57th Independence Anniversary Broadcast to the Nation by His Excellency the President Julius Maada Bio on Friday, 27th April 2018
Fellow Sierra Leoneans
Today, we are celebrating the 57th anniversary of our independence. This has been a momentous year that has taken us through the tragedy of the floods and mudslide in August 2017. But at the same time, for the hopes and aspirations of millions of Sierra Leoneans who voted for change in a New Direction to develop and transform our beloved Nation.
Today, we have a new opportunity as a nation to collectively and individually work together to take this country forward, to develop and transform Sierra Leone that we can all be proud of.
During my Swearing-In on 4th April 2018 as President of the Republic, I said that my election and my new administration is the dawn of a new era to change and transform Sierra Leone. As a nation we must resolve to use this opportunity to change and transform our beloved Sierra Leone.
We have to resolve as a nation to lay the strong and credible foundation for our children and our grandchildren. This is the only way to create the conditions for a united, peaceful, confident, enterprising, dynamic and progressive country.
As we celebrate 57 years of our independence we have to acknowledge the fact that as a country we are at a crossroad and that we are faced with the stark choice between the corrupt and indisciplined business as usual status quo or a change in the New Direction where every Sierra Leonean is given the ladder of opportunity to climb and achieve their greatest potential.
We have to ask ourselves that after 57 Years of independence what do we have to show for? As a nation, we have made great strides in laying some of the critical foundations for socio-economic and political development.
Today, we can confidently say that we have now laid the foundation to consolidate our nascent democracy after holding five successive democratic elections that have seen the transfer of power from one civilian administration to another.
After 57 years of political independence, we are still faced with some of the most critical problems and challenges of development and social progress. At 57 we:
- Are not able to pay for our basic and essential services as a nation without depending on external development assistance.
- We have not provided effective political and economical management of the state and our natural resources for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans.
- We are still classified as one of the poorest countries and the most corrupt country in the world.
- At 57, Sierra Leone has changed from the international recognition as the ‘Athens of West Africa’ to a country where 3 in every 5 Sierra Leonean cannot read and write.
- At 57, we are today a divided nation along ethnic, regional and sectional lines with very negative impact on the professionalism and functioning of our state governing institutions
These depressing social and development challenges have to change. I have been given the mandate to change and transform this country and I will provide the disciplined leadership needed to take this country forward. I have therefore directed that:
- Given the current economic and financial crisis that we have inherited, there should be no budgetary allocation from the Ministry of Finance to fund independence celebration activities across the country.
- My government will only fund future independence celebrations across the country when, as a nation, we are able to pay for our critical and basic services without relying on any external development aid.
- My Government will only approve future funding for independence celebration activities when our domestic revenue collection make up 20% of our Gross Domestic Product.
As a government, we are determined to lay the solid foundation for change and transformation in Sierra Leone. Already, the signs and achievements of our New Direction revolution is visible everywhere. The Executive Order No. 1 issued on 9th April 2018 on ‘Domestic Revenue Mobilisation’ and Executive Order No. 2 issued on 25th April 2018 on ‘Fiscal Control Measures’ have made it possible for my new administration to pay Salaries for the first time without using Bank Overdraft facility.
These domestic revenue mobilisation efforts by my new administration clearly shows that change is possible in this country. The people of this country have voted for change. We all want change but we must also be prepared to work for change and accept the challenges that change will bring. This is the price that we have to pay, as a nation, to change and transform our beloved Sierra Leone.
Expectations are high and rightly so. The people want to see immediate and visible change in their lives. We can only achieve change and transformation in Sierra Leone today if we work together to build national cohesion and end the culture of indiscipline, lawlessness and corruption.
We want to attract and tap into the best brains and expertise that this country has to offer to drive our New Direction inclusive development, inclusive economic growth, inclusive politics and inclusive governance programmes. This is the only way to develop and transform Sierra Leone and together we can and we will make this possible.
My government recognises and appreciates the important contribution made by our development partners and I do call on them to join us and support our New Direction policies and programmes to change and transform Sierra Leone into a country that will no longer be dependent on aid.
Congratulations on our 57th Independence Anniversary.
I wish you all a happy and memorable 57th Anniversary Day.
And God Bless the people and the Republic of Sierra Leone.
GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE
Office of the President
COMMENTS FROM SIERRA LEONEANS
we are still classified as one of the poorest countries in Africa said by His Excellency President Maada Bio on the 57th Independence Anniversary:🤣🤣
However, this particular statement worrier me to do fact finding about the top 10 poorest countries in Africa with their Cross Domestic Products.
1:Central Africa Republic GDP $656.
2:Democratic Republic of Congo GDP $ 784
3:Burundi GDP $818
4:Liberia GDP $882
5:Niger GDP $1,113
6:Malawi GDP $ 1,139
7:Mozambique GDP $ 1,228
8:Guinea GDP $ 1,271
10:Madagascar GDP $ 1,504.
As for now Sierra Leone with a Cross Domestic Product of $4.4 billions in 2016 – 2017,source from the IMF World Economic Outlook 2016 – 2017.
Why una want sabotage the previous government.
The Brave Hunter 🦅🦅
Alfred Kanu Dear Ambassador Leigh,
Development goes beyond GDP and includes indicators like life expectancy at birth, illiteracy rates, infant and child mortality rates etc . Using these indicators, the 2017 UNDP human development report ranks Sierra Leone 179 out of 188 countries surveyed. Sierra even falls below Eritrea , Guinea Bissau, DR Congo, Gambia and Liberia.
And this should not be an indictment on any single government . Remember during the military junta we were ranked 188 out 188. We moved a couple of places up during the last years of the Kabba administration and the early years the Koroma administrations . But yeas, we still remain among the 10 least developed countries in the World.
Ibrahim Korombo Conteh Mr. John, don’t you understand the phrase “one of the poorest”?
Are we not among the poorest in the world?
Talking about TEN on the list, have you tried to go TWEENTY to thirty?
It was a very brilliant idea to not celebrating the independent, I know he shot the mouth of the opposition on allegations of overspending.
SIERRA LEONEANS, we are very wicked to the progress of our nation. If this should have been any other country that is economically struggling, her citizens should have hailed the president.
Our new government was just out there ANNOUNCING that it will not be able to pay salaries for April due to bad economy and poor handling of money by the previous government. If now that they lunched extravagant celebration, what you your very self will say? Hypocrisy killing our nation indeed
John Leigh How about the huge celebration in Bo this weekend? No money for Independence Day Anniversary but plenty of money to celebrate a high school anniversary. Right? A similar situation occurred in 1993, 1994 and 1995. The junta boys did not celebrate Independence Day the. but they celebrated on April 29 as their so-called National Day that was actually the respective 1st, 2nd and 3rd anniversaries of the NPRC coup.
Anyway, my concern is a regime spending too much money and other public resources upon itself. Enjoyment of incumbents ought not be funded by the public. My information is that the new regime spent $450,000 on just 2 conferences earlier this month and an estimated Le152million on just transport costs for Bo School celebrants traveling from Freetown to Bo. Think about a better alternate use of those funds in our poor country.
And despite our deep poverty and more numerous calamities, SL is less poor than both Her closest neighbors, Liberia and Guinea in the Mano Union.
The issue of SL poverty is not whether SL is the poorest country try but where did APC meet SL and where it left SL in the UNDP Poverty Index.
Emmanuel Sannoh In 2017, we were classed as the 11th poorest country in the world. I don’t think this is anything to boast about. Far from it!
As it stands, every Sierra Leonean irrespective of your location must be ashamed of our country being still ranked among the poorest countries in the world. At minimum, we should be a medium income country. We all must be ashamed of ourselves. Except otherwise. What is more disturbing is the fact that, just one man. Where were all Sierra Leoneans when all of this happened? Divine intervention would judge each one of us personally for whatever action or inaction bringing this sort of shame on us.
God bless Sierra Leone!
God bless Sierra Leoneans!!!
John Leigh I agree with you, Mr. Sannoh; no one should ever boast about, or be proud of, the widespread, chronic and deep poverty in SL. But the fact remains that SL is not among the worst case. And whatever we and our government do, we need to keep our nation’s poverty situation in mind.
Besides, when it comes to poverty measurement, the real issue is where in the UNDP PI did Slpp leave it in 2007; and where did the APC leave it in 2018 in that same Index!