News / Africa

Sierra Leoneans in Washington, DC to Observe 49th Independence Anniversary

Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens says Sierra Leoneans are ready to once again make their country a part of the community of nations

Map of Sierra Leone
Map of Sierra Leone

Multimedia

Audio
  • Sierra Leone Ambassador to the U.S. Stevens spoke with Butty

James Butty

As Sierra Leone celebrates its 49th independence anniversary April 27, its ambassador to the United States said the country is ready to return to its once glorious days as a repository of knowledge and a beacon of hope in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens said that after enduring 11 years of civil war beginning in the early 90s, Sierra Leoneans are ready to once again make their country an important part of the community of nations.

“After 11 years of civil war which was a situation of total anarchy, destruction and loss of life, I would say we’ve come out of the woods…but as a nation we want to put most of those vices behind us,” he said.

Ambassador Stevens said President Ernest Bai Koroma’s agenda of change calls on all Sierra Leoneans to be part of the country’s development.

“Nobody else can develop Sierra Leone for us. We’ve seen a lot of misery, but right now I think we see light at the end of the tunnel. There has been some physical development. We’ve seen development in the provision of electricity, we’ve seen development in the provision of roads, and development in the provision of health care,” Stevens said.

He said as part of Tuesday’s Independence Day festivities, President Koroma will launch Sierra Leone’s free health delivery system.

“The president is going to make a landmark announcement whereby pregnant women and children from five years under will be entitled and will receive free medical attention from the health sector. It’s a big achievement,” Stevens said.

He said the Koroma government hopes to in the future provide free health care and education for all Sierra Leoneans.

As part of the 49th independence anniversary festivities, the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington is holding a symposium entitled “Rise and Shine Sierra Leone, for a Better Tomorrow.”

Ambassador Stevens said the theme was selected to reflect on Sierra Leone’s once admirable standing in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Sierra Leone used to be the Athens of Africa; Sierra Leone used to be the repository of knowledge in Africa. Furahbay College was a very significant institution in that area. We chose that the theme of the symposium to reflect on this idea that we were once a beacon of hope in Africa south of the Sahara,” Stevens said.

He said through hard work by all Sierra Leoneans the country will be able to once again take its place in the world of nations.

Ambassador Stevens said he values highly the contribution of the Sierra Leone Diaspora in North America in the Sierra Leone's economic and social development.

“That is why one of the things I did when I took over in the United States was to develop a data base of the Sierra Leone community to create the awareness among the Diaspora population to let them know that they owe a duty to Mother Sierra Leone. Was it not for Sierra Leone they will not be here. They should not turn their backs on Sierra Leone,” Ambassador Stevens said.

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 Million by January

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid