Ambassador and Mrs. Mamadou Ndiaye of Senegal hosted a reception at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on April 4, 2014 to celebrate the 54th Independence Day of Senegal.
Many distinguisehd guests came from all walks of life as well as from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps (SDC).
Among the guests in attendance from the Korean society were Vice Minister Lee Sang-mok of Science, ICT and Future Planning and Ambassador Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam (dean of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps).
Guests from the SDC included ambassadors Hocine Sahraoui of Algeria, Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam, Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d'Ivoire, Hany Moawad Selim Labib of Egypt, Dibaba Abdetta (Dr.) of Ethiopia, Nicoloz Apkhazava of Georgia, Bessho Koro of Japan, Ngovi Kitau of Kenya, Jad El Hassan of Lebanon, Farhat A. Abdussalm of Libya (CDA), Eugene S. Kayihura of Rwanda, Hilton A. Dennis of South Africa and Tajeldin Elhadi Eltahir of Sudan and Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia.
Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Ndiya of Senegal said, “April 4 is a historic day on which we pay tribute to our fellow compatriots who fought for Senegal’s sovereignty and to the many others who have been contributing to the national cohesion and political stability that the Senegalese nation is now proudly enjoying.”
Excerpts from the speech follow:
It is my singular honor to welcome all of you to the celebration of the 54th anniversary of Senegal’s Independence Day. I thank you so much for gracing this reception with your presence.
April 4 is a historic day on which we pay tribute to our fellow compatriots who fought for Senegal’s sovereignty and to the many others who have been contributing to the national cohesion and political stability that the Senegalese nation is now proudly enjoying.
As we accomplish this duty of remembrance, we also pay great attention to the promising developments that are taking place in Senegal under the leadership of H.E. President Mackey Sal.
These developments were recently illustrated in Paris where the Government of Senegal organized on 24th February, 2014, a meeting with partner governments and institutions, followed by a Forum of private investors. On that occasion, the Government presented its new economic and social program which was welcomed by the partners with an overwhelming support that exceeded all expectations.
The new program, which is known as Emerging Senegal Plan, consists of a set of structuring projects that are expected to generate a strong growth, increase productivity and create new jobs. In implementing this program, the Government has the ambition to achieve and sustain a growth rate of at least 7% for 10 years.
For this to come about, the Government counts on the advantages provided by the country’s geographical location to position Senegal as the gateway to West Africa, a regional hub for industrial activities and a premium tourism destination.
At this juncture, I would like to renew the profound gratitude of the Senegalese authorities to the President of KOICA for his participation in the Paris meeting. I also thank Korea Eximbank, the Dongwon Group, Samsung Engineering and Samsung C&T for dispatching high-level delegations to Paris.
It is important to note that the participation of the President of KOICA was preceded, in January, by his successful 3-day visit to Senegal which ended with many signs of hope for the future of our bilateral cooperation.
Another source of satisfaction is the forthcoming completion of the first phase of the Maritime Infrastructure and Equipment Project. Under this project and thanks to the financial support of the EDCF program, two passenger ferry boats built in Korea will be launched before the end of this year.
In consideration of the recent achievements and the existing potential for improvement, it is permitted to believe that this bilateral cooperation is poised to open a new era of brighter economic and commercial partnership led by our two business communities.
Therefore, I would like to encourage the Korean private sector to learn from the experience of the Dongwon Group and take advantage of the various investment and trade opportunities in Senegal. Like most African countries, Senegal has implemented enabling reforms to improve its business environment and provide a policy regime that gives priority to the private sector.
In conclusion, I thank the Senegalese community in Korea for joining this reception and for the significant role they are playing in promoting the image of our country.
Finally, on behalf of the Government and People of the Republic of Senegal, I convey my respectful greetings and wishes to Her Excellency Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea, and to the Government and People of Korea.