By: Zacharia Jalloh,Strategic Communications Unit,MIC.
The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio has presided over the signing ceremony of a Memorandum Of Understanding between University of Sierra Leone and University of Liberia today 7th September 2021 at State House
The ceremony brought together the leadership of both universities and the respective higher education Ministers of the two countries. Present also at the event as the representative of H.E. President Weah of Liberia was Her Excellency Mrs Musu Jatu Ruhle, the Liberian Ambassador to Sierra Leone.
As a keynote speaker, the President of Sierra Leone His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio welcomed the high-level delegation from Liberia and graciously thanked them for honouring the commitment they made during the Centennial ceremony in Liberia in December 2019. The President had fruitful discussions with the administration of the University of Liberia including Prof. Dr Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, Jr. President, University of Liberia.
"I had argued that Liberia and Sierra Leone share a common, unbreakable, historical, cultural and academic heritage. I also argued that our common aspiration was to be a region teeming with talent, educators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. I challenge all of us to create a knowledge-based economy in our region," the president averred.
The President in his visit to Liberia (which is now paying dividends) engaged with faculty and staff of the university and they agreed that a partnership between the University of Liberia and the University of Sierra Leone was long overdue. "Today, I am pleased that all of you furthered the shared vision we agreed on that day and thus the memorandum of understanding, today, is a reality," said the president.
The President furthered that, there is need for collaboration in higher education in order to develop homegrown development solutions for problems we experience in both countries.
" I am gratified that, in the MOU, you have incorporated some of the key areas discussed then - research collaboration and joint publications, knowledge and technology exchanges, staff capacity development and exchanges, programme and curriculum development and more," President Bio noted.
In his closing remarks, President Julius Maada Bio publicly committed his support to make this a sustainable win-win partnership for both countries.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone Prof. Dr Foday Sahr, in his remarks, spoke about the many reforms that have taken place in recent times. Harmonisation of admissions, the splitting, merging and creation of new faculties, a dentistry component at COMAHS which will soon commence the training of dentists, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Communication, Information and Media Studies have all been among the many reforms that the University is implementing that he highlighted.
The President of University of Liberia Prof. Dr Julius Nelson Jr. thanked President Bio and the people of Sierra Leone for their warm hospitality. In his speech, he stressed the need for academic collaboration between the two universities as "no man holds monopoly over knowledge."
The respective education Ministers of both countries, Professor Dr Alpha Wurie and Prof. Ansu Dao Sonii outlined several reforms their countries have implemented to improve education in their respective nations. Dr Alpha Wurie of Sierra Leone outlined reforms like the transformation of technical institutions to universities and the creation of a brand new one in Kono.
The program ended off with the signing of the MOU and the presentation of gifts from both countries.