President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Tuesday February 14 received in audience the vice president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Edward Singhatey, at State House in Freetown.Mr Singhatey, according to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momodu Kargbo, who led the delegation, was in the country as part of a regional tour of member states to see how best member states can comply with the ECOWAS Communiqué.As a Gambian, Mr Singhatey thanked President Koroma for helping to peacefully resolve the Gambian political impasse following last year’s presidential election.
He praised Sierra Leone for being compliant with ECOWAS protocols and further disclosed the proposed plan of the Commission to shift its attention to providing scholarships for science students especially in the field of medicine and engineering. He however noted the challenges facing the Commission especially in the externalization of funds by member states. Welcoming the delegation, President Koroma said Sierra Leone being a member state has the responsibility to adhere to ECOWAS protocols.
He commended the ECOWAS Commission for its swift stance in addressing the Gambian political impasse, and appreciated the new initiative of the Commission to focus its attention on youth exchange programmes which will establish and strengthen regional connection and integration.
He pointed out that the issue of externalization of funds is not peculiar to Sierra Leone and called on the Commission to come up with more ingenious ways to tackle the problem. He lauded the new thinking of ECOWAS to move from research to practical programmes that would reach the people.
The president expressed hope that Sierra Leone will be included in the renewable energy project of the Commission.The vice president of the ECOWAS Commission was accompanied by Sierra Leonean born Commissioner for Finances at the ECOWAS Commission, Allieu Sesay and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momodu Kargbo.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.