By Emmanuel A. B Turay
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nimatulai Bah-Chang has said that the past four years in Egypt have been very challenging for the government amidst high hope and expectations from the people, but she is confident that Egypt will soon overcome these current challenges, given the tenacity and determination of its leadership.
The Deputy Foreign Minister was speaking at a ceremony to mark the commemoration of the 66th anniversary of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Monday 23 July，2018.
Mrs. Nimatulai Bah-Chang, on behalf of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the people of the Republic of Sierra Leone, conveyed warm greetings and congratulations on the celebration of the country’s independence to His Excellency Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Government and people of the Arab Republic of Egypt. She implored the current leadership of Egypt to view the challenges faced as stepping stone to rapid economic development and tools for inclusiveness in the governance of the country while looking forward to learning lessons from the successes in overcoming them.
The Deputy Foreign Minister also underscored the long standing bilateral relations between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Arab Republic of Egypt that transcend politics and entail strong and deep social, economic, cultural and educational ties. She lauded Egypt’s critical role in helping to end Sierra Leone’s decade long brutal and destructive civil war, their assistance during the Ebola scourge and the 2017 mudslide and flooding disaster. “Your actions are clear manifestation to the saying that-a friend in need is a friend indeed”, Mrs. Bah-Chang added.
“We want to leverage on the role and proximity of Egypt to the Middle East to contribute to the peace process in that region because there is no way we can talk global peace without peace in the Middle East”, she said. ‘Sierra Leone is willing to work closely with Egypt in bringing about lasting peace to the region’, Mrs. Bah-Chang concluded.
The Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Maher Almahdy stated that Egypt’s relations with the Republic of Sierra Leone are derived from the common African origin, respect, and the aspirations for a better future. Ambassador Maher Almahdy maintained that as Egypt celebrates its National Day with the whole world that recognizes the country’s contribution in the past and present, they vow to continue fighting terrorism and contributing to peace and security of the international community. The Egyptian Ambassador highlighted some of his country’s contributions in enhancing capacity building through specialized and diversified training programs and conferences including: Media, Journalism, Agriculture, Women Empowerment, Finance, Health, Education, among other areas. “The Egyptian private sector in Sierra Leone, is of course a contribution to the outstanding cooperation between Egypt and Sierra Leone, and every role of the private sector is welcomed, encouraged and protected”, he added.
Several distinguished personalities were present to grace this occasion including: Honourable Ministers; Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Community in Sierra Leone; the Honourable Chief Justice; Deputy Mayor of Freetown City Council and the Chief of Defense Staff.