Gbense Chiefdom, Kono District, Friday 19 November 2021 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has done the sod-turning ceremony for the construction of the Kono University of Science and Technology, once complete will be the second university in the eastern region after the Eastern Technical University in Kenema.
Chiefdom Speaker of Gbense, Aiah M. Kamanda, welcomed the President and his entourage, saying that the traditional ceremony for the university was a dream come true and the answer to the prayers of his people for many decades now.
He thanked the county’s Vice President, Honourable Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, and First Lady Madam Fatima Maada Bio, whom he said were from Kono and had not forgotten their root. He added that Kono had seen improvements under the Sierra Leone People’s Party, SLPP, government, and promised that his people would continue to support President Julius Maada Bio in his transformational drive.
“Thank you, the Honourable Vice President and First Lady. We are proud of you, and we pray that God continue to bless you and your government,” he concluded
Dr John E. Tambi, Chairman Office of the Presidential Infrastructure Initiative, said that in 2018 President Bio approached the ECOWAS Commission for a loan to construct a university for Kono, adding that even though funds from the regional trading bloc would be available in 2022, President Bio had started pre-financing for the commencement of construction.
“Such a move by the President demonstrates huge love and commitment for his people. The construction, at this stage, will be for lecture rooms, administrative buildings, and a hall. Work is ready to commence after the turning of the sod by the President,” he concluded.
Minister of Higher and Technical Education, Professor Alpha Tejan Wurie recalled that it had been a long journey to reach the point of sod-cutting, and thanked his predecessor, Professor Aiah Kpakima, for starting the process.
“The people of Kono deserve a university. They have been a breadbasket of this country’s economy for a long time. The university to be constructed will be a state-of-the-art, and it will be accredited to a renowned university in the United Kingdom,” he assured
He further stated that the country made no mistake in electing President Bio, saying that the amount of development that the country had witnessed since 2018 was unprecedented. He, therefore, urged the people of Kono to guard the project with jealousy as it would be a legacy for the transformation of Kono.
His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio said it was indeed a happy day for Kono as he had gone there to fulfill a major manifesto promise he made in 2018 when he said he would construct a modern university for the people of Kono, adding that he was hopeful the institution would better translate the slogan that wise men came from the east.
“Throughout the history of this country, Kono has been deprived of many facilities. Kono has added greatly to the development of this nation. Under my leadership as President, I am going to correct this social injustice that Kono has faced for quite a long time. The New Direction government is here to leave a lasting legacy for the future of our children in Kono,” he assured.
The President further explained that for the longest time Kono had only concentrated on mining, which was why he was going to change the trajectory by constructing a university that would ensure that children of Kono would no longer yearn to leave their hometown just to acquire university education.
President Bio urged the people of Kono to tap into their many potentials because they were intelligent people who have demonstrated it in supporting the educational sector of the nation.
“The road leading from Koidu City to this university campus will be constructed alongside the construction. Madam First Lady has always consented to provide a school bus for the university. There will be no more excuses for not having a quality education in Kono.
“On that note, I now have the honour to formally commission the construction work of the Kono University for Science and Technology. Thank you all,” he concluded.
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