Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has expressed his determination to place his country back on the international pedestal by using education as his Trojan horse.
Several decades ago, Sierra Leone was known as the Athens of Africa for the quality of university graduates that the Fourah Bay College produced.
He argues that education could not only buttress democracy but was primordial to sustainable development.
President Bio made the statement at his State House office in Freetown on Wednesday when he received Ambassador Yakoub Yusuf Alfu-Salim, the deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of the United Arab Emirates.
He told his guest that “we cannot tackle the challenges of development in the 21st century if we do not have an educated population, he said, adding, it is an existential issue for us so, we have embarked on it and we look forward to genuine friends,” .
The President said his government was looking forward to deepen relations with the Emirates and other countries on the basis of genuine reciprocity.
He appealed to the Emirates government and others wishing to promote the development agenda to provide scholarships and skills training for the country’s students and youth population.
Bio said his government will make a difference by building genuine relations with the Emirates and other countries that are nurturing genuine hopes for a better world.
“We are as small country and our government is a new one, but we are determined to make a lasting and genuine footprint on the world stage,” Bio said.
Among the other sectors that his government was placing a premium, is transportation for which he also requested the Emirate government to consider setting up a Emirate Airline office in Freetown to help with connectivity.
He thanked the Emirates government and people for supporting the last Muslim Pilgrimage to Holy land of Mecca that was successfully organised by the government in Freetown.
© Bur-csa – A.H – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV)