A personal blog about everything Sierra Leone from Social Issues, Entrepreneurship, Art & Poetry, Fashion & Beauty, Health, Entertainment, Food, Weddings & Promoting Change. If it is NOT about Sierra Leone then it is NOT on Dasalonetiti's blog #peace✌
The current serving Chief of the African Union Multinational Police Force in Somalia Commissioner, Augustine Kailie has been endorsed this morning by the Police Council as Deputy Inspector General of Police. He is expected to round up his mission in Somalia and take up his new role in the next coming days.
Commissioner Kailie oversaw the operational planning and security of the recently concluded parliamentary and presidential elections in Somalia. He held various command and operational positions in Sierra Leone. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from FBC and a master’s degree in Peace Development Studies.
Given his wealth of experience and professional career including his educational background, his appointment has been widely appreciated by his colleagues in the SLP and the African Union. A few minutes ago, a senior police officer posted in a forum that “The new DIG is a fine and refined police officer.”
On Friday 19th August 2022, Afrimoney, Africell Sierra Leone in collaboration with African Young Voices (A.Y.V) media empire had a grand style presentation and signing ceremony for the winner of Housemates Salone, season 3.
Accordingly, Mr. John Konteh said the Housemates Salone, season 3 planning lasted nearly six months. Furthermore, he said that it was not without its challenges as they received thousands of applications from Sierra Leonean residents and Sierra Leoneans based in the diaspora. “With the help of our credible, trustworthy and hardworking judges we were able to select sixty participants. Since Sierra Leone is a religiously tolerant nation,we were slightly disturbed because of Ramadan but we managed to adjust ourselves and finally twenty-two qualified for the Housemates Salone, season 3. These housemates spent nine weeks in the house and we used to evict 3-4 participants per week and that is due to low votes per person,” he said.
Juliana D Conteh alias Julie Tombo merged as the winner of this year’s Housemates Salone, season 3. Before its commencement, the organisers promised during the initial journey of the Housemates Salone, season 3 a sum of two hundred and fifty million Leones (Le 250,000 In Old Leones) which is Le 250,000(In New leones) and a one-month vacation to Dubai. Konteh further introduced the winner of Housemates Season 3, Ms. Juliana D. Conteh to members of the fourth estate, and those gathered in the Afrimoney boardroom at Wilberforce village. There was a joyful noise in the Hall from her fans and supporters, one could even figure out the joy that was running through Julie Tombo’s heart.
Samuel Wise Bangura is a staff of Africa Young Voices AYV television, he represented the Chief Executive Officer of AYV,Mr. Junior Navo and explained their experiences and challenges faced during the program but at the end, they celebrated a goodwill success and that is the dream of the CEO of AYV to make sure that young people are giving the platform to showcase their talents. “At first it was not easy for some of us but we have to force the situation so that we can adjust, thank you, sir, you did well for us,” said Almon Sall, one of the housemates to Daniel Moore, a staff of Africa Young Voices (AYV), and the director of logistics and a disciplinary leader.
Mr. Joe Abass Bangura is the Africell Chief Cooperate Affairs Officer. According to him, he said Juliana D. Conteh alias Julie Tombo’s true life story could be an inspiring story for young people who feel marginalized or cheated on in life due to some obstacles that befall them. “Imagine Julie Tombo a mother of six children with unsuccessful love relationships yet dares to come to the Housemates Salone season 3 which I believe is inspiring. She did not join most of her fellow young people to do things that do not resemble her but kept on fighting and today she has emerged as the winner of Housemates Salone, season 3. Therefore, I plea to all those who have felt that they are behind to take opportunity available to turn their failures or circumstances into a success,” he said. He ended up his speech by thanking the organisers, the former housemates, and the press for their commitment and steadfastness in the promotion of the entertainment industry and for being reliable media in Sierra Leone.
A check of two hundred and fifty thousand (New leones) was awarded to Juliana D Conteh alias Julie Tombo as a winning prize, she and Almon Sall were made Brand Ambassadors for AFRICELL and MiFi loaded with unlimited data were also given to them including some former housemates who did well during their stay in the house, a month trip to Dubai was granted Julie Tombo.
Juliana D Conteh, alias Julie Tombo was the winner of the housemates Salone season 3, according to her, she is a mother of six children but that did not stop her from pursuing her dream. “Today I’m proud of my children, family, well-wishers, Africell & AYV media empire especially the Chief Executive Officers of the two different institutions for creating such a beautiful platform for young people like me and others to showcase our talents and on behalf of my former housemates we shall work together to ensure that other young people be given a similar opportunity,” she said.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Eastern Regional Office, in a bid to integrity and best practices in public sector institutions, on 16th August 2022, engaged key education stakeholders in Kenema, on the topic, “Education Is a Key Tool Which Helps Us Achieve Success as a Nation”.
This engagement attracted representatives from the Conference of Principals, the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and the Directorate of Teaching Service Commission.
Welcoming stakeholders from the Education Sector, the ACC Regional Manager, East, Keifala Koi thanked them for honouring the invitation. He encouraged his listeners to uphold the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability in ensuring the successful attainment of the Free Quality Education. Manager Koi further registered the Commission’s continued commitment to the success of the Free Quality Education, particularly in the management of the school feeding programme, learning materials and the utilization of school fee subsidies hence the ACC’s partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE).
ACC’s Public Education Officer Kenema, Jeneba Kemoh Mbayo, emphasized the responsibilities of the education stakeholders in employing measures to eradicate corruption within the education sector. She urged them to undertake the admission process of pupils into JSS1 in a corrupt free manner, should the Free Quality Education initiative be successfully attained.
Senior Investigations Officer ACC, Belinda Hebron, reminded school Principals of their public mandate which includes; but not limited to the prevention of corruption in schools. To this end, she encouraged them to familiarize themselves with the Anti-Corruption Act, 2008 (as amended in 2019), which according to her will help them understand the Dos and Don’ts contained therein, as the Commission is currently paying attention to the issue of the misuse of school fee subsidies. She referenced some offences in the AC Act 2008 as amended in 2019, such as; soliciting, accepting or obtaining an advantage for public officers, and misappropriation of public funds or property, which she noted carry severe punitive measures upon conviction.
Responding, the Chairman, Conference of Principals, Mustapha J. Mansaray thanked the Commission for the opportunity and platform provided for a frank and open conversation on the things that matter most towards the sanitization of the education sector. On the utilization of school fees subsidies, he promised to submit to the ACC, the Policy Guide on the same, highlighting also challenges in the teaching field.
The ACC Team and the Education Stakeholders after the engagement
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Regional Office in Kono has, on the 16th and 17th of August 2022, held a community outreach meeting with stakeholders and residents of Sandor Chiefdom and alongside met with health workers and security personnel.
Speaking at the meetings held in Baudu and Workor communities, the Regional Manager-ACC Kono, Hawanatu Omotayo Kamara, informed the audience that these meetings are part of the Commission’s public education drive in preventing corruption by empowering them with the right knowledge on corruption, including what corruption is, how it can be mitigated and promptly reported.
She encouraged them to closely monitor community development activities in their various localities in order to ensure value for money and further added that the Commission’s operations are informed by the reports and complaints made by members of the public regarding the occurrence of corruption. Manager Hawantu Kamara read the toll-free lines and explained the other channels of reporting corruption to the Commission. She told them that whistleblowers are key in the fight against corruption and as a result, the Commission provides for the protection of its informants and witnesses, noting also that, whistleblowers are rewarded with 10% of the proceeds recovered by the ACC from an individual or institution reported.
In a related engagement with health workers and security personnel in the chiefdom, Hawanatu highlighted several provisions in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019, which increased the powers of the Commission to better deal with the problem of corruption. Manager Kamara informed the health workers and security personnel of the several complaints made by members of the public in relation to bribery, payment for free healthcare services and facilities and many more. She appealed to them to desist from such activities, which are unacceptable and would amount to corruption.
Speaking on behalf of the Health Workers at the Kayima Health Center, Saidu Sandwa said, they have been discharging their duties diligently. He, therefore, asked his colleagues to refrain from such practices in the health centre if they are engaged in them.
Chief Inspector Tamba I. Conteh, Officer in Charge of Yormandu Police Post, noted that his officers and members of the Local Police Partnership Board have been working cordially with the community people under the community policing partnership agreements. He also agreed to strengthen ethical standards in the discharge of their duties in the chiefdom going forward.
ACC Public Education Officer, Kono, Hawa Deen Conteh who spoke on ethics in the workplace stated that ethics is a key component of integrity that guides the behaviour and conduct of public officers to make sound decisions in the lines of duty. She also did a step-by-step online asset declaration process for the health workers and other public officials in the meeting and encouraged them to maintain high ethical standards in their daily operations.
Chief Jonathan Oliver Sourie, Chiefdom Speaker, Sandor, speaking on behalf of the chiefdom authorities, expressed gratitude to the ACC for sensitizing his people on the ills of corruption. He assured the ACC that, the knowledge gained will be adequately utilized and vowed that henceforth he is an anti-graft crusader and ambassador for the Commission.
Community people listening to the ACC team during the sensitization campaign
On the 16th of August 2022, Easy Solar which is one of the fastest growing energy companies in Africa had a partnership dialogue and launch with Afrimoney at the Afrimoney boardroom at Wilberforce village.
Abdul Aziz Kamara and Theresa J. Bright who are both staff of Afrimoney appreciated members of the fourth estate & the Co-founder & Chief Commercial Officer Mrs Nthabiseng Mosia for her great move on joining her business with Afrimoney.
Madam Nthabiseng Mosia is an entrepreneur and a business-minded woman in Sierra Leone and the African continent as a whole;talking to this medium during her keynote address, she said that Easy Solar was established in 2016 and since then they have 800,000 users across the country and they are not only targeting cities but even smallest communities in the country could be reached and served with their products at affordable prices; that majority of the Hotels in Freetown and the interiors are using their services.
Horatio Dave-Pratt who is the head of sales-sty Easy Solar also lamented what his boss Nthabiseng Mosia said earlier whichaccording to him (Pratt), Easy Solar is affordable; has high quality and could be used anywhere in the country without further disturbance. He assured the Afrimoney team of their partnership & agreements which he said they will work hand and gloves with Afrimoney which is their partner and the people of Sierra Leone and their services rendered are assured. He told this medium that the good news is that Easy Solar has been established in all the sixteen districts in the country, ” we also have 32 shops, 400 agents and this is a win-win situation for Afrimoney as our partners and us, we have also introduced paid roll deduction service for civil servants as we loan some of them, they pay during the end of the month”, he said. “We also have a target for establishing 32 shops by the end of this year,” he added.
Mr.Joe Abass Bangura, the Chief commercial officer at Afrimoney Sierra Leone lamented the importance of partnership and acknowledged the Chief commercial officer of easy solar and the team for their brave move in partnering with them. He also thanked Easy Solar and praised the fourth estate for their resilience to help send the message out to the wider public. Bangura made reference to America on the use of digital money and further said that the world runs on credit and it is only in Africa that we are still carrying cash in our wallets and purse. He went on to assure customers that if they pay their easy solar bill through Afrimoney there will be a 10% given to the payees. He affirmed that Afrimoney has been a trustworthy partner to several institutions and government agencies as they are also trying to work on a good networking system with all banks in the country so that people can make payments and even withdraw from their bank accounts through Afrimoney. “Few colleges, universities and schools have partnered with us for payment of bills and tuition fees for their tertiary students and pupils in schools,” he said.
However, digital money is safe, easy and fast. Noting that some advanced countries are trying to wipe out cash and live on digital money. He spoke on strengthening their network with institutions and government agencies in Sierra Leone and adding more agents boots in the country for easy accessibility of money (cash in or cash out) by their customers. Meanwhile, both teams of Easy Solar and Afrimoney encouraged the fourth estate to spread the good news to the people of Sierra Leone to use Easy Solar and make their payments through Afrimoney as it’s a trustworthy digital system in the country.
