During her visit she had the opportunity to congratulate President Maada Bio on his inauguration and met with his Cabinet to discuss how the UK can support the country’s ambitions to reduce extreme poverty and invest in its people.
Her visit comes on the heels of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent announcement that the UK is helping girls across the Commonwealth get twelve years of quality education.
During her visit, Ms. Baldwin was able to visit a school where girls who have dropped out of class, often due to early pregnancy, are being supported through UK aid to return to education – giving them and their families hope for a more prosperous future.
Ms Baldwin also visited a family planning clinic and spoke to female youth advocates to discuss how best to address the barriers currently facing women in the country.
She also met with the Minister of Finance, the IMF and World Bank to discuss how the UK is supporting the Government of Sierra Leone to strengthen its ability to collect taxes, which it then invests in vital services such as health and education – to improve the lives of the next generation of particularly girls.
She said: “As one of our Commonwealth partners, it’s encouraging to see how the UK can support the new Government of Sierra Leone to invest in its own people, to work towards a brighter, more prosperous future, free from aid dependency. This is especially important when it comes to educating and empowering the next generation of girls and young women, who have huge potential to play a transformational role in economic and social development, when they are able to access 12 years of quality education and take control of their lives.”