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Well Done, China; thou art a Friend Indeed PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Editorial
Written by Expotimes   
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 11:51

The Ebola Killer Machine is in our region of the African continent, and Sierra Leone now has a good taste of its savagery – the nation is in awe of it and our government is in sleepless nights seeking ways to combat it. Distress messages and signals have been sent around the world – and one by one our friends are coming in with help.

  Like everyone knows by now, Sierra Leone doesn’t want help; we NEED it; and it brings hope to our hearts to see how other nations are responding to our distress and coming in, big time, with what we need.

  When Haiti, for example, was besieged with a hurricane, help came rushing in on time with little or no protocol – that, dear reader, makes one appreciate the neighbour principle, and the message of belonging to entities like the UN and its affiliates bodies seemed relevant and necessary.

  When Ebola struck our region, reports state that pledges were made which, if all were in by now, we would have seen a marked improvement in our fight against it. But, sadly enough, such help is being tied down to bureaucracy. You’re left with the feeling that our relevancy is second-rated compared with other regions, say, like the Middle East. If this is so, then you ask what’s the relevance of being signatories to bodies like the UN, if not but to further the interests of bigger nations like the USA and the UK, for example?

  Proper blame leveling will come later, certainly, but for now we will concentrate on the solutions, and giving praise where it is due.

  Yes, the World Health Organization has been here alongside our medical team and doing their bit in the fighting – but we will never forget that it was in their care that our lead doctor against Ebola, Dr. Umar Khan, died. We know for certain that if anyone should know the severity of the virus, it should be WHO, as they are on the ground. Late as it is, they have finally declared Ebola International Emergency (is it because the disease is now in Europe and the USA, among other regions). We thank them, but whether that praise is really due we will leave that to their consciences, if they have any at all.

  Now, China (let’s call them White Africans) has flown in medical assistance worth USD1.6 million to help Sierra Leone fight Ebola. (Courtesy Awoko Mobile News).

  In spite of all its drawbacks (according to some who call themselves propagators of democracy), China often seems to be on the right side of history in coming in with help when it is most needed. But the USA and Europe is capable of doing that too, one will add, if not more even. But Lord, they are tied down to bureaucracy, and most times nineteen-twentieth of their aid often returns back to them in the form of consultancy and administrative costs. Hmm.

  But give China credit, big time credit please; they know what it means to be hungry, to be sick, to have poor infrastructure and they come in on time to your help. (Oh, laugh away that all of their help is cosmetics but how come you who have the genuine article or the real McCoy remains a stone-hearted Mr. Scrooge or a money-glut and interest-laden Shylock?) Look, the Sino-Africa relation is working, and we appreciate that, in every sense of the word.

  But then other nations are more capable in fact! If you ask me, these nations shouldn’t even think of using cargo ships to bring in medical equipment and capable personnel to our region – let them use cargo planes! Like we know already, Ebola knows no tribe or nationality; your shores could be the next Ebola stop, man. It is worse than terrorism!

  In the meantime, we thank China, one hundred percent. We will do the same for you too, when you see reason as China has. People say, better late than never, yes.

 

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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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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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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Dr. Tam Baryoh’s Only Crime!

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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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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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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.
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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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