Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Default Text Size
OOPS. Your Flash player is missing or outdated.Click here to update your player so you can see this content.
Featured Links:
EXpoNet Services!
Subscribe Now
Subscribe Now.
Written by Rev. Dr. Abraham J. Williams   
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 12:43


 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.
Best Regards,
Rev. Dr. Abraham J. Williams
 (Clergyman/Human Rights Advocate)
Tel (+231) 888 229 348


Last Updated on Thursday, 28 September 2017 08:45


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.


Business News

Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone

John D. Okrafo-Smart, Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone and gives his insight into the banking landscape.

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.


Media News

Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

The incidents of freedom of expression rights violations in West Africa more than tripled in the first quarter (January-March) of 2017.

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.




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.”


View Point

The APC Convention: A political façade, if not a joke!

Thanks to AYV partnered by AFCOM, I was able to followthe live coverage of the APC and SLPP conventions on my mobile phone from my base in the UK.It was good that both conventions took place simultaneously last week end (October 15-16, 2017) because, at the very least, it provided the opportunity to those keenly following the two historic events to compare and contrast them, not least in terms of democratic processes and procedures. Let me start by talking about how I saw the APC convention held in Makeni, then compare,and contrast it with what I saw at the SLPP convention held in Freetown.


News - Press Release

EU Election Exploratory Mission meets Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

(MFAIC Press Office, 18th October, 2017). The European Union Election Exploratory Mission to Sierra Leone led by Head of European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, H.E. Tom Vens has paid a working visit to the Minister, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara and Senior Management Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the Ministry’s office in Tower Hill, Freetown.

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.


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

• Only about half of the world’s women hold paid jobs

• Globally, women earn 77 per cent of what men get

• Three in five women worldwide lack maternity leave, many pay “motherhood penalty”

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.”



U.S. Ambassador launches National Early Warning Systems Project, funded by USAID

On Wednesday, October 18, U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Maria E. Brewer, announced the official launch of the USAID West Africa-funded “Mitigating Election Violence through National Early Warning Systems” (NEWS) project and the inauguration of the National Elections Response Group in Sierra Leone.

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.



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

President Dr Ernest BaiKoroma has informed Sierra Leoneans that, “I am very proud that we have people like Ansumana. We need many more Ansumana Usman Koromas that will go out there as Ambassadors of our country, showing and telling a good story about Sierra Leone.”

Whilst speaking at his Presidential office in Freetown, President Koroma affirmed that, “I am very proud of Ansumana and I am encouraging him to do more by helping his people.”

Copyright © 2017 expotimesonline. All rights reserved.