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REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT PDF Print E-mail

A PASSIONATE LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT:  44TH EDITION

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT
 Your Excellency Sir,
 It’s been six months since I subscribed to my usual publications of this piece. And this is primarily because I have been out of the country for the entire period, and as such would not normally objectively tender a subscription. I do apologize to my readers for this. So having being in Monrovia, Liberia for the recently concluded ECOWAS Summit, I would like to do some analysis on such a historic august body and gathering of this sub-Saharan/West African region.
 
In resume, among other crucial achievements, ECOWAS, through its military apparatus, ECOMOG, played very sacrificial and invaluable roles in bringing peace, security and democratic governance to both Sierra Leone and Liberia during their past civil wars, and most recently ensuring that the Gambian people’s democratic change of government from the notorious dictatorial twenty seven years regime of Yaya Jarmeh, to the current government of President Adama Barrow, through their tactical robust intervention, overseen by President Helen JohnsonSirleaf of Liberia and other ECOWAS Presidents/actors, was enforced. Furthermore, ECOWAS has also spearheaded the enactment of several socio-political, advocacy and economic treaties in the sub region.
 
Also, more importantly, apart from its interventions, where armed/civil conflicts may be unavoidable, I would like to proffer that the ECOWAS parliament works much assiduously in its conflict prevention mechanism and impartial good governance structures and measures within its member states, though being cognizant of the independence and sovereignty of each member state. You may agree that conflict prevention is much cheaper and easier, socially, politically, militarily and economically than its resolution and management.
 
For real lasting security and peace to be realized in West Africa (and Africa,) the “herculean monster” of corruption, which brings about social and legal injustice and bad governance, must be decisively, sincerely and impartially tackled by the ECOWAS parliament and our respective member states.  I opine that, Corruption must be legally elevated to a treasonable offense, especially those of high magnitude; which must be punishable either by death or life solitary confinement. Lesser ones must also be made to attract stiff jail sentences and confiscation of properties as the case may be. Only this can lead us into meaningful, rapid and sustainable development, good governance and lasting societal security.  The prolonged menace of corruption with impunity breeds repression, which inadvertently, sooner or later, breeds rebellion and war.   
 
In addition, I do implore your good office to ensure that ECOWAS actors and election observers independently and sincerely observe and address the entire electioneering processes to ensure that they are truly free, fair and transparent indeed. So as to provide a level playing field for both incumbent and opposition political parties. This would certainly remove disaffection from all the political actors, thereby forestalling conflicts before, during and after elections.            
 
What was also very noteworthy was the inclusion of the Israeli Prime Minister in this year’s summit. Aside the few security exuberances that occurred, which I would not like to belabour on, I think Israel’s active international cooperation with Africa, in terms of fighting terrorism, agricultural and human resource development, as well as scientific and economic empowerment would be invaluable.  This cooperation must be explored as much as that of Africa and China.  In effect, with the increasing spate of global/Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, the extreme porosity of our borders, coupled with bad (poor) economies of most African states, our West Africa, could well be a viable target for so-called Islamic State/terrorist recruitment and activities. And it must further be noted that any country that identifies and/or embraces Israel receives the blessings of the Sovereign Lord of the universe, as implied in His word, the Holy Bible.      
 
 However, having travelled to some of the countries in sub Saharan Africa, both by land and air, I have observed that our cross border trade agreements are a complete fiasco. The unnecessary, cumbersome check points and systemic extortion of both businessmen and other commuters are very shameful and extremely unreflective of the ECOWAS treaties being enacted. Sometimes, it may even seem unnecessary to have obtained all your travel documents and requirements. Because you would still be made to pay illegal fees or be unduly detained before being released to go. Travelling with your private vehicle as a non government functionary /non diplomat can be even more frustrating. No matter how many documents you present, you would always be required to provide another, just so you cannot escape the border extortion syndicate. The schemes are just many.     
 
