Biography of Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
Supreme Head of State and Grand Commander of the
Order of the Republic
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
Fountain Head of Unity, Honour, Freedom and Justice
The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma was born on October 2, 1953 in Makeni in the Bombali-Sebora Chiefdom, Bombali District, Northern Sierra Leone. Ernest Bai Koroma is the eldest son of eight children. He attended the Sierra Leone Church Primary School, Government Secondary School, Magburaka (Boys School) and Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone. He graduated in 1976 and taught at the St. Francis Secondary School in Makeni, before joining the Sierra Leone National Insurance Company (NIC) in 1978.
In 1985, the budding Insurance Specialist joined the Reliance Insurance Trust Corporation (RITCORP). A Chartered Insurer, Fellow of the West African Insurance Institute, (WAICA), Associate of Institute of Risk Management and Member of the Institute of Directors in the UK, Ernest Bai Koroma became RITCORP’s Managing Director in 1988, a position he held up to the March 2002 Presidential elections.
Ernest Bai Koroma’s leadership qualities as head of a pioneering company, his public spiritedness, integrity, love and support for the common man and woman endeared him to supporters of the All People’s Congress (APC). The APC was formed in 1960 to advance the rights of ordinary citizens and secure the development of the country.
The APC won Sierra Leone’s General Elections of 1967, assumed governance of the nation in 1968. A civil war started in 1991 led to the unconstitutional removal of the party from power and an atrocious conflict.
The war ended in 2002, and the APC nominated Ernest Bai Koroma as its Presidential Candidate in elections held that year. The supporters of the APC found in Ernest Bai Koroma a leader who would combine his entrepreneurial skills and public spiritedness to carve a new path for development, private sector led growth and commitment to leaving no citizen behind in the country’s transformation into a peaceful, democratic and properly developing society.
The 2002 Presidential elections were a turning point in the political career of President Ernest Bai Koroma. Despite losing the Presidential elections, he increased the number of seats of the APC in the Sierra Leone Parliament from a paltry five to twenty-seven seats in the 2002 General Elections. He became the Minority Leader in Parliament from 2002 to 2007. His transformative leadership qualities, commitment to country, dignity and integrity gained increased visibility during this period and endeared him to a majority of his compatriots. With great skill, fortitude, and perseverance, Ernest Bai Koroma led his party to victory in 2007 elections and assumed the Presidency of the country.
Building on the APC’s Manifesto, he firmed up the aspirations of Sierra Leoneans into An Agenda for Change, an action oriented template for socio-economic transformation. He commenced the biggest road construction program in the history of the country; transformed the energy sector by completing the Bumbuna Hydro electricity project and improving electricity output in the country; launched the small holder commercialization program, and initiated the free health care program for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five. His reforms attracted hundreds of millions of dollars investment in the country’s mining and agricultural sectors, creating thousands of jobs and one of the highest economic growth rates in the world.
President Koroma’s reforms attracted hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into Sierra Leone’s mining and agricultural sectors, which created thousands of jobs and Sierra Leone recorded one of the highest economic growth rates in the world. President Koroma’s Human Rights record is exemplary, standing tall as the only President in Sierra Leone’s history that has not carried out capital punishment during his Presidency. Also he is on record for encouraging a Free Press and never sent any journalists to prison. Ernest Bai Koroma’s administration stepped up the fight against corruption, enacting one of the most robust anti-corruption legislation in Africa, ensuring the highest annual conviction for corruption offenses and the recovery of hundreds of millions of Leones from convictions of corruption cases.
A firm believer in equal rights and opportunities, Dr. Koroma has appointed women to high-ranking positions, including the Chief Justice (the first in the nation’s history), the Solicitor General, the Auditor General, the Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority and a Brigadier General.
Campaigning on a platform of doing more for the country through an Agenda for Prosperity, Ernest Bai Koroma won re-election as President on November 17, 2012. Whilst building up and expanding the achievements of the first term in office, the main thrust of his second term will be centering the youths in the country’s socio-political and economic development, attracting more investments through private sector friendly policies; and investments in developing the skills of Sierra Leoneans for active participation in the growing economy.
President Koroma is an internationally acknowledged statesman, drawing accolades from President Obama of the United States of America, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and his African colleagues. He is currently team leader of Africa’s effort to reform the United Nations.
Dr Ernest Bai Koroma is a devoted Christian, married to First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma and is blessed with two daughters, Alice and Dankay