Sierra Leone: Outgoing U.S. Ambassador Takes Leave of Sierra Leone's President Julius Maada Bio

Presidential Lodge, Freetown, Thursday 18 February 2021 - Outgoing United States Ambassador, Maria Brewer, has ended her second tour of 3 years in Freetown and bade farewell to His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio at the Presidential Lodge, where she recalled fond memories of her stay, expressed love for Sierra Leone and conveyed her respect for the president.

"His Excellency, this is to mark the end of my tour of 3 years. I am sorry to leave but I have to, having contributed in my own way to the country. Thank you for all that you have done and I will be in touch," Madam Brewer said.

The President thanked the US Ambassador and said she was going with fond memories of her stay during her two tours of Sierra Leone, adding that she had a better story to tell having served during the war period and when the country was transitioning.

"You have been part of both histories of the war and in of peacetime in the country. We are very pleased that we have a renewed interest in the African Union by the US government. You have made friends in and out of government because it is not often that you find a diplomat who drills deep down and be part of the grassroots," President Bio said.

He added that Ambassador Brewer had also strengthened the government's relationship with the US government and supported the country in many ways, including sensitising and helping during the Ebola and COVID-19 pandemics.

"You have done very well, but securing the Compact deal with Millennium Challenge Corporation, MCC, was the climax of your efforts. Today, we have been recognised because of the MCC win, and that signal is sent to the whole world about a country that is rising again," he said, adding that it was not only about the money but also about the confidence it would build in investors.

The brief ceremony also saw the exchange of gifts between President Julius Maada Bio and Ambassador Maria Brewer, some of which included gift bags full of picture books from Indiana, USA and frames with historic images like the only remaining photo of Bai Bureh of 1898 Hut Tax War fame.

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