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Diaspora News
President Bio

President Dr Julius Maada Bio on Tuesday 3rd October received a cheque for a USD 100 million loan at State House in Freetown to support 1,000 Sierra Leonean graduates to study STEM, MBA, and AI courses in the United States of America and Canada.

The symbolic presentation of the cheque, which is a no-collateral educational loan, was made to the government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Employment, Labour, and Social Security by the SOS NEKOTECH Centre of Excellence school programme, which was officially launched in Sierra Leone in 2021. The programme is currently operating in seven African countries, including Sierra Leone, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Cameroon.

In his remarks, President Julius Maada Bio said he was happy to receive the cheque from SOS NEKOTECH, on behalf of Sierra Leonean citizens, stressing that Africa must catch up with the rest of the world by investing in education.

“I have always said that the most important resource of any country is that of its human capital. People are not only the beneficiaries of development but also the means to development. Therefore, if we want to embark on successful human capital development and national development, we must invest in the human capital of our country.

“What we need now as a continent and as a nation is human capital development. Human beings are the most precious assets of any nation, and until and unless we invest in that capital through quality and fit-for-purpose education, we can never realise the potential of our people,” President Bio reminded.

He noted that it took partners like SOS NEKOTECH to work with his government to improve the human capital of Sierra Leone by ensuring that more graduates had the opportunity to be educated abroad. The President expressed excitement about the loan and assured of his government’s fullest support of the programme and prayed for all successful future graduates.

Minister of Employment, Labour, and Social Security, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, said he was happy that his ministry was leading the programme, reminding them that two years ago he joined the SOS team to officially launch the programme in Sierra Leone.

He added that while he was in America, upon the invitation of the SOS NEKOTECH Centre of Excellence in 2023, speakers paid glowing tribute to President Bio for transforming Sierra Leone on the path of development. He said the present generation was very lucky to have a President whose government was bringing education as an opportunity to the doors of citizens.

Executive Chairperson of the SOS NEKOTECH programme, Rev. Dr. Princess Ocansey, on behalf of their organisation, congratulated President Julius Maada Bio on his re-election and praised his commitment to human capital development for Sierra Leoneans.

She said the moment was historic, especially when President Bio was even more focused on building the human capital of the nation, adding that they were committed to supporting more graduates to further their education overseas. She also noted that based on the President’s commitment to human capital development the country would soon be among the first countries to be declared the home of ‘African Intelligence’, especially after the graduation of the 1,000 Sierra Leoneans to benefit from this scholarship scheme.