Mr. Jongopie Siaka Stevens, Foto: Peter Hahn

Interview with his Excellency, the Ambassador of Sierra Leone, Mr. Jongopie Siaka Stevens

Botschaft der Republik Sierra Leone | Herwarthstraße 4, 12207 Berlin Lichterfelde |
Das Interview führte Peter Hahn 2017

Seit dem 27. April 1961 ist Ihr Land ein unabhängiger Staat. Was ist das Staatsmotto von Sierra Leone? Was bedeuten die Farben Ihrer Staatsflagge?
Since April 27, 1961 your country is an independent state. What is the state motto of Sierra Leone? What is the meaning of the colors of the state flag of Sierra Leone?

The national motto of Sierra Leone which is displayed on a ribbon below the coat of arms is Peace Freedom and Justice. Our national flag was officially adopted on April 27, 1961 bearing the colours green white and blue. The green is symbolic of the agricultural and natural resources of the country, the white represents justice and the blue is symbolic of Freetown's harbour.
Seit dem Ende des Bürgerkriegs 2002 und dem Friedensabkommen, hat Sierra Leone einen stabilen Frieden und eine funktionierende Demokratie. Mittlerweile zählt Sierra Leone zu den sichersten Ländern Afrikas. Worauf führen Sie das zurück?
Since the end of the Civil War in 2002 and the peace agreement, Sierra Leone has had a stable peace and a functioning democracy. Sierra Leone is one of the safest countries in Africa. What do you attribute to this positive development?
Sierra Leone has made much progress since the civil war ended in 2002. This could be attributed to so many factors relating to, among other things, efforts to consolidate the post-conflict system through institutional reforms to capacitate the performance of basic state functions such as the legislative process, democratic measures and strengthening the security sector to enhance peace and democratic governance in the country.
Wieviel Parteien gibt es im Parlament von Sierra Leone?
How many parties are there in the parliament of Sierra Leone?
We have two political parties represented in the Sierra Leone House of Parliament. The ruling All people’s Congress (APC) with 67 parliamentary seats and the Sierra Leone’s People’s Party (SLPP), which is the opposition with 42 seats in Parliament. Twelve seats are allocated for Paramount Chiefs from across the districts of the country while three parliamentary seats remain vacant.
Wie oft wird das Parlament gewählt? Wann findet die nächste Wahl statt?
How often is Parliament elected? When will the next election take place?

We conduct presidential and parliamentary elections every five years. The last elections were held in 2012 and a new date has been announced for the next general elections, scheduled to take place on March 7, 2018.

In Sierra Leone leben ca. 6 Mio Menschen. Stimmt es, dass es in Ihrem Land keine Glaubenskonflikte gibt?
In Sierra Leone, approximately 6 million people live. Is it true that there are no religious conflicts in your country?

Sierra Leone is one of the countries that enjoy absolute religious tolerance. There has not been any reported case of religious conflict in the history of our country and I sincerely hope that we will continue to enjoy such a peaceful and friendly atmosphere.
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Ökonomie / Economy

Was sind die bedeutendsten Wirtschaftsfaktoren in ihrem Land? Was sind die Hauptausfuhrprodukte?
What are the most important economic factors in your country? What are the main export products?
Sierra Leone's economy is predominantly agriculture, with about half of its workers engaged in subsistence farming. The principal food crops are rice, cassava, corn, millet, and peanuts and the leading cash crops most of which are exported are coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, and palm oil. The fishing industry is also important. In terms of minerals, the top exports of Sierra Leone are diamonds, iron ore, titanium and aluminium.

Welche Bedeutung spielt Deutschland als Abnehmerland?
What is the role of Germany as a buyer country?

Sierra Leone main export partners are Belgium, Netherlands, China and United States. Germany is not actually playing a major role in that direction.

Was wünschen Sie sich von Deutschland hinsichtlich der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung Ihres Landes?
What do you want from Germany about the economic development of your country?
Sierra Leone and Germany established bilateral relations immediately we attained Independence on April 27 1961. Since that time, the two countries have been working closely in terms of development cooperation and youth empowerment in Sierra Leone. Therefore, we are looking forward to further strengthen our bilateral relations through development cooperation and youth empowerment.
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Tourismus / Tourism

Sierra Leone liegt nur 6 Stunden Flugzeit von Europa entfernt. Was hat ihr Land den Besuchern zu bieten?
Sierra Leone is only 6 hours away from Europe. What does your country have to offer visitors?
Sierra Leone offers an exciting and inspiring adventure to remember. We have the world’s most beautiful pristine, white and unspoilt beaches.
The northern province, which is approximately two hours north of Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone, is a paradise for eco-tourism and adventure. Its vast mountains ranges, hills, valleys and wet-lands are home to many unique and endangered spices of flora and fauna.
Sierra Leone setzt verstärkt auf den Tourismus. Welches Potential sehen sie in der Entwicklung des Tourismus? Was sind die Schwerpunkte im Tourismus?
Sierra Leone is increasingly focused on tourism. What potential do you see in the development of tourism? What are the main points of tourism?

