Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 February 2019:
President Julius Maada Bio who is on a state visit to The Gambia, yesterday told journalists at a joint press conference held in Banjul by the Sierra Leone president and his host – President Adama Barrow, that he is hopeful of politics in Africa because African leaders are fulfilling their promises.
The people of Gambia will be celebrating their nation’s fifty-fourth Independence Day this week.
“The dynamics in African politics is gradually changing because leaders are now building powerful institutions that will force them to deliver on their promises of sustainable development. My visit here is to widen, deepen and to further strengthen the relationship that Sierra Leone and The Gambia have enjoyed for a very long time,” president Bio told journalists.
The Sierra Leone president also noted that The Gambia is recognised as the safest destination for tourists and is therefore looking at some of the best practices in the Gambia that could be transferred to Sierra Leone to improve the country’s tourism sector.
“My colleague president Barrow and I will be looking at possibilities in areas like fisheries, agriculture, education, trade and industry because the two countries can benefit a lot from these sectors,” he said and urged his counterpart to pay attention to building the future.
He said that Sierra Leone has listened to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission established in 2002 as a condition of the Lomé Peace Accord, in the wake of the 11-year civil war, and hope that injustice and massive corruption will never trigger another war.
“To make my governance very effective, I have instituted the Commissions of Inquiry, not just to hold past government officials to the scrutiny of accountability but to also put officials of my administration on their toes so that all of us will not fail to meet the expectations of those who elected us for change,” he said.
Speaking to journalists, president Adama Barrow said that The Gambia is open for new ideas, and that is why working with the president of Sierra Leone – Julius Maada Bio, is timely. He confirmed that Sierra Leone played a major role in resolving the impasse associated with the last elections in The Gambia.
“It is good we are working together because Africa is now speaking with one voice and for a common goal. The Gambia and Sierra Leone are going to focus on education, trade, tourism and agriculture for the development of the two countries.
“We have to embrace Sierra Leone because they have accepted democracy, having transferred political power democratically for five times now. We should change our mindset and learn from other nations,” Barrow said.
President Adama Barrow further explained that Sierra Leone and the Gambia have both experienced military regimes, war and transfer of power. He said that he is pleased with the visit of his colleague – the president of Sierra Leone and hope to continue comparing notes for effective governance.