Sierra Leone’s President, His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio, delivered a distinguished Presidential Lecture at Yonsei University in Seoul on the topic of “Enhancing the Educational System and Reconstructing Governance in Sierra Leone.”

During his address, President Bio praised the university’s founders for their visionary commitment to education that transcends racial and national boundaries.

Quality Education and Human Capital Development lie at the heart of Sierra Leone’s national development aspirations and, indeed, at the core of global sustainable development,” President Bio stated. He emphasized the significance of an educated population as the most valuable resource for Sierra Leone, especially as the nation emerges from conflict and battles poverty and underdevelopment.

President Bio highlighted that the education sector has received the largest share of Sierra Leone’s annual national budget—22% over the past six years. This substantial investment aims to equip citizens with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

In addressing governance reconstruction, President Bio underscored the importance of tackling longstanding governance issues to propel Sierra Leone towards global recognition. He shared that since taking office in 2018, his administration has developed a comprehensive framework to improve Sierra Leone’s international reputation. This includes commitments to democratic principles, human rights, the rule of law, and good governance.

Without a healthy democracy, we cannot assure our people and partners of a stable country,” he asserted. President Bio proudly noted the repeal of the criminal libel law that previously restricted press freedom and the abolition of the death penalty. He also highlighted the government’s ongoing efforts to combat corruption and promote transparency, which have led to consistent improvements in Sierra Leone’s rankings in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

In addition to his lecture, President Bio witnessed the signing of a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sahmyook Health University in Korea. The MoU aims to develop international cooperation based on quality and reciprocity, fostering sustainable partnerships and mutual understanding. Areas of cooperation outlined in the MoU include the exchange of programs, students, and academic staff; the establishment of dual degree programs; joint research initiatives; and student practicum and workforce development programs.

“The areas of cooperation may include exchange of programmes, students, academic staff, dual degree programmes, organisation of joint research, cooperation in student practicum and workforce development programmes, and other exchange programmes as mutually agreed,” the MoU states.