His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has said his government is committed to transparency and accountability while addressing a delegation from the Open Government Partnership (OGP) at State House.
He said his administration was doing the best they could to be open and accountable to the people so as to increase public confidence in governance, adding that the best way to govern a country was to move along with the people in the development process.
He added his government was very much particular about inclusive development, where everyone would feel important in the governance system of the country.
“We are trying to settle down and find our way in a still difficult environment but we are very much committed to accountability. We do not want to hide anything from our people. My government is people-centered and we know we have a social contract with the people of this country and that contract needs execution. We have started and whatever needs to be done to earn the confidence of the people, we will do it,” he assured.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer for OGP, Joe Powell, said it was a privilege to meet President Bio, who had already set the goal to eradicate corruption in the country. He noted that they were reading the New Direction manifesto, noting that they were happy that it captured a lot of areas on openness and inclusion.
He added that initial discussions already showed that the country’s civil society organisations were excited about the president’s approach to governance since his assumption of office. He disclosed that they were ready to support the new administration to succeed on their programmes.
“By what we have seen so far, it seems there is a great opportunity. We want to see how we can get a refreshed open government agenda in Sierra Leone under your leadership. Our objective of being here is to figure a way out, as your international support teams, and identify areas we can support you. We can also bring examples from countries where open government has been transformational for citizens and how we can be a platform through which Sierra Leone can talk about what it is doing at the international stage,” he said.
Launched in 2011, the OGP is a 78 country initiative set up by former American President Barack Obama with a mandate to provide an international platform for domestic reformers, committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens.