Sierra Leone’s Amr. Bockari Kortu Stevens has sought cooperation with the Jamaican government in the area of Diaspora Development. At a meeting with Amr. Sheila Sealy Monteith, Jamaica’s under Secretary for multilateral Affairs Division at her 21 Dominican Drive Kingston, Jamaica on Monday February 6, 2017, Amr. Stevens acknowledge the strength and successes of the Jamaican Diaspora Engagement and its financial, infrastructural development, social and economic contribution towards their country and expressed an interest in bilateral cooperation in that direction that will help Sierra Leone learn from the Jamaican experience.
According to him, his primary areas of interest is related to the proposed Jamaican Diaspora bond, through which Jamaicans all over the World will be able to take part directly in their country's development agenda.
Amr. Stevens went to the Jamaican Foreign Ministry in fulfilment of an appointment for a meeting requested by the Under Secretary of State Foreign Affairs. Responding, Amr. Sheila Sealy Monteith paid courtesy on behalf of her Government to President Ernest Bai Koroma and people of Sierra Leone and thanked Amr. Bockari Kortu Stevens for responding to her invitation and referenced the abolished Trans - Atlantic Slave Trade, names and surnames of the two Countries and said “we share some many traditional and cultural values.”
“Amr. Stevens, there are closer bonds between Jamaica and Sierra Leone: in the 1787, some Jamaicans residing in Nova Scotia were relocated to Sierra Leone and in the 1800’s, another set of Jamaicans, the Maroons were also relocated to the West African state and became part of the community. “In addition, the two Countries belong to many Multi-lateral organizations like the Commonwealth, United Nations, the International Maritime organization and more. “So, it is my honor to have you in Jamaica and my office. “Welcome to the seventeenth (17th) annual staging of the diplomatic week by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”. “There are many ways in which Jamaica and Sierra Leone are united”. Said Amr. Sheila Sealy Monteith under Secretary for multilateral Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
She sought the support of the Sierra Leone Government at the International front in its bid for representation at the International Maritime Organization assembly (IMO) in London for the period 2018-2019 which election is scheduled for November 27th 2017 to 8th December 2017.
According to her,” the Government of Jamaica has submitted its candidature for election to Category “C” of the Council of the International Maritime Organization, for the period 2018-2019, for which the elections will be held, during the 3oth regular session of the IMO Assembly, in London United Kingdom.” The under Secretary for multilateral Affairs Division, also implored Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens to use his position as Dean of the ECOWAS Diplomatic Corps in the United States to appeal to members of his group to support Jamaica’s candidacy to the IMO Assembly.
Responding, Amr. Bockari Kortu Stevens thanked the Under Secretary for Multilateral Affairs Division for her courtesies and concurred with her on issues relating to the history of the two Countries. He said assimilation had taken place because those Maroons and Nova Scotia’s have long become part of the Sierra Leonean community: but the history and evidence remain. “As I speak, one of the oldest Methodist Churches, built by the Maroons in 1842 is at the center of Freetown the capital.
It was declared a national heritage site in 1956 by our National Relics Commission. In 2007, its two hundred years was celebrated.” Amr. Stevens in his conclusion requested for Sierra Leone to be included in any program, relating to the annual celebration of the Maroons in Jamaica. The Ambassador is also scheduled to meet with the Director of Diaspora affairs in the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs where they will explore possibilities for future co-operation in this important area of national development. The Jamaica Diplomatic week will see twenty six (26) non - resident and resident Heads of Mission in attendance under the theme: “Building Partnerships for Sustainable Development”.
The Prime Minister and The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jamaica held in sessions with the Heads of Mission including Amr Bockari Stevens.