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New FAO Country Representative presents letter of credence to Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

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By: Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

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New FAO Country Representative presents letter of credence to Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Freetown, Sierra Leone, 4 July 2022- The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis, has today, Monday 4 July 2022 received the credentials for the incoming Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Saeed Abubakar Bancie.

Professor Francis commended the longstanding ties of cooperation between Sierra Leone and FAO; appreciating the contribution of the UN Agency towards the development roadmap of the country, especially in line with its core mandates to improve nutrition, increase agricultural productivity, raise the standard of living in rural populations and contribute to national economic growth.

Professor Francis thanked Mr Bancie and FAO for the support given to Sierra Leone over the years. He said Sierra Leone and FAO had a good working relationship, for which the Government and people of Sierra Leone were grateful.

Mr Bancie applauded the Government for its cooperation and constructive partnership with FAO in strengthening agriculture and food security. He reaffirmed FAO’s commitment in supporting the Government of Sierra Leone to achieve the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

He added that in Sierra Leone FAO’s Country Program Framework contributes directly to the GoSL’s priorities in the Medium-Term National Development Plan, which are critical for agricultural inclusive growth, sustainable use of natural resources and reduced vulnerability, building the foundations for agricultural transformation and equitable and sustainable economic growth. “FAO is co-leading one of the four (4) priority areas of the UNSDCF namely: Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security” Mr. Bancie added.

He guaranteed sustained commitment to support Sierra Leone’s progress toward improved nutrition, increase agricultural productivity, raise the standard of living in rural populations and contribute to national economic growthand assured the Minister that FAO’s technical expertise will continue to be at the disposal of government within its mandate.

Mr Bancie, who is succeeding the outgoing FAO Representative in Sierra Leone, Ms Tipo, arrived in Sierra Leone on 1 July 2022; and looks onward to working closely with Government and development partners, both local and international, in advancing the FAO mandate.The new FAO Representative, a Ghanaian by Nationality is coming from Eritrea where he was appointed as FAO Representative since 2018. With his wealth of experience, Mr Bancie will lead the planning and implementation of FAO programmes and project activities in the country.

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