(AGI) Rho, Milan, Sept 28 - Freetown, the city of free men.This was the origin of the name of the capital of Sierra Leone,the country that celebrated its National Day at Milano Expo2015 on Monday. The country has gone through periods of violentwarfare and has had to face an epidemic of Ebola unprecedentedin the history of Africa. It involved Guinea, Liberia andSierra Leone, which alone had a death toll of 4,000. It is acountry that now wants to stand on its two feet, pooling allthe pride it is capable of. This pride was celebrated at theMilan Expo, simply and without frills, with respect for thevictims of the Ebola virus. The head of Sierra Leone'sdelegation, Agriculture Minister Joseph Sam Sesay, wearingtraditional costume, said: "Ebola forced the country backward;a country that had made a great effort to grow and was on theright track before the outburst of the virus. The mostseriously hit economic activities were in the mining, tourismand agricultural sectors. Many businessmen had to leave thecountry ... Today we need more interventions in health care andeducation. Schools have recently been reopened while thehealth care sector is still under stress." He continued:"In Sierra Leone, before the scourge of Ebola, the agriculturalsector represented 52.9 percent of GNP. In 2014 agriculture wasgrowing at a rate of 6.4 percent, ranking it as theseventh-largest in the African continent." The Sierra Leoneexhibition is in the Rice Cluster, as rice is one of thecountry's commodities and the staple food. Minister Sesay wenton: "In 2013 we had a 13 percent production surplus thatboosted exports. Today, after the Ebola epidemic, the country'sagricultural development plan is part of the government'sstrategy to increase production and quality, a target to beachieved in five years. A development programme cutting acrossthe whole agricultural production chain; this is our challengefor the future." . .