President Bio is in Japan – what will he bring back home?

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 August 2019:

Sierra Leone’s president Julius Maada Bio is in Japan to attend the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) in Yokohama, after much criticisms from the opposition and the media about the excessive cost of travelling of his government officials. (Photo above: President Bio greeted by Japan government officials).

The president, just few weeks ago, imposed a ban on all official trips abroad for ministers and senor officials, and the expectation was that the president would lead by example, to help reduce government spending.

Euphemistically dubbed by State House media as president Bio’s “TRIP NUMBER 51” abroad, analysts say that such cavalier response to citizens’ anxiety about the government’s spiralling cost of overseas travelling is nothing short of being arrogant and disrespectful – adding insult to injury.

The hope though is that the president will prove his critics wrong that such visits abroad do yield economic dividend that is yet to be seen, as Sierra Leone’s economy continues to falter towards bankruptcy.

According to State House press statement, the 2019 TICAD7 Summit taking place in Japan, which starts tomorrow 28th August and ends 30th August 2019, will focus on “Advancing Africa’s development through people, technology and innovation”.

President Julius Maada Bio, the statement says, is expected to speak with investors at the TICAD Luncheon.  The event is aimed at promoting Japanese private investment in Africa by showcasing a successful Japanese agribusiness investment in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance – Jacob Jusu Saffa will also speak about “The key factors needed to mobilize private investment in Sierra Leone”.

The Tokyo International Conference on African Development is a summit-level international conference focusing on development in Africa (TICAD).

It was created in 1993 by the Government of Japan to promote policy dialogue between leaders of African countries and development partners on pressing issues facing Africa, such as economic development, poverty, and conflict.

Since its inception, TICAD has evolved into a significant global framework to facilitate the implementation of measures for promoting African development under the principles of African “ownership” and international “partnership”.

The Summit is co-organized by the Government of Japan, the United Nations (UN), the World Bank (WB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the African Union Commission (AUC).

President Bio and his entourage are expected back in Freetown on 1st September 2019, hopefully with better news about potential inward investments for Sierra Leone that will create much needed jobs and increase the country’s export earnings.

15 Comments

  1. Knowledge is power. You can’t just walk into a position just because you think you have people to back you. Yes they will but time will always tell the truth. And when the truth come out everybody will have a good opinion about you. To be a president needs good and sound knowledge of the job. It’s not about reading speeches in public but knowing what to do on the job.

  2. Sierra Leoneans do fail to realize that development is not something static. Why are we so blind to see the future outcomes of these many travellings of His Excellency Bio. I strongly believe that he sees far beyond what you guys are seeing. The appalling economic state mama Sierra Leone is in, trust me cannot be tackled with what we have in our possession but rather liaise with developed and other developing countries. Negative bias shouldn’t be allowed to overshadow the good intentions President Bio has for our beloved country.

  3. We want the president to know the problems of our country Sierra Leone, because he is concentrating more on travelling than developing the economy. My advice is that he should stop travelling and fix the economy.

  4. I am with firm belief that no foreign nation will make a country develop if the leadership in that country is not serious enough for development. Sierra Leone should copy good examples from other developed nations to pursue its own development. Above all, the system is totally absent in that country.

  5. It is better for president Bio to travel 51 trips around the world. It makes more sense than a president who went to the ECOWAS and made some statements that does not command respect for our nation and international communities.

    The former president wasn’t travelling all around the world but spending his 10 years in power that created much atrocities, and today every Sierra Leonean is suffering from the disease that was caused by the former president Ernest Bai Koroma.

  6. In my personal opinion, I’m surprised to know that President Maada Bio has only travelled 51 times within a year after it took 10 years for the APC government to destroy the image and reputation of our country. Thankfully, it only took only 51 trips for our nation to once again be respected and most respected leaders including Royal families want to be around our president.

    Only few years ago it was even a taboo to shake the hand of our president and on top of that we became the laughing stock by the ECOWAS and other countries for the dumbest decision made by our former president; so he was only tolerated after the mudslide because of humanitarian reason.

    Now that President Maada Bio is celebrated with not only handshakes but with hugs and kisses should at least make all Sierra Leoneans proud. My advice to all Sierra Leoneans is at least show some respect for the Father of our Nation who has been trying his level best to restore the dignity that we deserve. Since he inherited austerity and the first message he sent to the world by canceling the Airport Contracts which was signed at the 11th hour with a subprime bank in China at an astronomical interest rate which would have been a burden for our children yet unborn.

