New Poll: Sierra Leoneans Approve of President Bio’s Priorities, Want More Jobs

President Julius Maada Bio and his administration have been in office for just over a year and a recent International Republican Institute (IRI) poll captured the attitudes of citizens since Sierra Leone’s peaceful transfer of power in April 2018. The poll findings indicate that citizens perceive many positive changes in the country, though distinct challenges remain. 

According to the December 2018 nationwide poll, Sierra Leoneans are largely satisfied with the course of the country under President Bio’s leadership. The majority (54 percent) of Sierra Leoneans feel that the country is going in the right direction. Trust for state institutions is also high, with the majority of respondents expressing that they either “trust a great deal” or “somewhat trust” these institutions. The quality and availability of “free quality education” for pre-primary, primary, junior and senior school for government and government assisted schools, which was launched in August 2018, may have contributed to citizens’ positive views of President Bio’s government. Eighty-four percent of respondents rated the free quality education as “very good” or “somewhat good.”

Challenges remain for the administration, however. At present, the greatest concern for Sierra Leoneans is the state of the economy. Seventy-eight percent of respondents identified the economy among the biggest problems Sierra Leone faces, a notable increase from 28 percent since February 2018. Now that the Sierra Leonean government has satisfactorily responded to a need for more accessible quality education, citizens want to see the Bio administration tackle the problem of job creation. Forty-eight percent of respondents stated that government job creation is their highest priority.  

Overall, results of the poll indicate that President Bio’s administration has taken actions that have been well-received by the public. The approval of the President’s signature education policy strengthens his political capital to continue addressing the issues Sierra Leoneans have prioritized.   

The poll’s methodology can be found on slide 2 of the poll presentation, which can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: This Post-Election Poll is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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