Development

No community, country or region should be made to feel too small – says Ernest Bai Koroma

Sierra Leone’s former President, Ernest Bai Koroma, informed stakeholders that to consolidate peace requires opening the political space by encouraging genuine inclusiveness in governance.

“No community, country or region should be made to feel too small or inadequate to be accorded its rightful place in development,” he said.

Sharing his experience at the Horasis Global Meeting in Caiscais, Portugal, the former president said “As soon as we came into government, our first major action was to reform the anti-corruption legislation, giving more autonomy to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)”

“It now has the power not only to investigate but to prosecute as well: we have created an institution to fight corruption and strengthen transparency.”

The event usually gathers business leaders, heads of governments, key cabinet ministers, and eminent thought leaders to advance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the world. During this year’s four – day global conference, participants are expected to share their insights in view of the current ‘fragile and fractious’ state of our world.

Recognised as a champion of peace in Africa, Sierra Leone’s former President was invited to deliver a special message on how the world could work together to attain sustainable peace. President Ernest Bai Koroma succeeded in consolidating peace in a country which had suffered one of the world’s most brutal and destructive armed conflicts in recent memory.

At a joint press conference in Freetown on 5 March 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “Sierra Leone represents one of the world’s most successful cases of post-conflict recovery, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.”

By the time President Koroma left office in 2018, the International Peace Index ranked Sierra Leone as the most peaceful country in West Africa and one of the most peaceful in Africa.

During the administration’s time of economic growth and change, the country was devastated by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in early 2014. Sierra Leone was the hardest hit country but overcame the deadly disease through President Koroma’s steady leadership and by cooperation with neighboring nations and international aid organizations to fight the disease. The World Health Organization declared Sierra Leone was Ebola-free in March 2016.
Koroma states, “We had a projected growth of 13.2 percent before the epidemic broke out, and we were considered one of the most transformed countries in terms of governance. We have conducted free and fair elections, we have strengthened our institutions, we are fighting against corruption, we are a religiously-tolerant country, and we have been reported to be the most peaceful country in West Africa.”

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