Written by M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Gulf States and Central Asia
Saturday, 28 November 2015 19:11
Sierra Leone has attended the 31st session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC) hosted in Istanbul, Turkey from 22 – 26th November, 2015.
A three -man delegation headed by Minister of State, Office of the Vice President, Hon. Mohamed Alie Bah and accompanied by Special Adviser to the Vice President, Dr. Jengo Stevens and Deputy Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Peter Sam Kpakra, successfully represented their country in the five-day meeting where they dealt with a number of issues in capacity building and institutional strengthening in trade, transport and communications, tourism, agriculture, poverty alleviation and financial cooperation.
Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan who also doubles as Chairman of COMCEC, OIC Secretary General, Iyad Ameen Madani were amongst some of the world dignitaries that attended the inauguration of the conference.
In order to ratify the Pan African Protocol, Members of Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone who doubles as Members of the Pan-African Parliament, on Wednesday 25 November 2015 led a delegation to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Justice in Freetown.
The mission of the delegates is to create a platform for MDAs and other citizens to be sensitized about the importance of the Pan African Reserve Protocol and why its needs an urgent ratification.
The ratification process is being serially conducted in other countries across Africa with wider advocacy and consultation, targeting 28 countries to ratify it by the end of 2016.
The purpose of the ratification is to transform the Pan African Parliament from an Advisory Body to a Legislative body.
Speaking at a courtesy visit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon Dr. Bernadette Lahai, who doubles as Vice President of the Pan-African Parliament said it was timely for the document to be ratified.
Freetown, November 21 (SLENA) - Hon. Vice President, Ambassador Dr. Victor BockarieFohlast week received the British Red Cross Internal Director, David Peppiatt at his Tower Hill offices in Freetown.
Mr. Peppiatt is in the country on a study tour to access achievement made by the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society in terms of relief and disaster management and to better understand the extent of the post Ebola recovery programmes.
Welcoming the delegation, which was led by the President of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Edward T. Ngandi,the Vice President said he was impressed with the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society as they have and are still doing an impressive work in the areas of relief and disaster management.
He described the role played by the Sierra Leone Red Cross and the British Red Cross as very important as they came to the aid of people not only in Sierra Leone but the world at large in terms of relief, war, earthquakes, major floods, landslides, among others.
Lunsar, November 19 (SLENA) – A team of parliamentarians from the European Union that visited Sierra Leone shortly before the country was declared ebola free visited Lunsar in the Marampa Chiefdom recently and made series of recommendations.
At the St John of God Hospital known as Mabesseneh, the team had a vivid picture of the effect of ebola on the health facilities in the hospital and how the situation was like and measures put in place to contain the virus. It will be recalled that Lunsar in the Portloko District was among the towns that was badly devastated by the ebola virus.
Bro. Michael M Koroma is the Chief Executive Officer at the St. John of God Hospital and has been in the thick of it all. He told the visiting delegation that Mabessaneh had been a reliable referral Hospital for several decades as a result of which the first confirmed Ebola case recorded in the district went through it. He described the outbreak as a very sad and scaring experience for the hospital which was in the midst of people dying of the virus including his own staff and workers.
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.
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".
Press freedom has come under severe attack in West Africa as security agencies, particularly the police, appear to be on rampage against journalists and media workers. In a space of 38 days (January 5-February 12, 2017), 30 media workers have been arrested, detained and/or assaulted by security forces, prompting fears that the gains that have been made in recent years on press freedom and freedom of expression could be eroded.
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.
Dr. David Tam-Baryoh: A New Broom in Sierra Leone Politics
Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is a household name in Sierra Leone, mostly because of his“Good Governance” popular radio programme called monologue. In fact the programme has become sopopular that most people prefer to call the presenter “Mr. Monologue”. Recently Mr. Monologue said in two or three of his programmes that he would be going intopolitics. It looked like a joke the first time he said it. But after saying it over threeor four times it is no longer a joke.
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.
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).
The Legal Aid Board’s Alternative Dispute Resolution on Tuesday, 7 March 2017 resolved a long standing dispute in respect of a property on Newcastle Street, in Kissy, Freetown between one Mr. Solomon Samba Mansaray and his seventy-seven year old elder sister Madam Marian Kamara who is in the country on holiday from the United States of America.
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.
As the Legal Aid Board prepares to provide legal assistance to indigents and children engaged in election related violence, it has successfully secured the discharge of a twenty-five old from Wilberforce in the West of Freetown charged with violence.
The Legal Aid Defence Counsel Hadiru Daboh secured the discharge after drawing the court’s attention to the failure of the complainant to attend court sittings for seven consecutive adjournments. What’s more, the complainant has not furnished the court with any reasons for his absence. Magistrate I.S. Bangura agreed with the Defence Counsel and discharged the matter. He noted that discharge would not stop the prosecution from reinstating the matter in future.
The accused, Alpha Kanuwho plied his trade as driver and apprentice at the Wilberforce lorry park got involved in a fight with his boss Michael Aruna in February 2017. He was arrested and taken to the Congo Cross Police station following a complaint by his boss. According to Alpha Kanu, his injuries were ignored by the police even though they were more serious. He spent fifteen days at the Congo police station before the matter was charged to court.
U.S. Africa Command Launches a 33-Nation Maritime Exercise: Sierra Leone Maritime “Full Speed Ahead”
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.
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.