The common commodity ECOWAS intra trade taxations at the entry ports and border crossings that are meant to create affordable prices for the common man, are so irregular, subjective and criminal, to say the least. And very unfortunately, it is the struggling local businessmen and masses that bear the brunt of all these irregularities and disjointed trade signals. I am writing all of these observations just to make you understand what obtains on the ground at our ECOWAS legal entry points, especially as you travel by land; our systems are completely dysfunctional and even much counterproductive to the economic and   security interests of our countries.   
 
Sir, I trust that once again my pro bono observations, analysis and discourse would be relevant towards critical thinking and effecting necessary change for the general good and the betterment of the commoners especially.
 
MAY THE ALMIGHTY GOD HELP YOU!!! LAND THAT WE LOVE OUR SIERRA LEONE.   
 
Best Regards,
Rev. Dr. Abraham J. Williams
 (Clergyman/Human Rights Advocate)
Tel (+231) 888 229 348

 

 

Editorial

2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul

 

The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.

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Business News

ACC CAPACITATES SIERRA LEONE COMMERCIAL BANK STAFF ON ANTI-BRIBERY AND ANTI-CORRUPTION ISSUES

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on the request of the Management of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) on Thursday 20th July, 2017 commenced anti- bribery and anti-corruption training with staff of the Bank.

The training which was held in the Bank's Conference Room 9th Floor, Christian Smith Building 29/31 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown attracted over twenty members of the Executive Management.

Addressing colleagues, the Managing Director, SLCB, Idrissa Aloma Kamara disclosed that the Bank has integrated into the Bank's operations anti-corruption measures, such as the development of anti-corruption policy, anti-graft messages inscribed on Bank Statements and sensitization of staff on the dangers of corruption. With all these, the MD stated, it is the view of the Bank that the ACC which is the statutory body responsible for the campaign against corruption be brought in, to provide awareness training on anti-bribery issues for an efficient and effective banking system.

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Media News

44 Journalists in Beijing for China Development Studies and Media Exchange

The 4th session of the China Africa Press Center (CAPC) Program hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) was officially launched on Wednesday 1st March 2017 in Beijing, China. This year’s event is running simultaneously with the China South Asia Center 2017 program. Both programs brought together forty-four journalists from Africa and South Asia.

The program you will give journalists the opportunity to cover major domestic and international events in China such as the upcoming Two Sessions, i.e, the 5th Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) and the 5th Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese

People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (similar to Parliamentary sessions in many countries) in March, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May and the 9th BRICS Summit in Autumn this year.

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Commentary

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT

A PASSIONATE LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT:  44TH EDITION

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT
 Your Excellency Sir,
 It’s been six months since I subscribed to my usual publications of this piece. And this is primarily because I have been out of the country for the entire period, and as such would not normally objectively tender a subscription. I do apologize to my readers for this. So having being in Monrovia, Liberia for the recently concluded ECOWAS Summit, I would like to do some analysis on such a historic august body and gathering of this sub-Saharan/West African region.
 
In resume, among other crucial achievements, ECOWAS, through its military apparatus, ECOMOG, played very sacrificial and invaluable roles in bringing peace, security and democratic governance to both Sierra Leone and Liberia during their past civil wars, and most recently ensuring that the Gambian people’s democratic change of government from the notorious dictatorial twenty seven years regime of Yaya Jarmeh, to the current government of President Adama Barrow, through their tactical robust intervention, overseen by President Helen JohnsonSirleaf of Liberia and other ECOWAS Presidents/actors, was enforced. Furthermore, ECOWAS has also spearheaded the enactment of several socio-political, advocacy and economic treaties in the sub region.
Read more...

