Monday, November 05, 2007

Sierra Leone's new leader holds talks with Senegal's Wade

DAKAR (AFP) — Sierra's Leone's new President Ernest Bai Koroma arrived in Senegal on Saturday for talks with his counterpart Abdoulaye Wade.

Presidential and Public Affairs Minister Alpha Kanu said Sierra Leone's new government wanted to learn from Senegal, seen as one of the better off countries of West Africa.

"We are the new kids on the block, we have just come into power ... and we believe there are lots of things that we can learn from him (Wade)," said Kanu.

Koroma, here for a day, was due to view some infrastructure projects, including highways and low-cost housing estates in the capital Dakar.

"We have come to drink from his pool of knowledge and experience and probably to translate some of the good works that he has done in this country," Kanu told reporters.

The two leaders were also expected to discuss the strengthening of regional cooperation under the 15-nation bloc Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Koroma of the All People's Party (APC) swept in office in October on an opposition ticket in a vote, which was seen as a test of whether the west African country has truly recovered from a civil war which claimed 120,000 lives and left thousands of survivors maimed.

AFP: Sierra Leone's new leader holds talks with Senegal's Wade