Sierra Leonean Foreign Minister David Francis today visits China. While in China, Francis will meet his Chinese counterpart, Qin
Sierra Leonean Foreign Minister David Francis today visits China.
While in China, Francis will meet his Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang. Relations between the two countries have continued to improve in recent years. In 2021, China provided vaccines and other forms of medical aid to Sierra Leone in support of the West African country’s efforts against COVID-19. Earlier this year, Sierra Leone opened up a new Chinese-built and funded foreign service academy in Freetown that trains diplomats. The new foreign service academy is one of many projects undertaken by the China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG) company which has also completed the Lungi-Port Loko Road, Mange-MamboloRoad among other infrastructure projects in Sierra Leone.
In April, China donated a patrol boat to Sierra Leone in response to concerns from local coastal communities that fishing by Chinese vessels and illegal fishing has depleted fish stocks.
Despite frustrations from local communities, a lack of economic and financial opportunities for Sierra Leone in the post-COVID period will push Freetown closer to Beijing. Bilateral ties between the two countries are expected to grow whether the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) or All People’s Congress (APC) gains power in Sierra Leone following elections set for June. In the near future, cooperation will likely be centered around Chinese lending for development andinfrastructure projects particularly in fisheries and port-building.