. It helps the EU’s foreign affairs chief – the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – carry out the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy.