Sidique Wai, Advocate for Africa and NYPD Official, Appointed Ambassador to U.S.

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Sidique Abou-Bakarr Wai

Sidique Abou-Bakarr Wai may soon be presenting his credentials in Washington, D.C. 

The long-time New York Police Department (NYPD) official and champion of African causes, who hails from Sierra Leone, has been appointed his country's ambassador to the United States by new leader, President Julius Maada Bio.

As an official in the NYPD's community affairs department, many New Yorkers are familiar with Mr. Wai through his occasional appearances on NY1 News television, mentions in local newspaper articles, including The New York Times, and his columns in The Black Star News.

Mr. Wai's duties in the NYPD include improving relations between the police and the 76 precincts in New York City, and advising on relations with the city's rapidly-growing African immigrants population and the Muslim community. Mr. Wai was the first African-born candidate for the post of Public Advocate of New York City, in 2013. New York City's current mayor, Bill de Blasio, previously was public advocate.

Mr. Wai is also President and National Spokesperson of New York-based United Africa Congress (UAC), which is "an umbrella organization representing the interests of 3.5 million continental African immigrants throughout the United States of America" according to its website. It has branches in Connecticut, Georgia, Ohio, and California.

Milton Allimadi, publisher of The Black Star News, and a collaborator with Mr. Wai on several events to mobilize resources for humanitarian efforts, including during the ebola crises in three West African countries, said, "He's indefatigable. With his knowledge of the U.S. and Africans in the U.S., he will be the best ambassador Sierra Leone ever had in this country."

Mamadou Niang, publisher of New York-based NextMedia, who has also worked on numerous projects with Mr. Wai said, "We cannot think of a better son of Africa to represent his country in the U.S. Sidique checks all boxes to transition to high diplomacy. The only problem is our community that's going to deal with this loss of an important voice of advocacy and community building. A big shoe to fill."

The appointment of Mr. Wai, which was announced in a press statement dated June 19 from President Bio's office, is subject to approval by Sierra Leone's Parliament.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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