Bangura said they have the biggest number of customers in the country and he ended up thanking Easy Solar and assuring them of a successful partnership.
On Wednesday 17th August 2022, a team of Chinese seed experts paid a courtesy call tothe Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Seed Certification Agency, Dr. Robert Chakanda, in a bid to exchange ideas on quality seed production.
The visit of the Chinese team was as a result of the exemplary work of the current Executive Director, Dr. Robert Chakanda, in ensuring that quality seed is produced locally for the increased yield of the country’s staple food. The Chinese have been working with the Ministry of Agriculture in developing the agriculture sector in the country for a while. During the visit, the Executive Director explained the challenges that they are faced with, among which is the poor facility at the laboratory, the need for more training of staff and the exchange of knowledge on attaining quality seed for better yield.
Dr. Robert Chakanda further updated them on the various developments in the sector, as well as the government’s stance to end the importation of seeds for farmers and the encouragement of farmers to produce more seeds. He furthered that in the current situation, no one will be able to import seed without the expressed permission of SLeSCA. He further explained that this is necessary toenable the agency to test all seeds coming into the country, as well as those produced locally. He disclosed that to ensure that the value chain is maintained, SLeSCA has been able to identify seed dealers, seed growers and farmers. Seed dealers should have seed shops where they store their seeds and sell them to the farmers, the eventual users of the seed. The Seed growers are involved in growing the seed with technical support from SLeSCA, to ensure that quality seeds are produced.
Dr. Chakanda further briefed them that the government is also supporting the farmers financially with cash they can access through the banks in a sort of loan scheme, which they pay later.
The Chinese team expressed willingness to collaborate with SLeSCA in developing the seed sector and enhancing seed sufficiency, with the ultimate aim of achieving food security in the country.
Climaxing the visit, the Chinese team was taken on a conducted tour of SLeSCA’sfacility, including the laboratory.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr William Fayia Sellu was appointed on Wednesday 27th July 2022 by His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio of the Republic of Sierra Leone.The current Inspector General of Police is an industrious man with a high level of integrity and disciplinary leader he is. He demonstrated this quality during his first test on the 10th of August 2022. Before the August 10 incident, the IG assigned commanders with hardworking personnel in different locations within Freetown and some parts in the North and Northwest.
Mr Bongay, the Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) attached to the Jui police Division was assigned by the Inspector General of Police William Fayia Sellu as a team commandant for the Urban and Rural areas of Freetown, mainly from Free Junction to Jui axis. The CSP did his best during the August 10 deadly protest as he gave up himself for the job with tireless efforts in match field operation with the military in the East of Freetown.
The Inspector General himself had a sleepless night starting from the 7th to the 10th of August patrolling in different locations to ensure that the deployed security personnel were on their duties as per requirements of the police to protect lives and properties and this shows a clear indication that the current Inspector General of Police is a responsible man with great love and passion for his job and the people of Sierra Leone. The Local Unit Commanders in the Western Urban and Rural Areas of Freetown & Waterloo and the affected places also demonstrated sound leadership qualities as they teamed up with IG Sellu.
The test came at a time when the country is experiencing several economic hardships. It is however evident that the hardship is not only limited to Sierra Leone but could be best described as “global hardship.” Some folks however keep blaming the current president of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio for not providing the necessities such as food, and job opportunities as promised during the 2018 election campaign. It is on this basis that some unknown persons staged a protest to fulfil their enterprises. Civil disobedience in a state is not a moral guarantor of peace and economic stability but a moment of economic paralipsis.
Nonetheless, since the riot/protest took place on the 10th of August 2022 the city of Freetown is yet to restore its full momentum as some shops and offices are not rendering effective services due to the instability of the State security and national peace. Many people believe that I. G Sellu with his leadership prowess will assuredly deliver his task despite his first test which seems to be alarming as the country’s national elections stand around the corner. One could also conclude that the president in his wisdom did not make any mistake by appointing Williams Fayia Sellu as the Inspector General of Police.
The Sierra Leone police have truly expressed their dissatisfaction with the ill-treatment by the protesters that resulted in the death of their compatriots. One of the security personnel that was slain was Pastor Desmond. The police believe that they are serving the people of this country, and stopping protesters from entering the Central Business District (CBD) was not reproach as the protesters dim it but a way to stop further destruction which sadly resulted in damages and the loss of lives and properties in some parts of Freetown, Makeni, Waterloo, Kamakwie and Port Loko respectively.
Prior to his election into the office of presidency by the people of Sierra Leone, during an interview on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Thursday, August 11 2022, President Julius Maada Bio described the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) as a huge, ambitious but necessary project for every child in Sierra Leone. “That is a huge undertaking that is taking a large amount of money every month. We are providing school fees, we are providing core textbooks, we are providing teaching and learning materials, we are providing subsidies to schools, we are providing transportation in most of the cities, we are providing school feeding for most parts of the country,” said President Bio.
After the launch of the Free Quality School Education, according toPresident Bio, the project is a very expensive undertaking at a point when the global economy is facing difficulties, but his government has made a tremendous effort to equip the young people and place them in a position where they will be able to gain employment. “We do agree that most of the youths are unemployed and we do sympathize with their situation and as a government, we have done quite a lot to address that situation among them is the Free Quality School Education and which involves technical education as well. It is all meant for them to be able to empower themselves and make them employable,” he said.
He asserted that his government has made access to quality education free so that every Sierra Leonean could be empowered, noting that the Free Quality School Education also promotes inclusivity. Hence, if a child is born in Sierra Leone today, that child should be able to access quality education free, regardless of the child’s background, gender, region, or status.
“When I promised free and quality education, my opponents said it was a political gimmick. But today, I have proven them wrong. In less than six months, we have shown that free education is possible. I have always prioritized education as a means of development. As President, to demonstrate my commitment to education, my government has increased the budgetary allocation to education to 21 per cent of the national budget. Several other strides have been taken already in this short time to commence the implementation of free quality education programmes across the country,” President Bio said during the launch of the FQSE on August 20th 2018.
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As a way of complementing the good work of the government, Kissy Industry and Trading Company Ltd, over the past weeks brought into the country well over 5000 Metric Tonnes of rice.
The brand of the rice is Leo Indian parboiled rice 5% Sortexed in 50kg.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Company, Jamal Shallop, they are always there to look at the needs of the people in the country, adding that rice is a major staple food in the country.
“We want to complement the work of the government because they cannot do it alone”, says Mr. Shallop.
He continues: “As a company, we are into the diversification of the country’s economy. Sierra Leoneans should expect more products from the company very soon”.
He furthered that the Leo Indian Parboiled rice has less or no starch which is good for everyone’s consumption and cannot add to their weights.
CEO Shallop thanked the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Edward Hinga Sandy for his technical support, commending President Bio and his wife for their continued support to the company.
The Leo Indian parboiled rice is in all the leading stores in the country.
Residents of Bo, Southern Sierra Leone, during a random assessment conducted by Kissy Industry Public Relations Department and other media houses, have affirmed that the Kissy Industry Products ‘are the best in the country’.
The assessment was done along Fenton Road, Bojon Street shops, and the central market. The team engaged more women and few men who appreciated the products more especially when they were told that all the products are produced from the country’s raw materials.
The company is presently producing Leo Oil, Diamond Premium Margarine Butter, Protect + medicated and the Sass Detergent and Bar Soap.
They are available in all the leading shops in the country.
As the 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections fastapproaching, there have been several speculations of what will save the political future of Kande Kolleh Yumkella. But the question on everybody’s lip is, will he become president under a National Grand Coalition (NGC) ticket?
However, from my own personal study and observation, I don’t think he will become president under the NGC ticket. He still has chance to become president but not under theticket of his political party, because the two traditional political parties; APC and SLPP are ingrained in the people’s psychics and they are not willing to change their loyalties for a third force.
This was evident in the first round of the 2018 presidential elections when the All People’s Congress (APC) Party and Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) got over 85% of the first round votes whilst Kandeh finished with distant third of less than 10%. And his representation in parliament has been mixed so far because he has been inconsistent in opposition through the word he coined to cover it constructive criticism making it difficult to pinpoint his position on issues in parliament. And this has cost him a lot of votes to mount any serious challenge for the 2023 presidential elections.
Meanwhile, the only way if he wants to continue in politics is to join one of the two traditional political parties; the APC or SLPP, and this may resuscitate his chances again to become a President or Vice President which I believe National Grand Coalition will never take him to.
In what has been described as sustained efforts to safeguard lives, goods, and services along Sierra Leone’s Ocean, rivers and coastal zones, the Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency (SLMET) in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA), with support from the United Nations’s Development Program (UNDP) has over the weekend ended three days training on “strengthening Sierra Leone’s Coastal Guard Communication for climate Early Warning Services dissemination through training and distribution of Very High Frequency (VHF) Marine Radios” by UNDP to both institutions.
The training which kicks off on Thursday 5th August, 2022 targeted over 50 participants including members of the Media, Maritime Radio Operators, SLMET Forecasters, Observers, etc.
Speaking at the three-day engagement held at the Conference Room of SLMA, Government Wharf in central Freetown, the Deputy Director-General and Head of Operations of SLMET, Gabriel Kpaka said, the training forms part of the UNDP Coastal Risk Management Project with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with key agencies such as SLMET, Tourism, Maritime and EPA being implementing partners.
Mr. Kpaka further commended the UNDP for helping to rebuild the technical and human capacities of the Agencies within the grip of the coastal risk management project.
He said with the help of UNDP, SLMET has over the years revamped its Marine and weather infrastructure across the country, but added that more needs to be done.
He rounded up his statement by soliciting and enlisting the support of the UNDP to have more marine stations and refresher training with SLMA, build up community volunteers on marine efforts, and strengthen the dissemination of marine weather information.
On his part, Director of Safety and Security at the SLMA, Ibrahim Wurie who stood in the stead of the Acting Executive Director- Sama Gamanga, expressed his appreciation for the role UNDP has played within the Maritime sector, adding that the training and distribution of the Marine radios is a continuation of the good job the Program has been doing over the years. He cited the rehabilitation of three search and rescue vessels by the United Nations Development Program in February 2021 as part of the UNDP’s collaborative effort with the Government of Sierra Leone through SLMA in strengthening maritime security and governance in the country.
With its vast coastline of about 406 Km, Sierra Leone remains one of the countries in the Gulf of Guinea with the least capacity to address maritime security and governance challenges, hence the UNDP’s intervention in enhancing the core operations of the Administration.
Tanzila Watta Sankoh Team Leader, Sustainable Growth Cluster – UNDP while making her statement on the need for the training and the distribution of the Very High-Frequency Marine Radios, said that the Early Warning component in respect of marine efforts, supported over the last four years by the UNDP, covers Hamilton, Lakka, Conakry Dee, Shenge, Tombo and Turtle Island communities respectively. She furthered that it is no news that coastal communities are challenged with many risks and as such, it is but fitting that efforts are made to help them adapt to the many challenges they continue to face.
Mrs. Sankoh said that the dissemination of Early Warning information on daily marine Forecasts is key to saving lives.
“Early Warning Services including Marine information can help coastal dwellers to make firm decisions on sea navigation that is, when to stay off the seas when it is high tide and when to use the sea when it’s low, thereby helping them keep safe within the coastal communities”, she emphasized.
The UNDP Rep also informed of the plans to get additional Mobile phones to coastal dwellers which can help them have access to marine information produced by SLMET. She also intimated on the need for fish processing platforms and storage to help in the housing of fish harvest, something she believes is lacking in most fishing communities.
Mrs. Sankoh ended up encouraging the participants within SLMA and SLMET to take advantage of the training and ensure the effective and efficient use of the VHF Marine radios for their intended purpose.
