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“We Have to Remain Focused” - President Koroma PDF Print E-mail
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Written by State House news   
Friday, 30 January 2015 12:12

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.

 

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

Financing Sustainable Energy For All : Sierra Leone’s Energy Minister Tells UN It Is Time To Turn TALK Into Kilowatt – Hour

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy and Power, Ambassador Henry O. Macauley , today  called on the United Nations to turn TALK  on financing Sustainable Energy For All into Kolowatt-hour.  Emphasing  that electricity changes lives and noting that “We have a deeper need for this to happen in Africa, and quickly”, Ambassador Macauley stressed the need for speed .

The Minister was addressing  the Second Annual United Nations  Global Energy Ministerial Dialogue on ” Financing Sustainable Energy For All ” presently going on  at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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Media News

UNMEER boss lauds female journalists for campaign towards zero Ebola

Sierra Leonean female journalists, under the umbrella ‘Women in the Media Sierra Leone’ (WIMSAL), have injected fresh energy into efforts to end Ebola in their country following the 27 April kickoff of their “Getting Ebola to Zero and Staying at Zero” campaign. The campaign highlights the role of women as leaders in eradicating the disease.

The Ebola Crisis Manager for the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) in Sierra Leone, Ms. Bintou Keita, described WIMSAL’s effort as “a crucial part of the national Ebola Virus Disease response.” Ms. Keita said that in the final push towards ending Ebola, “the role of women becomes even more important. They are the community and family leaders, the caregivers and organizers.”

The “Getting Ebola to Zero and Staying at Zero” campaign builds on the existing Yellow Ribbon Campaign by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ),  but this time with a greater focus on engagement with communities as well as youth, religious and women leaders.   WIMSAL is supported by UNMEER through UN Women, the UN entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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Commentary

MORE TROUBLE FOR APC IN KAILAHUN

Key stakeholders of the APC in Kailahun have vowed to kick out Sahr Morkuwah and the APC from Kailahun, and return the district back to its traditional SLPP base.

  These key stakeholders this week registered their dismay about the off-hand manner in which they are being treated – especially for being made the laughing stock of both APC and non-APC supporters.

  “We are not wholly angry at the APC,” they said. “But we are angry at Sahr Morkuwah because of the assurances he gave us that the APC is a grateful party, and urging us all to work and vote for the party. Now look at how the party is treating us – as if we are trash.”

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View Point

NJALA UNIVERSITY IS A MESS

I visited Njala University two years back with the Parliamentary Education Committee, and still remember the camaraderie then between the staff and the deputy vice chancellor. Everyone was congratulating everyone, and is happy to have met the other.

  There was good reason to rejoice – Njala was then and still is, the leading university in Sierra Leone, and even the Education Committee was proud to be a part of the success story, and encouraged them to go for the gold.

But today, two years later, the situation has gone sour; everyone has reached for his sword and is threatening fire and slaughter – with none of them caring about the students caught in this useless crossfire.

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News - Press Release

Sierra Leone: Ebola regulations and other laws must not be used to curtail freedom of expression and assembly

Sierra Leone should stop using emergency regulations brought in to combat Ebola as a pretext to restrict freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, Amnesty International said today.

“Now that Ebola cases are reducing and schools have re-opened, the government should immediately review the State of Emergency provisions and ensure that only provisions strictly required to fight the Ebola epidemic remain in effect. Rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly must not be unnecessarily or disproportionately curtailed, ’’ said Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International’s West Africa researcher.

The call comes following an increase in arrests of opposition members, bans on peaceful protests and an unwillingness to tolerate dissent that has heightened following the removal of former Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana on 18 March. Even though cases of Ebola have sharply reduced in Sierra Leone, State of Emergency measureshave been increasingly used alongside other laws to stifle criticism, some of whichare thought to be linked to the removal of the Vice President.

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Society -Local News

KONO DISTRICT HAS SPOKEN

In Sierra Leone politics and of course the country's economy, Kono District is integral and a major player. In the 2007 and 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections which brought President Ernest Bai Koroma and the All People's Congress (APC) to state governance, political dynamics in Kono changed drastically in favor of the APC.    

There has been a lot of political discussion in and out of the country following the removal of Chief Sam Sumana from the Vice Presidency by His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma. As the matter is currently sub judis , I am reframing from saying anything about the matter.  Suffice it to say that state governance goes on as usual, politics is ever so interesting and the All People's Congresses continues standing strongly United behind the Party Chairman and Leader, His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma.

There are many players in the APC, a Grass Roots Political Party that draws country wide support across Sierra Leone and amongst all the country's tribal groups. But of traditional and historical significance, Kono and the APC share many commonalities. To mention the 1967 General Elections and the ouster of the SLPP from state governance by the APC, an African FIRST for an Opposition Party to defeat a government in power, was the result of careful political planning and excellent collaboration. And Kono was pivotal to that wonderful success story. And a repeat of the same scenario was executed  in 2007 to usher into office H E President Ernest Bai Koroma as President of Sierra Leone. The rest is current politics still unfolding.

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Development

Sierra Leone Ambassador to Iran Woos Investors in Turkey

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Islamic Republic of Iran and accredited to Turkey and other Asian countries has told Turkish Investors to take advantage of the numerous investment opportunities in West Africa.

His Excellency, Ambassador Dr. Muhammed B. Fofana was addressing investors in the Turkish Black Sea Region of Samsun Wednesday, 13th May, 2015 where he was honoured as Guest Speaker for the West African Countries in an International Conference titled: "The Turkish Investment Partnership and Educational Relations in Africa" organized and hosted by the prestigious Ondokuz Mayis University.

The Ambassador urged the investors to invest in West Africa, while assuring them of a massive turnover on their investments. He said the West Africa Sub – Region as a whole and Sierra Leone in particular offer huge opportunities in the Mining, Agriculture, Energy, Telecommunications, Aviation, Tourism, Infrastructural Development Sectors, among many other investment opportunities.

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Politics

GUMA BRIEFS COMMITTEE ON WATER RESOURCES

For the purpose of providing sustainable water supply to the residents of Freetown and its environs, the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources which is chaired by Hon. Sualiho M. Koroma few days ago summoned the management of GUMA Valley Water Company; charged with the exclusive responsibility of providing water for Freetown; at Committee Room 1 in Parliament to give an update on the status of their activities undertaken in 2014.

According to the Chairman, this was the first time the management of GUMA had met with the entire membership of the Committee since it was reconstituted in the third session of the fourth Parliament. He recalled that such engagements last year resulted in an oversight of GUMA’s existing facilities. He also assured the management of GUMA not to feel intimated as the Committee was only performing its oversight function; whose findings and recommendations would be tabled and debated in Parliament for necessary action. He furthered, that the briefing was not meant to witch-hunt anyone, but to sincerely discuss their status report; as MPs had a lot of water related issues in their constituencies in Freetown.

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