The inaugural ceremony was witnessed by a quantum of top ranking officials of the Government of Sierra Leone, senior civil servants, local and International Organizations and the Media.
The Ambassador, Embassy of Japan to Sierra Leone Tsutomu Himeno said “the new JICA Sierra Leone Country Office is expected to play important role to promote technical cooperation and to derive mutual benefits from the acceleration of the economic and social development assistance programs of the Government of Japan in Sierra Leone in the areas of Energy, Education, Health, Rural Water Supply, and Agriculture sectors.
The Ambassador said on 22nd August 2019, the Government of Sierra Leone and the Government of Japan concluded the Agreement on Technical Cooperation and Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers Program, and both Governments agreed to strengthen bilateral relations and to promote further technical cooperation assistance to the Government and people of Sierra Leone.
Based on the agreement, JICA Sierra Leone Field Office was upgraded to Sierra Leone country office as of 1st October 2019, and on 26th November 2019 AmbassadorTsutomu Himeno said.
Director General of Africa development Department of Japan International Cooperation Agency, Ryuichi Kato, while officially declaring the establishment of JICA Sierra Leone Country Office said “from now on, JICA will be a Representative Office and shall be named as “JICA Sierra Leone Office”.
“It is my hope that scaling-up of JICA office status will bring stronger relationship between people of Sierra Leone and Japan and lead to build up more prosperous and more developed Sierra Leonean society,” Ryuichi Kato said.
For the past fifteen years Ryuichi Kato said, JICA has implemented a number of economic and social development projects, mainly on Energy, Education, Health, Rural Water Supply, Local Governance and Agriculture.
Chief Representative of JICA Sierra Leone OfficeHitoshi SATO said “It’s our sincere desire for this day to be realized having a country office in Sierra Leone with the signing of the technical cooperation agreement and the need for JICA Sierra Leone Field Office to be upgraded to a country office became more visible, it is like “a dream being real” in order to accelerate the development assistance window to the people and government of Sierra Leone.