Given the above, it is worthy to note that in line with Policy Cluster 2 of Sierra Leone’s Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) 2019-2023, the UNDP Country Office is supporting activities that try to build the capacity of SLMA for effective monitoring of the Sierra Leone waters; including the development of the country’s maritime legislative framework and invest in collaborative efforts aimed at strengthening Early Warning systems and marine information dissemination that addresses the flow of information geared towards safeguarding lives, goods, and services.
The training was climaxed by distribution of certificates, handing over, demonstration, and application of the VHF Marine Radios to both the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration and Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency.
The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs (MTCA) and the Ministry of Environment (MoE) have held a two-day technical meeting with UNESCO Experts and other state actors on the process of compiling nomination dossier for the Gola-Tiwai Complex. The meeting was held at the MTCA’s Conference Hall, Kingharman Road, Freetown.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre based in Paris, France, supported by the Government of Japan has prioritized Sierra Leone to receive assistance in 2022 to build the technical capacity of Sierra Leone for Tiwai Island and Gola Rainforest National Park to be on the World Heritage list. Sierra Leone should complete and submit the dossier by the end of January, 2023. Prior to the two-day technical meeting, the UNESCO experts toured and held stakeholder engagements at TiwaiIsland and Gola Rain Forest National Park.
Opening the first of the two-day session, the Deputy Director of Culture, Ishmael Kamara noted that the placement of Sierra Leone to the World Heritage List requires process, and that getting thus far, they have enjoyed the political will in the presence of the Tourism Minister, Dr. Memunatu Pratt and Minister of Environment, Professor Foday Jaward. He said the opening session was to highlight the commitment of stakeholders and the subsequent development of the nomination dossier.
The Director of UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Africa Unit Muhammad Muhammad Juma via zoom expressed gratitude to the government of Sierra Leone for organizing the meeting and the government of Japan for the financialsupport. He said nomination is not the end of the process but the beginning of the life-long responsibilities, while hoping that Gola and Tiwai will be sustainably conserved.
Representative of the Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO, Minister Naoka Hirayama in her zoom presentation said 2022 is a special year for them as it marks the 50th anniversary of the adaptation of the World Heritage Convention and also coincides with Tokyo International Conference on African Development. She said Japan has been supporting ten African countries including Sierra Leone to enhance their capacity for the nomination process and appreciated Sierra Leone for starting the preparation of the nomination dossier for Gola-Tiwai Complex.
The Head of Environmental Foundation for Africa, Tommy Gannet said the experience of spending four days in the field with the experts underlines the essence of the whole process, saying that it was critical, timely and very necessary. “I appreciate the support of the Japanese government and also acknowledge the inspirational support of the two Ministers in getting us this far, and I am confident that what we are doing now will yield positive outcomes”, he said.
The UNESCO Wildlife Conservation Consultant, Matthew Hatchwell noted that at this stage of the process they are aware that in six months’ time the dossier would have been submitted to UNESCO. He said they are aiming to have the draft nomination by the end of October and called on state actors to provide answers to questions that came up during their tour.
In his remarks, the Minister of Environment, Professor FodayJaward said his Ministry has been involved in the process and has worked closely with the Tourism Ministry to ensure that this process comes to fruition. He added the his Ministry stands to gain a lot from the exercise considering the protection of climate change crisis, bio-diversity laws and pollution which he said are all geared towards the protection of the ecosystem. “Key among the benefits if the Gola-TiwaiComplex materialises is preserving the endangered species that are in extinction”, he said.
In her statements, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt maintained that the exercise was historic as it has never been done before in Sierra Leone which she said speaks volume of President Bio’s leadership. She continued that UNESCO is a key government partner in promoting Education, Culture and Heritage. She said their journey with UNESCO in the field of tourism and culture started a long time ago but since 2005 government only ratified the 1972 Convention on World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage among the six UNESCO Conventions. “In May 2012, six heritage sites were formally submitted to UNESCO’s tentative list of cultural and natural sites and under my leadership in 2021, the country completed and submitted the periodic reporting and also participated in engagements on UNESCO’s operations, expectations and vision of the African continent and the Japanese funded project came that focuses on capacity building programme for the nomination of world heritage sites on the African continent” she explained.
She furthered that it was due to cabinet approval and the ratification of all six UNESCO conventions by the Sierra Leone parliament that gave the opportunity to benefit from UNESCO activities for which she said they are a proud member of UNESCO Cultural Development.
Presentation on the nomination process and related guidelines was done virtually by the World Heritage Centre Nomination Unit, while Consultant Matthew Hatchwell presented the structure of the nomination dossier and information to be compiled and Kumiko Yoneda explained the nomination experience in other regions and recommendations. XianglingChen gave example of roadmap for the preparation of the nomination dossier followed by discussions on the challenges and gaps to be filled.
Day two of the meeting was centered around discussions on outstanding universal values, criteria, integrity and comparative analysis. Discussion on the roadmap of the preparation of the nomination dossier (roles, responsibilities and timeframe) climaxed the occasion.
The Regional Rice Value Chain Project (RRVCP) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in a meeting with stakeholders in Torma, Bum Chiefdom, Bonthe District, has officially handed over the contractors for the rehabilitation of storage facilities and the construction of market stores to the Paramount chief and other chiefdom authorities.
Speaking at the meeting, the Project Coordinator of Regional Rice Value Chain Project (RRVCP), Abdulai Bun Wai, informed the gathering that the significance of the meeting was to formally introduce the contractors who have been hired by his project management unit to deliver key infrastructural facilities as part of the project mandate.
Mr Wai used the opportunity to update the stakeholders of Tormabum that the Regional Rice Value Chain Project is divided into two broad categories, the farm support infrastructures which constitute the rehabilitation of two storage facilities, construction of one store and rice milling facilities as well as a drying floor. The other component is farm production which deals with cultivation, processing and marketing. Similarly, construction work on a modernized community market at Tormabum is also in progress.
The Project Coordinator pleaded with the Paramount Chief and the various agribusiness companies occupying the dilapidated storage facilities to relocate to other building temporarily within one-week so that the contractors would commence operations immediately.
On his part the, the Paramount Chief of Bum Chiefdom, Bonthe district, Hon. Alex J.J. Kainpumu II reiterated that his chiefdom’s total support to the project while expressing his profound thanks appreciation to the project management Unit of the Regional Rice Value Chain for their hard work despite the challenges.
PC Kainpumu called on both the Abhajar Rice Development Company and the West African Rice Company to give-up the storage facilities for rehabilitation as it is for the development of the chiefdom and the entire country.
Representatives from Abhajar Rice Development Company and the West African Rice Company Yayah A. Kamara and Ibrahim Conteh welcomed the refurbishment initiative of the said facilities by the Government of Sierra Leone through RRVCP. As partners, they would pledge their fullest cooperation with the project team and the Bum Chiefdom Authorities.
Receiving the contractors, the Paramount Chief cautioned that his administration has zero tolerance for theft, especially stealing of construction materials meant for the chiefdom projects, and called on them to purchase local construction materials like sand, stones, boards and sticks from the chiefdom people as well as to employ young people in chiefdom both skilled and unskilled.
The Irrigation and Civil Engineer, of the Regional Rice Value Chain Project, Alhaji Mohamed Sesay assured the stakeholders of rigorous monitoring of the work to ensure that the quality of work meets the project expectations.
Construction of the Tormabum periodic market was awarded to the Datum Line International Company Limited, contract was signed in May, 2022. Completion of this project is expected in eight months’ period after signing. Similarly, the Construction of one storage facilities will be done by the Ram Jalloh Constructions and General Services. Official signing of the contract took place in July and is expected to be completed within eight months. Meanwhile, the rehabilitation of two stores will be undertaken by the Aminata Frazer Constructions and Engineering Services, contract signed in July and completion period will be six months after signing.
The meeting was climaxed by site visitation and conducted tour of the facilities was carried out to enable contractors have a fair knowledge of the sites and nature of work in hand.
The RRVCP project is funded by the Islamic Development Bank, BADEA, and the Government of Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security serving as the implementing agency.
As part of its institutional approach to preventing incidences of corruption in public sector institutions, the Kono Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has engaged the management and staff of the Sefadu Correctional Center (SCC) in Kono, on various issues of corruption.
Speaking at the meeting held at the Office of the Officer in Charge on Tuesday 2nd August 2022, the Regional Manager, ACC Kono Office, Hawanatu Omotayo Kamara said the meeting was intended to inform and engage staff of the SCC on various corruption issues in order for them to inculcate ethical values in the discharge of their duties.
In her presentation to the SCC staff on key corruption related offences, the ACC Regional Manager made a simplified explanation of offences in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 (as amended in 2019) such as; offering, soliciting and accepting advantage contrary to Section 28, soliciting an advantage for a public officer contrary to Section 35, misappropriation of public funds and property contrary to Section 36, abuse of office contrary to Section 42, abuse of position contrary to Section 43, influencing a public officer contrary to Section 30, protection of public property and revenue contrary to Section 48 and receiving gift for a corrupt purpose contrary to Section 47.
She also pointed out that ACC operations are informed by the type of reports and intelligence received from all walks of life. The ACC Regional boss used the occasion to encourage staff to be mindful of the anti-corruption laws and their interaction with the public when performing their official duties.
Manager Kamara informed them that the 2019 Amendment Act of the ACC has empowered ACC to cancel all contracts deemed not to be in the interest of the public or a section thereof, strengthened the asset declaration regime, introduced trial in absentia, legalized the out-of-court settlement, criminalized examination malpractices and increased the punishment for offences from Thirty Thousand New Leones (Thirty Million Leones in the old currency) or three years imprisonment to Fifty Thousand New Leones (Fifty Million Leones in the old currency) or five years imprisonment. On this note, she encouraged them to maintain best practices and inculcate ethics and anti-corruption measures in the discharge of their duties.
She commended the SCC for their continued support in the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy adding that SCC is the only Government institution that sent a report of its IMC meeting to the Commission in the region.
In his welcome remarks, the Officer in Charge of the Correctional Centre, Abu Bakarr Kabba thanked the ACC Team for their patience to engage and sensitize staff on various matters of corruption which he said, will guide their operations and enhance collaboration. He expressed commitment to providing an enabling environment and a conducive atmosphere for staff and inmates.
Public Education Officer, Hawa Deen Conteh who spoke on ethics in the workplace stated that ethics as a key component of integrity controls the conduct, attitude and behavior of public officers to be professional in the line of duty. In terms of internalizing the fight, she said Integrity Management Committees (IMC) provide a road map to the fight against corruption in Government institutions especially service delivery institutions adding that, a functional and operational IMC will ensure strong internal controls to address corruption vulnerabilities in MDAs.
She also highlighted various methods of reporting corruption to ACC and mentioned that whistle blowers are the most important assets in the fight against corruption. She encouraged them to maintain high ethical standards in their daily operations.
Questions and answers session together with presentation of ACC’s information, education and communication materials climaxed the occasion.
The Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning, Dr. Turad Senesie has assured all fully paid-up buyers for the plots of State Land for Sale at the John Obey Community that the Government of Sierra Leone will ensure their safety and peace of mind.
He made this statement while taking the purchasers and/or their representatives on an official tour of the various plots of land for identification and allocation on Tuesday August 2 2022 at the John Obey Community.
At the site, the State Land customers were excited over the outlook of the landscape and the smooth acquisition process thus far.
Dr. Turad Senesie defined the scenery as a representation of the National Flag – Green, White and Blue.
“The forested mountains in the community represent the green; the natural waterfall represents the white, while the beaches represent the blue,” he affirmed.
According to the Minister, the government is creating the enabling environment for its citizens to access land and establish a micro-city in that part of the country.
“Revenue generated from the sale of land would be used to provide social services including the construction of roads, schools and hospitals for its citizens,” Dr. Senesie disclosed.
