India and Sierra Leone on 13th of October signed six agreements to expand the bilateral relations in various fields and also agreed to push for UNSC reforms so that one-third of mankind residing in Africa and India occupy their rightful place in decision making bodies of the UN.
The agreements were signed in the presence of Mr. Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India.
This was the first ever visit of an Indian Vice President to Sierra Leone.
India announced the decision to establish a High Commission in Sierra Leone, even as both the countries have agreed to enhance cooperation in agriculture, Food Processing, Information Technology, Infrastructure development and capacity building.
The Vice President said that India has a special relationship with Sierra Leone and the friendly ties between the two countries are based on common values and Shared vision. He recalled that India was among the first countries to contribute to the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) with the deployment of 4000 strong Indian Military contingent.
Declaring that India’s developmental assistance to Sierra Leone so far aggregated to US$ 217.5 million for various Sectors including agriculture, energy, water resources and telecommunication, Vice President of India announced a Line of Credit to the tune of US$ 30 million for Irrigation development in Tomabum to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production. An agreement was also signed today with the EXIM Bank of India in this regard.
He said that decision was taken to reactivate the US $ 15 million Line of Credit for potable water project. The Vice President also informed President Bio that India would be happy to offer line of credit for construction of a new President’s Office complex in Freetown.
Highlighting the growing people-to-people linkages between the two countries, Naidu said that India has extended e-Visa facility to Sierra Leone nationals for ease of mobility and both sides are also negotiating a visa waiver agreement for holders of diplomatic and official passports.