OCU Team Meets Sierra Leone President

Charles Roberts, OCU alumnus from Sierra Leone; Sierra Leone President Ernest Ko

Ohio Christian University (OCU) President Mark A. Smith met the Republic of Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma and several of his cabinet members on September 28, 2011, in Charleston, West Virginia.  President Koroma is visiting America to attract investors to his country—including institutions of higher education.  President Koroma told Smith that when he returns to America next year he will visit Ohio Christian University.

In photo, from left:  Charles Roberts, OCU alumnus from Sierra Leone; Sierra Leone President Ernest Koroma; OCU President Mark Smith; OCU professor David Lattimer; and OCU provost Hank Kelly.

About the meeting Smith said, “This is an experience of a lifetime.  President Koroma is a Christian in a primarily Muslim country and is trying to clean up corruption in his country.  Perhaps OCU can help the country with education.  We will explore options with the president’s staff.”

OCU representatives who also met President Koroma and his cabinet members were provost Dr. Hank Kelly, professor Dr. David Lattimer, and recent alumnus Charles Roberts who is originally from Sierra Leone and spoke with President Koroma in his native language.

President Koroma has been president since 2007 and is only the fourth president of Sierra Leone.  He will run for re-election in 2012.  Sierra Leone is rich in natural resources, especially diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, and chromite.  It covers a total area of 27,700 square miles (slightly smaller than South Carolina) and has a population of 5.4 million people.  Sierra Leone is located in West Africa, bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest.

From 1991 to 2002, Sierra Leone was embroiled in a brutal civil conflict which saw more than 50,000 people killed and thousands more mutilated.  But today, Sierra Leone is safe and functioning as a democracy.  The country consists of sixty percent Muslim, ten percent Christian, and thirty percent indigenous beliefs.

Ohio Christian University is one of the fastest growing universities in Ohio. Over the past five years enrollment has grown from an enrollment of 400 to 2,400. With a heritage dating back to 1948, Ohio Christian University offers a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally and spiritually. OCU offers degree programs designed to equip students to become leaders in their careers, communities, families and in the world. Students enrolled in OCU’s traditional undergraduate program attend classes at its main campus in Circleville, Ohio. OCU’s AIM Adult Program offers 15 campus locations in the surrounding region as well as online degree programs. For information about upcoming events at Ohio Christian University, check out its website at www.ohiochristian.edu.