Joint Communiqué On the Commissioning of Four Commuter Waiting Booths [press release]

On September 10, 2014, the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Society issusd a joint communiqueacute on the commissioning of four commuter waiting booths constructed within the Freetown Municipality and the West Rural District funded by the China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action initiative.

Political Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy, Mr. Fan Xiaodong, and Acting Chairperson of the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Society, Miss Princess Kawa signed the joint communiqueacute.

The full text of the joint communiqueacute is as follows:

Joint Communiqueacute

Issued by the Sierra China Friendship Society and the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China in Sierra Leone on the Commissioning of the Four “Commuter Waiting Booths” Constructed Within the Freetown Municipality and the West Rural District

Freetown, Sierra Leone – September 10, 2014

l Concerned about the the level of inconveniences encountered by commuters, including school going children and other vulnerable groups such as the physically challenged, the Sierra Leone China Friendship Society on Wednesday 4th December, 2013 submitted a proposal to the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China in Sierra Leone for the construction of “Commuter Waiting Booths” within the Freetown municipality and the West Rural District.

l Keen about the wellbeing of the Sierra Leonean people, the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China in Sierra Leone (acting for and on behalf of the China-Africa people-to-people friendship action) gracefully responded on 3rd April 2014 by approving and providing the sum to the tune of seventy one million, four hundred and twenty eight thousand five hundred Leones (Le71,428,500) for the construction of four “Commuter Waiting Booths” within the Western Area, specifically at “The Lodge”, Ferry Junction, Allen Town and Jui Junction.

l That was preceded by the signing of a Project Implementation Agreement (PIA) by Dr. Alfred Bobson Sesay, Chairman of the Sierra Leone China Friendship Society and Mr. Fan Xiaodong, the Political Counselor (Deputy Head of the Mission) of the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China, at Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China on 3rd March 2014.

l On 10th April 2014 the Society, in collaboration with the Embassy, organised an official launching ceremony at the China House Complex.

This was witnessed by senior officials of the Freetown City Council, West Rural District Council, Ministry of Works and Maintenance, Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, the Sierra Leone Roads Authority, a galaxy of media practitioners and members of the Sierra Leone China Friendship Society.

l As contained in Article VI of the Project Implementation Agreement (PIA), the Sierra Leone China Friendship Society has notified the Embassy about the completion of the construction work and the Embassy in turn has given an acceptance notification. We are pleased that our intention to help minimize the undeserved spate of inconveniences and exploitations meted out on commuters, including school going children within the Western Area and the urge to contribute to nation building has materialised.

l The next step therefore is a formal commissioning of all four “Commuter Waiting Booths”.

l However, the Sierra Leone China Friendship Society and the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China in Sierra Leone are very much mindful of the Sierra Leone Government’s proclamation of a State of Public Emergency emanating from the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic which has taken the lives of hundreds of Sierra Leoneans.

l To help minimize further spread of the virus both parties have agreed as follows

–That, there shall not be any formal gathering at any of the four Booths with the intention of a commissioning, therefore by issuance of this communiqueacute we declare today, August 29, 2014 that all four “Commuter Waiting Booths” are formally commissioned,

–That, both parties have agreed to put all four “Commuter Waiting Booths” to the use of the respective communities around “The Lodge”, Ferry Junction, Allen Town and Jui Junction and by all Sierra Leoneans generally,

–That, all four Booths should be used freely and without cost by commuters and other passers-by who may be in transit,

–That, any form of trading activities in or within the vicinity of these Booths will not be allowed and we expect that this bye-law shall be enforceable and also abided to by all users,

–That, it shall be the responsibility of both parties to undertake maintenance work on these Booths from time to time and when necessary,

–That, this communiqueacute be widely circulated in the Republics of Sierra Leone and China.

l Since the Peoples’ Republic of China and the Republic of Sierra Leone established diplomatic relations on July 29, 1971, China has offered Sierra Leone so much in-kind and in-cash, including Debt relief Technical Assistance: training doctors and farmers, Educating Sierra Leonean students in China and Development Assistance in millions of dollars. These “Commuter Waiting Booths” that are being commissioned today will be added to the long list of goodwill assistance from the Chinese people to the Sierra Leonean people.

l Finally, we wish to express our profound thanks and appreciation to the “China-Africa people-to-people friendship action” for providing the funds for the entire project. We also hold a word of gratitude to the Mayor of the Freetown Municipality, the Chairman of the West Rural District Council, the Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), the leadership of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA), Officials of the Ministry of Works and Maintenance and Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, and of course to our revered patrons and our general membership. You all have been very instrumental and supportive of this project.

Long Live Sierra Leone!

Long Live the Peoples’ Republic of China!

Long Live the Sierra Leone China Friendship Society!

Fan Xiaodong(signed) Representative of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of in Sierra Leone

Princess Kawa(signed) Representative of the Sierra Leone-China China Friendship Society

Source : Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone and Sierra Leone-China Friendship Society

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