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Sierra Leone News: Six African leaders make maiden appearance at the UNGA

Top: Presidents George Weah, Cyril Ramaphosa & João Lourenço; Bottom: Maada Bio, Mokgweetsi Masisi & Emmerson Mnangagwa

Over a hundred Heads of State and government leaders gathered at the UN Headquarters in New York, where they attended the 73rd United Nations General Assembly, UNGA. Among the dozens of African leaders who are in attendance, six of them; Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, George Weah of Liberia, João Lourenço of Angola, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe and Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana are attending this event for their very first time since they took office in their respective countries.

Sierra Leone’s Julius Maada Bio

Julius Bio made it for the first time at the UNGA since his election in April as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. A statement by the Office of the Presidency revealed that Bio and team will connect with business leaders and development partners on matters ranging from education, health, peace and good governance to economic development.

Liberia’s George Weah

The Liberian president, George Weah also answered present at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, the first he is attending since he assumed the role as president in January. George Weah, a former international football star, in December 2017, defeated the former vice president, two former warlords to succeed the first woman democratically elected as president of an African country. According to an Executive Mansion release, Weah’s address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proffered the agenda of Liberia on the global stage.

Angola’s João Lourenço

The 73rd United Nations General Assembly is João Lourenço’s first participation as Angolan Head of State, as he marks his first year in office. His address during the meeting focused on the implementation of global measures in the areas of peace, justice, society, economy and health. He highlighted issues such as arms control, promotion of human rights, socio-economic development, and coordination of humanitarian assistance in the world and prevention of chronic diseases, tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS.

Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa

This year’s gathering marks Ramaphosa’s inaugural participation in the UNGA as head of state and government. According to his spokesperson Khusela Diko, Ramaphosa’s participation in the high level meeting was an occasion for him to outline South Africa’s domestic and foreign policy goals and priorities including the country’s land reform aimed at fostering greater stability, inclusiveness, and transformation within the South African economy.

Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe’s resident Emmerson Mnangagwa made his first appearance during this edition of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. In his maiden address, he reiterated that his country is open for business, and outlined steps to end poverty and corruption. Mnangagwa took over the steering of the country on 24 November 2017 after his predecessor Robert Mugabe was forced to resign.

Botswana’s Mokgweetsi Masisi

While all the others are outright newcomers, Mokgweetsi Masisi will be on familiar grounds. This was the first time in 10 years, a Botswana sitting President addressed the United Nations General Assembly. While officially attending the meeting for his first time since he took office as president, Masisi has represented the former president Ian Khama on several occasions in his capacity as vice president. The ex-vice president took over power from Ian Khama, who stepped down after his term limit – 10 years was reached. On April 1, 2018, he was sworn in as the 5th President of Botswana while elections have been scheduled for next year.


Monday October 01, 2018.

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