He used the forum as an opportunity to announce the provision of an additional 150 Plots (One Hundred and Fifty Plots) of State Land in John Obey for Sale again to the general public.
The Cost Price for Two Town Lots of Residential Plots remains Le150, 000,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Old Leones), which is the equivalent of Le150, 000 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand New Leones). And the Four Town Lots of Commercial Plots is Le 600, 000,000 (Six Hundred Million Old Leones), which is the equivalent of Le600, 000 (Six Hundred Thousand New Leones).
The Application Form Portal has been reopened and can be accessed on the website of the Ministry – http://www.molhcp.gov.sl.
Following the submission of the online application, customers can proceed to make payment at the State Land Sales Treasury Account at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank with the following account details.
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 0110117911
BBAN NUMBER: 003001101179112119
SWIFT CODE: SLCBSLFR
Minister Senesie said the new land sale model is part of the government’s agenda to equitably distribute land to its citizens, while also citing the land raffle model as another.
The Minister announced to the public that the government is engaging the private sector to undertake various development projects in the community including the construction of hospital, ultra-modern shopping mall, school and several other basic amenities.
Dr. Senesie assured the customers that their documents for the land would be handed over to them within the next two weeks, while authorizing the paid up customers to commence work on their plots within the ambit of the law.
Stakeholders call for public awareness and evidenced based advocacy around the Sierra Leone’s cyber law
The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) on Thursday 4th August 2022 held a 2nd Stakeholders Consultation Workshop on the Cyber Security and Crime Act 2021 to continue the discussion around the law under a project titled ‘Cyber Safe Sierra Leone. The first workshop was held on 8th February 2022.
The essence of the engagements, which brought stakeholders from various sectors, including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and MDAs at the Harry Yansaneh Memorial Hall, SLAJ Headquarters, 56 Campbell Street, was to look at the Cyber security law again and identify gaps and sections that could be open to abuse of the right to freedom of expression and to develop strategies for awareness raising targeting constituent members. Thursday’s meeting was to follow up on the recommendations made at the first workshop and develop advocacy strategies around them.
In his opening remarks and update on the project, SLAJ President Ahmed Sahid Nasralla recalled the first stakeholders’ engagement workshop and the training of journalists across the country on cyber law. He read out the many recommendations made at the first workshop and urged stakeholders to come up with ideas and suggestions for implementation.
“There are two aspects to what we trying to do with this project. First, the law is the law and so we want to promote public awareness about the law so that people understand key provisions to help them avoid coming in conflict with the law. The second, is to build advocacy around certain provisions in the law that have the potential to undermine fundamental human rights such as free expression, online freedoms, and data privacy rights,” said Nasralla.
He called on all professionals engaged in the art of expression- from journalists, bloggers, musicians, actors, artists, writers, poets, etc. to be aware of the law and abide by it.
The facilitator of the workshop, Dr. Francis Sowa, gave a brief recap of issues discussed and recommendations made during the first stakeholders consultative meeting and noted that SLAJ was not in any way saying that cyberspace should not be regulated since the same crimes that exist in the physical space also exist in the cyberspace.
“SLAJ and the Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRCG) were actively involved in consultations following the enactment of the Cyber Security and Crime Act 2021. Parliament accepted some of our recommendations and some were not accepted. Now, we want to raise awareness about the law and remind the government about setting up the necessary structures provided for in the Act. And that we should do through advocacy,” said Dr. Sowa, and caution that if you create the law and don’t put the necessary structures in place, it will be left with the police and the judiciary to interpret and implement the law as they see fit.
Dr. Sowa cited the Copyrights Act 2011 as an example of a law that has been passed but has no established body to implement it.
He went further to draw the attention of all stakeholders present to key areas in the Cyber Security and Crime Act 2018, which include: Part 1 which focuses on structure and infrastructure, Section 44- which is concerned with cyberbullying and stalking, section 33-38 unauthorized use of a device and the Data Protection law and 44(3) which concerns Public Interest, even when no law defines what public interest is, not even the Interpretation Act.
Dr. Sowa mentioned the National Cyber Security Advisory Council which has the Vice President and other government officials on the board noting that SLAJ had recommended for representatives from the media and civil society to be included.
Meanwhile, he cautioned participants to be mindful of the fact that the law still exists, and until it is amended it remains the law. “This is why a forum for educating people about the law is necessary so that they do not fall short,” he said.
Sahr Kendema from Campaign for Good Governance called on stakeholders to ensure the advocacy of the law is evidence-based. He recommended mapping out a clear direction of what the advocacy is calling for and why, whilst ensuring it targets certain groups and has specific messages.
“Our key messages must target specific groups, we must ensure we embark on evidence-based advocacy, whilst targeting specific groups with specific messages. We must also ensure we simplify the law so everyone understands it,” Kendema said.
The representative from the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), Lamin Lahai, encouraged SLAJ and its partners to bring all parties together to ensure the advocacy is inclusive. On the part of NATCOM, he revealed that the establishment of structures in line with the Cyberlawis ongoing.
The Deputy Director General of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), Alimamy Lahai Kamara, spoke about his institution’s concern about one of the country’s critical national information infrastructures at Leicester Peak. He said that the advocacy must call for that place (Leicester Peak), and other areas where critical information infrastructure, is to be protected.
“It is a security risk allowing people to freely hang out at Leister Peak. It can affect all of us if anything happens to that critical national information infrastructure. We must engage the government, consult with them and urge them to establish the necessary bodies to implement the cyber law,” Kamara said.
The Cyber Safe Sierra Leone Project, which is implemented by SLAJ with support from Internews SL, aims at supporting and defending rights online and free expression in Sierra Leone, while simultaneously bolstering digital literacy and improving the adoption of safe cyber security practices among Internet users in the country.
The next activity under the project, according to the SLAJ President, is engagement with bloggers to help them also understand the law and contribute to advocacy.
The Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) has commenced a 2-day Regional Stakeholders’ engagement for Political Parties, Religious and Traditional Leaders, CSOs, Human Rights and other Interest groups in Port Loko City.
The Port Loko engagement is chaired by the Electoral Commissioner for the Northern Region, Mr Abubakrr M. Koroma.
The objective of the engagements is to update the abovestakeholders on the following:
1. Update on the ECSL Strategic Plan 2020-2024
2. Elections Observation Mission (EOM) Recommendations and the Electoral Legal Reforms leading to the enactment of the Public Elections Act 2022
3. Electoral Timeline and Preparedness for the conduct of the 2023 presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government elections
4. Delimitation of Constituency and Ward Boundaries
With technology taking over the world already, most of our young people, if not all, are in haste to make life easier and comfortable at all cost, which in itself not a bad lifestyle. But the manner in which a person fashions him or her life determineswhether such a person is in a rush hour or not. And most of our young people who have this philosophy of the easiness of life are not even aware of the consequences of ‘the rush hour’. Just as the saying goes, “you can’t eat your cake and have it back”.
Our young people of these days are over ambitious; want to finish university before 18, want to have a family together before 25, and want a doctorate degree before 35years, and even want to be the richest man or woman in Africa before 28. All of these desires are not a bad thing. Like I said earlier, the formula used can be destructive and problematic if not handle well. Nobody wants to be a loser not even Satan; he wants to conquer the world at all cost and that is his mission. Just like you and I, our mission is to serve others generously with love and compassion, but the battle between young people and the world which has been controlled by Satan and his agents is the idea of ‘rulership’, not even with the intent of compassion and love.
Furthermore, majority of our young people these days want fat salaries, if possible to live on Banana Island and drive expensive cars. Unfortunately, the fantasy life has led man to willful thinking of this so called ‘rush hour’ which has led many to their early grave, and some are in prison, whilst others are engaged inarmed robbery and prostitution, some are used as political tools by politicians.
One thing I want my readers to understand is this: ‘problem is man-made’. Rush hour is with the intention of using the shortcut and this sometimes cause problem for us. We invite problem in two ways; knowingly and unknowingly. The problems we invite knowingly could be an escape route to keep us safer if we are truly pragmatic about our future as we parade it on our faces.
A danger! Imagine a university student planning to write her semester exams decides to engage herself on full time series and other movies as well as TikTok, Facebook and WhatsApp,posting every now and then to attract more likes, instead of studying full time to attract better grades. But do not forget thatthese are the same people whose wishes do not resemble their true self. They slay all day with big phones like iPhone 11 & 13 pro max in their hands to attract more men in the streets and on social media. Social media was originally invented for easy communication amongst families, workers and other diplomatic issues but this New Media has become a dating site for many young people. I don’t want to say this, but I will; the future has been transmitted into a fashionable stock. No vision and no clear goal.
Most of our parents especially the mothers could be well blamed for the rush hour of their children; as some parents forcibly give their female children to men who have money not even with the intention of marrying their children but the money that comes in on a daily basis. Could this be a course of poverty or lack of contentment? I don’t want to believe either. If some of our African mothers could have a strong faith in God, they would not do such an evil act before God. I’m not judging or attacking anyone but just saying a simple truth of what our Africa continent has turned into. I know that parents want the best for their children, so does God want the best for his creation. But the issue here is, it is in accordance with God’s provisions for healthy up bring or is it in accordance with world standard of living?
In addition, since colonial masters succeeded in dividing our world by class or segregation, the young people in Universities have also affirmed that sad reality by creating class for themselves. Those with iPhone are the valuable ones on campus and those with less valuable phones are the least important ones on campus. But to tell you the truth, from personal studies or research I have done, the latter are the ones who do well in semester exams but they are despised by their own course mates. But funnily enough, these serious students do sometimes assist the iPhone classical students in writing their exams.
When there are no examinations, they hang out with their fellow iPhone friends and they Snapchat and snap everywhere on campus. Sadly, when grades are out these iPhone family on campus can be easily identified because of their sad faces of failure and by the amount of frustration on their faces.
The story for lecturers sleeping with some of them for grades will be talked about in phase 2, so I am not going to talk about sex for grades right now. I want to remain faithful to my chosensubject which is “rush hour.”
Another issue for the cause of rush hour is the essence of competition today. Everyone is or wants to compete with someone else, probably a friend, a coworker or a family member. And competing with others breeds jealousy and unfortunately we jealous others because we think we are in competition with them.
In addition, the class saga will continue here again, I’m sorry for the repetition but allow me to do so; our young people and some parents have created a class already for people they would mingle with in society. This has extended in marriage relationships. Some ladies date men because of money, and what they can give to them. This has been a reason for fornication and “tap to me” which is on the rampage. This too will be discussed in Phase 2.
Research shows that 75 percent of ladies using iPhone did not buy them with their own money which is fine but most of these ladies have completed university and some are not yet working. So my premise is, of those ladies with iPhones and yet jobless, why can’t they sold those phones to empower themselves. There is nothing wrong with using a smart phone that is not an iPhone. Oh! Because of camera or for its name? Oh okay! Well I’m not rejecting the gift of receiving an iPhone but empowerment counts.
Heard many people murmuring about our current educational system which is no longer standard. But some of these people crying down education are parents. They are the cause of the declining state of education today.
Imagine a parent has a class one pupil and that child fails to go to class 2. That mother sends 130 Leones for her six year daughter to be promoted to the next class. In that case her daughter will be in a near class but don’t you think she is a murderer of education? Of course she is! My readers will want to know the role played by the media and the teachers. The reality is that the head teacher and the class teacher tried to discourage her but the mother insisted that she would like to see her daughter promoted to the next class, probably competing with her neighbors’ kids not knowing that she has started murdering her daughter’s future.
Fatmata Sesay, not her real name, had never worked hard to get her grades. She has always been helped by the bribed her mother used to give to teachers of the schools she attended. Sesay has a dream of becoming a medical doctor but because of bribery she was also pushed by her mother who is a housewife.
