By: Zacharia Jalloh,
Strategic Communications Unit- MIC.
The Minister of Information and Communications Honourable Mohamed Rahman Swaray played host to the United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone Mr David Reimer at his Youyi Building office today Wednesday the 25th August 2021.
The US Ambassador was warmly welcomed by the Minister and his Permanent Secretary Mr Kwame Yankson as discussions on strengthening our bilateral relationship kicked off.
The US Ambassador was on a working visit to the ministry responsible for handling government communications, to examine the government’s efforts in Covid-19 vaccination, Cybercrime, MCC and other related matters.
The US Ambassador spoke about the United States’ support in the fight against Covid-19 and pointed out the recent $1 million given to the government to ramp up the vaccination process. The Ambassador also said that the United States is supporting Sierra Leone with the Pfizer vaccine which is expected to be in town soon if not already.
He encouraged government to continue accelerating the vaccination process as it will not only be good for Sierra Leone but for the United States as well. He acknowledged the threats posed by Covid-19 and admitted that it is only when the world is vaccinated that things will go back to normal.
The Minister of Information and Communications Honourable Mohamed Rahman Swaray in his response, thanked the US government for their continued support to Sierra Leone, particularly highlighting the $1 million support in the fight against Covid-19.
The Minister stated that, the government has rolled out the vaccination process and His Excellency the President Julius Maada Bio showed leadership in being the first citizen to take the jab. In the heat of many conspiracy theories about the vaccines people were reluctant at first, but as a result of effective public education and social mobilization and the fact that there are no adverse reports on the vaccines, the turn out is now encouraging.
The US Ambassador was also informed about the Cyber Security and Crime Act 2021 that was passed unanimously in the well of parliament this year and now awaiting presidential assent. The Honourable Minister informed him about the National Computer Security and Incidence Response Team(NCSIRT), an infrastructure that ECOWAS and EU are capacitating the government of Sierra Leone with to enhance the fight against cyber crimes.
Minister Swaray also dilated on the digital transformation which he said was one of the visions of President Julius Maada Bio to ensure Sierra Leone does not miss out on the fourth industrial revolution.
The US Ambassador spoke about the progress of the MCC and said the team is expected to come to Sierra Leone next month to capacitate the MCC office in Freetown. He said the MCC package will primarily focus on energy, food security, water and sanitation.
The US Ambassador in his concluding statements assured the Minister of US government support and collaboration with Sierra Leone for the common good of the two countries.