An Inter-Parliamentary Group for French-West Africa in the French Senate led by Senator Andre Reichard has paid a civility visit to the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. AbassChernor Bundu, on Friday 24th February,2023 in his Chambers at Parliament Building in Freetown.

The discussion with the Speaker of Parliament, which was represented in its forthrightness and friendliness, spanned a wide range of issues including knowledge sharing, elections, democracy and the establishment of an Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group between Sierra Leone and France.

Senator Andre Reichardt, Head of Delegation, said that their visit was aimed at building and strengthening the good relationship already existing between the Parliaments of Sierra Leone and France. He also said that the mandate of the Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group covered Sixteen Countries in West Africa with the aim of promoting inter- parliamentary issues including good governance and to foster regional integration among member States.

Senator Nathalie Goulet, Vice President of the Group informed Mr. Speaker that they intend to bring investors from France to boost tourism, agriculture and the waste management sectors in the country.

Welcoming the Delegation, Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu extended warm felicitations and told them that their visit would definitely develop strengthen the good relationship between Sierra Leone and France.

He said such a relationship would enhance exchange programmes and provide an opportunity for our MPs to visit and learn the French language on a regular exchange basis.

Speaking on the importance of having such a relationship, he promised to establish a Friendship Group between the Parliaments of Sierra Leone and France without further delay.

Submitting on the functions of Parliament, he said the Sierra Leone Parliament has 18 female MPs and informed

The Delegation that given the Electoral and Gender Acts women’s representation would be increased considerably in the Sixth Parliament following the June elections.

He said would lay a solid foundation for moving the country irrevocably towards the attainment of gender equality in the not-too-distant future.

He also reaffirmed the assurance he had given to the EU Mission recently on the readiness of the country to receive international election observation missions, and assured that the elections will be peaceful, free, fair and transparent and its outcomes will be accepted by all and sundry.

On investment, Mr. Speaker said the country is in need of investments that will add value to its agricultural and mineral exports.

The Delegation includes Senators Andre Reichardt, Patrice Joly, Nathalie Goulet, Abdallah Hassani, and Xavier Dupriez, Executive Secretary of the Friendship Group. The Director General of Parliament, MrsFinda Findosia Fraser and other staffers were in attendance.