Sierra Leone names first Francophile ambassador to Senegal

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal, Alhaji Brima Elvis Koroma. Photo : GOV

Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – Sierra Leone’s new Ambassador to Senegal, Alhaji Brima Elvis Koroma, is expected to present his letters of credence to Senegal’s President Macky Sall in Dakar soon, sources confirmed Thursday.

The move comes just a week after Mr. Koroma bade farewell to Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio at State House in Freetown following the parliamentary endorsement of his candidacy to the post of Ambassador to Senegal.

President Bio congratulated Ambassador Koroma in his new role and reminded him of the already strong relations that bind Sierra Leone and Senegal over the years since former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade helped to forge the relations.

“I am particularly sure that you will serve Sierra Leone well. We look forward to you deepening and widening our relationship with Senegal. You can always count on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and my very self for support. I wish you well in your new posting,” Mr. Bio told the new envoy.

Speaking during the ceremony, Sierra Leone’s minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation, Dr Alie Kabba, expressed confidence in Ambassad Koroma’s posting, describing him as “a parfect selection” especially because of his knowledge of French.

Two of Ambassador Koroma’s predecessors: Kadijatou Bassir and Ebun Jusu were not knowledged in French with the former serving nearly five years while the latter was recalled before the end of her tenure early this year.

In response, Ambassador Koroma said with education being the flagship project for President Bio’s administration, he would translate that vision into a concrete result for the good of our country.

As a French speaker himself, the new Ambassador said he was aware of the Herculean task that awaits the Bio administration in awakening the interest of school going children in Sierra Leone to learn French as a second official and international language.

“I am also aware of the fact that the acquisition of a second language was an added advantage that would open a wide range of job opportunities for Sierra Leone,” – a country yet to be a member of the Francophonie and a minority in the Ecowas bloc.

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) comprises of 15 countries and only five are English-speaking including Sierra Leone.

In an exclusive chat with ‘Concord Times’ – one of Sierra Leone’s leading dailies, Ambassador Koroma recalled that long years of hard work and loyalty had finally paid dividend by his new job when he remarked that ‘patience is golden’ and that it flows from ‘hard work and perseverance’.

“Whatever you believe in, continue to pursue with all your power and don’t look for reward as only God can reward those who work hard,” he noted.

Before his appointment, Ambassador Koroma was the Director of External Relations of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and a member of the party for over 25 years, holding membership as patron.

Before landing the job, Ambassador Koroma had worked as a teacher in Sierra Loen for more than 13 years after graduating with a degree in English and French from one of Africa’ oldest universities, Fourah Bay College.

Ambassador Koroma further disclosed that he later took refresher courses in French in Cote d’Ivoire, and returned in 1986 to his teaching job.

The teacher-cum-diplomat noted that sometimes human being face challenges because of their frailties, adding “if we are able and resilient to go through those challenges, we always conquer. Politics needs thick skin and not light skin people.”

© Bur-csa – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_eng