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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

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

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.

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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

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.

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Society -Local News

LAB secures discharge of ‘violent’ youth

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.

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Development

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.

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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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