President Koroma addresses Parliament at State Opening
MR. VICE PRESIDENT,
MY LADY THE CHIEF JUSTICE,
MINISTERS OF GOVERNMENT,
HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT,
MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS,
HIS WORSHIP THE MAYOR OF FREETOWN,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
This time last year, we did not have an Ebola outbreak; and no one in the whole world thought a deadly virus like this would strike our sub region and cause so much tragedy, disrupt so many plans, and put at grave risk the very survival of our nation. This time last year, Sierra Leone won high praise and acclamation around the world as a country transforming itself into a model of post war recovery, a country registering sterling economic growth, a country improving its scores on most indices of governance, peace, investor confidence and democracy. This time last year, thousands of our compatriots from the diaspora were trooping to this nation of their birth, most of them confident that the country was opening up to its great potentials. There were many challenges, but the country was moving on with a zeal that never tires to assert the better aspirations of our people.
There were many challenges in the health sector, but the free health care initiative was getting more people into hospitals, and infant and maternal mortality rates were decreasing; there were many challenges with our infrastructure, but roads were being built everywhere; there were many challenges with our energy sector, but electricity generation and distribution were rapidly improving; there were challenges with the education sector, but more people were at school than at any other time, more people were passing public exams, more girls were in school and more resources had been given to universities than at any time in our history. As with all countries, we had our law and order challenges, but the country was more at peace than at any time in the last decades, and our soldiers and police officers were models of peace keeping in Africa. And then Ebola struck!
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