President Ernest Bai Koroma Thursday 29 January called on all Sierra Leoneans and development partners to remain focused in the fight against the waning Ebola virus disease. The president made this call while receiving Oxfam’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mark Goldring at State House, Freetown.
Whilst commending Oxfam for galvanizing the international community to pay keen attention to Sierra Leone, President Koroma underscored the significance of remaining focused and vigilant even as the country continues to experience a downtrend of the virus, adding that this is not the time to remain complacent. “We have to remain focused until we get through the 42 Days set by the World Health Organization,” he said.
As the number of new infections continues to dwindle, the president emphasized it will be judicious to use this transition period to kick start other social services, including the reopening of schools. He underscored the need for a lot of preparatory work, and noted that medical institutions require training and rehabilitation in order to encourage people to report to the nearest Peripheral Health Unit (PHU).
In as much as government was preoccupied with the reopening of schools, the president maintained that schools across the country must be safe, ensuring water and sanitation facilities as well as training teachers before resumption of their activities. He added that government is putting together a post-Ebola recovery plan and will enhance an effective partnership with its development partners in addressing the challenges and moving forward.
Oxfam’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Goldring on behalf of Oxfam expressed appreciation for the leadership of President Koroma in the fight against Ebola. He maintained that the world was slow in responding to the outbreak and informed the president of the issued press release by the organization to pay attention to Sierra Leone with specific attention to immediate recovery and long term development. Mr. Goldring registered their commitment to work in a more proactive way alongside the Ministry of Water Resources. He also mentioned the organization’s support to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project in the country.
The Deputy Minister of Water Resources Alhaji Foday Bayoh said Oxfam is one of the reliable partners in the WASH project.
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.
Brussels/Freetown 15 January 2016 - In close cooperation with the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem and with the Chamber of Commerce CBL-ACP, Brussels Airlines is organising an exploratory trade mission to Sierra Leone next week. Together with the Belgian government and Belgian companies, Brussels Airlines is keen to support the rebuilding of the country that had suffered from the Ebola crisis and to discuss cooperation opportunities.
Over the last two years, Sierra Leone had been severely affected by the Ebola crisis. Not only did it claim thousands of lives, businesses in both countries also suffered. Business travellers and investors stayed away, the output of (agricultural) goods fell and major infrastructure projects were put on hold. Despite the extremely tough operating conditions, Brussels Airlines remained as the sole European airline connecting the country to Europe and the rest of the world. The flights served as a major supply line for the country that was largely isolated.
Now that Sierra Leone has been declared Ebola-free, Brussels Airlines is keen to also play an active role in the much needed economic and social revival of the country. Last summer, flight frequencies to Freetown had already been increased from two to four times weekly. By organising an exploratory trade mission, Brussels Airlines has now also widened the opportunity for an expansion of trade relations and cooperation with Belgium.
The Editor of Salone Times Newspaper, Thomas Dixon, on Tuesday 8 December2015, apologized to Parliament for publishing a misleading story on the Ministry of Information and Communications’ budget that was before the Sub- Appropriation Committee Three, chaired by Hon. Benneh Bangura.
Presenting his apology at the Conference Room of Parliament, Thomas Dixon, against a backdrop of evidence presented, including sections of the Parliamentary Standing Orders and of the 1991 Constitution premised on contempt of parliament, promised to do a retraction and apologize to Parliament (for failing to follow procedures and presenting inaccurate figures).
Earlier, the Clerk of Parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Sesay, welcomed journalists, describing the meeting as a family discussion.
There is a saying in Journalism that “Big names make news”. But using these names must fall within the context of objectivity, accuracy, balance and crystal.
The time has come for journalists to see themselves not only as Reporters and Broadcasters but also as development activists with a collective concern for development of Sierra Leone. To do this,journalists must not shy away from writing general issues that keep on track distraction. Indeed it is important that journalists are clear about how they see and report issues in the light of truth because as journalists we cannot detach ourselves from society. We must see ourselves as change agents and advocates to see others succeed.
