Africa

Sierra Leone profile - Leaders

  • 18 March 2015
  • From the section Africa

President: Ernest Bai Koroma

President Koroma came to power in elections

Ernest Bai Koroma won a second and final term as president of Sierra Leone in November 2012, in the first elections the country has held without UN supervision since the end of the civil war in 2001.

His convincing win in the first round over main contender and former military ruler Julius Maada Bio confirms Sierra Leone's transition from failed state to democracy with a fast-growing economy, although the president still faces the challenge of widespread poverty.

The opposition questioned the results of the simultaneous parliamentary election, although international observers said they were conducted fairly.

Mr Koroma was first elected in 2007 on a promise to counter corruption and the mismanagement of state resources. His All People's Congress also won a majority in parliamentary elections that year.

President Koroma, an insurance broker by profession, has pursued free-market policies and encouraged foreign investment to rebuild the damage caused by the civil war.

His predecessor Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of the now-opposition Sierra Leone People's Party, ended the war by inviting in first Nigerian and then British troops to drive out rebel groups. He stepped down in 2007 after serving the maximum two permitted consecutive terms.