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Seoul: KOICA approves USD $1M grant to Sierra Leone

21 January 2016 at 11:28 | 1441 views

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Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Ambassador Omrie Michael Golley on Wednesday 20th January 2016, paid a courtesy call on the newly appointed Director-General of EDCF operations at Korea Eximbank, Lee Tae-yong.

In attendance at this meeting were Eximbank’s Director for the Africa Team, Kevin Choi, and the Senior Loan Officer at the Bank’s Africa Department, Choi Hung Suk.

Korea Eximbank, established in 1976 is the official export credit Agency of South Korea, having as it’s primary purpose the support of South Korea’s export led economy through the provision of loans to targeted economies, thereby enhancing Korea’s international cooperation .

In 2013 the government of Sierra Leone signed a finance agreement with Korea Eximbank for the construction of a new Freetown City Council building complex, the construction of which was delayed as a result of the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, but expected to be commenced shortly.

The visit of Ambassador Omrie Golley to the bank’s headquarters in Seoul (photo), comes at the heels of visits by senior officials of this finance institution to the Sierra Leone Mission in August and December 2015. The December 2015 meeting was chaired by the Hon Vice President Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh, during his visit to Korea.

Ambassador Golley at yesterday’s meeting, expressed his gratitude at being one of the first Heads of Mission to be received by the bank’s newly appointed Director- General for EDCF operations, in the aftermath of the extensive personnel changes made at the bank headquarters earlier this month.

The Sierra Leonean diplomat indicated that the government of Sierra Leone looked forward to closer cooperation with Korea Eximbank, as it moved forward with its recovery efforts, in the aftermath of the Ebola virus scourge.

Director-General Lee expressed his delight at receiving Ambassador Golley at the bank and indicated that he looked forward to working closely with Sierra Leone in its national development efforts.

In a seperate development, Korea’s International Cooperation Agency, KOICA, has recently approved a $1million grant to develop and rehabilitate 460 water wells and pumps in various parts of Sierra Leone as part of its efforts to assist with improvements in health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes, working with its development partner in Sierra Leone - the Ministry of Water Resources.

A delegation from KOICA, headed by the Assistant Manager of the African and Latin American Department,Gu yong Lee, will arrive in Freetown on the 24th January 2016 to sign the grant accord with the government of Sierra Leone.

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