Sierra Leone Foreign Minister Prof. David Francis pays courtesy call on WTO Director-General, discusses support to Fisheries & Agriculture sectors.
Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday 31 August 2021- The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Excellency, Professor David John Francis, has paid a courtesy call on the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at WTO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.
Professor Francis, on behalf of the President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio, congratulated Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment on 15 February 2021 and the assumption of office on 1 March 2021 as Director-General of the WTO, and commended her leadership and dedication on the ongoing subsidies, agriculture and trade negotiations at the WTO.
His Excellency extremely thanked the Director-General for championing Covid-19 vaccine equity and access for all initiatives.
The Hon. Minister outlined that the priority sectors identified by the Director General’s office are also recognized as priority sectors of focus by the government of Sierra Leone- agriculture, fisheries, trade, among others.
Professor Francis reiterated Sierra Leone’s desire to continue receiving technical assistance and capacity-building support in fisheries, agriculture, e-commerce.
In her short remarks, the World Trade Organization Director-General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, applauded Sierra Leone`s efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted the country`s experience obtained from the Ebola outbreak had prepared the country to better respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Ngozi said the task force for the COVID-19 pandemic is composed of Heads of Prominent International Organizations. These organizations are working on delivering results in increased vaccine production volumes in the short term and longer-term investments in vaccine production and enhancing the trading system`s contribution to the pandemic preparedness.
The Director-General reiterated her office`s commitment to providing the necessary technical and capacity-building support in agriculture, fisheries, and trade to the government of Sierra Leone.
Dr. Ngozi also commended the government of Sierra Leone for adopting a human capital development strategy across sectors.
Both the Honourable Minister and the Director-General expressed that the meeting will serve as a basis for continued partnership and dialogue to deliver results in the areas of common interests.
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