The president of the republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has arrived in the UK, to attend the Open Government Initiative meet the people tour scheduled to take place in the South-East of London today. The OGI meeting is part of the government’s Agenda for Change designed to provide regular comprehensive report to the people about development progress taking place in Sierra Leone. It also facilitates an opportunity for those in the Diaspora to question government officials about issues pertaining to the country’s political and economic state. Since assuming office in 2007, the Sierra Leonean president has ensured that he stays in touch with his countrymen across the world and recognises the importance of meeting one-on-one with the electorate to furnish them with current development programs and discuss with them plans underway in his government’s efforts to get the country back on its feet.
President Ernest Koroma has been keen to give people access to his government in order to enable an open relationship that will ensure transparency in the workings of his administration. The OGI meetings provide a unique opportunity for both the people and government to interact. It is the first time in the political history of Sierra Leone that the people have direct access to the government and are not limited as to what they can discuss or ask officials. Refreshing as it is, it also provides a poignant reminder to other African governments, that access to government by the people is significant in not only ensuring best democratic process, it also facilitates the people’s involvement in the machinery of government. The popularity President Ernest Koroma currently enjoys both locally and internationally, stems from the seriousness he attaches to these principles.
The OGI meetings are not limited to the Diaspora. The government hosts regular meetings across the 12 districts of the country, were locals engage with officials about national development issues. Accompanying the president to this al important meeting is the Secretary to the Presidency Mr E.B. Osho-Coker; the formidable Personal Assistant to the President, Mr Brian Gilpin; the Chief of State Protocol, Mr Manah Kpukumu; the OGI Director, Ms Kadijah Sesay, and various other officials including cabinet ministers. The Head of State is expected to return back to Freetown on Sunday.
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