President Julius Maada Bio today delivered an address in the Chamber of Parliament to mark the State opening of parliament, 2021.

Today’s opening marks the fourth session of the 5th parliament of the 7th Republic.

Below are important take away from the President’s speech:

1. The construction of the University of Kono will begin this year, 2021.

2. Mobile Voice coverage has increased from 79% in 2018 to about 85% in 2020.

3. Internet penetration has improved from 12% in 2018 to 25% in 2020.

4. We can’t forever be blinded by cosmetic and short term infrastructural and other tokens. We must create a society where every child is nurtured, nourished, protected, and equipped with the knowledge and skills required to realise his or her full potential. That’s beyond ethnicity

5. We have prioritised protecting lives and livelihoods and supported the most vulnerable of our citizens throughout our COVID-19 response. My Government will work with partners to provide more hospital beds, train more midwives, and deliver advanced diagnostic services in-country.

6. $54 million investment in rice cultivation in the Rhombe swamps by AgroElite LLC, and an additional $30 Million secured from the EXIM Bank to develop the water management and irrigation infrastructure to support rice cultivation around Torma Bum, are already underway.

7. We’re recruiting and training thousands of teachers. Hiring and deploying more school inspectors to every district. If training the future workforce of this nation and making it globally competitive is called “raising the wage bill,” then that’s good for the future of this nation

8. There is an upward surge in the use of social media. More media houses, more newspapers, more radio stations, and more television stations are operating freely now than at any time in this nation’s history.

9. In recognition of my Government’s focused approach to development planning and service delivery using credible data, the World Bank has committed $30 million to supporting Statistics Sierra Leone to implement the first electronic mid-term population and housing census.

10. We have made significant progress in constructing over 200 kilometres of major township and trunk roads in the Western Area and some parts of the provinces.