President Yoon holds a summit with Sierra Leonean President Bio

Signing of TIPF to expand trade and investment

Diplomacy Journal Jon Lee |  President Yoon Suk-yeol held his first bilateral meeting with Sierra Leone on the sidelines of the Korea-Africa Summit on May 31.


During the meeting with Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio at the Yongsan Presidential Office, President Yoon signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Trade and Investment Promotion Framework (TIPF) to expand bilateral trade and investment cooperation.




In addition, the 'K-Rice Belt' project, which is underway since 2023, will contribute to improving agricultural productivity in Sierra Leone, as well as education and health sectors.


In particular, Sierra Leone, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, agreed to cooperate on future issues related to North Korea.


This is the second summit between President Yoon and President Bio, following their meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last year.


President Bio is the recipient of the African of the Year Award (presented by African Leadership Magazine) for his contributions to democracy.


Through his meeting with President Bio, President Yoon decided to strengthen multilateral cooperation with Sierra Leone and other African countries that share core values such as freedom, rule of law, and democracy.

Sierra Leone is one of four countries that Yoon visited on an official visit on the occasion of the Korea-Africa Summit.


The two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, agriculture, and education.


President Bio, who was re-elected last year, is promoting the 'Medium-Term National Development Plan (~2030),' which focuses on agricultural development and human capital development, and is referring to Korea's development model.


At the summit, President Yoon pledged to contribute to the plan, including ▲ expanding trade and investment through the TIPF MOU ▲ contributing to improving agricultural productivity and strengthening food security through the K-Rice Belt project ▲ providing KRW 2 billion (by 2025) to improve access to secondary education for out-of-school girls and youths in the western region of Sierra Leone ▲ providing KRW 11.9 billion (by 2027) to empower youth through digital technology ▲ and providing free aid to public hospitals in Sierra Leone (worth KRW 350 million).


President Yoon also agreed to strengthen cooperation with Sierra Leone, which will serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for two years from this year, on North Korea sanctions implementation and human rights issues.


In 2020, Sierra Leone reported an illegal North Korean vessel registered with the authorities as a violation of sanctions.


Following the Sierra Leone summit, Yoon will hold bilateral talks with a total of 25 countries. Representatives from 48 countries are attending the summit.