At the opening ceremony on 9th September 2019 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation conference room, The Gambian delegation was welcomed by the Sierra Leone delegation consisting of representatives from the Office of National Security (ONS) and other security sector stake holders in the country.
ONS National Security Coordinator, Jah Tucker in his welcome address, assured the delegation of their support in the days they would be here, adding that they are ready to inform them about all they want to know about Sierra Leone’s policing ideas, drug law, firefighting enforcement and other areas of interest that will serve as boost to the security sector of The Gambia.
Hon. Momodu Badjie Security Adviser to the President of The Gambia in his response expressed how appreciative they are for the hospitality bestowed on them by the Sierra Leone Government, adding that they look forward to a perfect learning experience over the next few days. He emphasized that the Gambia is a great admirer of the Sierra Leone Government for the steps taken to depart from post conflict transition to where Sierra Leone stands today in a spirit of reform, peace and security in the sub-region and the country’s drive towards decentralization and above all the democratic status of the country.
He went on to say that The Gambia will ensure that they toe-the-line with Sierra Leone in reforming their own security sector, adding that it is obvious that Sierra Leone has recorded a tremendous and successful security sector reform. He went on to say that this will be a drive to strengthen and build on their own security sector capacity; as well to corporate and collaborate with the Sierra Leone Government in other areas to ensure that the people of The Gambia are assured of security in general.
Keynote speaker for this ceremony, Prof. David Francis Chief Minister of Sierra Leone expressed hearty greetings from President Bio to the President and people of The Gambia and condolences from President Bio and the people of Sierra Leone for the death of their first elective President of The Gambia the late Sir Dawda Jawara (founding father of The Gambia). Addressing The Gambian delegation, he maintained that Sierra Leone and The Gambia are bilateral states and are not strangers. He added that he is extremely pleased over the gesture because for a while now African countries have depended on the West for learning which has made Africa the way it is now. He maintained that having this pair learning between Sierra Leone and The Gambia will raise the flags of Africa.
Statements were made by other actors including the Director Monitoring and Evaluation ONS, Alhaji Morlai Kargbo, Francis Lagumba Keili, Director of ONS and SSR Focal Person.