Sierra Leone: President Bio implores Sierra Leoneans to be “watchful guardians of our own health”.

President Julius Maada Bio on Friday implored Sierra Leoneans to be “watchful guardians of our own health and the health of our community”.

“COVID-19 is real and deadly. Over a hundred million people have been infected the world over and over a million people have died. Thousands have been infected in Sierra Leone and we have lost our brothers and sisters to COVID in Sierra Leone and in the diaspora,” he said.

The president made the remarks at the unveiling of the National Micro-Finance Programme (MUNAFA FUND) in Magburaka on Friday, 

president Bio addressing the audience on Friday

“Please adhere to all health protocols from health officials and from NACOVERC and DICOVERC officials about wearing face masks properly, frequently washing hands, and social distancing.”

He also noted that his administration  listens and cares about ensuring women and young people are able to access microfinance funding to develop themselves, their families and their communities.

He said for the first three months of in 2021 the Government will disburse Le26.05 Billion to 11 financial service providers to facilitate the process, with 100 beneficiaries targeted in every district

“For us, inclusive development means leaving no one behind because every Sierra Leonean matters regardless of his or her tribe, place of origin, or political affiliation,” he said.

The president also said his administration seeks to diversify  economy further and add value to local products, noting that his administration continues to strengthen regional and global trade relations. 

“We will support businesses to fully reap the benefits of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, the African Continental Free Trade Area, and other such regional schemes,” he said.

Mauritius Commercial Bank Taps Windward’s AI Solution to Optimize Trade

Windward ( the Predictive Intelligence company applying AI to transform global maritime trade, and Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd ( the longest-standing and leading banking institution in Mauritius, announced a long-term, multi-year partnership to enhance MCB’s due diligence and monitoring processes linked to its commodity trade finance business. Windward’s AI-powered solution will increase efficiency across MCB’s maritime trade finance practices and strengthen compliance and trade-based money laundering screening processes.  

Financial institutions in both Mauritius and around the world are under increased pressure by both national and international compliance regulators to implement extensive due-diligence processes, especially in light of new sanctions advisories by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the US and the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) in the UK. To this end, forward-thinking financial institutions are turning to AI systems to bolster effectiveness, streamline lengthy processes, and gain insights into deceptive practices used to facilitate financial crimes.

“Windward’s platform was the natural choice when we were looking to boost efficiency of our due diligence and Know Your Vessel processes,” said Zaahir Sulliman, Head of Specialized Finance at Mauritius Commercial Bank. “As maritime trade becomes increasingly complex to navigate, our partnership with Windward enables us to more effectively meet regulatory expectations and enhances our efforts to improve business operations, reduce risks, and improve compliance across our commodity finance business.”

This partnership comes on the heels of Windward’s announcement of a partnership with Danske Bank ( in November 2020. Windward’s powerful AI-based dynamic risk solution provides financial institutions with a state-of-the-art platform to effectively streamline the risk management journey. Windward’s Predictive Intelligence is powered by advanced maritime AI technology which is based on 300 behavioral analytics models and over 10 billion data points.

“We pride ourselves on partnering with best-in-class financial institutions,” said Ami Daniel, CEO and Co-Founder of Windward. “As trade finance becomes more complex due to increased regulation, it is essential for banks to enhance their compliance processes and to be better informed on the entities they conduct business with. We are proud to push the digital transformation of the industry forward by providing Mauritius Commercial Bank with the highest level of comprehensive risk-based analysis of maritime trade.”