Trump & Bio Romance

 

On the eve of the opening of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York, on Monday 24th September, President Rtd. Brig Julius Maada Bio and First Lady, Fatima Bio were among Heads of States invited to a reception hosted by the President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump and his wife, Ivana Trump. The reception was held at the Lotte Palace Hotel on 455 Madison Avenue, New York.

On the sideline, the two presidents held a discussion, with Bio briefing the world’s most powerful Head of State on the activities of his ‘New Direction’ government since coming to power on the 4th of April, 2018. President Bio thanked President Trump and the American people for their invaluable contribution to Sierra Leone’s growth and development since independence in 1961.

President Bio informed his American counterpart that his leadership will continue taking Sierra Leone along the democratic development trajectory that it embarked on in 1996 by further strengthening of the institutions of democracy, the rule of law, and responsibility, transparency and accountability in the country’s governance.

He informed President Trump of his government’s flagship free quality education project which, he said, paves the road to a new Sierra Leone that would eventually boast of a well educated nation as a prerequisite to dynamic growth and development of the state and its people.

The United States of America continues to be Sierra Leone’s foremost development partner, alongside Britain, the European Union and China. The most significant contribution of the USA to Sierra Leone’s development over the years is arguably the education of thousands of Sierra Leoneans in American colleges and universities that returned home to contribute to human resource as well as economic, political and social development in both the public and private sectors. Thousands of Sierra Leoneans living and working in the United State annually send millions of dollars to support families and friends back home.

In supporting education in the country, America Peace Corp volunteers have since the 1960s helped to provide education in schools in the provinces. The programme was recently reintroduced after closure during the civil war years. Through the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and USAID, America has contributed to development of the country’s infrastructural growth, as well as providing vital budgetary support to the government.

In the area of security, America has provided training to senior police and military personnel. It has also helped the country to better manage and control its marine resources. USA showed that it is a true big brother of Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak years by providing medicines, health personnel and sending in its Centers for Disease Control (CDC) apparatus to help extinguish the epidemic.  America also contributed to relief for victims of the 2017 mudslide and flooding that affected parts of the capital city.

Indication of the strong bilateral relationship that continues to exist between Sierra Leone and the USA was evidenced to when recently, the USA Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Madam Brewer, assured the government and people of Sierra Leone that America remains committed to supporting Sierra Leone in its development efforts.