Finally, Fatmata sat to her government and private West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) after several examination malpractices. She was successful in her WASSCE and she got admitted to the College of Medicine and AlliedHealth Sciences (COMAHS) in Freetown.
Fatmata’s mother thought that the method she had been using to promote her daughter will continue in university but this time round, it didn’t work. Fatmata failed at COMAHS and was driven out of the college. She was later admitted at the University of Management and Technology (UNIMTECH) to read Diploma in Procurement and Logistics. Fatmata’s dream of becoming a doctor was murdered by her mother because they both lacked discipline and focus to study harder for better grades.
Despite the ongoing impasse in the Sierra Leone Cycling Association regarding Elective Congress and other contentious issues, cyclists are going against the odds to keepfit and make themselves focused for any given opportunity.
Joseph Kalleh Mansaray, a national cyclist tells the writer about the predicament in the sport and the series of attempts to get things on track.
He explains how frustrated they were over the postponement of the Cycling Elective congress due to verification of delegates.
Joseph, who was speaking to Heroes Media Sports during one of their training sessions at Aberdeen beach says over the past years and to date cycling is still grappling to reach new heights in terms of development.
The cyclist adds that he will not relent in his pursuit to fulfilhis dream of becoming a better cyclist, urging his fellow cyclists to train hard and ignore the loggerheads the sport is currently faced with.
Lovers of cycling would subscribe to the notion that sport unifies people in different parts of the world. Sierra Leone is no exception, and the utmost desire is to see a semblance of normalcy in a sporting discipline that is loved by many.
The prevailing situation now requires a lasting solution. According to the cyclists, peace is needed not just to see Sierra Leone in Tour de France but also the deliverables everyone is expecting.
With support from the Government of Sierra Leone, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) through its Directorate of Relief and Response together with various Ministries (MDAs), Departments and Agencies and Partners has provided cash transfer, food and non-food items, and medical support assurance to the Wellington Fire Victims.
It could be recalled that on the 5th of November 2021, at Old Wharf Junction – Wellington, East End Freetown, a loaded fuel tanker collided with a truck carrying granite stones. The collision led to fuel spillage which eventually attracted residents to visit the scene to scoop fuel and stored it in nearby makeshift structures. It was during the process of scooping the fuel that a fire broke out killing 154 people, leaving hundreds with serious life threatening injuries.
Since the incident happened, the NDMA provided leadership and coordinated MDAs, NGOs and partners to ensure a swift response, rehabilitation and recovery.
Speaking at the event, the Director General of NDMA, Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Brima Sesay explained about the establishment, mandate of NDMA and the entire response process.
“The NDMA was established in 2020 as a result of a promise made by His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio to the people of this country during the 2018 campaigns. The mandate of the agency is to manage disasters and similar emergencies throughout Sierra Leone and to also develop the capacity of communities to respond effectively to disastersand emergencies” he explained.
The DG further disclosed that NDMA through it Directorate of Relief and Response has supported of a population of 25,374 nationwide. Out of this number, the NDMA supported 5,174 households with food and non-food items, 1,507 houses and 67 public structures assorted building materials and 226 businesses with direct cash transfers who suffered from various disasters since the agency was established.
He also thanked the Ministry of Social Welfare for providing psychosocial support to the victims and those who lost loved ones. He also appreciated the remarkable role played by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) taking the various degree of burns they were confronted with to treat.
“President Bio had to cancel his overseas working trip short and returned home to sympathize with the victims and assured the affected population of Free Medical treatment. He also promised to institute an investigation into the circumstances leading to the fire incident. The investigation committee laterpresented a comprehensive report to HE Julius Maada Bio within the prescribed timeframe”, the DG added.
Dilating on the contributions of partners and well-wishers, the DG said NDMA has identified, verified and registered 310 affected persons/next of Kin, 2 households, 2 houses, 5 shops (makeshifts and containers), 48 motorbikes and 3 tricycles.
He said that NDMA was able to receive cash and kind donation for the affected persons from the Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA), Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS), Partners in Health, Concern Sierra Leone, Handicap International, SLPP North America Region, Caritas Freetown, CRS, Choithram-SL, World Vision, All For One, Kri Progressive Association, Kono District Diaspora, Street Child and others.
He pointed out that donated cash support were made by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, the Indian Mercantile Association, Nutrifood (S.L) Limited, Staff of NASSIT, NASSIT Trust Fund, Eminent Women of Peace, Summa Airport Sierra Leone, New Apostolic Church, Premium Divine Trading, Thailand Republic, LEONE NET WhatsApp Group, Mandingo Muslim Jamat and a young Sierra Leonean student, Janice William.
“I am convinced that most of you have in one way or the other received donated items (cash & kind). The Government of Sierra Leone is here today to present the affected persons and beneficiaries of those who lost their lives, relief package in addition to the items that were donated by our partners. I am sure there will be peace of mind, restoration of hope and appreciation following the distribution of items that would officially mark the completion of this response today”, he expressed.
Representing the President of Sierra Leone, the Senior Adviser to the President, Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin thanked the President for setting up of the NDMA as per his 2018 manifesto.
“I thank the President for establishing the NDMA. Before NDMA, emergency structures were established when incidents occur. When there is Cholera, Malaria or Ebola Outbreak, there is a temporary arrangement which will always fade away. But the president thought it necessary to establish and equip the NDMA in order to empower communities and effectively manage disasters”.
“We are establishing a Burns Unit at Connaught to train our doctors and that will enable them to help other countries when the need arise. Before anyone could come during the Wellington incident, NDMA, MoHS and the community were the first to intervene and before any other Partner could support our victims, institutions such as NASSIT which was created by SLPP is among the first to support. SLPP has empowered people and created institutions that will provide meaningful support whenever necessary”, he concluded.
Alhaji Komeh, a victim, and the Country Director of All For One Foundation, Madam Katie Milazzo both expressed their gratitude for government’s timely intervention and conveyed their utmost appreciation.
“It is God’s plan that we are victims, and we are thankful to God, the Government of Sierra Leone and more especially the NDMA for their relentless support. We are grateful”, saidAlhaji Komeh.
Parliament of Sierra Leone on Monday debated and passed into law with some amendments, the bill entitled, “National Land Commission Act, 2022”, for the development of Sierra Leone.
The National Land Commission Act 2022, seeks to provide for the establishment of the National Land Commission, and other land administrative bodies to secure effective and holistic land administration and to provide for other related matters.
The Parliament of Sierra Leone also debated and passed into law with some amendments the bill, entitled “The Customary Land Right Act 2022”, for the development of the country.
The Customary Land Right Act 2022 seeks to provide for the protection of customary land rights, the elimination of discrimination under customary law, and the management and administration of land subject to customary law, and other related matters.
Earlier, the dual bills were debated by Members of Parliament bringing out their importance towards the development of the lands tenure system and administration for the country.
The Minister of Land, Housing, and Country Planning, Dr. Turad Senesie piloted the enactment of the dual Bills.
When His Excellency Julius Maada Bio took over governancein April 2018, he told Sierra Leoneans to go to work at 8 o’clock am and leave office at 5pm every weekday. That did not come by word of mouth but he followed it with action. It brought back discipline to government offices; lackadaisical and lacklustre attitude vanished.
But we have returned to factory setting. Now incomplete works are left for other days or you pay in the form of Bible to get your work done on time. If the president would have continued with that same unannounced visits to government offices, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Directors, etc.,would be vigilant and work would go on smoothly.
However, responsible Ministries like Energy, Internal Affairs and few others are punctual whilst others like the Sierra Leone Road Authority, the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation, senior management of Lungi International Airport, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry ofFisheries and Marine Resources are adhering
The Ministry of Finance and many others allow pressure to mount on jobs that should be done; they become incomplete and pressure shifts on the junior staff.
Some do not even go to work especially on Fridays becausethey know that Friday is half working day, so they make it a holiday. Step up Mr. President!
The time for election is getting closer and professionalism and punctuality must start now! Even junior staff will abide because their superiors are law abiding and have the willingness to work for the good of this country. Our people are almost getting tired and some are even thinking of how to get out of this.
Imagine you write certain ministries for documents, they will put you on hold and you will have to wait until you get fed up.
No respect for clients and the public. We want ministries, departments and agencies to ease the burden on you as the Grand Commander and Fountain of Honour of this country.
Notwithstanding, Ministries like Energy, Internal Affairs, Basic and Senior School Education among others need to do more for effective service delivery.
By Mohamed Sheriff, Information Attaché, Geneva, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland, Sunday 31 July 2022 – The Ambassdorand Permanent Representaive of Sierra Leone in Switzerland, His Excellency Dr Lansana Gberie, and his proactive team have engaged the Sierra Leone community through anoutreach meeting organized by the mission as a means to bring Sierra Leoneans together in Zurich, Switzerland.
Explaining the rationale behind the outreach meeting, Ambassador Gberie informed Sierra Leoneans about the essence of coming together, pointing out the strides the Government has made so far in the past four years.
He went further to say that the Diaspora engagement would give insight to the Sierra Leone Community to know about the Government achievement and challenges, and also to have first-hand information on the current situation and needs of Sierra Leoneans in Zurich.
Ambassador Gberie said when he assumed office in 2018, he first engaged Sierra Leoneans in Zurich but stalled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. “That is the reason why I want to commend Mohamed Sheriff, the Information Attaché’ for the Outreach initiative to foster enhance engagement and communication between the Mission and the Sierra Leonean Community”, he said.
He called on Sierra Leoneans to make collective effort to make the country attractive to potential investors in the world. Also, he engaged them to participate in registration process between September 3 and October 4 2022 as part of their democratic rights.
“We have had a very difficult period over the years but thanked God for the proactive intervention of the Government to reduce such suffering on the people. it is our collective effort to make the country more impressive to the world,” He explains.
He told Sierra Leoneans that the Mission stands ready to address their challenges at all times.
Giving an overview about the gains made so far, under leadership of President Bio, the death penalty abolished, 1965 Libel Law that criminalizes free speech repeal, Women empowerment, the free quality education, Sustainable infrastructural development, Improved health care service delivery, fighting against corruption, the Hands off our Girls’ campaign among others.
He encouraged Sierra Leoneans to continue to comport themselves, he warned them against acts that will divide them and the country as a whole.
Ambassador Gberie urged them to live as a family in unity and to capacitate themselves as well.
Speaking earlier, the Head of Chancery and Minister Counsellor, Edward Kawa, presented the Embassy staff to the Sierra Leonean Community and explained some of the activities undertaken since the Ambassador assumed duty four years ago. Worth mentioning was the issue of the Sierra Leone’s Presidency of the Arms Trade Treaty, the Vice Chairperson of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Chairman of the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Council among other things.
Mr Alhaji Hamidu Mansaray, who spoke on behalf of the Sierra Leoneans, thanked Ambassador Gberie for projecting the government’s strides to ensure that the country become more attractive and for citizens to bring potential investors from Zurich to the country.
Mr Mansaray noted that there was a cordial working relationship between the Sierra Leonean Community and the Embassy on several other matters but called for more community engagement with the people in Switzerland.
He praised the President for his numerous promises fulfilled and impact of the Free Quality School Education. He promised the Ambassador of tranquillity among Sierra Leoneans living in Zurich and its immediate environs.
The Mission will continue with the Diaspora engagement drive in the coming months in different cantons in Switzerland.
On Tuesday, 2 August, UN Resident Coordinator (RC) Babatunde Ahonsi emphasized that disability rights and inclusion are a critical element of the United Nations Country Team’s (UNCT) multi-year Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) with the Government of Sierra Leone.
Speaking at the launch of the “Advancing Disability Inclusion in Sierra Leone” programme, done in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare at the New Brookfields Hotel earlier in the day, the RC said the programme was made possible by the UNCT’s earnest pursuit of a funding opportunity provided through the global UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD).
