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Welcome to the Expotimes News
Advertising reduces SLBC’s news airtime
Written by Francis Sowa   
Monday, 15 July 2013 18:04

Have you seen this on the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) television news bar, “Viewers are informed that from Tuesday 9th July 2013 to 9th August 2013 some programmes on radio and television will be affected especially the television news bulletin from 9:30 – 10:30 p.m. as the Africell Ramadan Promotion will be aired live. Consequently the 9:00 p.m. news will be run for thirty minutes.” I am asking this question not because I have issues with either the SLBC or Africell. In fact, I will proudly state that I learnt basic broadcast journalism at the then Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) now SLBC and even worked for the institution for over five years. I have enormous respect for the SLBC. I am concerned because I am still convinced and persuaded that the SLBC management got it wrong by deciding to reduce the airtime of its news programme for promotion.

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The Hague, Netherlands: World Justice Forum Ends Tomorrow
Written by Bai-Bai Sesay reports from The Hague   
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 20:08

The World Justice Project (WJP), an organization dedicated to working with diverse stakeholders to advance the rule of law around the world, will conclude its fourth World Justice Forum tomorrow July 11, 2013 at the World Forum in The Hague, Netherlands.

WJP organized the world justice forum as a global gathering designed to improve the state of the world by engaging leaders and change agents in business, government, civil society, academia, journalists and other sectors to develop practical, multidisciplinary programmes to strengthen the rule of law.

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Sierra Leone Imams Honoured In Kuwait
Written by Alhaji M.B. Jalloh, Information Attaché, Saudi Arabia   
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 18:17

The Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs of the State of Kuwait in collaboration with the Islamic Cultural Centre this week concluded a 3 - month intensive course in Arabic language and other Islamic subjects; with special focus on Islamic Tolerance.

Twenty Imams from different parts of Sierra Leone participated in the 11 Nations Islamic session including, Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden, among many other countries.

According to the Charge D' Affaires at the Sierra Leone Mission in Kuwait, Mohamed Conteh, the training programme of the Imams was successfully negotiated by President Koroma’s envoy to the State of Kuwait, H.E Ibrahim Bakarr Kamara with the Kuwaiti Under Secretary of the Ministry of Emdowment, Dr Adel Al-Fallah.

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Sierra Leone’s Trade Minister talks on his visit to China
Written by John Baimba Sesay-Beijing, China   
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 18:06

The name Usman Boie Kamara is not new in Sierra Leone, especially with the framework of party politics. From being a former Mines Director, to a leading figure in the governing All Peoples Congress in Sierra Leone, Usman Boie Kamara has been a key player in that small West African state where he is at the moment serving as Trade and Industry Minister. With a daunting task of addressing street trading, and ensuring more industries into the country, Minister Kamara has seen all of these as refreshing experiences.

Politically, he helped in destabilizing the main opposition SLPP by taking votes from them to the APC when he was denied the party leadership and thus joined the APC. His coming to the APC was seen by many as the right decision he made, given his commitment to seeing Sierra Leone’s growth. Known by many as a respected, quite, hardworking but unassuming statesman, Usman Boie Kamara was in the People’s Republic of China on an official function all gearing towards supporting his country’s drive to prosperity, as contained in the document being used by the country’s President, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma to administer and direct the affairs of the state, the Agenda for Prosperity’.

In this interview, I caught up with him in his hotel room few hours prior to his departure for Sierra Leone. He spoke on a range of issues; from his visit to China; his activities so far as Trade Minister; the issue of street trading and price control since he assumed that office few months ago, and plans on developing Sierra Leone’s local content policy. This was how it all went:

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Confucius Institute Summer Camp Program Launched in Chinese Embassy
Written by Credit: Chinese Embassy in Freetown   
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 18:01

On July 9, the Confucius Institute Summer Camp Program 2013 for Fourah Bay College Secondary School was formally launched in Chinese Embassy. Present at the ceremony were Chinese ambassador H. E. Mr. KUANG Weilin, local director of the Confucius Institute Mr. Kenneth Osho, director of the Confucius Institute Prof. Liu Hande, as well as some parents and the 20 students who will go to China for the Summer Camp Program.

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Editorial

26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.

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Business News

PARLIAMENT RATIFIES TWO AGREEMENTS TO IMPROVE ON PORTS FACILITIES

The Parliament of Sierra Leone on Monday 04th December 2017 debated and ratified two additional agreements aimed at improving and expanding Ports facilities in Sierra Leone to be at par with international best practices.

Presenting both Agreements prior to ratification, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Balogun Koroma said that the additional Agreements are geared towards addressing some of the concerns raised by MPs, in respect of expanding our Ports facilities to accommodate larger vessels, and the issuance of license with the view of combating money laundering, contra-band goods, and attracting more funds for Government.

Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of the House, also supported the ratification of the two Agreements, saying if our Ports are not developed, we would not be able to attract huge vessels; thus the need for the continuous improvement of our Ports facilities.

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Media News

"President Koroma is a big disappointment to press freedom" - SLAJ

Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, has said that President Ernest Bai Koroma has disappointed the media on press freedom in the country. 

“Successive governments have given us false hopes on the repeal of the criminal libel law. The politicians have lied to us. They have taken us to be big fools. President Koroma is our biggest disappointment. We had high hopes in him but he failed us woefully. So we will not trust any politician again, because when they get into office they forget about their promises,” said Nasralla.
 
Nasralla was speaking last Friday while formally launching a report on criminal defamation laws in Africa by PEN Sierra Leone at the SLAJ Harry Yansaneh Memorial Hall, Campbell Street, Freetown. 
 
