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New website delivers soil health information to African farmers on World Food Day PDF Print E-mail
Arts & Culture
Written by For immediate release   
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 20:50

16 October 2014 – The Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) is today launching its new website, givingpeople who work with and support smallholder farmersa one-stop library of materials on Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM). Coinciding with World Food Day (16 October), the launch of the new website marks an important milestone in ASHC’s mission to improve the livelihoods of farmers in Africa.

Making practical soil health information accessible to the people who support farmersis central to helping the production of more and better crops and improvingfarmers’health, nutrition and food security. ASHC takes a wealth of existing information on smart framing practices, like ISFM, and shares it with those who need it most. The many resources that ASHC produces (like the website, but also books, cartoons and guides) help bridge the gap between those with science-based agricultural information and the farmers who can benefit from it.

The new website includes many resources, including around 140 exemplar soil health materials, applying them to five cropping systems: banana-coffee, cassava, maize with legumes, millet and sorghum with legumes, and rice.

Managed by CABI and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ASHC is a consortium of over 40 partners. Genuine partnership requires a different mindset and toolbox to be successful, and the new website supports this.The easy-to-use websearch delivers recommendations of similar materials using an ‘if you like that, you will also like this’ function. Web users will also be encouraged to commenton the materials that work for them and those that don’t.

Communicating complex agricultural information can be a challenge. The ASHC vision for the future is that anyone using the website can access ‘how-to’ guides on, for example, making aneducational soil health poster, using farmer-friendly languagein exemplar materials and checking the ISFM content in cropping guides. ASHC hopes the website will set the bar for genuinely open access and open source materials and capacity building approaches.

Dr George Oduor, ASHC Project Manager, said, “We’re delighted to launch the new ASHC website. By building capacity around soil health, we’re helping to increase food production in Africa. In so doing, we’re addressing the dual challenge of hunger and poverty of rural people.”

Visit the website at www.africasoilhealth.cabi.org.

 

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

Why Parastatals should be Socially Responsible: the Case of NRA

In Sierra Leone, the notion of corporate social responsibility has always been associated with the private sector. No wonder some people see the active involvement of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in corporate social activities as strange, and many have opined that a tax collecting body should not be engaged in corporate social responsibility activities.

However, the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on corporate image is immense, even for tax collecting bodies. The perception that tax collectors are monsters vigorously bent on collecting people's earnings with no care for the environment or the vulnerable in the community they operate is evolving. Indeed, many revenue authorities in Africa are today socially responsible.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) in an article in its website argues that "the nature of Revenue Collectors' mandate makes them the hill of the nation such that whatever they do is mirrored and echoed by many".

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Media News

Press Freedom under Siege in West Africa: 30 Media Workers Arrested in 38 Days

The 30 victims, made up of 15 journalists and 15 media technicians, were arrested, detained and/or assaulted in 10 separate incidents in four countries namely Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Togo. Nigeria recorded six incidents, Cote d’Ivoire recorded two incidents while Guinea and Togo recorded an incident each.

In Nigeria, seven journalists were arrested and detained during the period. In Cote d’Ivoire, six journalists were arrested and detained in a single incident while one journalist each was affected in Guinea and Togo, bringing the total number of journalists affected to 15. In respect of the other media workers, nine staff of a newspaper printing firm were arrested in single incident. In Cote d’Ivoire, six technicians working with the state-owned television station were also arrested in a single incident.

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Commentary

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So Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is going into politics in 2018. Those who are very closeto him will tell you that this is a fact. The Doctor has made up his mind. Afterdiscussing and editing serious national issues on newspaper pages and on the airwaves for almost twenty five years, hehas decided that he cannot achieve much for the people behind the microphone and the pen. He now wants toengage into something that will make a direct impact on the lives of Sierra Leoneans.

And the Doctor thinks politics is the best way to do this, if we look at politics as“the authoritative allocation of scarce resources within a nation state.” He wants tobe part of the allocation of Sierra Leone’s scarce resources.

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View Point

Precious Minerals, Public Trust and Government’s Openness

By late 2001, the Anti Corruption Commission arrested then Sierra Leone's  transport and communications minister, together with his wife, “for involvement in illegal diamond mining” in Kenema district.  Large quantum of illicit diamonds had been found in their possession, according to a BBC report at the time.

With some diamonds said to have been smuggled out of the country by the minister, the incident happened at a time when the rebel war was raging and the key perpetrators- the RUF were also seriously involved in illicit mining and smuggling. The minister was later jailed in 2003 for two years for illegal possession of diamonds.

Amongst other factors, Sierra Leone’s civil war was fuelled mainly by diamond, specifically “conflict diamonds”- those diamonds that originated from territories controlled by rebel forces (UN definition).

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News - Press Release

LAB resolves dispute over property in Kissy

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The two who had not been on speaking terms were reconciled. Both promised to work together in the interest of peace in the family. In this vein, Madam Marian Kamara agreed to cancel a U$ 400 debt owed by Mr. Mansaray. 

While the tension between the two had been lingering several years,Mr. Mansaray decided to report the matter to the Board in Freetown when he got information that Madam Marian Kamara was planning to sell theproperty.   The owner of the property who is the sister of both parties had died over a decade ago without leaving a will.

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Society -Local News

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The Legal Aid Board office in Freetown was stretched to the limit following the storming of the office by desperate students ofthe Njala University seeking the intervention of the Board to secure the release of their colleagues who had been arrested and held in police cells around the city.

On a normal weekday, you would expect at least forty people crammed in the Freetown office to seek the services of the Board. The situation on Thursday, March 23 was characterized by mild chaos as too many students wanted to visit the office to provide updates on students arrested by the police.

The team of Legal Aid Board staff comprising Bankole Morgan and Anthony Karim Kamara negotiated the release of five of the six students detained at the Central Police Station. One was not released because of an alleged inflammatory statement to bring the city on its knees.

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Development

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During March 23-31, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) issponsoring “Obangame Express”, an in-port Command Post exerciseand at-sea maritime exercise designed to enhance maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.The exercise includes 33 partner nations, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). 

The exercise is designed to improve cooperation andinformation sharing, and to refine tactics, techniques and procedures among participating nations.

The “Obangame Express”exercise will be based on realistic modern-day scenarios such as piracy, illegal fishing and hijacking.  During the exercise,Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) will be challenged to recognize illicit acts and share trackinginformation with other MOCs throughout the region.

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Politics

Ansumana Usman Koroma Urges Sierra Leoneans To Support the Registration Process

The winner of the Pride of Australia Award, Ansumana Usman Koroma popularly known as AUK has called on all Sierra Leoneans within and outside Sierra Leone to support and fully participate in both the ongoing voter registration that has started March 20 to end April 19 2017 and the forthcoming nationwide civil registration process slated April 24 to June 11 2017.

AUK who is a Political and Policy Analyst working in Australia said the mass registration of every citizen is a very important process in the development agenda of the country. He therefore appealed to all Sierra Leoneans to put politics aside and understand that the process would help government consolidate citizens’ data and enhance effective service delivery and improve monitoring of government programmes and policies.

He stressed that the national civil registration authority is created to promote a greater sense of nationalism and common identity.

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