Bio Returns Home Today


President Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio will return home today after nearly two weeks’ visit to the United States of America (USA) where he attended the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The President used his maiden address to the world body to make a compelling case for Africa to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and also to sell his vision of a New Direction Sierra Leone to the world with a view to soliciting assistance.

President Bio also met with his fellow Sierra Leoneans living in the US in a town hall meeting in Washington DC, where he called on his compatriots to put aside politics and join him on the New Direction train to bring about a better Sierra Leone for the benefit of one and all. He stated that the New Direction was for everybody.

President Bio also visited the grave of his late mother in Virginia, and his 2012 presidential running-mate, Dr. Kadi Sesay and her daughter, Isha Sesay of the CNN fame in California.

On the margins of the conference, the President shared his ideas and commitment to education with the US Microsoft billionaire and philanthropist, Bill Gates at the second annual Goalkeepers’ event. He presented a case for investment in Sierra Leone’s human resource which his government has taken a bold step forward in achieving with his introduction of the free quality education programme which, according to his BBC’s interview, is funded at this initial stage from domestic revenue through improved public sector financial management.

“The human resource capital is the most important resource that we have in the world,” President Bio said, adding that, “and any attempt to embark on development without first going back to the human resource will never work, knowing that development is about people.”

In his response, Bill Gates said: “Thank you President Bio and I look forward to working with you to truly make Sierra Leone an example to the world for using the power of innovation to help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The President also met with the world’s renowned Senegalese musician, Akon, who promised to provide Sierra Leone with 5, 000 solar street lights and 2,500 traffic lights.

With improving the country’s health service delivery system which is key priority of his government, the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie signed an MoU with Varian Medical Systems for the first ever radio-therapy center for cancer treatment in Sierra Leone during the President’s USA visit.

With all what was said and done during President Bio’s maiden visit to the USA as the country’s Head of State, it remains to be seen how much fruit the visit would bear in terms of President Bio’s plea to the international community for assistance, especially direct foreign investment for achieving the goals of the New Direction. Only time will tell.