Not a single minute to spare; no time to stop and rest; no room for personal pleasure or laid-back leisure. Those three phrases could somehow neatly fit in as an appropriate description of the tightly packed schedule of a tireless diplomatic mission in the United Kingdom, headed by High Commissioner Tamba John Sylvanus Lamina.
The work that this fervent patriot is doing on behalf of Sierra Leone, in and around the always wavy diplomatic shores of the UK, is the perfect reflection of the tireless global efforts being personally led by president Julius Maada Bio and the rest of his eyes-on-the-ball team, to bring Sierra Leone into the full glare of the limelight of positive international recognition in tight tandem with a progressive push for domestic development.
As the president moves around the world trying to clean up the dusty image of our country and firmly place it on the pedestal of an enviable canvas – including the “investor map”, and as he fights to attract meaningful movement of capital and clout towards our domestic shores, his foreign missions are pushing and pulling every available string to ensure that Sierra Leone glitters and glows for the very best of reasons.
From Addis Ababa to Abuja, from Moscow to Monrovia, from Berlin to Brussels, the “LEONE BRAND” is being crafted and polished with as much the same enthusiasm as one is likely to find anywhere from Freetown to Fadugu to Fairo.
However, it has to be said that nowhere is our international effort so visibly seen and felt than in the very hub of our foreign missions – the United Kingdom.
There should be no doubt that the New Direction is a government speedily thrust into a frenzy of justifiable hurry, driven by the hunger to do well for a nation that has been in great need of almost everything, for a very long time.
Yesterday, Thursday 21st March, High commissioner Tamba Lamina was in the British Houses of Parliament – Committee Room A, working to convince British Parliamentarians and private investors about the need for and merits of investing in Sierra Leone.
As a guest speaker in one of the most hallowed halls of the British Parliament, Lamina eloquently and passionately laid out the existing opportunities for investment in Sierra Leone, clearly highlighting the existence of an enabling environment to aid trade and investment.
The High Commissioner was addressing the highly respected and hugely influential Westminster Africa Business Group (WABG). The WABG which was formed in 1947, and is charged with the important responsibility of bringing together influential politicians, effective diplomats, and senior business executives on a platform which aims to promote the business interests of Britain and Africa.
Tamba Lamina highlighted the New Direction’s priorities as outlined in the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2019-2023. He spoke at length about the growing opportunities in Sierra Leone for private sector development and the rising attractiveness of public-private partnership ventures.
Concern has been expressed in some opposition quarters to the effect that this government was “trying to do so much so soon”. From such languid mental attitude, it is hard to conclude whether the past government deliberately held Sierra Leone to ransom or they themselves were held captives to ineptitude and corruption.
However, unsettling the “speed of development” may be to those who prefer Sierra Leone to stay static, president Bio’s government is surging ahead with ever more increasing velocity to make the country a better place.
From efficiently attending to the specific problems of everyday bureaucratic must-dos to effectively representing the country’s general national interests in places such as the halls of the UK parliament, this is a High Commissioner who is as hungry to achieve for his country as anyone anywhere could have hoped for.
And as the president continues to connect with the needs of his people on the ground and in foreign lands, his senior envoys everywhere are helping to ensure that Sierra Leone’s relationship with its international partners is meaningfully expanded and relevantly deepened to take Sierra Leone in the direction it deserves
No time to rest! No time for leisure! No time to waste! It is time for WORK! And some, like High Commissioner Tamba Lamina, are doing just that for Mama Salone.