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Business
NRA’s Implementation of WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) PDF Print E-mail
Business
Written by Ann Marie Dumbuya   
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 17:44

In 1996, some WTO members raised the need for an agreement on trade facilitation as part of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreements. Negotiations on the said agreement however lasted for nearly 10 years. It was only in November 2014, that WTO members agreed to incorporate the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) as part of the WTO Agreements.

The main purpose of the TFA is to foster more efficient customs clearance procedures, promote the use of modern technologies to ensure the speedy movement of goods and people, advance effective cooperation between customs and other relevant authorities involved in trade facilitation, and to improve technical assistance and capacity building support in these areas.

The TFA covers trade in all goods and contains 24 Articles in 3 Sections. Section I refers to trade facilitation standards and obligations, Section II relates to the flexibilities provided for developing countries with regards timelines for the implementation of specific provisions of the Agreement, and Section III pertains to institutional arrangements. The high points of this agreement in relation to the NRA are:

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EPA On A Smear Propaganda PDF Print E-mail
Business
Written by Expotimes   
Sunday, 03 July 2016 23:27

The Admin and Finance Manager of AMR Gold’s subsidiary company, Wilkinson Hill Mining Company has informed this medium that the Wilkinson Hill will be commencing mining operations after the rains.

He said the Public Notice issued by the Environmental Protection Agency claiming to close down on the company’s mining activities is an utter misplacement and could be described as a smear propaganda aimed at fulfilling a hidden motive.

He further queried, “How do you stop an operation that has not started.” According to him, EPA acted with malice by issuing a Public Notice without their knowledge, adding that environmental protection is very fundamental to the company’s operations.

He said, “We are a very law abiding company and know the importance of protecting the environment without any hindrance to the community and the people. To show that we are very law abiding, we followed the procedures set out in the Environment Protection Agency Act in acquiring an Environmental Impact Assessment License.”

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New United Nations study finds digital payments to Ebola response workers saved lives and $10 million PDF Print E-mail
Business
Written by Angela Corbalan, angela.corbalan@uncdf.org / (+1) 917 224 9109   
Friday, 20 May 2016 04:43

By using digital payments to pay Ebola response workers, Sierra Leone massively cut payment times, avoiding large-scale strikes and ensuring a stable workforce to defeat Ebola.  Sierra Leone’s experience shows the critical importance of preparing early for digital payments before crises hit.

FREETOWN / NEW YORK, 18 May, 2016 – Mobile phones serving as digital “wallets” for payments to response workers proved an invaluable tool in Sierra Leone’s response to the Ebola crisis, according to a new study from the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance

With economic instability, natural disasters and political conflict now taking place at unprecedented rates, the new research offers valuable lessons on how to harness the power of technology to help emergency workers reach more people by paying them digitally during crises.The country has been Ebola free since January.

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Sierra Leone MP Says AMR Gold is ‘honest and transparent’ PDF Print E-mail
Business
Written by Expotimes   
Saturday, 14 May 2016 08:14

One of Sierra Leone’s Member of Parliament representing Constituency 035, Bombali District-Hon. Roland FodayKargbo says AMR Gold is a very honest and transparent company.

“I have always been actively involved in all developmental projects undertaken by AMR Gold as the MP representing my people,” said Hon. Kargbo.

He told the people of Sella Limbaand SandaLokoChiefdoms that they are blessed to have huge mineral deposit in their Chiefdom. He also noted that they are fortunate to have an Exploration Company such as AMR Gold working to alleviate the socio-economic challenges of the people in the community.

Hon. Dr. Kargbo believes transparency and accountability are key instruments in achieving sustainable development. He added that AMR Gold’sinclusive and open approach with all stakeholderssuch as National Minerals Agency, Chiefdom stakeholders, youth representatives and the media is a sign of their desire to work with the community and their emphasis on cooperate responsibility.

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TIMIS CORPORATION IN DILEMMA PDF Print E-mail
Business
Written by Elias Bangura   
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 06:19

Timis Corporation, formerly London Mining Company, is in hard straits about when to begin operations, and what port to use to ship out its ore.

Since it changed hands two years back following its shareholders withdrawing their shares because of a drop in ore prices, Timis Corporation, has had a lot to deal with, including the massive liabilities left behind by LMC.

Last weekend, on 6 May 2016, Timis Corporation was visited by the Parliamentary Committee on Mines, who enquired when it would start operations which were closed down because of the Ebola outbreak,although it was mainly due to the fall in ore prices at the world market.

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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

ACC CAPACITATES SIERRA LEONE COMMERCIAL BANK STAFF ON ANTI-BRIBERY AND ANTI-CORRUPTION ISSUES

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on the request of the Management of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) on Thursday 20th July, 2017 commenced anti- bribery and anti-corruption training with staff of the Bank.

The training which was held in the Bank's Conference Room 9th Floor, Christian Smith Building 29/31 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown attracted over twenty members of the Executive Management.

Addressing colleagues, the Managing Director, SLCB, Idrissa Aloma Kamara disclosed that the Bank has integrated into the Bank's operations anti-corruption measures, such as the development of anti-corruption policy, anti-graft messages inscribed on Bank Statements and sensitization of staff on the dangers of corruption. With all these, the MD stated, it is the view of the Bank that the ACC which is the statutory body responsible for the campaign against corruption be brought in, to provide awareness training on anti-bribery issues for an efficient and effective banking system.

