Under the Chief Patronage of His Excellency the President and Her
Excellency the First Lady, the annual presidential networking dinner for
members of the diplomatic community and development partners was successfully
held on Thursday evening at the State Lodge in Freetown.
This annual event is being staged to demonstrate appreciation to
the diplomats and development partners, in addition to creating a platform for
interactions between the presidency and its partners.
Formally welcoming their guests to the ‘people’s lodge,’ First
Lady Mrs. Fatima Maada Bio anticipated a better 2022 for the Government of
Sierra Leone and its partners.
She reiterated that the purpose of the event was to strengthen the
ties between and among the presidency, the state and its partners, noting that
it the guests deserve appreciation for their various roles in sustaining peace
and democracy in Sierra Leone.
His Excellency Brig. Rtd Julius Maada Bio expressed his
government’s commitment to further enhance mutual understanding, perceptions
and trust, as he believes those are the germane to sustainable and productive
relations among nations.
He highlighted Sierra Leone’s ranking as the 4th peaceful country
in Africa and the country’s regional lead in the fight against corruption, investment
in human capital development, increasing gender empowerment and female
representations, fostering democratic freedom and protecting and promoting the
rights of persons, which stems from his government’s effort to consolidate and
enrich democracy, undertaking significant number of institutional, governance
and rights reforms.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Dr.
Babatunde A. Ahinzo commended His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio for
Sierra Leone’s lowest rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases and associated deaths in
the world and for taking early and disciplinary steps in combating and
preventing the spread of COVID-19, which has proved very effective, as his
government continues to build up the emergency response capacity in health care
system with support from international partners and united nations country
Dr. Babatude while outlining the gains of Sierra Leone in 2021,
heartily congratulated the First Lady on her new appointment to serve in the
advisory board of the division for multilateral diplomacy of the United Nations
Institute for training and research (UNITAR) and Justice Miatta Samba on her
recent appointment to the International Criminal Court, which is a clear
manifestation of President Bio’s commitment to empower women in his human
capital development agenda.
Dean of the Diplomatic Community and Liberian Ambassador to Sierra
Leone, Musu Jatu Ruhle highly commended the Government of Sierra Leone for the
amendments of the Public Order Act of 1965 and the repeal of the seditious
libel law to allow free speech by all, noting government’s strides that led to
the abolishment of the death penalty and enforcement of other human rights laws
in Sierra Leone.
The Ambassador expressed the diplomatic community’s recognition of
the government’s effort to empower more women in economic, political and social
spaces through the launch of the Gender Equality and Women’s Policy.
Other highlights of the event included networking with His
Excellency and Madam First Lady.
Strategic Communications Division
Office of The First Lady