Samura Kamara Rallies Sierra Leonean Support for African Development Bank Presidency

Sierra Leone is brimming with hope for Samura Kamara, the country's foreign minister who is one of eight candidates in a tight race to head the African Development Bank.

 All week, local radio listeners have been registering their support through text messages, while those on WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook have been posting messages of solidarity, said a report from Amadu Lamrana Bah of the Development and Economic Journalists Association-Sierra Leone.

"Dr.Samura our prayers are with you, we believe you will emerge victorious,” read one message sent via SMS to the Star Good Morning Show on Star Radio.

Regular updates from Asmaa James, the station manager of Radio Democracy 98.1 FM, are filled with hope for the Sierra Leonean candidate, Bah said.

According to Asmaa, who is covering the event in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, momentum on the eve of election continues to intensify with side meetings and lobbying everywhere.

Reporting high spirits in the Sierra Leonean camp, Asmaa posted in one of her updates on Facebook:

"Continue to remember Dr. Samura Kamara in your prayers."

In a country where politics is polarized on more issues than ever before,  Dr. Kamara's candidature for Africa's chief banker has garnered goodwill from people across the political divide, Bah observed.

"This is about Sierra Leone and we wholeheartedly support Dr. Kamara's candidacy for the African Development Bank," Yusuf Keketoma Sandi posted on social media.

In a presser with local journalists, Kamara said as a leader in economic and foreign policy as well as someone who has worked with major international development institutions at senior policy levels, he is going into the elections very confident that he will be voted the next President of the African Development Bank.

"I want to register my appreciation to President Koroma, colleagues and all those who have supported me, especially members of the public who have been praying; you have been a source of motivation as we prepare for this election that is very competitive," he said.

Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara, born in Kamalo, Bombali District, is an economist and the current foreign minister of Sierra Leone. Kamara spent some time as financial secretary in the Ministry of Finance during then president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah's administration. He was the governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone from 2007 until March 2009, when he was appointed by President Ernest Bai Koroma as Finance Minister. In December 2012, he became the minister of foreign affairs.

The official list of candidates, in alphabetical order, released on February 20 is as follows:

1. Akinwumi A. ADESINA   Nigeria
2. Sufian AHMED     Ethiopia
3. Jaloul AYED   Tunisia
4. Kordj√© BEDOUMRA  Chad
5. Cristina DUARTE   Cabo Verde
6. Samura M. W. KAMARA   Sierra Leone
7. Thomas Z. SAKALA   Zimbabwe
8. Birama Boubacar SIDIBE   Mali

Elections for a new President of the African Development Bank will be held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Thursday 28th May 2015.


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