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Sierra Leone: ‘I’ve cleaned up our image and I am investing in education’ – President Madaa Bio 

By Tom Collins, in Freetown

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Posted on December 16, 2022 14:12

 © Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone, in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool
Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone, in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool

In 2018, Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio introduced bold reforms to revolutionise the country’s education sector. The ‘radical inclusion policy’ sought to provide free education for all, including pregnant girls and disabled children. The government claims that more than one million children have signed up for schools in just four years since the policy was launched.

The Africa Report sat down with Maada Bio in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, to talk about his education drive and whether it would help him win another term in office during next year’s national elections.

Why you have made education a main focus of your first term in office?

President Julius Maada Bio: I come from a very humble background and for me to come to this level of leadership, I believe that education has played a very critical role in that journey. I started school without even shoes to walk to school; I had to walk barefoot. I didn’t have access to reading materials.

[However], today I’m here. I’ve seen enormous changes in my life. It [boils] down to education, and I would like to share that with the rest of the country. We cannot develop as a nation without education. We cannot undertake development without improving the human resources of our country. We want to be

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