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Message from International Women’s Day 2017: ‘We want a woman as President of Sierra Leone’ PDF Print E-mail
Society
Written by Ahmed SahidNasralla (De Monk)   
Friday, 10 March 2017 10:38

The rebel war started in neighbouring Liberia and spilled into Sierra Leone. The Ebola Virus Disease outbreak entered into Sierra Leone after hitting Liberia. Yes, these are unfortunate incidents but it makes sense to predict that since Liberia has a woman as their President Sierra Leone is ready or may not be too far away from a woman presidency.

This is the reasoning of KadieJumu Peters, Chairperson of the Board of local Non-Governmental Organisation, SEND Sierra Leone, while giving the keynote address at a ceremony marking International Women’s Day 2017 at the Pendembu Community Center, Upper Bambara Chiefdom, Kailahun District, Eastern Sierra Leone.

The ceremony was organized by the community based organisationKailahun Women in Governance Network (KWiGN) with funding from Christian Aid through SEND Sierra Leone.

“We should be clamouring for a female President by now,” said Kadie. “Women have done a lot for Sierra Leone, and even President Ernest BaiKoroma has appointed women in many leadership positions because he believes in their abilities and they have excelled in those offices.”

Kadie said women leaders have a lot of patience in doing things and they have empathy for people, although sometimes they have to be stronger to prove that they match up with the strength of men.

“Globally women leaders have proven to be less corrupt, if not corrupt at all, and diligent in their duties.Take the household for example; they know every sector in the home and are very good in allocating resources and they manage the home well,” she said.

The former Director of Advocacy at Save the Children Sierra Leone and former Policy and Program Manager at Christian Aid Sierra Leone, challengedwomen to make the forthcoming 2018 elections to be an election for women, and promised that she would try in her own small way to lift women candidates up.

“We have to challenge ourselves as women, by asking ourselves: what have we done for our homes, our communities, our districts and our country? Women should support their fellow women for political office. This is the only sure way we can have women in the right places to influence policies that will ensure equal opportunities and equal access to the resources of the State for women and girls,” said Kadie.

She urged women to take advantage of the many opportunities available locally and internationally and close that space. Additionally, she encouraged women to utilize all the legislations and international treaties that favour them.

KadieJumu Peters was standing on solid ground when she made her bold call for a woman presidency in Sierra Leone. Kailahun District has the highest female representation in politics in the country. In the 2007 national elections Kailahun District elected seven women as Councillors; in 2012 the number rose to 12 and two Members of Parliament. In 2018 the women of Kailahun are aspiring to make it rhyme with 18 Councilors and eight MPs. And they already have anumeric slogan for this: ‘18-8-2018’.

But it seems Kadie has just challenged them to raise the bar higher.

Yet only one distinguished woman in the country has set her eyes on the presidency by declaring her intention to be the flag-bearer of her party, the All People’s Congress Party. Her name is ZainabHawaBangura.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editorial

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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

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Excerpts shared by Sheriff Mahmud Ismail

The Government of Sierra Leone is placing great priority in improving the business climate, enhancing infrastructure and support to private sector development. In line with the government focus, the Central Bank is targeting price stability in support of economic recovery, enhancing monetary policy instruments and liquidity management and also limiting intervention in the foreign exchange market, which will be important to preserve foreign exchange reserves.

The above measures will help in the strengthening of the banking system to support financial intermediation. Commercial banks are thus poised to benefit and take advantage of the improved economic and business environment by offering better services to their customers, including loans and overdrafts and forex to import, thereby creating wealth and boosting government revenue.

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Media News

Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

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Over the three-month period, a total of 47 violations were recorded as against 14 violations for the last quarter (October-December) of 2016. The violations recorded in the quarter under review range from arrests and detentions to physical attacks, online violations, shutdown of media houses, censorship, seizure and destruction of property and killings. The 47 violations occurred in 10 out of the 16 countries in West Africa.

 

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Commentary

Dr. Tam Baryoh’s Only Crime!

