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NEW YEAR 2016 MESSAGE TO THE NATION
BY DR ERNEST BAI KOROMA
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE

The New Year is a moment for moving forward with hope, faith and fortitude. But even as we move forward, we must not forget that our nation was severely tested in the past 18 months by a vicious enemy. The test brought about great tragedy in our nation, but it also showed the best in many Sierra Leoneans. It showed the best in many of our doctors, nurses and other workers, it showed the best in many of our security agencies, and it showed the best amongst many chiefs and thousands of youths, market women, musicians and ordinary citizens in every district and region of our beloved country. Let our New Year resolution be to move on with the best in us, let us carry on with the better actions that allowed our country to defeat an Ebola virus which ferocity was unlike any the world had seen before.

The better actions are the new habits of hygiene and sanitation we inculcated, the new attention to details that we ensured in our labs and treatment centers, and the newer commitments to Sierra Leoneans leading the way and comprising over 90% of the people at the frontlines and command centers of the fight against Ebola. We must build upon this greater confidence in ourselves, we must face the future with belief that we can overcome our limitations and build a future that entrenches our best values and actions.

My Government’s Post Ebola Recovery Plan draws from this belief that we are capable of achieving the goals we have set forth for ourselves. My New Year resolution is to continue to work tirelessly to achieve these goals, to ensure the implementation of our plans we have designed for the priority sectors of health, education, social protection, including Ebola survivors, the private sector, energy and water.

We salute our international partners for their continued support to our country, but it belongs to us to utilize that support to build a more resilient society. That is why all of us must make resolutions that should bring out the good in us for our country, our community and our families. The threats of future outbreak is still with us, but if we resolve to continue to bring out the best in us, we can stop any future outbreak in its tracks. The globalized world has great threats, from extreme weather events to terrorism and diseases that are no respecters of boundaries. But we can prevent the threats from overwhelming us by utilizing our better actions to grab the great opportunities that beckon to all of us. The good in us is greater than some of the ugly events that we face. Let us utilize the good in us to build a better country.

Happy New Year.
God Bless Sierra Leone.