Siaka Probyn Stevens
Stevens, Siaka Probyn
Born Aug. 24, 1905, in Moyamba. Sierra Leonean state and political figure. Doctor of civil law (1969). Limba by origin.
Stevens was educated in Sierra Leone and in Great Britain, where he attended Ruskin College at Oxford University and the professional school of the British Trades Union Congress. He founded the United Mining Workers Union in 1950 and was general secretary of the union until 1965. He also held a series of British government positions in Sierra Leone. In 1951, Stevens helped found Sierra Leone’s first political party, the Sierra Leone People’s Party, which he headed until 1958.
After publicly advocating full independence for Sierra Leone, Stevens was expelled from his party and later was arrested by the British authorities. In 1960 he founded and led the All-People’s Congress. After the victory of this party in the parliamentary elections of 1967, Stevens became prime minister, minister of defense, and minister of internal affairs, serving from April 1968 to April 1971. In April 1971 he became president of the Republic of Sierra Leone and commander in chief of the armed forces.