Boris Johnson as a Journalist worked at The Times and Daily Telegraph newspapers. He edited The Spectator newspaper between 1999 and 2006. He was Member of Parliament for Henley from 2001 to 2008 and was also Mayor of London. He is a member of the Conservative Party and the current UK Foreign Secretary.

Nnamdi Azikiwe was to serve as the first president of independent Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He opened and edited a number of newspapers in Ghana and Nigeria and later became an active politician. Obafemi Awolowo was a great Nigerian politician. He also was an active journalist and edited The Nigerian Worker, amongst other publications.

There is a clear link between politics and journalism though, there seems to be a very thin boundary, or perhaps, “a reflective door in the firewall, such that with time, politicians and journalists cross the line changing roles and moving from side to side,” argues Aminat Afolabi in a piece, titled ‘Politics and Journalism, the Interwoven Relationship between Them.”

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View Point

How and Why I endorse Julius Maada Bio for President?

I have

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Maada Bio is the second presidential candidate I have ever endorsed in Sierra Leone. The first was late president TejanKabbah during the campaigns in the 1996 general elections, which he won. I was then publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Expo Times, which won the best-selling newspaper award from the National Vendors Association that year. At the time, my newspaper was the largest circulation and most widely read newspaper in the country and my nearest competitors were For Di People and Concord Times. When the presidential election campaigns became heated and the battle lines were clearly drawn with the three front-runners, TejanKabbah of the SLPP, Karefa-Smart of the UNPP, and Thaimu Bangura of PDP (SORBEH), For Di People declared for and endorsed Karefa-Smart and the UNPP while Concord Times declared for and endorsed Thaimu Bangura and the PDP. Dr Prince Harding and Banda-Thomas then approached me to endorse and help TejanKabbah of the SLPP, who was then the clear frontrunner according to Opinion polls, to win the elections. 

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News - Press Release

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Ambassador Tom Vens stated that the EU Election Exploratory Mission is in Sierra Leone following an invitation by the Government of Sierra Leone for EU Electoral assistance, and to further discuss the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in facilitating EU Observer Mission for the March 2018 elections in the country. The EU Election Exploratory Missionas part of its mandate is in the country to draft and finalise the MOU with the Government of Sierra Leone through the Foreign Ministry.

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Society -Local News

The State of World Population 2017: Unchecked inequality and failure to protect the rights of poorest women could undermine peace and world’s development goals, new UNFPA report warns

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Freetown, SIERRA LEONE, 17 October 2017-Unless inequality is urgently tackled and the poorest women empowered to make their own decisions about their lives, countries could face unrest and threats to peace and development, according the The State of World Population 2017, published today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

The costs of inequalities, including in sexual and reproductive health and rights, could extend to the entire global community’s goals, adds the new UNFPA report, entitled, “Worlds Apart: Reproductive Health and Rights in an Age of Inequality.”

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Development

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Supported by $500,000 from USAID, NEWS is implemented by the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in Sierra Leone. The focus is to monitor and identify potential electoral violence triggers and assist government and non-government organizations in Sierra Leone to better mitigate them.
The National Elections Response Group (NERG) is a partnership under the NEWS project, between WANEP, the Inter-Religious Council, the Campaign for Good Governance, government stakeholders, representatives from the National Electoral Commission, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Office of National Security (ONS) and a number of civil society organizations.

The primary objective of the National Elections Response Group (NERG) is to monitor the elections environment, develop, and recommend strategies and actions to relevant stakeholders with authority to implement necessary response actions to prevent escalation of tensions or incidence of violence for a peaceful 2018 election. Members of the NERG will work closely with WANEP, the Integrated Election Security Planning Committee under the ONS, Provincial and District Election Security Committees – PROSEC and DISEC with an extensive network of civil society organizations and with 60 community monitors across the country to identify potential risks of electoral violence.

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Politics

PRESIDENT KOROMA SAYS… “I am very proud of Ansumana Usman Koroma”

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