Cambridge, Massachusetts, Friday 8 March 2019 – His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has wooed academics and students at Harvard Law School during a forum on Sierra Leone organised by the Centre for African Studies at Harvard University.
Delivering his keynote address, the President said that he had prioritised human capital development because that was the foundation for sustainable development.
In his usual unique description of human capital development, he told his audience about its three components, which included education, food security and healthcare. In addition to the free quality education, he also highlighted measures he had undertaken to achieve food security and accessible healthcare.
President Bio also said that he was at Harvard University to seek partnership and collaboration through experience and knowledge sharing and learning. Discussing the cost of his flagship programme, the free quality education, he also said that “ignorance is more expensive than education is”.
He used the occasion, which coincided with International Women’s Day, to highlight some of his policies that targeted the protection and empowerment of women and girls in Sierra Leone. In the area of education, he spoke about grants-in-aid for female students pursuing science courses in tertiary institutions. A passionate President Bio also explained the state of emergency on rape and sexual violence as part of a series of measures to protect girls and women.
He further highlighted his achievements in revenue mobilisation and control of expenditure to demonstrate his efficient economic management of the state, adding that he had waged a war against corruption and set up the commissions of inquiry to ensure democratic accountability to the people.
During the dialogue forum, there were also expert presentations by academics in the following areas: Dr Paul Farmer presented a paper on Healthcare Infrastructure and Healthcare Delivery; Professor Fernando Reimers presented a document on K-12 Education for a Global World; Professor Margaret McMillan talked on Economic Development in Sub-saharan Africa and Professor Raymond Atuguba presented a paper on Law and Governance in Sierra Leone.
Earlier, President Bio held discussions with the Harvard University President, Larry Bacow, and senior academics of the University during which they a partnership between Harvard University and Sierra Leone.
Later in the evening, President Bio was also hosted to an investors’ dinner where the Presidential Adviser on Economic and Financial Policy, Mr Joe Demby, presented the Sierra Leone Investment Ecosystem Strategy and the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Mrs Nabeela Tunis discussed investors’ experience in Sierra Leone. During the dinner, President Bio also assured investors of his commitment to improving the investment climate in Sierra Leone and invited them to explore and take advantage of the business opportunities in the country.
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