Mr. Ahonsi emphasised that partnerships will continue to be critical throughout the programme and, therefore, called for continued support in the areas of technical inputs to the design of new systems, compiling and sharing good practices, tracking progress on identified objectives, and raising awareness of disability rights.
He commended the Ministry of Social Welfare, Organisations of and for Persons with Disabilities, the NGOs, and UN colleagues, who contributed to the initial Expression of Interest and other elements of the inspection phase in 2021, which included Research and Report and development of the full proposal. Also, the RC stressed that the UN is committed to the success of the programme, especially the three implementing agencies – UNFPA, UNDP and UNICEF. The Country Representatives of UNFPA and UNICEF joined the RC with other UN personnel at the event.
In his statement, Mr. Vandy Konneh, Executive Director of Disability Rights Movement, commended the increased efforts from all stakeholders towards addressing disability-related issues. “Today, we can talk about cash transfer, the review of policies and most importantly, the implementation of the livelihood project”, Konneh said whilst referring to the UNPRPD as the “leading edge of the removal of barriers to people with disabilities.”
Officially launching the UNPRPD Programme, Minister of Social Welfare, Madam Baindu Dassama-Kamara, said the event was an outcome of the first ever expression of interest jointly developed by her ministry, the UN and other stakeholders. “This is an initiative to shift from reactive to more proactive, result-oriented programming to drive implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and disability-inclusive SDGs with meaningful participation of persons with disabilities themselves”, she informed her audience.
The Minister also expressed the government’s appreciation to development partners, including the UN, for their remarkable contribution to processes that would advance disability inclusion across all levels of national development. “The launch of this partnership is a significant event as we gradually realise the prominence of disability in the UN agenda for sustainable development,” she stressed.
Sierra Leone was among the 26 countries in 2021 to receive funding from the UNPRPD on its fourth call to advance the Convention on the Rights of People with Disability and increase the implementation of disability-inclusive SDGs. In 2021, the UN worked closely with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) to implement an inception phase of the programme, constituting an induction workshop on CRPD and SDGs, a country situation analysis, and the development of a full proposal for additional funding.
The Advancing Disability Inclusion in Sierra Leone Programme is a partnership of stakeholders, including the UN, Government, civil society and organisations for persons with disabilities, seeking to actualize provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
On Tuesday the 2 August 2022 Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay,has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Kingdom based company-Delagua Sierra Leone Implementation Ltd, for the provision of some huge quantity of cook stoves to rural communities in the country in line with his Ministry’s quest to enhance female access to modern energy by investing in clean cooking fuel and household energy needs.
Regional Director of Delagua Group, Euan McDougall said his company was set up in the 1980s to provide water testing kits to be sold around the world, adding that after a pilot project in Rwanda in 2010, the company went into the business of distributing cook stoves.
He said over seven hundred thousand stoves had been provided for people in rural communities in Rwanda since 2014,noting that his company had identified Sierra Leone as a country with a government that had demonstrated the genuine commitment to improving access to clean energy for citizens in rural communities.
Mr McDougall went on to say that a huge quantity of stoves would be provided to people in rural communities on a free-of-charge basis, stressing further that his company was envisaging the possibility of employing over one thousand Sierra Leoneans to help with the distribution of the stoves and in educating the beneficiaries on how to use the facility.
He said once the stoves, which had a ten-year lifespan were distributed, follow-up visits to the over one million beneficiary households would be made to help the end users understand how to use the products.
He said the stoves had innumerable benefits with specific reference to improving access to energy, gender empowerment and a plethora of health-related positives.
He thanked the Minister for the warm reception accorded his team and assured that his company would collaborate with the Ministry of Energy in achieving government’s overall policy objective in the renewable energy space.
Oliver Alawuba has over twenty years of work experience in the banking sector and the academia.
Prior to his current role, he was UBA’s Group Deputy Managing Director and CEO, UBA Africa, managing the country subsidiaries across 20 countries in Africa.
Alawuba was at various times the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of UBA Ghana Ltd, MD/CEO of UBA West Africa, Directorate Head, Public Sector and Personal Banking Regional CEO, UBA Africa Anglophone.
Alawuba has Bachelor of Science and Master of Science (B.Sc & M. Sc) degrees in Food Science and Technology and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Banking and Finance.
He is an alumnus of the AMP and SEP programmes of the prestigious INSEAD Business School, France, and London Business School respectively. He is also a Fellow of Nigerian Institute of Management and Honorary Senior Member of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
SLMeT’s DDG, Gabriel Kpaka SLMA’s Director of Marine Safety, Ibrahim Wurie
By Ishmail Saidu Kanu
The Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency (SLMeT) in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) on Thursday 4th August, 2022 commenced a three-day training on Strengthening Sierra Leone’s Coastal Guard Communication for Early Warning Services dissemination through VHF Radios.
The training which is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is ongoing at SLMA’sConference Room, Government Wharf in Freetown, and will be completed on Saturday 6th August, 2022, followed by presentation of marine VHF Radios by UNDP to SLMeT and SLMA.
Participants include the media, Maritime and SLMET officials, etc. As part of their core mandate which is to safeguard lives through sea worthiness efforts, the training is expected to help officials of both institutions to build resilience in Early Warning information dissemination especially across the marine sector within Sierra Leone.
SLMET’s Deputy Director-General, Gabriel Kpaka said the training is funded by the UNDP under the Coastal project. “The training which is conducted in various form is conducted by SLMET and SLMA”, he said.
He continued: “Climate change and seas level rise affect the coast. One of the components of the project is to install a marine weather station. The training is to strengthen search and rescue communications.”
“When I joined SLMET some 12 years ago, we only had two weather stations, but with UNDP’s support, we can now boast of over 60 weather stations. I want to thank the UNDP for their support.”
DDG Kpaka described the training as very important. “People are going to get the needed skills and information in search and rescue. I want all the participants to take the exercise seriously”, he ended.
Addressing the gathering, SLMA’s Director of Maritime Safety and Security, Ibrahim Wurie said the core competence of SLMA is to protect life and property as well as the marine environment.
“SLMA needs the intervention of other partners for effective service delivery. The training is very important and cannot be achieved without the support of SLMET. The search and rescue we are conducting all over the country is part of our humanitarian effort”, he noted.
He said the training is going to have a positive impact on their work, pointing out that it’s their duty to continue to save life and property. He appreciated SLMET and UNDP. “Our aim is to rescue people within 30 minutes”.
Day one’s topics include SLMet at a Glance and status with respect to Marine Meteorology, SLMA at a Glance and status with respect to the marine environment, marine meteorology, and search and rescue communication.
The Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) is conducting Boundary Delimitation exercises for the demarcation of Constituency and Ward Boundaries in Sierra Leone, pursuant to Section 38 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991 (Act No. 6 of 1991) and other provisions such as: The Constitutional Instrument (Amendment) No. 2 of 2008; The Wards (Boundary Delimitation) Regulations 2008; The Public Elections Act, 2012; The Local Government Act 2004; The Provinces (Amendment) Act 2017 and The Eight Establishment Orders 2017.
The Commission has set up a Boundary Delimitation Technical Committee with a clearly defined Terms of Reference. The ECSL says it will collaborate with Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats SL) for technical and operational assistance in providing Population Statistics Data and expertise to draw electoral constituencies and ward boundaries using Geographic Information Systems technology.
The Commission further notes that it will conduct series of nationwide consultations and engagements during the Constituency and Ward Boundary delimitation activities and thereafter submit the Constituency and Ward Boundary Delimitation report to Parliament for approval as enshrined in the Constitution of Sierra Leone 1991 (Act No. 6 of 1991).
“After Parliamentary approval, the Electoral Commission will conduct nationwide awareness raising campaigns on allocation of seats and the Metes and Bounds descriptions of the Constituencies and Wards in the sixteen (16) electoral districts”, a press release from the commission states.
It says timelines on the Boundary Delimitation activities will be communicated to stakeholders in due course.
Former President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday 3rd August, 2022 departed Freetown for Nairobi, Kenya, where he will lead the African Union Elections Observation Mission (AUEOM).
This follows an invitation by the Chairman of the African Union (AU) Commission HE Moussa Faki Mahamat to Sierra Leone’s former President to lead the AUEOM in the East African nation.
Kenya will be holding its general elections on the 9th August, which are being stiffly by four Presidential Candidates. The aspirants are vying to succeed President Uhuru Kenya whose second term ends in August.
The AU is therefore keen on ensuring that the polls are peaceful, credible and the outcome widely accepted. As such, the continental body is once again drawing on President Koroma’s vast experience in handling such high contested elections.
“Giving your vast experience and commitment to promoting democracy and peace on the African continent, I wish to invite you to lead the AUEOM to the Republic of Kenya…,”,stated HE Mahamat in his invitation letter.
It could be noted that this Sierra Leonean statesman has led the AU exemplarily through elections observations missions in Namibia and Zambia. He has also successfully led ECOWAS Elections Observation Missions to Togo, Benin and the Gambia.
“The whole of Africa is wishing Kenya well in its critical democratic journey. I am optimistic that the leaders and all Kenyans, will emerge from this elections stronger, more democratic and more united,”, said former President Koroma.
In Kenya, former President Koroma and his team will engage various stakeholders in government, the Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Political Parties, civil societies, the media, Diplomatic community, and others involve in the electoral process. The AUEOM will include election experts and diplomats drawn from the AU member states.
The former President is expected to return home on August 12th, 2022.
Too many rules for a rebel soul. A delinquent since conception. Even abortion cannot faze me. Erred contraceptions of the heart. No matter how dark and narrow the path is, nothing will hold in capture my free spirit. I am not a slave to unforgiveness a burden I laid down forgotten, too absent-minded to carry.
Yes! I shift my consciousness and awaken every web of bondage. For a kindred spirits not familiar to endure. Open wings stretched to it limits. Flapping inside out as I take flight to explore taboos, higher and beyond. My only hope is to fly like an eagle. Swimming perfectly in shallow mists I dare the devil for his truth. Never got it but will keep searching for the holy grail.
My speech can never be bolted nor locked Neither can my actions in orange overall like a jailbird. I break prison through tunnels like Pablo, see I break my phobia for clusters. I keep searching for a beautiful ending to mark a new beginning. My fears can never hold me hostage. I cannot be outside my head and rule my mind inwardly. My thoughts raced as my worries chased. The truth they say will set me free, but they wilfully omit the part that it will crush my spirit.
I won the race, independence is here. Throwing the keys of these lockdowns and bringing light to the right a power I desire. I can never be caged again, liberty is emphasized in my psyche. The openness of my heart for tomorrow brightens my face. Desired handshakes and hugs, alterations of civilizations. If feels good to be under the sun again, slowly life is creeping back on me. Today, I will barely take a gulp from the cup of my forebearers; bloody, bitter, sweet, their fights echoe in victory.
Today, I will just take a sip with no mask on, no need to isolate my impressions. Cheers🥂 to those before us who were in the frontlines. Selfless in their service, the oath they kept,and for their sacrifice We are finally free from freedom.
IN THE MATTER OF DEED POLL AFFECTING CHANGE OF NAME
OF JOEL ABDULAI KALLON FORMALLY ABDULAI KALLON
We Kanu & Associates, solicitors representing the above-named person, hereby give notice to the public that:
1. Joel Abdulai Kallon by Deed Poll Affecting Change of Name dated 1st day of August 2022 and registered at the office of the Administrator and Registrar-General, has renounced, relinquished and abandoned the use of his former names Abdulai Kallon .
2. From the 29th day of July 2022 has assumed the names Joel Abdulai Kallon.
3. He authorizes and requests that all persons at all times designate and address him by such assumed names of Joel Abdulai Kallon.
