His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has received a huge boost from the European Commission in Brussels with a pledge of 73 million euros to Sierra Leone following a successful meeting between President Bio and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker in Brussels.
The 73 million euros is part of three Financial Agreements signed between the European Commission and the Government of Sierra Leone to support Sierra Leone’s inclusive and sustainable socio-economic growth and strengthening of democratic governance. The three Financial Agreements which were signed on Tuesday 6th November 2018 covered State Building Contract, Support to Civil Society and Local Authorities for local development and Sierra Leone Component of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme.
Out of the 73 million euros, 45 million euros will be allocated to the State Building Contract which represents the second phase of the European Commission budgetary support to the Government of Sierra Leone; 23 million euros will be allocated to support Civil Society Organisations and local authorities to fund and implement development initiatives that respond to the priority needs of communities in a sustainable way and 5 million euros will be allocated to the Sierra Leone Component of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme to enhance the country’s integration into regional and international trading systems.
During the bilateral meeting, President Junker praised President Bio for his impressive leadership and admirable commitment to human capital development, reform agenda, fiscal discipline and efficient economic management.
As the leading champion in Africa on the fight against corruption and democratic accountability, President Bio was also lauded by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Junker: “I can only support your fight against corruption. This is good for your country and the European Union. You have the full support of the European Union in the fight against corruption.”
His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio thanked the European Commission President for the EC’s support to his new administration and committed to strengthening the relations with the European Commission.
Sierra Leone will also benefit from the Eranus + Programme which offers opportunities for non-EU individuals and institutions in the areas of education, training, youth and sport. Additionally, Sierra Leone will benefit from the 10 million jobs to be created by the European Union for young people in Africa to address the migration of young people to Europe in search of job opportunities.
Later, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio was also hosted to lunch by the Secretary General of the European Union External Action Service, Helga Schmid. After the lunch, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio held a bilateral meeting with the European Union Commissioner Karmenu Vella responsible for the environment, maritime affairs and fisheries.
The huge financial commitment by the European Commission to support President Bio’s new direction and his several engagements with senior officials of European Commission demonstrate the international admiration of Bio’s presidency.