President Bio rewards his best performing ministries

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 February 2021:

President Dr Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone yesterday gave awards to three “top-performing ministries”, at the inaugural Presidential Award ceremony at State House.

The controversial Presidential Award was given to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation – including the National COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre, as the best performing government ministries in the country. (Photo below: Finance ministry receives award).

It is not clear what criteria were used by the president to determine best performance, but cynics and critics of the government say that the president has rewarded his closest allies in his government, after what many believe to be a difficult three years in power.

The economy is in depression, with rising inflation, unemployment and poverty. Access to vital healthcare provisions is still falling far short of what president Bio promised during his election campaign in 2018. School examination performance continue to lag behind those of most of the West African countries.

But, speaking at the event, the President said that the award is aimed at incentivising and encouraging ministries and departments (MDAs) to go over and beyond the call of duty to provide exemplary leadership and produce the best outcomes. (Photo above: Education ministry receives award).

“This is an annual event and I want to be able to give awards to every Ministry here next year. Your challenge is to make it impossible for me to recognise just a few outstanding performances.

“Let me also congratulate each of us and collectively as a Government for taking the bold step to self-assess. We believe it helps us identify what else we must do to accelerate our pace of development and service delivery as a nation,” the President said. (Photo below: Health ministry receives award).

President Bio noted that the awards were not personal scorecards on ministries or on individual competence, adding that every minister and ministry, by and large, had met the benchmark for performance and delivery.

“These are value-free assessments that recognise three things: That delivery is time-bound and we must each provide the leadership to deliver that accelerated change we have promised; that there is no common parameter for judging all MDAs but there are benchmarks we have promised, and we can meet and achieve;  and that the slow starters can be the fastest finishers and the fast starters (those who receive the awards today) may not be the best finishers after all,” he said.

The assessment was carried out by the Chief Minister – Professor David John Francis, whose office serves as the delivery unit of the New Direction Government of President Dr Julius Maada Bio.

The role of the Chief Minister (Photo) is to support the implementation of government business across MDAs and ensure that they deliver results.

“2020 was a very difficult and challenging year, with the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the negative economic and financial impact on every country in the world. But the challenges of 2020 brought out the best in us as a government,” the Chief Minister said.

He also said that the New Direction Government has made impressive progress with 29 out of the 38 manifesto commitments delivered or at an advanced stage of delivery.

He added that the most recent was the restart of the constitutional review process and the acceptance by President Bio of the Justice Cowan recommendation to abolish the death penalty.

“So, today the Death Penalty is abolished in Sierra Leone. Your Excellency, we ended the difficult year of 2020 with Sierra Leone receiving international recognition and global accolade for the quality of your leadership and the performance of your government. The American Government’s CDC praised Sierra Leone as 1 of 4 countries in Africa that have managed the coronavirus pandemic response well; the American Government’s MCC confirmed that Sierra Leone is now eligible for the MCC Compact worth nearly half a billion dollars,” the Chief Minister concluded.


  1. Please Maada,stop the charade and media circus initiated by your predecessor. Stop rewarding mediocrity. No one deserves any bogus award when: Sierra Leone is still languishing in the last ten of the Human Development Index; Inflation rate is still in double digits. Massive unemployment in the country is still unaddressed. Where is Statistics Sierra Leone to reveal monthly or quarterly unemployment rates? There is less than 6% pass rate in the latest School-leaving exams. The Education Minister would have been sacked in any serious country; The debt burden is rising as the Government’s extravagance is beyond belief, paying lip service to anti-corruption; Tepid economic growth is not enough to match the rapid population growth. Once again, I see no cause to celebrate anything in Sierra Leone for now.

  2. Thanks a lot for fighting this virus, this virus is a killer; let us protect ourselves and our nation. God bless Sierra Leone.

  3. Meritocracy will never exist under Kakistocracy. SAD. God will surely reward those hardworking and honest officials who were sidelined because they will never answer Yes Man. God bless our country.

