“I want to come to Sierra Leone for the first time under your fantastic leadership,” Idris Elba OBE stated. He also stated that he will like to see people travelling to Sherbro Island for culture, tourism and entertainment. He added that “The Sherbro Island will be a city for everyone”. Also explaining about the project, members of his delegation said that the transformation of Sherbro Island will make it a West African regional economic hub focusing on tourist destination, entertainment, convention centre, innovative affordable housing, aquaculture etc.
Some of the benefits of the project highlighted by his delegation included creating a powerful economic growth engine, deepening human capital through education and training, diversifying income sources for government and citizens, transforming the country’s international image and improving infrastructure and transportation links. Through the project, Idris Elba OBE also assured President Bio that he will use his international reputation to contribute in rebranding Sierra Leone with a new message. He also spoke about his long-term aspiration to invest in education and training to create a workforce in Sierra Leone for the film industry.
Responding to Idris Elba OBE and team, President Bio thanked Idris Elba OBE for the thought of investing in Sierra Leone. He told them that such project has always been his aspiration for the Island to transform it into a great tourist destination. He said because of the level of neglect of the Island over the years, he has made it a duty to always spend the Christmas at the Island. “Every time I went on holiday, I would tell the people that help to transform the Island was on the way so today I am happy that the help is here,” President Bio said.
President Bio also expressed his delight for the project and assured that as a Government the project will receive his fullest support. He said that the project will give hope to many Sierra Leoneans, adding that “I want to make every Sierra Leonean be proud to return back to Sierra Leone”. As an action oriented President, immediately during the meeting, President Bio instructed that preparatory work and all necessary documentations should commence. He also advised the team to visit the Sherbro Island and engage with the community about the project.
According to the biography of Idris Elba OBE, his father is a Sierra Leonean and mother a Ghanaian.