Former President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma departs Sierra Leone for  Arusha on the 14 July, 2023, to chair the Africa Drive for Democracy Elder’s Retreat that will be held in Arusha, the United Republic of Tanzania on the 17 to 21 July, 2023. The Conference will host a number of big dignitaries in Africa.

The program will be hosted by the Center for Strategic Litigation, MS Training Center for Development Cooperation and the Institute for Security Studies. This program brings together more than 45 African Countries delegates including  former heads of states, scholars, leaders of political movements, to a deeper reflection on the growing threats to democracy.

These participants will draw upon their rich experiences as former democratic heads of state and other pro-democracy champions in the search for practical ways by which democracy could deliver the expected dividends and how to protect the continent from sliding into authoritarianism.

President Koroma was the Keynote Speaker at the inaugural Conference of the Africa Drive for Democracy initiative held last July and in this year’s conference, the conveners appointed former President Koroma to serve as Chair of the initiative from 2023 -2025.

In the letter of invitation, the organizers wrote “Considering your Excellency’s unwavering dedication and commitment to promoting democracy on the Continent, we believe it is fitting to request your Excellency’s leadership in driving forward the critical conversations at the heart of the Africa Drive for Democracy Elders Retreat…”

In last year’s Conference in Arusha 2022, Former President Koroma sited that “Democracy has taken strange forms in many parts of the world. In Africa, they include governance in which the citizens have little or no say, the police, military and other state institutions are increasingly used to stifle dissent, perpetuate human rights abuses, strangulate the opposition and elections are conducted only to give a semblance public participation. But these are developments that must strengthen, not weaken the resolve to defend democracy. Defenders of democracy must stand together and act together in halting the democratic decline”.

This conference will feature other delegates like former President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, Ambassador Salaah Hamad, Head of the African Governance Architecture and Advocate Batlokoa Makong, Chief of Staff of the African Peer Review Mechanism. They all will join the elders in reflecting on the state of democracy on the continent.

It was stated that Former President Ernest Bai Koroma is expected to return to Sierra Leone on July 22.