4. Documents bearing his former names are however authentic and correct.
SOLICITORS REPRESENTING JOEL ABDULAI KALLON
DATED 29TH JULY 2022.
THE REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE
IN THE MATTER OF DEED POLL AFFECTING CHANGE OF NAME
OF JAYNE JANET JOY PATRICIA ABAYOMI FLYNN-SANKOH FORMALLY JAYNE SANKOH
We Kanu & Associates, solicitors representing the above-named person, hereby give notice to the public that:
1. Jayne Janet Joy Patricia Abayomi Flynn-Sankoh by Deed Poll Affecting Change of Name dated 1st day of August 2022 and registered at the office of the Administrator and Registrar-General, has renounced, relinquished and abandoned the use of her former names Jayne Sankoh.
2. From the 29th day of July 2022 has assumed the names Jayne Janet Joy Patricia Abayomi Flynn-Sankoh
3. She authorizes and requests that all persons at all times designate and address her by such assumed names of Jayne Janet Joy Patricia Abayomi Flynn-Sankoh.
4. Documents bearing her former names are however authentic and correct.
SOLICITORS REPRESENTING JAYNE JANET JOY PATRICIA ABAYOMI
The People’s Republic of China through the Chinese Embassy on Thursday donated office equipment to the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone.
The Chinese Deputy Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Li Xiaoyong handed over the equipment to the commission during his handing over ceremony to the Commission at their Tower Hill conference room in Freetown.
The Deputy Ambassador generously handed over five (5) Huawei Pads, one (1) conference table, twelve (12) conference chairs, one (1) office table and chair and two (2) printers (P1106) with the aim of helping the commission carry on with its good work and commitment to free and fair elections in the country.
The donation came as a result of the promised made by the Chinese Ambassador to the Commission on the 14th of June 2022 after the ECSL made a formal request for assistance to the Embassy during a courtesy meeting between the commissioner and the ambassador. “On Tuesday 14th June 2022, we made a request to the Chinese Ambassador to help us with office furniture and other needful materials”, said Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed Konneh.
Speaking at the event, the Deputy Chinese Ambassador Li Xiaoyong commended the Commissioner and the commission for building and upholding the democratic process in Sierra Leone. The Ambassador also expressed his profound gratitude to the Commission for the excellent job they have been doing over the years, noting the 24th June 2023 general elections.
The Diplomat also assured the Commission of their continuedpartnership and bilateral relations.
The Chief Electoral Commissioner thanked the Chinese Embassy and by extension the people of China, saying this is not the first time the Chinese Embassy has donated materials to the Commission. “This is not the first time we have received support from China. I received some donations on behalf of the commission during my early appointment as commissioner. During that time we received eleven (11) generators in our warehouse which we are going to distribute to our various offices across the country”, he said.
The CEC continued: “The People’s Republic of China has been instrumental; the country has also invested in human capital development which is a growth for any country that wants to develop. A typical example is one of our newly doctoral graduates from China. We remain grateful to China”.
He thanked the Ambassador, adding that the ECSL is looking forward to more support in education and technical training.
The Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU) on Tuesday 26th July 2022 continued with its Solade Adams Public Lecture Series on the topic: Understanding the District Block Representation (DBR) System/Proportional Representation (PR) at the Great Hall of the Goderich campus in Freetown.
Dr. Julius Spenser, former Minister of Information, poet and play writer, revealed that the PR system means changing from the DBR winner takes all system, that the current political system is divisive, that the country is almost in the middle of moving towards ethnicity, that politicians fan the flames of ethnicity, that politics has now become a do or die battle and the surest way to get wealth while the majority of the people are not served and that people think they have no stake in governance lamenting that everything in the country is now politicized.
He continued that the country is not focused on development, that the first past the post political system is not good for the country as worldwide it protects only two parties and that the PR system facilitates the election of legislators, enhances fair representation of all, is the must-widely used system in the world with 94 out of 195 countries in the world practicing it.
According to Dr. Spenser, politicians are selfish and want to monopolize power, that the PR system breeds violence including inter and intra-party violence, that the country used the PR system in the 2007 and 2012 elections, that the threshold to win a seat in the PR is based on the percentage of votes, that the PR system has benefits for the people and mentioned the two different types of PRs- the party list, the close and open party list respectively.
In his presentation, the former Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Mr. Mohamed Nfai Alie Contehcommended the government of President Julius Maada Bio for transforming the institution to a Technical University, clarified that he is not a politician, that an electoral system is the arrangement by which votes are cast, that Sierra Leone’s electoral system stems from its colonial past, that politicians choose the electoral system that works for them considering social factors like the civil war.
He went on to reveal that there are inherent advantages of the PR system, recalled that in 2002 the entire country was one constituency, that the District Block System is very unique to the country, that the number of votes are divided by the number of seats in Parliament, that with the PR system people vote for the party list and not individuals and that the District Block system was used in the 2002 elections.
According to Mr. Mohamed N’fa Alie Conteh, there are no bye-elections in the PR system that was used in the 1996 and 2002 elections because the entire country was not accessible due to the rebel war as well as access to reliable data.
He further highlighted the merits of the PR system as fair relationship between votes cast and seats in parliament, fair representation of minorities, cost-effective, no bye-elections, improves women’s representation in parliament citing Rwanda with the highest number of women in parliament worldwide, inclusiveness, protects minority interests, secures representation of all parties and groups, less lobbying and other forms of pressure, gives ample choice of candidates to voters, avoids wastage of votes informing that the District Block is a form of PR.
Cataloging the demerits of the PR, Mr. Mohamed N’fa AlieConteh said it encourages splinter parties that leads to coalitions, has technical difficulties, that voters do not have the opportunity to influence their choice of candidates, no link between Members of Parliament and the people concluding that the PR system has more advantages for the country than the District Block.
The chairman of the Independent Media Commission and chairman of the event, Dr. Victor Massaquoi recalled three years ago when the first Solade Adams Public Lectures were held during which the family of the honoree was invited, that the two speakers who are heavyweights would discuss the merits and demerits of the PR and District Block systems to increase the knowledge and understanding of both lecturers and students as well as create a communication link to disseminate the outcome.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Vice Chancellor and principal of MMTU, Dr. Philip John Kanu enlightened that the Solade Adams Public Lectures is in honor of the first African principal of the institution and that it is prudent for the university to discuss critical national issues and proffer solutions to be cascaded to the people.
The Acting Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, MMTU, Mr. Ishmael Kebby, introduced the two speakers.
Highlights of the event were the question and answer session and the vote of thanks by a student.
Participants pose for a group photo after the program
The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has over the weekend ended its orientation program and inauguration ceremony for incoming executives of the association.
The event, which took place at J & E Hotel, Koribundu Road, Bo City, Southern Sierra Leone, was for newly-elected and outgoing SLAJ executive members across the regions. Heads of affiliate bodies of SLAJ and Secretariat staff were also invited to be part of the program so they will understand the operations of the parent body and how to relate to and support the Association.
Making a presentation on the association’s Financial Management Policy, Isha Kamara- a representative from Freetown Nominees Limited (the institution that manages SLAJ’s finances)- notes that the draft Finance Manual which the new SLAJ Executive will review and adopt will not only assist the finance team in the day-to-day execution of accounting operating procedures but also help them understand their relationship to audit materials.
She notes that cash management is a key component since cash is the key to every institution’s daily operations. She emphasisesthat all audit trails must be properly filled to ensure transparency and accountability. (Audit trails include documentation, media, and financial transactions).
The financial manual, she continues, will provide management with pathways to attain the goals and objectives of the Association. Its main function is to measure organisationalefficiency through proper allocation, acquisition, and management. It also provides a guide in financial planning and assists in acquiring funds from different sources.
Key components of the manual point out that, in line with best practices the President must be in the know and a key signatory for the release of cash, cheque, or transfer transactions.
Each document, Isha stresses, must meet certain requirements including the fact that all documents must be financially correct with all supporting documentation attached. Every transaction, it states, must be within the regulations of the donors, SLAJ’s financial procedures, and General Accounting Principles.
In his presentation on Project Implementation, Dr. Francis Sowa- National Coordinator of the Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRCG), guides the SLAJ project team on important components they must take note of in project management. The session is to equip the team to better execute, monitor, and handle the various projects SLAJ is currently implementing. The term Project, he says, refers to any temporary endeavour with a definite beginning and an end.
“Project implementation or project execution is the phase where visions and plans become reality. That means we are all in this big SLAJ project and we must know about project implementation to succeed,” says Dr. Sowa.
He warns that projects must be taken seriously because all the institution’s hard-earned reputation can be lost if just one project is not properly managed and implemented.
The implementation phase, he says, is the phase where the team carries out activities described in a laid down work plan. He mentions that the two main components that must be accurately done in the implementation of a project are the narrative report and the financial report.
Joseph Egbenda Kapuwa Esq (COOR), Director General of the SLBC, admonishes the new executives on their constitutional roles and responsibilities as enshrined in the SLAJ revised constitution. He maintains that all regional and national executive members must work in line with the vision of the President of the Association to achieve the institution’s aims and objectives. He advises all executive members that even though they are all elected officials they are firstly directly answerable to the President, and secondly to the membership.
He picks the brain of members on several constitutional provisions which he says will be looked into when the association reviews its constitution, an action which he says is ‘urgently needed’.
Dr. Julius Spencer shares his wealth of experience when he talks about Governance, Management, and Fundraising. He references several sections of the Companies Act of 2009 as amended in 2014, pointing to leadership, delegated responsibilities from the Board of Directors (the National Executives), separation of functions, checks, and balances, and management of essential staff.
He reiterates the points made by lawyer Kapuwa, making special emphasis on the management structure and how SLAJ should be run as a company limited by Guarantee in line with the Companies Act and the institution’s constitution.
In the area of fundraising, Dr. Spencer encourages SLAJ to seek funds from projects using its credibility and track record in managing its existing projects. He says projects can even be sought from non-SLAJ members, and this he says will add up to the membership dues which can be collected using new and improved methods with the aid of technology. He says the national and regional executives must be creative, and innovative and should think outside the box in raising funds to sustain the Association’s operations.
Making his presentation on Vision, Approach, and Visibility, SLAJ President Ahmed Sahid Nasralla informs the membership that his SALT manifesto which stood for Stimulate/Strengthen, Appreciate, Listen/Learn, and Transfer, basically targeted the mindsets of journalists and reinforced their roles and responsibilities with regard to responsible practice and the overall growth of the media in Sierra Leone officially ends on Saturday 23rd July 2022 and a new Manifesto titled MEAL is immediately born.
The new manifesto MEAL, the acronym for Mobilize, Evaluate, Allocate and Liberate, he says, seeks to consolidate the gains made in the SALT manifesto by continuing with the SLAJ project of defending, promoting, and protecting free speech and free media whilst strengthening professionalism, financial sustainability, and accountability at national and regional levels.
President Nasralla notes that when running for office three years ago he promised to look into the welfare of journalists, address the gender imbalance in SLAJ and the media, provide mentorship and training for members, and advocate for the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law. He says to a large extent his executive succeeded in achieving the SALT manifesto promises.
Key among the successes include the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law and the passing of the IMC Act 2020, the annual Government of Sierra Leone subvention to SLAJ (which has been increased by H.E. President Bio), launching of a Journalism Welfare Fund to promote public interest journalism and to support journalists in times of emergencies, establishing a Gender Advisory Panel to help SLAJ address gender imbalance in the media, increasing the membership intake (with the highest number of female members) whilst attracting a lot of qualified people with various academic credentials among several other achievements.
President Nasralla also mentions the national media viability and investment conference and its prospect of establishing a national basket fund to support public interest journalism in Sierra Leone; the biggest gains ever made in the World Press Freedom rankings since the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, and successful celebration of the Association’s 50th Independence Anniversary.