  4. “The economy is in depression, with rising inflation, unemployment and poverty.” SLT

    Is the Sierra Leonean economy really in a depression? I don’t think so. Recession? Maybe, like many other economies in Africa, especially in the age of COVID 19. Relative to the presidential award, I think it is in place. Like any other organization where the leader can award the rank and file members or employees for their good work, the president of Sierra Leone has every right to do same with his ministers. And the choice of awardees does not have to be objective. It must be purely subjective to reflect the standards that the president holds his ministers to.

  5. Losers Galore! Who has ever seen a boxer being beaten so badly his mother had to step into the ring in tears to try and save him from being bombarded any further from crushing, devastating, unforgiving and merciless blows, being awarded a medal of approval and recognition?(lmao) Losers Galore! A corrupt President that was once a silly shoddy car salesman that sold ram-shackled vehicles to unsuspecting gullible buyers at exorbitant prices, is at it again putting his shameless underhanded tricks once more on full display trying to deceive our people with an award scheme for best performance that is a complete SLPP sham.

    Answer – how did our tiny beloved Sierra Leone allow herself to make such a childish immature mistake of allowing a bunch of freeloading, disreputable opportunists to deviously trick her into allowing them to assume the reins of power? Bandits claiming to be intellectuals everywhere, pillaging, plundering and robbing our meager nations coffers dry, and strangely it is alright with our President, it is just fine! I hope our people have realized that there are lessons to be learned here – a military brass without class, who never once an exam did pass, that has now great riches amassed is eventually going to cause our fragile, struggling, poor nation to collapse. You can count on it!(lol)

  6. Maybe what I am going to say makes me one of the cynics and critics mentioned in this report. The whole business of a government being judge and jury relating to its own performance, boils down to a case of collective self-congratulations. The government marks its own homework, awards itself grades and prizes of its own devising, heaps praise on itself, and then expects the rest of us to stand up and clap. This is a case of the governors living in a parallel universe, one that is at an unbridgeable remove from that inhabited by those they govern – ordinary men and women caught up in an unending battle against deprivation of every kind. What century are we really in here? The Twenty-First or the time of the Emperor Nero, who, it is said, fiddled while Rome burned?

    By the way, was there not recently a report about our school children performing woefully in a key examination? Was that performance taken into account when one of the three top prizes was awarded to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education? I am just curious.

  7. Success can best be measured in the face of adversity like COVID-19 pandemic when the entire world is trying to combat both health and economic challenges. Kudos to the Chief Minister for appreciating these ministers for their hard work and May the Almighty continue to bless them for saving lives and livelihoods in our beloved country.

  8. The three ministries that are rewarded for best performance by Bio is surely not a surprise to us all. Now we know under which performance criteria the government arrived, to make this determination. More like a mitigated disaster for Bio’s poor performance so far. Look Sierra Leoneans we are doing something. If we just take the ministry of education, where despite the flagship free education programme, which by all indications, seems to be floundering everyday since its inception. To cap it all, it was reported on 30th November 2020, that our country’s performance in the 2020 WAEC examination results was one of the worst in the West African region, at 4.5% pass and you compare that to Ghana and Nigeria at 68.5% and 65.8% respectively, you really start to wonder how Bio and his team reached to this conclusion in making this awards.

    Why does our government seem to care what foreign governments think of them rather than their own citizens? Surely, Sierra Leone government officials will never rate the performance of the US or UK government or any international organisation for that matter. So why are we on this bind? What even surprised me is, the ministry of Agriculture and forestry is not recognised for spear-heading a mafia type of looking the other way, while our rain forest is destroyed. You look at the countries in the West African sub-region region, all the way to the horn of Africa, whilst they are planting trees to stop the ever expanding Sahara desert claiming their homes and making communities in this region homeless, in Sierra Leone, Bio, he is actively promoting the deforestation of our country. One just have to look at an aerial view of our country and see how much damage has already been done. We need to regulate the TIMBER TRADE or before we know it, the Sahara desert, and flash flooding will be a common occurrence. A collective punishment because of few greedy individuals.

  9. Hahahaha, I am not really sure what to make of this circus show. What were the exact results or outstanding performance that the award recipients achieve? I guess when you set the bar of success extremely low in any setting, any mediocre performance can be celebrated!!

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