President Julius Bio has collected a $100 million loan to provide vital support to send 1,000 Sierra Leonean graduates to the United States and Canada to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), MBA, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) courses.
The ceremonial handover of the educational loan, which does not require collateral, was carried out through Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Employment, Labour, and Social Security.
SOS NEKOTECH Centre of Excellence provided the loan.
Princess Ocansey, the executive chairwoman of the SOS NEKOTECH programme, congratulated Mr Bio on his reelection and commended his dedication to enhancing human capital development for Sierra Leoneans.
She emphasised the historical significance of this moment, particularly because Mr Bio is strongly committed to nurturing the nation’s human resources.
The country’s Minister of Employment, Labour, and Social Security, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, expressed his delight in leading this programme. He recalled his participation in the official launch of the program in Sierra Leone two years ago in collaboration with the SOS team.
During his visit to the U.S. in 2023, at the invitation of the SOS NEKOTECH Centre of Excellence, various speakers lauded Mr Bio for his transformative efforts in advancing Sierra Leone’s development.
He highlighted the fortunate circumstances of the current generation, which benefits from a government that brings educational opportunities right to the citizens’ doorsteps.
Mr Bio expressed gratitude for receiving the loan from SOS NEKOTECH on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone. He emphasised the crucial importance of Africa catching up with the rest of the world by prioritising investments in education.
The Sierra Leonean president stressed that a nation’s most valuable resource is its human capital, stressing that people are not just recipients of development but also the agents of development itself.
He further acknowledged the collaborative efforts of partners like SOS NEKOTECH in working alongside his government to enhance Sierra Leone’s human capital by allowing more graduates to receive education abroad.