President Julius Maada Bio explains Sierra Leone’s Human Capital Development agenda to ECOWAS, takes a position on regional security and a single currency

Abuja, Nigeria, Saturday 29 June 2019 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has shared his plans on human capital development with colleague Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at this year’s summit in Abuja. 

He disclosed that in Sierra Leone, his government had completed and launched a Medium Term National Development Plan to align all governance imperatives with Human Capital Development. He added that they also had elevated investments in the three human capital development imperatives.

“Our country defines Human Capital development in terms of equal and free access to quality education – that also involves skills training and innovation – we believe this makes the human being fit for purpose in the twenty-first century and all ready to fully partake in the global economy; healthcare – by strengthening our healthcare systems and services; and food security,” he said.

On regional security, the President, who is also Chairman of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C-10) on the reform of the United Nations Security Council, said his government would support efforts to consolidate peace and security in the sub-region, including closer military cooperation and collaboration and urged for the adoption of a community approach to security.

He also reminded the body of its planned ECOWAS Logistics Depot at Lungi and further urged the authority to accelerate equipment mobilisation and deployment of personnel. Lungi is home to the only international airport that serves Sierra Leone in the north-western province of the country, separated from the Capital, Freetown, by a sea of about 10 nautical miles.

He made contributions to the ECOWAS single currency debate and commended diligence in working to finalise the exchange rate regime, monetary policy framework, model of the future of ECOWAS Bank. He also advised that the Central Banks and Ministries of Finance in the community engage in deeper technical sessions on the subject matter and provide the Heads of State with an agreed implementation roadmap.

“On the issue of free movement of persons and customs, I urge that our respective countries adopt practices that facilitate the free movement of persons and goods across borders. I also urge our respective countries to leverage the advantages of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which we have already domesticated in 44 countries,” he said.

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