By Ishmael Bayoh

This week’s highlight saw President Bio officially opened the 2024 International Conference of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Freetown. The four -day conference with the theme, “Enhancing the role, relevance and effectiveness of the ECOWAS Court of Justice through the strengthening of synergies between the Court and national stakeholders”, was aimed to foster productive conversations on the strengths and weaknesses of the ECOWAS Court of Justice’s interactions with different national stakeholders, and to put forward actionable strategies for improving the Court’s role, significance, and efficiency.

Three major ECOWAS Conferences have been held in Sierra Leone in the first five months of 2024. They are the ECOWAS 5th Parliament, First Regional Conference on Autonomous Weapons System and the ECOWAS Court conference.

This Week With President Bio’s Development Agenda brings to you some of the developmental strides from May 11th to May 17, 2024. Have a splendid weekend!

▪️Delivering the keynote address at the first ever Clean Cooking Summit in Paris on Tuesday 14th, May, President Bio outlined his government’s strategic initiatives to prioritize access to clean cooking. Leaders pledged over $4billion as it aims to benefit 250million African women by 2030.

▪️On Wednesday 15th May, President Bio had a momentous meeting with the French President, Emmanuel Macron. The two leaders committed to deepening relations between Sierra Leone and France, broadening cooperation and collaboration on a wide-range of regional and global issues.

▪️The National Commission for Social Action in collaboration with the EU is constructing a modern 64 meter long bridge across the Bafin river between Gbense and Sandor chiefdoms. When completed, it will connect Kono with Falaba district and boost economic activities.

▪️609 pilgrims from Sierra Leone will be participating in this year’s Hajj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of which 60% are self sponsored, while 40% are beneficiaries of government scholarships. There will be 2 medical doctors, 1 pharmacist, 2 nurses, and 3 members of the Presidential Taskforce on Hajj.

▪️The Kola Tree Community in Freetown have got a new brand market which was handed over to them by the Hon. Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh as a fulfillment by President Bio’s government to a demand made by the women from the Zion Community who have to travel long distances to access the nearest market. The women in the community have been promised microcredit to help grow their small businesses.

▪️ Also, the Hon. Vice President launched the community development fund to support communities along the Wellington-Masiaka Highway corridor at Songo. The China Railway Seventh Group donated Le 1,050,000 to the fund, which will encourage other companies to do the same.

▪️On May 13th,Sherbro Alliance Partners (SAP), an infrastructure development firm spearheading the Sherbro Island City project in Sierra Leone participated in His Majesty King Charles III’s Sustainable Markets Initiative. Along with other experts, they discussed the Sherbro Island City project and how these corporate partnerships can advance their plans for the development. The goal is to develop a new, environmentally friendly city that is safe, diverse, and appealing to tourists, with a cutting-edge financial hub for businesses – ultimately serving Sherbro Islanders, Sierra Leoneans, the diaspora, and global citizens.

▪️Efforts by the Government to provide accidents and emergency services along the Freetown – Bo highway, Mile 91 – Tonkolili axis have come to fruition as on Saturday 11 May, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation presided over the commissioning of the Yoni Ahmet Turan Accident & Emergency Hospital, a commitment between the people and government to prevent unwarranted fatal road accidents.

▪️To end preventable maternal & child deaths, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation on Wednesday 16 received key free health care commodities worth £5.6 million from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. With the UK partnership so far, there has been a 90% survival rate of babies at Kingharman Road Hospital in the last four months.

▪️Connaught Hospital is continuing its transformative journey with a facelift and complete overhaul of the Lab and Blood Bank equipped with modern equipment to ensure care for all.


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