His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has addressed the 9th Edition of the Rebranding Africa Forum, and highlighted Sierra Leone’s developments at the most prestigious pan-African economic forum in Brussels that brings together some of the top business owners and executives on the African continent every year.
The President noted that because the world was already a global village, it was almost impossible to rebrand Africa without international partnerships.
“Africa needs strategic partnerships based on mutual respect and trust. Partners that do not dictate which strategies or tools we should adopt and how to implement them. We need partners to support our home-grown strategies and development pathways for our nations’ unique challenges and opportunities.
“I will use my keynote address to highlight some of the development efforts we have made in Sierra Leone to shape a positive narrative of our country, once regarded as the ‘Athens of Africa’,” adding that Sierra Leone was the land of unrivalled friendliness and strategic opportunities.
“Since May 2018, my Government has made visible strides in Education, Healthcare Services, Agriculture, Gender Empowerment, and Poverty Eradication programmes to improve the quality of life of our citizens,” he said.
President Bio assured that his new five-year mandate echoed the call for continuity, emphasising that the new Transformation Agenda was an ambitious vision to spur sustainable economic growth and social progress in Sierra Leone.
“This Agenda encapsulates the spirit of progress, seizing the newfound opportunities we have forged while confronting emerging challenges and propelling Sierra Leone towards Middle-Income Status by 2035.
“Greater regional trade will open up huge opportunities for industrialisation. The free movement of people will also accelerate the integration of labour markets and promote more competitive service industries.
He noted that while it was great to see an array of business leaders and partners in the development and rebranding of Africa come together, the annual gathering had also become a beacon of hope and progress for Africa.
“The theme for this year's summit, ‘Revolution in African Financial Systems: Blending Authenticity and Modernity ─ Pathways to Financial Inclusion,’ is timely and crucial for our Continent's future.
“Let this Rebranding Africa Forum catalyse change. Let it be the spark that ignites the revolution we seek in African financial systems. With authenticity and modernity as our guiding principles, and with the commitment and dedication of all stakeholders, we can create a more inclusive and prosperous future for Africa,” he concluded.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Republic of Sierra Leone State House.