UNICEF Executive Director Praises President Julius Maada Bio, Commits to Deepening Relationship With Sierra Leone

Paris, France, Tuesday 28 June 2022 – Executive Director of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, Catherine Russel, has praised His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio for increasing access to education for children and committed to deepening the relationship with Sierra Leone

During a bilateral meeting on the margins of the Transforming Education Pre-Summit at the UNESCO Headquarters, she assured the President of using the global UNICEF network to leverage partnerships with various stakeholders to support education in the West African nation.

On President Bio’s achievements in education, Catherine Russel said: “It takes true leadership and vision. Your people are lucky to have a leadership like yours who is passionate about education”.

In response, President Bio said that he identified education as the most important element for sustainable development. He explained his motivation to implement the Free Quality Education Programme and highlighted the various components of the programme including payment of tuition fees, payment of transitional examination fees, provision of core textbooks, teaching and learning materials, school feeding and free tuition for girls pursuing courses in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Math, STEM, at tertiary level.

He mentioned his radical inclusion policy which had benefited pregnant girls, children living with disability and supported the distribution of sanitary pads to girls in schools. He called on the UNICEF Executive Director to support Sierra Leone in consolidating the many gains the country had made in education.

“We want to continue to improve the quality of education. We also want to continue to be very robust in making education inclusive in Sierra Leone,” President Bio said.

Later, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio also held productive bilateral meetings with the Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, the Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, to explore sustainable partnership and support for the education sector in Sierra Leone and Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, Chief Executive Officer for LEGO Foundation, a Denmark-based philanthropic foundation dedicated to building a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners.

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We’ve just handed over thirty-two (32) brand new motorbikes to #SierraLeone’s Ministry of Social Welfare, to boost its capacity to provide Psychosocial Support Services in the current #COVID19 response, in all 16 districts of the country.


Sierra Leone To Serve As A New Drone-Testing Site

A picture of a drone set to fly to film area photographs after devastating floods hit Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe early February.

New York, 25 APRIL 2019 – Sierra Leone will serve as a new drone-testing site for  humanitarian and development initiatives to improve the lives of children in hard to reach areas. The country will be the fourth in a network of drone testing corridors launched by UNICEF and the governments of Malawi, Vanuatu and Kazakhstan. Plans are also underway to launch a similar drone testing corridor in Namibia.

Click Here To Continue Reading The Story On UNICEF Website



By George Sesay

The First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, H.E. Fatima Bio encouraged her counterparts in Africa to set up robust means of protecting girls in Africa from early marriage. She made this call at the 2nd African Girls summit on Ending child marriage held in Ghana.

The two-day summit was opened by the First Lady of Ghana, H. E. Rebecca Akufo-Addo. The summit is being convened at the instance of the African Union Commission (AUC), in collaboration with the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), UNICEF, and Plan International Ghana, to discuss and share experiences and best practices as well as highlight significant problems affecting the girl-child in Africa.

Speaking during the summit H.E. Fatima Bio condemned early marriage, stating that it destroys the future of fine African women. She went on to say that First Ladies should start community based education on early marriage, in a bid to create the much needed awareness that will help discourage early marriage.

H.E. Fatima Bio continued by pleading with parents to stop forcing their daughters into early marriage. She disclosed that most of the problems in Africa such as Fistula, infertility, and high infant mortality are associated with early marriage.

She concluded by calling on all, to join in youth empowerment in Africa, emphasising that with youth empowerment , Africa will achieve sustainable development .

Strategic Communications Division
Office of The First Lady
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Building and Investing in Our Capacity to Grow

With the theme, ‘Building and Investing in Our Capacity to Grow’, the Global Women Economic and Social Empowerment Summit (GWESES) which consists of an International Conference and an Awards Ceremony was held at the Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra on Wednesday, July 4, 2018.

Part of the programme involved our First Lady visiting a factory with other First Lady’s. The Factory is an example of female empowerment. One of the main priorities of the United Nations is the equality and empowerment of women and young girls. Equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes.

Director of Strategic Communications
Office of the First Lady
Republic of Sierra Leone
+232 303 68273

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First Lady Fatima Maada Bio At The United Nations Headquarters Geneva (In Picture)

H.E. Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, delivered a speech today at the United Nations Headquarters at Geneva Switzerland.

The conference “Girls with no name” is an unapologetic look on the issue of child prostitution in West Africa, using Sierra Leone as a case study.

The First Lady in her speech, did not mince words and spoke objectively about the subject. She said sometimes these kids provide for their families through prostitution. This is absolutely not the responsibility of a child, but it is a social reality we face today.

As depraved as it may seem, sometimes parents introduce their kids to prostitution. 10 years of civill war, and the Ebola epidemic did not help matters. Child prostitution is a taboo subject. But she as the First Lady is ready to be the voice.

Our First Lady further went on to say:

“Women & Children are often the poorest and most marginalised. Many are illiterate and unskilled. Issues of sexual abuse continues to be areas of concern.

As First Lady and someone passionate about women and children, I will use my position to bring awareness to the international community about the plight of my country.

I have no budget of my own for programmes that will help to better the lives of these honourable people. I am here to learn, and find a solution.

I have no authority to make or pass laws . Don Bosco Fambul is an organisation that is visibly helping in it’s little way in Sierra Leone. I have vowed to highlight the plight of our vulnerable children in my country.

I am here today, calling on everyone here present, to consider, and seriously look into Sierra Leone.”

Our First Lady went on to outline the benefits of the free education programme in the fight against child prostitution. The new direction goes beyond talking about societal ills, but actually embarking on workable “solution based” programmes.


Sierra Leone, One Of Five Countries With The Highest Maternal Mortality In The World – UNICEF 2017

Focus 1000 group ask political parties to include child mortality in their manifesto.
Audio Credit: F.M 98.1 Radio Democracy