    Even after the World Bank, IMF and international investors packed up and runaway, our president has worked overtime to restore our financial credibility which is the reason that they are slowly but gradually coming back. “Who God bless let no man curse”, and May the Almighty God continue to give him safe travels.

  7. We the people of Sierra Leone are seriously suffering, simply because there is no job to sustain our families. So Mr president we are hoping to see a change in the situation of our nation and the suffering of the citizens, by creating job for the citizens of the nation come 2020. We are tired of talks; we want to see results now.

  8. For the 51st time, travelling to Japan after he had imposed a ban on the ministers travelling abroad. The whole thing is like a toothless mad dog who barks at it intruders with no action. Let president Bio know that for every negative action, there must be a reaction – especially when it comes to the country’s dwindling economic status.

    Let each and every Sierra Leonean out there know that a single trip of this man costs $50,000 out of a poor outrageous sinking down economic situation the country is facing presently. For the economists, accountants and mathematicians, calculate $50,000 × 51 times and get it in mind as a true patriot of that country.

    What bothers me most is, of what use is all these travelling to the country when people are dying in abject poverty? Sierra Leoneans, its high time we stop politicising negative issues under the hegemony of “Na we turn”, but rather seek the interest of our beloved country.

  9. The return of thuggery in my country is out of date and very much a signal to the return of civil war. Ministers are seen in broad daylight involved in it and are defending offenders with impunity. This will not help the SLPP party and will surely destroy our youthful democracy as the APC knows how to respond.

  10. The pictures above say it all – this President is a “Huge Feeder” – a man who totally lacks self discipline,and solid control over his appetite. How can such a man be able to govern a gravely complexed nation like Sierra Leone? The man qualifies as being ‘Morbidly Obese’; and to make matters worse – to add insults to injury, and salt on bare, open wounds, he is also an implacable escapist who grabs any opportunity he can find to run away from his arduous, daily responsibilities,and the harsh realities of the office he is presently holding.

    RUN MR PRESIDENT RUN – All this unnecessary traveling,and waste of scanty government resources speaks volumes about this President. This certainly is a rare type of malady it seems! Again,with him running tirelessly back and forth – of what benefit are Ambassadors residing abroad, to our nation now? Might as well bring them back home if you are going to be representing Sa Lone everywhere,and anywhere all by yourself,and getting paid handsomely with bonuses,and allowances for achieving nothing of value,and substance. Truly laughable!

    A “Huge Feeder” who lacks the ability to prioritize his goals and objectives. A leader with a large army of incompetent subordinates; a man who cares very little about the plight of the poor masses – who relishes and enjoys sleeping in expensive hotels,and drinking fine wine,while the lame,blind,and mentally I’ll spend countless nights hungry in the cold,in street corners, sleeping on wet cold concrete.

    Empathy is totally missing, priorities are not in order,and competence is completely lacking. A “Huge Feeder” and an unskillful,amateurish,Finance Minister,whose policies are barren,and unprofitable,like an endless Season of drought,are out there once again,representing Mother Sierra Leone. What a humorous,comical,whimsical sight to behold!

    Who knows – they might just return home in joy,with iron shovels,after digging us deeper,and deeper into financial holes,our grandchildren will never be able to come out of alive. A bell without a sound is worthless,so also is an oblivious Finance Minister with an endless repertoire of failed policies. The poor struggling masses are drowning in abject poverty – Mr Saffa must go, or this President must resign – The clock is ticking. Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  11. By God sake, give this President much respect even though he’s not part of your family or doesn’t belong to your party. He is your leader and Head of State at this moment. Every moves he makes, you guys are monitoring it closely. This wasn’t happening to Ernest Bai Koroma. Sierra Leoneans, let’s love one another, no one man owns this country; it belongs to us all.

  12. I am not happy with the way president Bio is handling our economy and his travelling. It costs a lot of money.

  13. My frustrations with this President is the way he behaves when our DEMOCRACY is under attack. He just stays silent. Something we now know and have to live with till 2023. Is he part of it or just given a blind eye to this dangerous situations which will lead to the death of our DEMOCRACY?

    I do not have problems with his travels overseas, because we voted for him to represent us everywhere in the world. He is my President despite his ‘I do not care attitude’ that upsets me. When people get upset, they just get mad at times. SAD.

    I would try and communicate with this President sometime down the road and give him some advice because, things are not going well. Good luck Mr. President in Japan. Be safe and see you soon. GOD BLESS YOU.

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