He recalled that before he was first elected President of the Republic in 2007, President Koroma was a staunch campaigner against criminal libel law in Sierra Leone, but when he became President he suddenly had a different view.
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Commentary

Reasons why Sierra Leoneans Must Think beyond Tribal and Regional Lines Before Casting their Ballots This Time

As the national or general elections loom in Sierra Leone and, as a true citizen, I solemnly pray and hope with all hopes that Sierra Leoneans of the voting age will consider carefully who they would vote for, come March 2018. The divisive and immature nature of politics as it exists in Sierra Leone has, to a greater extent, contributed to the country lagging behind nearly all other countries in terms of progressive development. My readers should be mindful of the fact that certain countries in Africa would rather develop retrogressively than progressively, a situation wherein governments embark on ego-boosting programs that aren’t beneficial to the average citizen.

A government which expends its energy for the benefit of the people is a progressive government and that is what Sierra Leoneans want at this time after being in the doldrums for ages. It is therefore absolutely necessary for fellow citizens to refrain from casting their valued votes in favor of candidates because of tribal or regional affiliations but on how genuine and capable that candidate is, otherwise stagnation in progress is bound to follow.

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View Point

THE LIBYAN/NORTH AFRICAN “MODERN SLAVE TRADE” SAGAS

Your Excellency Sir,

I write this piece with extreme emotive disdain, in reflection on the “Libyan/North African Modern Slave Trade” horrendous saga - enjoining it with the “Mediterranean Genocide.”  Let me commence by lending my voice to that of countless Africans, who have risen in gross condemnation of this barbaric and heinous “subhuman” trade and phenomenon across the deserts and seas. Those inhumane treatments have lately been also condemned by the UN system, the AU, the ECOWAS and the EU, (alongside several international human right actors); after these ruthless human trafficking syndicates and desperate refuge seeking adventures were graphically brought to the glare of the entire world by the international press.

It is extremely appalling and unimaginable that some of our fellow Africans and Arabs could morally degenerate to such an extent in the 20th and 21st centuries, as to treating their fellowmen in such gruesome, despicable and horrific manner, as inflicting terrible physical tortures, only comparable to that of the “Nazi concentration camps” in the 20th century, infamously referred to as “the holocaust.” Sadly though, this trade that has just been recently trumpeted, has been going on for over half a century right at the fringes of the so-called “civilized and free world,” and under the watchful eyes and impassivity of our continental and global organizations and actors. As such, I could rightfully refer to these dastardly trades as the “neo-colonial slave trade.” What absurdity and aberration!!   

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News - Press Release

PPRC and UNDP Re-activate District Code Monitoring Committee

The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) in league with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday 7th December 2017 re-activated the District Code Monitoring Committee (DCMC).

At a ceremony held at the Family Kingdom in Freetown, the programme brought together members from the fourteen registered political parties, the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), the Office of National Security (ONS), Traditional Leaders, the Media and Civil Society Organizations from the sixteen districts in Sierra Leone.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Programme, Commissioner Babatunde Pratt says Sierra Leone has come a long way in building our democratic process. This he says has however not been an easy task as we are still faced with the horrors of our past. Regional divide, violence, political intolerance among others he says have marred our political space and if not nip on the bud will affect the growth and political stability of the country.

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Society -Local News

Ambassador of The Islamic Republic of Iran takes formal leave of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

(MFAIC Press Office, 6thDecember, 2017). His Excellency Lotfollah Bakhtiari, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran accredited to Sierra Leone and resident in Freetown, has taken formal leave of the Minister of State 1 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr.  Mohammed Gibril Sesay, at the Ministry’s office, Tower Hill, Freetown.

In his farewell statement to the Minister of State 1 and Senior Management staff of the Ministry, His Excellency Lotfollah Bakhtiari on behalf of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran conveyed sincere gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the warm reception given to the Iranian community and organisations/or institutions operating in the country.

The outgoing Ambassador underscoredthat in spite the devastating impact of the Ebola scourge in Sierra Leone, coupled with the international challenges facing his country, he has always remained focused and committed in the cause of maintaining, strengthening and broadeningthe  bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Iran and the Republic of Sierra Leone through the implementation of a variety of programmes and projects.

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Development

UNITED STATES COMMISSIONS 151 SCHOOL STRUCTURES TO SUPPORT GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE EDUCATION PRIORITIES

On November 21,2017 the United States Department for Agriculture (USDA), through Catholic Relief Services (CRS), commissioned 151 school structures to support the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST)in promotingquality learning environments within five vulnerable chiefdoms of Koinadugu District, northern Sierra Leone.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by the Honorable Minister of Education, Dr. Minkailu Bah,other senior MEST officials, and 6 Paramount Chiefs and Regents from the “All Pikin for Learn” intervention area.

The program ‘All Pikin for Learn,’funded by USDA’s McGovern-Dole (MGD) International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program since 2008, is a food assistance and education program that seeks to improve the enrollment, attendance and literacy,along with health and dietary practices, of primary school-aged children.

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Politics

President Koroma outlines his government achievements in closing address to Parliament

President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Supreme Head of State and Grand Commander of the Order of the Republic, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Fountain Head of Unity, Honour, Freedom and Justice at Parliament Building, Tower Hill, Freetown

on Thursday, 7th December, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. On the Occasion of the Dissolution of the Fourth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone in the Chamber of Parliament Building, Tower Hill, Freetown

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