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Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Hon. Sheka Tarawalie, while on transit in Ethiopia to Uganda, on Saturday 16th April 2011 took time off his busy schedule to address the Sierra Leonean community in Addis Ababa on developments undertaken so far by His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma within the framework of the Agenda for Change, which hinges on the growth, development and transformation plan of Sierra Leone. (Photo: Ambassador Andrew Bangali)
Hon. Tarawalie informed his audience at Ambassador Andrew G. Bangali’s residence that President Koroma’s Agenda for Change is moving on in a very encouraging manner and that the scheme is on course.
He said after the President won the 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections, he summoned Cabinet Ministers to Bumbuna to a retreat where they clearly spelt out the road map for Sierra Leone’s progress.
“President Koroma wants Sierra Leone to be a shining example for other countries in Africa,” the Deputy Minister and Co-Government Spokesman said, adding that when the President was pronounced the winner of the 2007 elections, Freetown was the darkest city on planet earth “but now that is history as the city is enjoying regular electricity supply.”
The President, he said, believes in injecting a lot of resources and capital in agriculture in order for the country to realize a generation of benefits in a sector that caters for 70% of the population.
“When the President was elected in 2007, he inherited only 30 tractors; but now our administration is boasting of 300 tractors with other farming implements being provided to farmers across the country through the Small Holders Commercialization programme. Now we are getting Indian experts to train our people on irrigation,” he said.
The Minister said President Koroma has raised the budget on agriculture from less than 3 percent to 9.9 percent in order to adhere to the Maputo Declaration. “It is against this back drop that the President has been appointed by the African Union Commission as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Champion President. CAADP is the Africa owned and Africa led initiative to boost agricultural productivity on the continent,” he pointed out.
Hon. Tarawalie said due to the massive road projects currently underway all over the country, the latter could be described as a works yard, adding that the free health care programme commissioned last year by the President for under-fives, pregnant women and lactating mothers is in full gear, and has helped in lifting the country up in the Human Development Index.
The Deputy Minister later responded to clarifications, queries and questions from the audience.
Abdul Karim Koroma, Information Attaché, Sierra Leone Embassy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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