Posted by: africanpressorganization | 3 February 2010

Commonwealth Secretary-General to visit Sierra Leone





Commonwealth Secretary-General to visit Sierra Leone



LONDON, United-Kingdom, February 3, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, will visit Sierra Leone from 7 to 9 February 2010 to hold talks with President Earnest Bai Koroma and other senior figures.

The visit to the country, the first by Mr Sharma since becoming Secretary-General, will be an opportunity to brief President Koroma on implementation of priorities set by Commonwealth Heads of Government at their recent meeting in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2009, and discuss ways to strengthen the Commonwealth’s overall relationship with Sierra Leone including development assistance and democracy-strengthening programmes.

While in the country, it is envisaged that the Secretary-General will also meet the Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs, Gender and Youth Affairs, as well as the Speaker of Parliament and the Leader of the Opposition. Mr Sharma is also scheduled to speak to students and faculty members at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, which has a partnership with the Commonwealth Youth Programme to provide a Commonwealth youth development diploma.

Speaking ahead of the trip, Mr Sharma said that the Commonwealth has had a long standing engagement with Sierra Leone as active participants in the peace-making process, and subsequently as partners in post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation.

“Sierra Leone is a valued member of the Commonwealth family. The Commonwealth continues to walk with Sierra Leone on its journey to consolidate and deepen democracy and to achieve sustainable development and economic growth,” said the Secretary-General.

Note to Editors

The Commonwealth Secretariat has worked over the years with the Government of Sierra Leone, political parties and civil society to encourage greater participation by women in the peace and reconciliation process. The Secretariat has also helped to strengthen the institutional capacity of the election commission, police force, diplomatic corps and youth sectors. Assistance is currently being provided in improving debt management and recording, establishment of the Stock Exchange, maritime boundary delimitation, trade capacity building and customs modernisation.

For media enquiries, please contact Julius Mucunguzi, Communications Officer on:

+44 (0) 207 747 6382 or e-mail:



Commonwealth Secretariat


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