His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma arrived in Addis Ababa on 25th January 2012, accompanied by his amiable wife, the First Lady Madam Sia Nyama Koroma to attend the 20th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.
The First Lady Madam Sia Nyama Koroma also attended the Organization of First Ladies of Africa meeting (OFLA) in Addis Ababa.
During his brief but productive stay in Addis Ababa, President Ernest Bai Koroma also officially turned the sod for the construction of a Chancery, Residence and VIP Building at the Embassy of Sierra Leone's Complex Building Site at Bole Road, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to Ambassador Andrew Bangali, the three separate structures will cost $1.7 million (One Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). He also disclosed that the completion date for the building project is two years depending on the availability of funds.
The project will include a residence for the Ambassador, a chancery building and a VIP suite that will house the President and other dignitaries attending meetings in Addis Ababa.
Ambassador Bangali further revealed that the site was donated to the Embassy of Sierra Leone by the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. He noted that the site is located in the prime area of Addis Ababa along Bole road and is within close proximity to the International Airport.
Ambassador Bangali also revealed that the Sierra Leone Embassy is a close neighbor to the embassies of India, Tanzania, Malawi and the EU representation to Ethiopia.
Commissioning the site, President Koroma said the construction of the new complex meant the reconstruction of Sierra Leone in Addis Ababa. The President maintained that as head of government he felt honoured and proud to be able to initiate and commission such a project over forty years of bilateral relations with Ethiopia; which indicate that "we're now exporting the tradition of infrastructural development and transformation to Addis Ababa", he said beaming.
He assured the Ambassador that government will ensure that funds are made available for the completion of the project and expressed his profound gratitude to the government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for the kind gesture.
On arrival at the Bole International Airport, President Ernest Bai Koroma and First Lady Madam Sia Nyama Koroma were received by the Ethiopian Minister of Tourism Amin Abdul Kadar and other dignitaries.