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Sierra Leone
Tuesday, July 5, 2022


August 16, 2021

By PEL Koroma

Information Attache’

Embassy of Sierra Leone

Washington D.C

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The United States of America Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman recently in an in person bilateral engagement with Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Professor David Francis referred to President Bio as a Global Leader, and that President Bio’s policies, especially the free quality education, human rights adherence, commitment to the fight against corruption, and making Sierra Leone a business-friendly country has further strengthened relations between the two countries.

Clearly, President Bio’s Free Quality Education policy has increased the number of Sierra Leonean pupils in schools to 2.6million, providing free text books, school buses, and increasing the number of teachers on government voucher. To keep the teachers focused in school, President Bio has increased their salaries by 30%, as well as increasing their allowances by 10%. President Bio’s government is currently disbursing 22% of the countries national budget on education. This action of President Bio has earned Sierra Leone respect at the international stage, and the effectiveness and commitment has presented President Bio the opportunity to engage with democratic countries that are poised to ensuring a literate world. This accolade is compounded by the Hands Off Our Girls project which has become a role model for other African countries to emulate. Girl child education, retention of the girls in schools, and most spectacular, the raising of awareness on early marriage, sanitation, and the recently constituted special court to try culprits of Child Abuse in the Sierra Leone society has become a novelty which other nations are desperate to replicate as a means to equity.

President Bio’s Human Rights record according to the recent Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations has put Sierra Leone in a special position in Africa, and it is a catalyst for peace and stability in the country. This is coupled by the gigantic fight mounted against corruption with marvelous results in the recovery of over billions of Leones from corrupt officials of state both in the past and present regime, and not sparing fictitious contractors. Major international barometers in the fight against corruption have rated President Bio’s drive against corruption as first of its kind in the history of Sierra Leone. President Bio has exhibited the political willingness, and commitment to fighting corruption even if the arrow points at his own hench men. It is so convincing to the likes of Transparency International and the Afro barometer that President Bio is ready and determined to fight corruption which is a menace in the Sierra Leonean society.

The obliteration of the seditious libel law from the 1965 Public Order Act signifies the urge in President Bio for law reform in Sierra Leone. The 1965 Public Order Act had unnecessarily held free speech hostage in the country, and President Bio promised Sierra Leoneans during his political campaign that he will remove the draconian laws from the Constitution of Sierra Leone.  And most importantly, the removal of the death penalty, and the Cyber law reform undertaken by President Bio has today put the media of Sierra Leone at the front row in the democratization process of the country. These positive and productive actions of President Bio have convinced the United States government that indeed President Bio’s administration is resetting the priorities of Sierra Leone with all sincerity and high gear to change the political paradigm of Sierra Leone.

The New Direction government promised the people of Sierra Leone that the SLPP government will ensure the people of Sierra Leone benefits from the natural endowment of their country.  President Bio in his wisdom terminated the S/L Mining contract (American Mining Company), and instead, requested for a better bargain in the interest of the people of Sierra Leone. The matter was taken to court by S/L Mining but later decided to resolve the incident with the New Direction government. President Bio and his team succeeded in moving the shares of the people of Sierra Leone from just 2% earlier negotiated by the corrupt APC, to 10% share of the proceeds from the Ore Mines. This win – win situation by both parties distinctly put President Bio in a stratum of leaders that care for the ordinary people, and working assiduously to change the trajectory from business as usual. As an innovative leader, President Bio is ensuring a free market, and an easy means to the extractive sector, agriculture, and eco-tourism. An Investment Borad has been created as the first-stop where investors and businesses are quickly and easily registered and protected. According to Prof. David Francis, investors are bound to make profit in their businesses once they decide to invest in Sierra Leone.

The Joe Biden/ Kamala Harris administration in the United States is attracted to the undertakings of President Bio’s administration that has remained focused, and driven on democratic practice and the rule of law. The discipline instituted in fiscal policy and respect for international protocols, and meeting standard benchmarks have prompted the United States government to mark President Bio as an emerging leader in Africa with unique ideas, and worth doing business with. Sierra Leone is now considered as an honest and promising country in Africa, and there is serious urge in the business community in the United States to invest in Sierra Leone as the business climate is no longer muddy, but very transparent and reliable. In this vein, the Biden administration has decided to continue working with the Bio administration to usher in the $400 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in Sierra Leone after convincingly confronting the fight against corruption, premium on human capital development, and the institutionalization of human rights.

Quite recently, the United States government removed the Visa sanctions imposed on the government of Sierra Leone under the out-going APC government in 2017. This is the case because the Biden government has seen commitment and reliability in President Bio’s leadership.

Sierra Leone is among the first countries that have benefitted from the vaccine donations from America to other countries. America offered 113,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines and about 1 million doses of Johnson and Johnson to augment the efforts of President Bio in the fight against COVIID`19.

Moreover, United States government has offered $217 million to the government of Sierra Leone to improve on energy supply to the people of Sierra Leone. Also, President Bio’s government has given confidence, trust and reliability to the IMF and the World Bank, a situation that has benefitted the people of Sierra Leone in major spheres of development. There are huge possibilities that the Peace Corps from the United States will resume operations in Sierra Leone soon immediately the COVID-19 situation subsides.

There are high expectations for the people of Sierra Leone as President Bio is keeping within the Sustainable Development Goals with passion and dedication. President Bio’s legacy will stand the test of time, and a model that future leaders would continue to emulate. President Bio and his New Direction government have delivered on their campaign mantra to the admiration of the United States government.

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