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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid