Freetown, Sierra Leone – “As Sierra Leoneans, we invite the Turkish nation to our country to establish strong partnerships in the fields of culture and education, as well as commercial partnerships, where both nations can benefit mutually,” said Tunis, Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister.
Sierra Leone Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nabeela F. Tunis said that her visit to Turkey was a special visit in order to increase the level of relations and cooperation between the two countries.
The fact that Sierra Leone has opened an embassy in Turkey for the first time makes this visit even more meaningful, Tunis said, adding that they want such diplomatic visits to become routine in the future.
The minister, Tunis, Sierra Leone’s president, Julius Besides the strong cooperation with Turkey is currently being developed further deepening of PFP attaches great importance to, said: “We have here today, our government increase the level of relations and cooperation between the two countries is indicative of how to attribute special importance.” said.
Turkish companies already have significant investments in energy, construction and agriculture in Sierra Leone, Tunis said, “but Sierra Leone has significant potential for investment in many other sectors. Therefore, we would like to see more Turkish investments in our country., “he said.
Tunis, referring to the importance of non-profit Turkish organizations in his country, noted:
“On the other hand, I think that our relations with the Turks should not be limited only to economic investments. As Sierra Leoneans, we invite the Turkish nation to our country to establish strong partnerships in the fields of culture and education, as well as commercial partnerships, where both nations can benefit each other.”
Sierra Leone, the young country of West Africa. The West African country of Sierra Leone stands out for its young population, rich underground resources and economy, which has been developing in recent years.
The country, whose capital is Freetown and currency is Sierra Leone, gained independence from Britain in 1961.
Sierra Leone, which has an area of about 72 thousand square kilometers, has a border with Guinea and Liberia, as well as a coast to the Atlantic Ocean.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, English is spoken as an official language in Sierra Leone, which has a population of about 7.8 million people.
About 60 percent of the country’s population is in the 0-24 age range, and about 80 percent of the total population is Muslim.
Turkey is one of Sierra Leone’s most important foreign trade partners
Sierra Leone’s economy, which has a gross domestic product (GDP) of $ 11.55 billion in 2019, grew 5.1 percent in the same year, according to data from the Commerce Ministry.
Due to the outbreak of the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19), the country’s GDP, which is expected to shrink by 2 percent in 2020, is projected to gain positive momentum again in 2021.
In 2019, Sierra Leone realized exports worth $ 690 million and imports worth $ 1.05 billion, reaching a foreign trade volume of about $ 1.7 billion.
The country’s main export products are titanium, aluminum, wood products and diamonds, while cereals, medical drugs and electronic instruments stand out as the main import products.
As of 2019, Sierra Leone is one of the country’s most important foreign trade partners, followed by Turkey, China, India and the United States, with the 4th most imports. the distinction of being the country.
Last year, Turkey exported about $ 53.4 million to Sierra Leone, while about $ 2.8 million was imported from Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone imports mostly construction materials and grain from Turkey, while Turkey imports scrap ships, titanium and gold from that country.
Diplomatic relations with Sierra Leone
According to the State Department, the first diplomatic relationship between Turkey and Sierra Leone was established in 1971.
Living in a bloody civil war in Sierra Leone between 1991 and 2002, in 2005 the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) created by the decision of the Peacebuilding Commission Sierra Leone configuration of the United Nations wanted to take place in Turkey in 2012 and for this purpose appropriate and the reference to this configuration in Turkey has been a member of.
Turkey provides development assistance to Sierra Leone in various fields such as health, food, education through the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), while Turkish Airlines (THY) has started to operate regular flights to the capital Freetown as of 2018.
Turkey’s Embassy in Freetown became operational in 2018, while Sierra Leone’s Embassy in Ankara was officially opened on November 3, 2020 during the visit of Foreign Minister Tunis.