In a significant diplomatic engagement, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio warmly received the newly appointed United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Madam Seraphine Wakana, during a courtesy visit on Wednesday 10th January, 2024. This visit underscored the commitment of the United Nations to support Sierra Leone’s development priorities as outlined by the government of Sierra Leone.
Madam Wakana, accompanied by key UN advisors, expressed her gratitude to President Bio for accepting her appointment and highlighted her positive engagements with various government officials, including the Chief Minister, Dr David Moinina Sengeh, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy Musa Kabba.
She informed the President about her meeting with the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Madam Kenyeh Ballay, Madam Wakana focused on Sierra Leone’s National Development Plan, expressing the UN’s willingness to assist in launching strategies aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for the current year.
The UN Resident Coordinator conveyed her condolences to President Bio and the people of Sierra Leone for the tragic events of November 26, 2023, praising the President’s commitment to upholding the Rule of Law in the aftermath. She also commended President Bio for Sierra Leone’s recent appointment to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and pledged the UN office’s full support for a successful tenure.
President Julius Maada Bio, in his response, welcomed Madam Wakana, acknowledging Sierra Leone’s historical collaboration with the UN, especially during the post-war period. President Bio emphasized the nation’s focus on development and outlined key priorities, including aligning agriculture and education with the UN cooperation framework.
Acknowledging the challenges faced by Sierra Leone, President Bio discussed his government’s initiatives, such as the Big Five Game Changers and the FEED SALONE program, aimed at stimulating economic growth and achieving food security. He expressed the government’s determination to address governance issues, including electoral review systems.
President Bio highlighted Sierra Leone’s unique post-war experience and emphasized the country’s commitment to contributing to peacekeeping efforts and addressing security challenges, particularly in dealing with unconstitutional changes of governments. The President concluded by assuring Madam Wakana of the government’s dedicated efforts to address challenges and pursue the nation’s ambitious developmental goals.