View Point

WHY SIERRA LEONEANS HATE PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT

Honestly speaking Sierra Leoneans are well known for their hospitality all over the world, especially in Africa. But ironically many of them hate each other. But they love foreigners. They have high respect for strangers. But unfortunately they do not have respect among themselves. You can attest this to what is happening in the social media. Where they are showing their pull him down (PhD) syndrome. By castigating their compatriots unnecessarily. Some of them just because of jealousy and envious evil spirit they possess. They prefer to promote foreigners than their own brothers and sisters both in and out of the country.

Day in day out they are insulting each other.They are using all sorts of vulgar languages against each other. And even their own highly respected president in the world, President Ernest Bai Koroma they are insulting him openly. Therefore, it is an open secret that many Sierra Leoneans are not well cultured.

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News - Press Release

ACC HEIGHTENS PNB CAMPAIGN IN COLLEGES

"Bribery and petty corruption undermines the Rule of Law, Effective service delivery and sustainable development," says the Regional Manager, ACC South, Samuel Marah on 28th June 2017 at the Njala University Kowama campus Bo, whilst addressing students and lecturers of the Department of Nursing on the need to curb petty corruption and bribery in the educational system in Sierra Leone.

Speaking on the effects of bribery and petty corruption, Samuel Marah noted that, the practice of bribery has overtly affected our justice system, enforcement of the rule of law and quality service delivery to the people of Sierra Leone which he said to tackle needs collective and collaborative effort.        

Mr. Marah said, the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign, which is the Commission's flagship project, is a data capturing tool, that shows trends of bribery in  five piloted   MDAs ( Health, Education, SLP , SALWACO and EDSA ) for informed decision making on the trends of bribery and to increase service delivery in the public sector institutions. He stressed  that, PNB reporting platform  is established by the ACC and its partners to empower citizens to anonymously report incidents of bribery and petty corruption by calling 515 free on all networks, visit the PNB website; www.pnb.gov.sl, or on the mobile application in Krio, Temne and Mende to make their complaints. Mr Marah implored his audience to join the campaign which he said is a national call to service.

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Society -Local News

HRCSL presents detention monitoring outcomes to stakeholders
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone(HRCSL) on Wednesday July 26th, 2017 at their headquarters at NEC Building  engaged relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies on the outcome of their monitoring of detention facilities and other social services.
 
The monitoring was carried out between January and April at the prisons, police cells, remand homes and probation facilities across the country.
 
The HRCSL Act No.9 of 2004 in section 7 (2)(f) requires the Commission to monitor and document human rights violations in Sierra Leone and section 9(1) gives the Commission powers to authorize persons whom they think are capable to act on their behalf, in order to access all government offices, facilities and places of detention including prisons, police cells, remand homes and probation facilities.
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Development

China-Aid Agricultural Technical Cooperation Project hand over Agriculture Materials to the Ministry of Agriculture

On  21st July ,2017 at a handing over ceremony held at Ogoo Farm in Freetown, China-Aid Agricultural Technical Cooperation Project Team handed agricultural materials to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS). 

The items include seed rice, maize, agro chemicals, fertilizer, pesticides and power tillers for farmers within the western area district. Dignitaries present included The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food security Prof. Monty Jones and his entourage ,  Mr Shen Xiaokai, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, the District agricultural officer, the Chinese technical team, National federation of farmers Sierra Leone representative and lot of farmers in the western Area.

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Politics

News from China, June 28th: Youth Affairs Minister addresses 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development in Beijing, China
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs has said, the 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development hosted by the Chinese government should help enhance the ties of friendship and foster the wheels of bilateral cooperation between the two nations and particularly strengthen cooperation in the field of human resource development.
 
Hon. Bai Mamoud Bangura spoke on Wednesday, 28th June, 2017, at the start of the week long Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation, which has brought together participants from various countries, including eight (8) from Sierra Leone.
 
According to minister Bangura, in line with the spirit of friendship and cooperation, the event could serve as an opportunity to jointly define new strategic directions in Sierra Leone’s ties with China and in opening up another episode of friendship and cooperation between the two.
Read more...
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