By Esther Wright
President Dr Julius Maada Bio on the 29th April, 2022 conferred citizenship on 59 Afro-Americans after they subscribed to the oath of allegiance to become citizens of Sierra Leone and encouraged them to be positive ambassadors who will rebrand and promote the country.
“Some of you are in the process of acquiring your very own slice of beautiful Sierra Leone and planning to relocate families. Some of you have immersed yourselves in local communities and cultures of your heritage.
“Always be positive ambassadors who will rebrand and promote Sierra Leone. Make this, your home, a destination for investment. Promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and invest in areas and at rates, you can afford. They do say life can turn on a dime, and here, there are great opportunities to make dollars out of dimes,” President Bio said and encouraged them to leverage their contacts and skills to support inclusive growth and sustainable development in the country.
Leslie Dotson, who spoke on behalf of his compatriots, expressed great gratitude, appreciation and commitment to Sierra Leone and its people on behalf of everyone accepting the citizenship of the West African nation.
“In this room, we have many talented, educated and well-connected people. Many resourceful relationships that are formed over many, many years are now being bridged here at this time in Sierra Leone to support the country’s cause in the best interest,” he said.
He added that to name a few of the resources that comprised the 59 people in that room alone were people with backgrounds in tourism, education, engineering, human resources, and there were scientists, waste management experts, lawyers, doctors and nurses. He also noted that there were people in the real estate business, people who understand farming, hospitality, finance, project and corporate management and sports professionals.
“Your Excellency, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for what you have done and for giving us the opportunity to be able to serve this beautiful country called Sierra Leone and our new home. We also give special thanks to the African DNA programme and the trip counselors for their time and efforts,” he said.