19 September 2008

Sierra Leone President speaking at Rutgers

It isn't every day that you get the chance to see the leader of a sovereign nation speak. Living close to the UN, I guess we have a few more chances than people living in Maine. But this is really close (note the mention of Franklin):

His Excellency, Ernest Bai Koroma, to discuss progress, democracy and commerce

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- On the eve of his appearance before the United Nations, his Excellency, Ernest Bai Koroma, president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, will speak at Rutgers University on Sunday, Sept. 21.

The event is free and open to the public, and will take place at 4 p.m. at the Rutgers Student Center on College Avenue. The program is sponsored by the Rutgers' Center for African Studies, the School of Arts and Sciences' Office of International Programs, the Office of the President and the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

"The invitation to President Koroma sends a strong signal to African immigrants to New Jersey that Rutgers wants to engage with and welcome you to our community," said David McDermott Hughes, director of the Center for African Studies at Rutgers.

President Koroma was sworn in as president in September 2007 after a free election. Sierra Leone is located on the West Coast of Africa and has a population of approximately 6.2 million. Many immigrants from Sierra Leone reside in central New Jersey near the university's New Brunswick Campus. For example, the population of Franklin Township includes at least 7 percent Sierra Leoneans.

President Koroma will be accompanied by his ministers of foreign affairs, education and economics and will answer questions from the audience. He is scheduled to speak to the United Nations Assembly on Monday, Sept. 22.

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