The European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone and EU Member States in Freetown (Team Europe), in partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone, announce the successful conclusion of the EU-Sierra Leone Bus Tour 2024.

The closing event was graced by the Deputy Chief Administrator of the Western Area Rural District Council, Councillors and Villages Headmen, EU and Bus Tour Team members and members of the public at the Bassa Town field in Waterloo, highlighting the culmination of a two-week journey that underscored the deep and impactful partnership between the Team Europe and Sierra Leone.

Launched on Europe Day, 9 May 2024, the Bus Tour which made it last stop in Waterloo, embarked on a journey of discovery across several regions in Sierra Leone, meeting and capturing testimonies of Sierra Leonean beneficiaries and showcasing the tangible impact of various projects jointly implemented by Team Europe and Sierra Leonean partners. Departing from Freetown on 10 May and concluding in Waterloo on 23 May, the tour highlighted the outcomes of the strong partnership between the EU and its Member States which are present with a diplomatic mission in Freetown (Germany, Ireland, and France) and Sierra Leone to enhance the lives of the Sierra Leonean people.

Ambassador Manuel Müller expressed his satisfaction with the tour’s success, stating: “The EU-Sierra Leone Bus Tour 2024 has been a testament to our unwavering commitment to support Sierra Leonean initiatives which foster sustainable development and empower local communities across Sierra Leone. This support is aligned with the Big 5 priorities of the Government. We are glad to have had the opportunity to engage directly with the beneficiaries of our joint efforts and to witness the positive changes first-hand.”

The Hon. Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Ms. Kenyeh Barlay, emphasized Throughout the journey, the EU’s development priorities, particularly in agriculture and rural development, were prominently showcased. The alignment with the Feed Salone initiative was evident, highlighting the EU’s contributions to improving agriculture and food security, and rural development. Special attention was also given to initiatives aimed at empowering women and youth.

During the tour, the bus visited several team Europe supported projects, including:

  1. Agriculture: Initiatives supporting sustainable farming practices and improving food security, aligning with the Feed Salone initiative of the Government. These projects have contributed to increasing agricultural productivity, value chain addition and  enhancing rural livelihoods.
  2. Roads and Infrastructure development: Team Europe has been engaged in supporting major road infrastructure investments in Sierra Leone for many years. Improving connectivity means reducing travel time and costs, enhancing economic integration and trade, and connecting people and communities. These initiatives underscore the EU’s long-term commitment to infrastructure development in Sierra Leone, aiming to foster economic growth, enhance regional integration, and improve the quality of life for its citizens.
  3. Youth and Women’s Empowerment: Projects focusing on the empowerment of women and youth, promoting gender equality, and providing opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, and leadership. These initiatives have fostered greater inclusion and economic participation among marginalized groups.
  4. Support to Local Authorities: Programs aimed at strengthening local governance and enhancing the capacity of local authorities to deliver essential services to the people effectively. These efforts have improved community infrastructure and public service delivery.
  5. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (T-VET): Projects aimed at enhancing skills development and vocational training for young people, helping to improve their employability and economic prospects.

One of the most interactive aspects of the tour was the opportunity for participants to engage directly with beneficiaries of these development projects in various regions, including Port Loko, Kambia, Makeni, Bombali, Kono, Bo, Pujehun, Kenema, Kailahun, Moyamba, and Waterloo. These engagements highlighted the transformative impact of the EU’s interventions, showcasing tangible examples of positive change and community empowerment.

As the EU-Sierra Leone Bus Tour 2024 comes to a close, the EU Delegation to Sierra Leone extends heartfelt gratitude to all stakeholders, media representatives, local communities, and the general public for their enthusiastic participation and support. This tour has been a celebration of partnership and progress, reinforcing our shared commitment to support Sierra Leonean inititiatives for a brighter future for all Sierra Leoneans.