‘’No one country can solve the world’s numerous interlocking challenges’’ says Sierra Leone’s Maada Bio at US Africa’s Leaders’ Summit

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio

Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has said he believes that no one country can solve the world’s numerous interlocking challenges. Recognizing that the world is helplessly interlinked is a good start to solving global problems, Maada Bio said

Bio made these remarks during the opening of the US – Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC on Tuesday.

He is one of nearly fifty African leaders and delegates invited by the US President Joe Biden.

‘’To the question, “does Africa matter,” I will simply state the assertion by the United Nations that Africa contains 30% of the earth’s mineral reserves including 40% of the world’s gold and 40% of its chromium and
platinum, not to mention an even higher percentage of rare earth and other metals that are indispensable for developing and processing new and emerging technologies. Add that to 12% of the World’s oil reserves and 8% of the world’s natural gas reserves plus the largest and most diverse climate ecosystem, and you will know that the world cannot make the progress it needs to make without Africa,’’ Bio said.

Bio added, Africa and Africans were critical to the success of the first Industrial Revolution by involuntarily providing centuries of labour to power that industrial revolution adding Africans were largely recipients of the second and third Industrial Revolutions.

‘’With the Fourth Industrial Revolution holding out such immense prospects for Africa’s socio-economic transformation, are we consciously planning for Africa’s participation and making the right policies and right digital infrastructure investments at scale?,’’ Bio asked.

The Sierra Leonean president added that education and innovation sector financing will help address skills deficits among Africa’s young people and have multiplier effects on economic growth adding as a great believer in education for personal development, community and national development, and for building more resilient economies and democracies in the world, there is need to harnessing diaspora resources, skills and knowledge.

‘’Together, we can also think about structured ways of mobilising, harnessing, or transferring diaspora resources and the tremendous reserves of diaspora skills and knowledge. Together we can develop adaptable models for green investments and just energy transitions. Together, we can develop better food production systems to tackle food insecurity and help mitigate biodiversity loss. Together, we can build more robust and resilient health system but all of that starts from open dialogues like these,’’ Sierra Leone’s president Julius Bio believed.

The African Leadership person’s award winner 2022 added that there is a whole lot that the world can do together through productive partnerships as governments, and with multilateral institutions, including the private sector, civil society, and coalitions of young people such as we have here today.

‘’We have passed progressive laws that enrich our society and our democracy including a Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment bill, abolished the death penalty, repealed criminal libel laws and opened up spaces for journalism and civil society, decongested prisons, clamped down hard on sexual and gender-based violence, and more’’

Bio’s five year term will come to an end this year with fresh elections slated for June 2023. In August the West African nation experienced protests in some parts of the country over rising cost of living, economic hardship and rising inflation which left dozens dead including security personnel.

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