President Bio Emphasizes Partnership Between Sierra Leone & Korea at the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit

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By Amin Kef (Ranger)

President Dr. Julius Maada on Tuesday, June 4, 2024 Bio expressed optimism about the collaboration between Sierra Leone and Korea as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. During the inaugural 2024 Korea-Africa Summit, President Bio highlighted the importance of shared growth, sustainability and solidarity in the partnership between the two nations.

Under the theme “The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth, Sustainability and Solidarity,” President Bio reaffirmed Sierra Leone’s commitment to working closely with Korea and other African nations to promote peace and security. Leveraging their joint membership in the UN Security Council, President Bio emphasized the role of the Council in maintaining international peace and security amidst growing conflicts and security threats worldwide.

Earlier, on June 3, 2024, President Bio delivered a Presidential Lecture at Yonsei University in Seoul on enhancing the educational system and governance in Sierra Leone. He praised the University for its dedication to education that transcends boundaries and emphasized the pivotal role of education in national development and global sustainability.

President Bio highlighted Sierra Leone’s investments in education and human capital development, as well as the progress made in governance reforms since taking office in 2018. He discussed the country’s commitment to democratic principles, human rights, and good governance, noting its improved ranking in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

“Quality education and human capital development are central to Sierra Leone’s national development aspirations and global sustainable development,” President Bio stated. He emphasized the critical role of education in lifting countries like Sierra Leone from conflict, poverty, and underdevelopment, noting the significant investment of 22% of the national budget in the education sector over the past six years.

During his visit, President Bio witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sahmyook Health University in Korea, aimed at enhancing cooperation in various areas including research and workforce development programs.

“Sierra Leone looks forward to leveraging its relationship with the Republic of Korea and their joint Membership in the Non-Permanent Category of the UN Security Council to promote peace and security,” he mentioned.

He also spoke about international peace and security, adding that one key framework for that would be the United Nations Security Council, of which Sierra Leone had been a Non-Permanent Member since January 2024.

“At a time when conflicts, wars and terrorist activities are increasing across the world, there is no better time than now to draw from our commonalities and the international peace architecture to prevent and respond to conflicts when they occur for a collective future of ‘Shared Growth, Sustainability and Solidarity’.

“Sierra Leone, with unwavering determination, remains committed during its tenure to ensure that the Security Council fulfils its paramount responsibility in maintaining International Peace and Security. With escalating peace and security threats, the urgency of expediting the reform of the UN Security Council becomes even more pronounced,” he stated.

President Bio’s engagements at Yonsei University and the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit underscore Sierra Leone’s dedication to global cooperation, sustainable development, and fostering partnerships for a better future.

In a preceding meeting on May 31, President Bio and South Korean President, Yoon Suk Yeol, discussed enhancing trade and investment between their countries. They signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Trade and Investment Promotion Framework (TIPF) and explored cooperation in education, public health and food security.

Accompanied by the First Lady, Dr. Fatima Maada Bio,  they were warmly welcomed by Yonsei University President, Dong-Sup Yoon. He expressed Sierra Leone’s eagerness to deepen its relationship with the University, particularly in light of Yonsei’s 139-year history of contributing to global human capital development.

Their visit came ahead of the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit in Ilsan, themed: “The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth, Sustainability, and Solidarity.”

The 2024 Korea-Africa Summit, a landmark event, featured African Heads of State and international organization leaders. President Bio’s engagements during the visit reflect Sierra Leone’s dedication to fostering global partnerships and sustainable development.



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