He uses the opportunity to appreciate the entire membership of SLAJ for the overwhelming confidence reposed in him to continue as President of SLAJ for the second and final term UNOPPOSED.
He recognises the national and regional executives, Affiliate bodies, and partners including MRCG, Guild, IRN, Mass CommUSL, Bournemouth University UK, BBC Media, IMDEV, IMC, RAIC, HRSCL, and NPDC.
He further acknowledges donors and sponsors including Mercury International, Orange, Africell, UBA, RCB, SLCB, GTBank, and the Diplomatic Community for their continued support of media development in Sierra Leone.
President Nasralla also recognises the Government of Sierra Leone for its continued support of media development initiatives and for ensuring Sierra Leone joins the Global Media Coalition.
Conclusively, President Nasralla notes that in implementing the MEAL manifesto he shall use his usual approach of teamwork, inclusivity (leaving no one behind), dialogue, engagement, consultations, and receptive to constructive criticism.
Former SLAJ President Kelvin Lewis shares his experience with the incoming executive and urges them to change the face of SLAJ. He notes that although President Nasralla has made quite a success a lot more needs to be done to improve the association.
Lewis encourages the regions to work in tandem with the National executive whilst calling for improved transparency and accountability. He encourages Nasralla to continue to improve the structures (including the annual audit report and the new draft finance manual) which he says will make SLAJ an accountable and respectable institution.
The program ends with an experience-sharing session by the outgoing executive members across the regions, an official handing over to the newly elected executive members, and an inauguration.
Intelligence from Europe reached the security sector in Sierra Leone that a certain ship was traveling with contraband goods; cocaine, arms and ammunition and the container was arrested on the 22nd July 2022 after it traveled from different countries which made the then Inspector General of Police, Ambrose M. Sovula together with other police officers had 72 hours of sleepless night. At the end of inspection the press was informed that the container only contained Gizzards.
June 5th 1975 was a historic day diamond turned to stone under President Dr. Siaka Problyn Stevens.
On the 15th July, 2008 Marine Foreign Nationals and some policemen/civilians working in and around the airport at Lungi were also arrested for the offense of trafficking cocaine. That was certified by the Pharmacy Board. Some people were convicted for the cocaine but when the substance was burnt, it was a white powdery substance.
According to reliable source, the container reached our SierraLeone Ports – the Queen Elizabeth 11 Quay on Friday 22 July, 2022 and went through scanning as a preliminary check out but the police alleged that they were not satisfied. So they asked that the container be taken to Kingtom Police Mess for thoroughly scrutiny instead of taking it to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) or the Transnational Organized Crime Unit (TOCU) at Hastings.
On that same day, almost all the top security officers including the military faded off, leaving the white 40ft container in the hands of the police with the Kingtom police mess gate closed.
The Police said that journalists should have press view of the content in the container on Monday.
At about 8:45 am on Monday, we went to Kingtom but the door was tight fit; no civilian was given access.
We waited till 10am as proposed by Head of Police Media, Assistant Commissioner, Brima Kamara (Media One) but still nobody could talk to the press until the Minister of Information,Mohamed Rahman Swaray joined the press. He knocked at the door and one of the police officers opened the gate before all of use (press) rushed into the building.
Within 30 minutes, the former IG Sovula came with a convoy, alighted and walked to the container. He called for the Fire Force, Ambulance and waited for National Revenue Autority(NRA), Office of National Security (ONS), CID officials and other military officers.
There was just a small silver padlock on the container which was opened.
Surprisingly, the container was not in fact having any seal for identification nor was the container full with gizzards but rather it was empty at the top.
Police officers were called to help do the labor work; transfer of gizzards to another frozen container.
The container was offloaded for two days and nothing of police interest was found, so the police Media Director addressed the press and we departed.
I have never seen any half loaded container from other countriesto Africa including Sierra Leone. Why was this container not handed over to TOCU? Why was the then IG so instrumental in this container issue rather than his subordinate?
The I. G threatened us that we should all wait for experts to open the container but till the whole exercise was concluded I did not see any experts.
To conclude, why until now the importer of the container is not known as the former IG said ‘we should not be interested in the importer as that is not important’.
The Bo Campus administration of Njala University has rusticated over 50 students for engaging in various forms of examination malpractices during the First Semester Examinations.
Those rusticated and who are due to exit the shores of NjalaUniversity for one academic year, were studying different disciplines in the Schools of Education, Community Health Sciences and School of Social Sciences and Law.
Also, two female students formally (FK Kamara-Final Year, B Sc. Nursing and FJ Mallah-Second Year-SRN Upgrading) were expelled from the University for taking part in illegal admission syndicate.
The Campus Administration headed by Professor Mohamed Syed Fofanah has uncompromisingly waged war on all forms of examination malpractices.
The affected students were duly investigated consistent with principles of natural justices.
It could be recalled that in an effort to curb the menace of exam malpractices in both Kowama and Towama locations of Bo Campus, last year, 84 students were rusticated for a period of one year for their involvement in various forms of exam malpractices.
Meanwhile, members of the Public including a retired medical practitioner, John Kortu have lauded the Njala University Administration for this bold move describing it as an effort towards complementing the strides of the President Bio led Government in promoting the ideals of Quality Education.
“Examination malpractices appear to be a celebrated norm in most educational institutions, the Universities need to set firm precedents to jettison these awful celebrated occurrences” heopined.
Thursday’s situation report from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) states that 56 children are admitted at the Kenema District Hospital for suspected food poisoning.
It was reported on Wednesday that the victims (patients) attended a graduation ceremony party later on Tuesday where it was alleged that some ate cake, others ginger beer, and some just water. They started experiencing weakness few minutes later.
The SITREP from MOHS adds that 25 adults (male 4, female 21) are also admitted.
Most common presentations on admission: generalized weakness, unconsciousness, and convulsion.
One reported death case from the community – Female, age 1 year 2 months. 22% of the cases are now fully conscious. 80 % of admitted cases have recovered from presenting conditions.
Action taken and response
• Activation of the RRT at district level
• Establishment of Treatment centre in the Government Hospital
• Investigated reported cases and ongoing surveillance system to identify contact, identifying of more cases
• Food samples collected from the community in party house
• Blood and urine samples collected from the admitted patients and prepared to be transported to the reference laboratory in Freetown
• Debriefing of Pillar and Press conference with DCMO Clinical and Hon. Deputy Minister of Health by 5 pm 27/07/2022
• Further meeting with health partners to galvanize more support at district level
• Radio program with media at 8 PM(Nyapui Radio with simulcast to Starline Radio Kamboi Radio and Radio Islam) Deputy Minister MOHS, DCMO Clinical, DMO, MS Kenema
His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has presided over a special virtual summit, the second APR Forum of Heads of State and Government, that also discussed peer review efforts and unconstitutional changes in Africa.
“At a time when our continent is being buffeted by new winds of political instability, our commitment to the APRM is more than just a critical affirmation of our own agency and an endorsement of institutional building. It also demonstrates our resolve to address questions of unconstitutional changes of government, peaceful dissent, and free and fair elections.
“We are meeting today, virtually, to peer review the reports of the Republic of Kenya. I commend my brother President UhuruKenyatta for opening up his country to the review team from the APRM Continental Secretariat.
President Bio, who expressed his delight to participate, in his new capacity as Chairperson of the APR Forum of Heads of State and Government, noted that the continent was disproportionately affected by a conflict to which Africa was not a party, adding that the African Union’s position had been clear from the beginning that it would refuse to take sides but would encourage belligerents to negotiate with a view to ending a war that could have devastating ramifications way beyond the theatre of war.
“I am encouraged by the calls for peace made by my peers across the continent. I particularly want to commend the robust diplomatic initiative, spearheaded by the Chairperson of our African Union, His Excellency Macky Sall, to seek an amicable settlement and, therefore, attenuate the severe effects of the conflict on our continent.
“The APRM team analysed progress on the Big Four Agenda and other salient issues in Kenya. Additionally, it is also noteworthy that Kenya has conducted the most targeted reviews at once.
“From the growing number of targeted and country reviews undertaken by the APRM, I am heartened that there is an inflexible focus by African countries on accelerating progress towards the achievement of the goals and priority areas of our AU’s Agenda 2063. Indeed, there is a growing recognition that we can realise our continent’s big dreams and untapped potentials,” he noted.
In his statement, the Chief Executive Officer of the African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM Secretariat, Professor Edy Maloka, said he was happy to address the forum of African leaders and thanked President Bio, as Chairperson of the APR Forum, and the people of Sierra Leone for the warm welcome since they arrived Freetown for the hybrid summit.
He further went on to thank all Heads of State and Government of the Forum for the guidance and support provided to the APRM and for allowing the Special Summit to hold, including the discussions around the peer review of the Targeted Review Report of the Republic of Kenya on the Presidential Big 4 Agenda.
CEO Maloka recalled that the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the AU raised concerns over the upsurge of unconstitutional changes of government on the continent, citing President Bio’s submission to his peers for the AGR-2023 to focus on those challenges.
He concluded by highlighting a few achievements of the APRM since its last summit, which among other things, were the preparation for the second review of Sierra Leone, training and capacity building for stakeholders in Sierra Leone, Namibia, Niger and Nigeria on developing implementable national progress of actions.
Afrimoney last Friday signed a partnership agreement with PowerGen in relation to customers’ welfare and safety especially those who use Afrimoney to continue sending the digital money to their relatives and loved ones in the provinces and for those using PowerGen solar lights to subscribe for their relatives through payment with Afrimoney.
Country Manager for PowerGen Sierra Leone, Hassan Suma thanked the Director of Afrimoney & team as well as the media for their continued efforts and for believing in partnership.
“PowerGen is a rural renewable energy. It’s based in the United States of America and also has headquarters in Kenya. We started our operation in Sierra Leone in 2018 and PowerGen has been a service provider to almost 3000 customers whom have benefitted from our services across the country”, he said.
CM Suma added: “Today is a historical day for PowerGenand Afrimoney which I believe would be recorded in history. We have signed twenty years contract agreement with the government of Sierra Leone, that means PowerGen and Afrimoney will enjoy a twenty-year partnership and it will even continue after our contract with the government of Sierra Leone ends. I can assure you that we will renew our partnership”.
He said PowerGen is publicly financed by DIVD. According to Barrie, they started their project under the rural renewable energy in the Southeast of Sierra Leone, adding that they have got 12000 households that are currently enjoying PowerGen. He mentioned towns like Tihun, Bo, Bonthe and other places in the Southeast. Suma promised that they are working to expand their operation to the Northern part of Sierra Leone.
He informed that they have the solar and the hybrid that charge light instantly. He ended by saying ‘wherever you see PowerGen say darkness bye bye’.
Director of Afrimoney Sierra Leone, Martison Obeng-Agyeiacknowledged members of the fourth estate by saying they are very reliable partners, noting that whenever there is a partnership their desire is to work for the people of Sierra Leone. He said he believes in partnership and therefore, for them to serve the people of Sierra Leone they need willing partners as well so that they can collaborate well. He even quoted the book of Genesis chapter one where God said ‘let there be light and there was light’. “It means God himself hates darkness. So I am pleading to the people of Sierra Leone to help make this partnership a reality”, he said.
“My brother here said PowerGen can now boast of having 12000 households. On that note, I believe that if six persons are living in a house, 3 to 4 people would use phone in that particular household and by 2020 there were 3.3 mobile phones in Sierra Leone”, he lamented.
He assured the people of Sierra Leone that the partnership is not only for Afrimoney and PowerGen but for the people of Sierra Leone.
He concluded by thanking the Country Manager of PowerGenand team and promised that Afrimoney will continue to be with them throughout their partnership.
Some people were curious to know if PowerGen facilities are available in Freetown but Mr Suma said they only operate in the provinces; the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) is in Freetown. He said their tariff system is cheaper for their customers in the interiors.