By Amin Kef (Ranger)
In a landmark event at the Freetown International Conference Center on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio officially unveiled Sierra Leone’s Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) for the years 2024–2030. Titled “A Transformative Acceleration Agenda for Food Security, Human Capital Development, and Job Creation,” the plan is hailed as a strategic roadmap for unprecedented prosperity and progress.
President Bio declared the launch a pivotal moment in the nation’s history, showcasing a comprehensive national development plan that not only hears the aspirations of Sierra Leoneans but meticulously addresses them. He emphasized the intrinsic connection between democracy and real development, asserting that the latter forms the foundation for freedom, equality, and prosperity.
Acknowledging the challenges ahead, President Bio underscored his government’s commitment to confront them head-on, guided by principles of equity, justice, and sustainability. He stressed the plan’s objective to empower and liberate the people, emphasizing that development should unleash potential rather than constrain it.
“To actualize this grand vision, it is crucial to have synergy and alignment across all levels of government,” President Bio stated. “Our mission is to transform areas of economic challenge into havens of economic opportunity.”
The President highlighted the importance of peace and unity in achieving these development goals. The National Development Plan aims to create an inclusive, green, middle-income society by 2039, with a focus on food self-sufficiency by 2030 and a skilled, healthy, and inclusive workforce.
President Bio outlined ambitious targets, including the creation of at least half a million new jobs by 2030, fostering a cashless economy, and enhancing financial inclusion. He envisions a vibrant e-government and an efficient, innovative public administration system.
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Madam Seraphine Wakana, expressed optimism at the launch, describing the plan as a collective commitment to sustainable development, inclusivity, and resilience for Sierra Leoneans. The UN, she assured, stands ready to collaborate with the government and partners to leverage expertise and resources.
Dr Jonathan Titus Williams, Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development, provided an overview of the plan, emphasizing its continuity from the New Direction government’s development trajectory. He highlighted the plan’s role in building on the nation’s foundation for progress, propelling Sierra Leone forward among the community of nations.