Ambassador Samuel Tamba Musa, accredited to the Benelux countries and the EU, presented his letter of credence to the President of Hellenic Republic of Greece on the 16th November and in the evening of the same day engaged the Sierra Leone community in Greece, where he assured his audience that the Embassy is always ready to seek their interests.
Ambassador Musa spoke on issues surrounding international diplomacy, the functions of the embassy, the on-going positive transformations in Sierra Leone led by the new direction government under the leadership of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, as the diaspora plans of the embassy.
The Ambassador addressed the concern about the time it took him to come to Greece to meet the Sierra Leone community. He informed the community that the receiving first has to invite an Ambassador to present letter credence and they can do so per country or as a group countries based on their own policies and procedures. The date and time is not determined by the Ambassador but by the receiving country. The delay was also due to the pandemic which restricted public events and gathering.
The Ambassador also said that the diaspora Is part of the human resources of Sierra Leone residing outside the country. The President is concerned about human capital development, which puts human resource development through free quality education as the flagship programme.
A key objective of the Embassy is to promote and protect national interest as part of the foreign policy. We therefore value the diaspora. They have talent and skills that contribute to national development. We here to protect your interest and want to collaborate with you to increase the visibility of Sierra Leone as to embark productive partnerships.
Ambassador Musa further explained to the community that the government inherited bad economy and economy that was austerity and been subjected to massive corruption. The government therefore had embark on efficient management of the economy, insitutiing the single treasury account to cut down on leakages, set of anti-corruption of commission enquiry that has led to some recoveries of looted funds, whiles some are still being pursued court. This has contributed to increasing MCC score from 81 to 83%.
The government has made important strides in promoting free quality education, health security. Provision of electricity in district headquarter towns and invested heavily in Agriculture. The Ambassador shared concrete examples of significant strides in all the sectors.
On the issue of the diaspora engagement, Ambassador Musa encourage them to work in the area of trade, investment and help identify potential investors to take home.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Sierra Leonean community in Belgium, Koki Nyangi , said he was pleased the Ambassador and staff were able to meet them even though he said they had waited long for such an engagement.
Koki said that the entire community, including himself, will be more than happy to form a structured team to serve as liaison between them and the Embassy. He called on the Ambassador to play his fatherly role and be able to protect them as they sometimes face some challenges.
The Head of Chancery of the Embassy, Albert Coker, informed the community members of the process of securing documentations like birth certificates, passports and attestations.
One major concern that came out during the engagement was that of deportation but their fears were allayed when the Ambassador informed them that it is not within the powers or in the interest of the Embassy to deport any Sierra Leonean living in Greece. He said that such decisions, are made by the host government based on their own considered parameters and policy stands. Adding “our role is to ensure that the rights of our citizens are always protected, in line with international laws and conventions”.