Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Fatima Jabbie Bio, revealed during the government’s regular press briefing in Freetown on Tuesday that the upcoming November 18 celebration and commemoration of the Adolescent Girls’ Summit will be financed using funds allocated from the government’s budget for international invitees.
Mrs. Bio explained that the expenses incurred will cover various aspects such as hotel accommodations, meals, airfare, security arrangements, and transportation for the special invitees, including first ladies from other countries who are willing to participate in the event in Sierra Leone. However, the First Lady did not specify the total amount required from the government’s budget for this purpose.
She also emphasized that when she is invited to other countries, she is offered similar provisions in terms of food and logistical support. In response to questions about the funding, First Lady Fatima Jabbie Bio clarified, “I am not the person who writes or signs the cheques. I don’t write or sign cheques.”
The United Nations Adolescent Girls’ celebration in Sierra Leone, for which Mrs. Bio serves as the chairperson under the UN, began as an initiative voted in favour by 158 countries of first ladies, adopting the date for its commemoration and celebration at the United Nations during her courtesy visit.
Many first ladies from various countries, including Nigeria and Turkey, will be in attendance. The event will focus on educating attendees about sexual violence-related issues and provide support for rape and sexual assault victims.
Mrs. Bio confirmed that the event on November 18, 2023, will commence with a Muslim prayer on Friday, followed by Christian prayers on Saturday, to be held at Winner’s Chapel in Freetown due to its spacious facilities. Attendance for this event will be strictly by invitation, as stated by Fatima Bio. AJ/9/11/2023