In an effort to explore one of the world’s strongest national economies and the largest single market in the European Union, Sierra Leone has established a new consulate in Munich, the capital of the southeastern federal state of Bavaria, Germany after the appointment of an Honorary Consul, Dr. Deitman Scheiter.
The opening ceremony was attended by business magnates, Sierra Leoneans and members of the diplomatic corps who have expressed willingness to work with Dr. Scheiter, in an effort to promote Sierra Leone’s socio-economic development in Germany.
Before the opening of the Consulate, Dr. Scheiter visited Sierra Leone where he had fruitful discussions with government ministers and other stake holders regarding what the country has to offer. Upon his return from Freetown, he decided to establish his office as a focal point of contact between him and potential investors, including Sierra Leoneans living in Bavaria. This is also to demonstrate his willingness to not only promote Sierra Leone and encourage investors to go and invest in the country, but also further strengthening the bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and Bavaria.
Bavaria is a symbol of prosperity and progress, playing a crucial role in the economic and technological development in Germany, hence the appointment of Dr. Scheiter is very important and necessary in establishing good relations with Bavaria, which is believed to be the largest and healthiest economy of all the regions in Germany.
Addressing his audience during the official opening of the Consulate in Munich, Dr. Scheiter gave an overview of Sierra Leone’s history, dating back to the pre-colonial era when British administrators were in charge of the country’s governance system. He said, the country recovered from such imperial rule and became an independent state with structures in place to address economic development and the social needs of its people. While struggling to meet those challenges, the country envisaged a brutal civil carnage that terribly devastated its infrastructure, leaving the economy in shambles and subjected its people to immense sufferings for over ten years. But with the support of the West African troops sent into the country by ECOWAS and the United Nations peace keeping force, the country was redeemed from that horrible episode.
Though many people in the Diaspora associate the relics of war to the country, Dr. Scheiter said his recent visit to Sierra Leone gave him a clear picture of the reality on the ground. He believed that the country is ripe for investment, with peace and sustainable development as prerequisite. He called on his business counterparts and fellow compatriots in Germany to take a closer look and make use of the country’s rich potentials.
Dr. Scheiter said he will use his office to attract investors and work tremendously to address problems facing Sierra Leoneans living in Bavaria.
Speaking on behalf of Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Germany Jongopie S. Stevens, the Head of Chancery Mr. Al-Hassan K. Kondeh expressed hope that the opening of a consulate in Bavaria will further strengthen the bilateral ties between Germany and Sierra Leone. He said the appointment of Dr. Scheiter was not done in isolation but in consultation with stake holders to ascertain his track record and outstanding character. It was later proven that Dr. Scheiter has high moral standards and exemplary business expertise which he said will be used to market Sierra Leone’s potentials in Germany. He stated that the confidence reposed in Dr. Scheiter would yield tangible results through his commitment to encourage meaningful business partners to go and invest in Sierra Leone.
While thanking the people of Munich and in Bavaria in general for their support to ensure that Dr. Scheiter succeeds in his capacity as Honorary Consul, Mr. Kondeh highlighted possible areas of investment which include among others, Agriculture, tourism, health and minerals. He further called on all Sierra Leoneans in Bavaria to closely work with Dr. Scheiter in his respective functions as Sierra Leone’s Honorary Consul in Bavaria.
In another development, the Head of Chancery later met with the Sierra Leonean community to inform them about the embassy’s activities across Germany and the opening of the consulate in Munich. He gave them assurance that the Embassy’s doors are always opened should they encounter problems regarding passport verification amongst other issues. He added that the Embassy does not issue passports but Sierra Leoneans in Germany could apply for a passport renewal which will be endorsed and sent to the Immigration Department in Freetown. This he went on “…is to make certain that our passports are carried only by true citizens of Sierra Leone.”
The Head of Chancery further appealed to all Sierra Leoneans to unite and work in the interest of their country. “You should always consider your home country and no matter how long it takes, you will one day return home,” he opined.
While encouraging them to always feel free and contact Sierra Leone’s Honorary Consul Dr. Scheiter, Mr. Kondeh said the opening of the consulate in Munich will ease the problem of communication between Sierra Leoneans in Bavaria and the Sierra Leone Embassy in Berlin.