This desire should be reflected in our work. We need to position ourselves as honourable statesmen and women in the media not as black mailers or wizards and witches against the development of the society we live. The desire for positive change must reflect in the way we write or speak. Our duty is to challenge the status quo as advocates for progress and growth not enemies of progress.
ARE THE SIERRA LEONE POLICE COURT PROSECUTORS ABOVE THE LAWS OF THE COUNTRY?
As I used to say in some of my writings, there are lots of issues in the country that need great media attention than APC and SLPP political parties’ issues to write about in our newspapers and to discuss on our radio and TV programs. Such issues like some of the lawless and indiscipline corrupt police prosecutors in the country. And some of the corrupt courts’ clerks, the award of government contracts to corrupt individuals and companies without proper assessment and monitoring systems for individuals and companies performance in the country, business people not selling to customers according to the principle of first come first serve but by big man or status or by coat and tie, lack of maintenance of government vehicles and their misuse by senior government officers, the dilapidated government buildings, the old Daily Mail building at Rawdon Street is a case in point, roads maintenance, the throwing of filthy things or dirty in the streets or roads, lack of road traffic signs, including zebra crossing paint, especially in the provinces, police Osusu that normally lead them into bribery and corrupt activities.
And also how senior police officers bribe taking and corrupt attitudes always lead to the junior police officers, especially those in the police stations, traffic, national borders police, immigration, vehicle licenses police, check points police to a field-day free for all harassments for bribe from the poor vulnerable general public. According to my radar, If you want to prove me right or wrong, ask some of the junior police officers, retired police or the dismissed police officers they will tell you more about such unpatriotic dishonest attitudes and behaviours of some senior police officers in the country. Particularly during police postings and the promotion of junior police officers to places like traffic, customs, national borders, check points and the promotion of them to certain ranks.
In its determination to take the fight against corruption to rural communities, the Northern Region Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission has on Friday 29th January 2016 engaged the people of Rosenti village in an outreach meeting at the Rosenti Court Barray, Konta Section Bombali Shebora Chiefdom.
In his statement on the purpose of the meeting and key corruption issues affecting the growth of the community, ACC Senior Public Education Officer Al-Hassan Sesay thanked the people of Rosenti village for accepting the Commission in their midst noting that it was a start of a long and fruitful partnership in the anti-graft campaign.
Sesay stated that the meeting was intended to heighten their awareness on some corrupt practices, sensitize them on their role in the fight against corruption, warned those that might have involved in it to desist, and enlist their support in fighting the menace. The Senior Public Educator emphasized that if the issue of poverty is to be addressed, combating corruption should not be left in the hands of the Commission alone.
“No Woman should die giving birth” - Director of Reproductive and Child Health
Freetown, Feb, 4, 016 (MOHS) - The Director of Reproduction and Child Health, Dr. SantigieSesay at the Inaugural meeting of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Maternal Death Surveillance Response (MDSR) ceremony held in the Ministry’s Conference Hall in Freetown on Wednesday February 3, 2016 remarked that “No woman should die giving birth”.
Addressing his audience, Dr. Sesaylamented the high rate of maternal mortality in Sierra Leone, disclosing that government and its partners are spending huge amount of money in the fight against maternal death in the country.
Inspite of the huge expenses and commitment, “the situation remains very challenging”.
A member of parliament who is also a paramount chief, Hon Bai Kurr Kanagbaro Kasanka III, in his contribution in the ongoing debate of President Koroma’s national address in Parliament, condemned the resurgence of ebola in his native Tonkolili, northern Sierra Leone.
Hon Bai Kurr said the resurgence of ebola is actually an unfortunate situation, something that should be further investigated – to the applause of many in the House.
Hon Bai Kurr also thanked President Koroma for his leadership skills and for being an exemplary president, who has a lot of achievements under his belt.