Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 January 2019:
President Julius Maada Bio today made his first visit to Kono, amid a thundering welcome from the people of the district who came out in their thousands to catch a glimpse of the president and his wife – Mrs Fatima Bio.
Vice president Dr. Mohammed Juldeh Jalloh, who is a son of Kono, was among the welcoming party, along with local chiefs, traditional heads, representatives of civil society groups and civic institutions.
Cheering school children lined up along the route into Kono, as the president’s motorcade drove past to receive the president on his thank you tour of the district.
Kono is arguably one of the poorest districts in Sierra Leone, despite its vast diamond mining industry. Literacy rate is much lower in Kono than in most districts. Life expectancy which averages about 47 years for the whole of Sierra Leone, is much lower in Kono.
Unemployment, especially youth unemployment is very high in Kono. Access to healthcare, clean and safe drinking water, and electricity supply, is poorer than most districts.
Road infrastructure is in desperate need of investments, and so too are the people of Kono in desperate need of investments in agriculture.
With president Bio’s maiden visit today, the people of Kono will be hoping to see the end of neglect by successive governments, since Sierra Leone attained independence in 1961.
Although the majority of elected MPs in Kono are from the Coalition for Change (C4C) party, the people of Kono welcome the good cross-party working relationship between the C4C and the ruling SLPP, that should be harnessed for the economic and social good and benefit of Kono.
Visiting Kono and embarking on a tour of the city will give president Bio first-hand knowledge of the enormous problems facing the people of Kono, especially economic – youth unemployment, access to health care facilities, and lack of higher education institution.
You can watch this video of president Bio’s entry into Kono today: