Timothy Musa Kabba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has on the 7th September, 2023 received the letter of credentials from the Ambassador Designate of Ireland to Sierra Leone, Aidan Fitzpatrick.
The Ambassador expressed happiness to return to Sierra Leone as ambassador since his first visit to Sierra Leone together with his wife in 1997 working on some development programs for some time while they were residing in Segbwema, Eastern Sierra Leone.
He recalled the diplomatic relations between Sierra Leone and Ireland that started back in 2014, and he is coming at a time when the Irish embassy is in the process of developing its new strategy for the next five years.
“Because of the progress we have been making together and the successes within our programs, we are expanding in terms of staffing and finance. I think it’s indicative of our commitment to the country but also of the progress we’ve made together over the last number of years”, he said.
The Minister welcomed the new ambassador to Sierra Leone and described his appointment as homecoming, adding that, he is very pleased that the Republic of Ireland has chosen someone that has hindsight into the affairs of Sierra Leone and at a very critical time like this when their program stream resonates with the national program of the government of Sierra Leone.
The minister spoke on President Bio’s vision of women empowerment which led to the enactment of the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Act of 2022 promotes the affairs of women which has enabled them to have 30.4% representation in the Parliament of Sierra Leone as opposed to 14% previously, maintaining that, it has also been replicated in government offices across the country where you have women as heads of parastatals, as ministers and deputies.
He commended the Ireland government for supporting education which is the flagship program of the government; noting the allocation of 22% of its national revenue.
The minister said Sierra Leone is aware of the support from the government and people of Ireland in the education, health care, food, and nutrition sector in the country.
The Minister highlighted investment opportunities in the areas of mining, agriculture, tourism, and other sectors and called on the ambassador to explore those opportunities for investors in Ireland.