By Amin Kef (Ranger)
In an uplifting Christmas Day address, His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone on Monday December 25, 2023, affirmed his dedication to the nation’s development amidst rising economic uncertainties and global disruptions.
President Bio recognized the difficult year marked by rising living costs, economic instability, and the lingering effects of the global pandemic. He acknowledged the additional strain caused by the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the challenges of implementing monetary policy to combat global inflation. He emphasized that these issues pose even more daunting tasks for developing nations like Sierra Leone.
Despite these challenges, the President expressed gratitude for the blessings of the year and called on his fellow citizens to do the same. He insisted that unity, understanding, and shared humanity are the true essence of the Sierra Leone community, especially in these trying times.
President Bio highlighted the government’s unwavering commitment to mitigating these global upheavals, outlining their proactive steps over the past year. These include significant investments in Human Capital Development and initiatives such as monthly cash transfers through the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) to support the most impoverished households.
In his address, the President also touched on recent threats to Sierra Leone’s hard-won democracy. He praised the brave Security Forces who defended the nation and thanked every Sierra Leonean who stood for peace and democracy, particularly during the unsettling events of November 26th.
President Bio expressed his deep gratitude to public servants, armed forces, security services, investors, and the youth of the nation. He honored the roles women play in holding families and the nation together and recognized the hard work of men as cornerstones of the community.
Addressing the escalating ‘Kush’ crisis facing the youth, President Bio reassured the nation of the government’s steadfast dedication to finding enduring solutions. He also acknowledged the irreplaceable role of traditional and religious leaders in providing guidance and spiritual support.
The President urged his fellow Sierra Leoneans to remember the less fortunate during the festive season and to extend their famed warmth to all, regardless of beliefs or backgrounds. He also expressed gratitude to service members and essential workers who continue to work tirelessly over the holidays.
President Bio concluded his address by wishing all Sierra Leoneans, both at home and abroad, a joyous Christmas. He called for a renewed commitment to each other and the nation, expressing confidence in a brighter future for Sierra Leone.