Sierra Leone offers huge untapped touristic potentials, with high-end ecotourism experiences, added to the hundreds of kilometres of prime beaches. It thus has unique landscape, scenery and cultural heritage unexplored. The sector could, when fully exploited, account for substantial proportion of employment and revenue generation.

Wann ist die beste Reisezeit für Sierra Leone?
When is the best travel time for Sierra Leone?
There are two distinct seasons: the dry season, from November to April, and the rainy season, over the rest of the year, with the heaviest precipitation in July, August, and September. Therefore, the best time to explore the beauty and charm of this undiscovered paradise in Sierra Leone is during the dry season.
Können Sie uns einen Tipp geben, was unbedingt besuchenswert ist. Ich hörte der Strand-Tourismus ist der Beste in West Afrika?
Can you give us a tip, which is absolutely worth a visit. I heard, Beach tourism is the best in West Africa.

I want to believe so because most countries in the West Coast of Africa including Sierra Leone are seductive destinations, with its palm- fringed beaches, breathtaking mountains, tropical rainforest and vibrant culture.
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Kontakte Bezirk Steglitz-Zehlendorf | Berlin / Contacts district Steglitz-Zehlendorf | Berlin

Ihre Botschaft liegt im Südwesten Berlins. Welche Beziehungen haben Sie zum Bezirk Steglitz-Zehlendorf?
The embassy building is located in the south-west of Berlin. What are your relationships with the Steglitz-Zehlendorf district?

Our relation with inhabitants of Steglitz-Zehlendorf has so far been very cordial. For example, every year during our country’s independence anniversary, we invite our neighbours to a barbecue grill at our Chancery building on Herwarthstr. And I must say that we, as an Embassy, are enjoying such a friendly atmosphere with the people living around us.
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Privates | Private / Personel

Was gefällt Ihnen hier im Berliner Südwesten besonders?
What you like especially in the south-west of Berlin?

I like the green scenery of southwest Berlin and especially the way people interact with each other. To be honest the people around south-west Berlin are very receptive and so far I have enjoyed working in such vicinity.

Fühlen Sie sich wohl in Berlin? Wie sehen Sie die Entwicklung der Stadt?
Do you feel comfortable in Berlin? How do you see the development of the city?
Berlin is a wonderful city I must say. It’s quite international and getting populated on a daily basis. But the fact is it is a beautiful city and quite accommodative.
Welche Hobbies haben Sie?
What hobbies do you have?
I do sport specifically gulf and tennis. I also listen to music, read books and like adventure as well.
Was ist Ihre Lieblingsspeise in Deutschland, welche in Ihrem Heimatland?
What is your favorite food in Germany and in your favorite food in your home country??
Honestly I cherish my Sierra Leone food mostly cassava leaves, potato leaves and peanut soup. In Germany, I like grilled potatoes and steak.
Wer ist der bekannteste Sportler in Sierra Leone?
Who is the most famous sportsman in Sierra Leone?

Mohamed Kallon, a former football star.

Welche Musik lieben sie am meisten?
What kind of music do you love the most?
Soka, gospel Jazz and traditional songs from Sierra Leone.
Wofür sind sie im Besonderen dankbar, Herr Botschafter?
What are you grateful for, Mr. Ambassador?
First of all I am grateful to the Lord Almighty for giving me the strength to work for my country as Ambassador in the Federal Republic of Germany. I am also grateful to my President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma who reposed confidence in me to represent him here in Germany. Also of note is my dear wife, Mrs. Georgiana Stevens, who has been with me through thick and thin to ensure that I enjoy every moment of our time. She has also been extremely instrumental towards the success of my job.
Wann haben sie das letzte Mal herzhaft gelacht?
When did you last laugh heartily?

Besides laughing when having fun with my family and friends, I sometimes smile and feel happy when I realised that I am doing something good for my country.
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Herzlichen Dank für Ihr Interesse und die Bereitschaft, ein Interview mit mir für Berlin.Südwest zu führen.
Thank you very much for your interest and the willingness to conduct an interview with me for the Internet portal:
© Peter Hahn | Interview Botschafter Sierra Leone Mr. J.S. Stevens


 Bilder vom Grillfest der Botschaft Sierra Leones (29. April 2017) anläßlich des Unabhängigkeitstag von Sierra Leone (27.April)

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