Sierra Leone’s President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio, engaged in a productive dialogue with the European Union (EU) on the 17th October, 2023, during the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) and EU annual political dialogue.

The President outlined essential areas of cooperation and set the agenda for discussions at this year’s session.

Chaired by Chief Minister Dr. David Moinina Sengeh and attended by Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and H.E. Manuel Müller, the EU Ambassador to Sierra Leone, the dialogue aimed to review the state of relations and foster commitments to development cooperation and shared values.

Sierra Leone’s government expressed its interest in budget support and endorsed aid effectiveness principles focusing on results, partnership, transparency, and mutual accountability. President Bio emphasized fundamental values such as human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and human rights.

President Julius Maada Bio also appealed to the EU for technical and financial support for his Big Five agenda, showcasing the government’s commitment to progressive legal and regulatory frameworks that promote political openness, economic development, and social advancement. Notable achievements included the establishment of the National Investment Board, the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment law guaranteeing a 30% quota for women, the repeal of the Seditious Libel Law, and the abolition of the death penalty.

President Bio expressed gratitude for the EU’s support in the fight against corruption and highlighted initiatives like the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the Presidential Initiative for Climate Change, Renewable Energy, and Food Security, chaired by Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, to address climate-related challenges in agriculture and food security.

In closing, President Bio urged the EU and its partners to collaborate in addressing regional issues such as political instability, unconstitutional changes of government, and terrorism, particularly in the Sahel region. He emphasized that sustainable development hinges on tackling these threats.

The EU Ambassador acknowledged the long history of cooperation between the EU and Sierra Leone and expressed a commitment to support the government’s Big Five agenda, focusing on critical challenges such as food security, green economy, human capital development, and governance. Good governance, the Ambassador noted, is a cornerstone that can pave the way for stronger engagements between the EU and Sierra Leone.

This year’s GoSL-EU Annual Political Dialogue underscores the commitment of Sierra Leone and the European Union to foster collaboration and advance mutual interests in the pursuit of sustainable development and shared values.