Former President Ernest Koroma to Chair Africa Drive for Democracy Elders’ Retreat in Tanzania

Former President Ernest Bai Koroma departed for Arusha, Republic of Tanzania on Friday July 14, 2023 where he is expected to join his esteemed colleagues at the Africa Drive for Democracy Elders’ Retreat and conference, scheduled to take place from July 17 to July 21, 2023.

Organized by the Center for Strategic Litigation, MS Training Center for Development Cooperation and the Institute for Security Studies, the retreat aims to foster deeper reflection on the escalating threats to democracy.

To be attended by representatives from over 45 African nations, including former Heads of State, scholars and political movement leaders, the event will draw upon their wealth of experiences in democratic governance and together will explore practical strategies to ensure that democracy fulfills its promises while safeguarding the continent from authoritarian regression.

It could be recalled that Former President Koroma served as the keynote speaker at last year’s inaugural Conference of the Africa Drive for Democracy initiative. In recognition of his unwavering dedication to advancing democracy in Africa, the organizers unanimously appointed him as the Chair of the initiative for the 2023-2025 term. In their invitation letter, they highlighted President Koroma’s commitment and expressed their confidence in his leadership to propel the crucial discussions at the Africa Drive for Democracy Elders Retreat.

“Democracy has assumed various disconcerting forms across the globe. In Africa, we witness forms of governance where citizens’ voices are marginalized, state institutions such as the police and military are misused to suppress dissent and violate human rights, opposition forces are stifled, and elections are conducted merely as a façade of public participation. However, these challenges should strengthen our resolve to defend democracy rather than weaken it. Defenders of democracy must unite and take concerted action to halt its decline,” stated President Koroma during the 2022 conference in Arusha.

Joining President Koroma at the prestigious event are other notable delegates, including former President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, and former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia.

Ambassador Salaah Hamad, Head of the African Governance Architecture, and Advocate Batlokoa Makong, Chief of Staff of the African Peer Review Mechanism, will also contribute to the discussions, offering their insights on the state of democracy on the continent.

Former President Ernest Bai Koroma is expected to return to Sierra Leone on July 22, following the conclusion of the Elders’ Retreat.


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