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Media News

Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

The incidents of freedom of expression rights violations in West Africa more than tripled in the first quarter (January-March) of 2017.

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.

These findings are contained in the latest edition of the West Africa Freedom of Expression Monitor, a quarterly report by the MFWA which analyses and highlights freedom of expression developments in the sub-region.

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Commentary

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT

A PASSIONATE LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT:  44TH EDITION

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT
 Your Excellency Sir,
 It’s been six months since I subscribed to my usual publications of this piece. And this is primarily because I have been out of the country for the entire period, and as such would not normally objectively tender a subscription. I do apologize to my readers for this. So having being in Monrovia, Liberia for the recently concluded ECOWAS Summit, I would like to do some analysis on such a historic august body and gathering of this sub-Saharan/West African region.
 
In resume, among other crucial achievements, ECOWAS, through its military apparatus, ECOMOG, played very sacrificial and invaluable roles in bringing peace, security and democratic governance to both Sierra Leone and Liberia during their past civil wars, and most recently ensuring that the Gambian people’s democratic change of government from the notorious dictatorial twenty seven years regime of Yaya Jarmeh, to the current government of President Adama Barrow, through their tactical robust intervention, overseen by President Helen JohnsonSirleaf of Liberia and other ECOWAS Presidents/actors, was enforced. Furthermore, ECOWAS has also spearheaded the enactment of several socio-political, advocacy and economic treaties in the sub region.
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View Point

WHY SIERRA LEONEANS HATE PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT

Honestly speaking Sierra Leoneans are well known for their hospitality all over the world, especially in Africa. But ironically many of them hate each other. But they love foreigners. They have high respect for strangers. But unfortunately they do not have respect among themselves. You can attest this to what is happening in the social media. Where they are showing their pull him down (PhD) syndrome. By castigating their compatriots unnecessarily. Some of them just because of jealousy and envious evil spirit they possess. They prefer to promote foreigners than their own brothers and sisters both in and out of the country.

Day in day out they are insulting each other.They are using all sorts of vulgar languages against each other. And even their own highly respected president in the world, President Ernest Bai Koroma they are insulting him openly. Therefore, it is an open secret that many Sierra Leoneans are not well cultured.

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News - Press Release

Regent village head calls on LAB to tackle domestic violence

The village head for Regent, Ms. Jokomie Browne has called on the Legal Aid Board to help curb the increase in incidence of domestic violence in the Regent Community in the outskirts of the capital Freetown.

Ms. Browne wants the Board to hold outreach events in the village to educate the people on issues of law relating to domestic violence, gender, women’s rights, redress mechanisms and support services for victims.

‘We want to benefit from the Legal Aid Board’s Legal Empowerment Programme because there is an urgent need for one in the community,’ Ms. Browne told the Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles on the phone. ‘The situation is desperate. I am afraid if you do not come in now the situation could spiral out of control.’

The call follows series of referral of victims of domestic violence to the Legal Aid Board office in Freetown. The latest victim sent to the Board is one Baindu who was battered by her boyfriend Borbor Abu in the presence of their one year old son.

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Society -Local News

250 LAB trains staff on Alternative Dispute Resolution

A hundred and twenty-five staff and volunteers of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board including lawyers and paralegals have benefited from a four-day training on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at the Stadium Hostels in Freetown from the 24 to the 27 July 2017.

Other beneficiaries include the WAN POT Comedians, members of the National Youth Coalition and six senior officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF). The latter includes the highest ranking female military officer, Brigadier Kestoria Kabia and the Director of Gender and Equal Opportunities at the Ministry of Defence Col. Tucker.

The training is aimed at equipping staff and partners with the requisite skills and techniques required for effective and efficient ADR. Moreover, the trainees should be able to use ADR as an alternative to litigation and using effective skill of arbitration, mediation, negotiation and active listening. 

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Development

30 Staff of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development will go China for Seminar on Economic Planning

Thirty (30) staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will depart the shore of Freetown to China on 14th August 2017. The purpose of their trip is to attend a seminar on Medium and Long-Term Economic planning for Sierra Leone. The National Development and Reform Commission of China will organize the seminar from 16th August to 7th September 2017 in the capital city of Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

The Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Freetown, Mr. Shen Xiaokai met with the 30 participants at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) on 2rd August 2017. In his remarks he told the participants that in December 2016, His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo visited China, where they had high level bilateral meetings with Chinese Government Officials. 

He said this seminar is as a result of those meetings. “When China makes a commitment, China will fulfil it” he reiterated. He said The Ministry of Finance is one of the most important ministries in this country, therefore this seminar was designed specifically to meet the needs of the ministry.

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Politics

News from China, June 28th: Youth Affairs Minister addresses 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development in Beijing, China
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs has said, the 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development hosted by the Chinese government should help enhance the ties of friendship and foster the wheels of bilateral cooperation between the two nations and particularly strengthen cooperation in the field of human resource development.
 
Hon. Bai Mamoud Bangura spoke on Wednesday, 28th June, 2017, at the start of the week long Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation, which has brought together participants from various countries, including eight (8) from Sierra Leone.
 
According to minister Bangura, in line with the spirit of friendship and cooperation, the event could serve as an opportunity to jointly define new strategic directions in Sierra Leone’s ties with China and in opening up another episode of friendship and cooperation between the two.
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