Ernest Bai Koroma
President (since 2007)
Date of Birth: 02/10/1953
Place of Birth: Makeni, Bombali District
Married to Sia Nyama, with two children.
Education: Fourah Bay College, BSc Economics, University of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone, 1976.
Career: Teacher, St. Francis Secondary School, Makeni, 1976-78; Officer, Sierra Leone National Insurance Company, 1978-85; Officer, 1985-88, Managing Director, 1988-2002: Reliance Insurance Trust Corporation; Presidental Candidate, All People’s Congress, 2002; President of Sierra Leone, 2007 to date.
Commentary: Since being elected as president in 2007, Ernest Bai Koroma has been keen on pushing legal and business reforms, and making an example of corrupt officials. By March 2010 he sacked three ministers, pushed through a mining bill, set up performance contracts for ministers, commissioned a dam that is over 30 years late and unveiled the country's first health plan. Despite this he has been blasted by oppositionists for apparently favouring those from the north-west region in his appointments. Members of his family have secured high powered positions in the country, first cousin Edmund Koroma was put in to head the Finance Ministry. His elder sister, Admire Koroma, left the civil service to become a government contractor as soon as her brother became president. Whilst younger brother, Sylvanus Koroma, enjoys an overdraft facility for millions of dollars at the state-owned Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and is a main importer of rice.
After establishing a good relationship with Tony Blair during his time in office, Koroma received £36 million (US$71.53 mn.) in aid commitments from Gordon Brown after he became prime minister.
By comfortably beating the SLPP's Julius Maada Bio in the 17 November 2012 elections, Koroma has secured the presidential seat for another tenure.