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Editorials
Well Done, China; thou art a Friend Indeed PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Editorial
Written by Expotimes   
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 11:51

The Ebola Killer Machine is in our region of the African continent, and Sierra Leone now has a good taste of its savagery – the nation is in awe of it and our government is in sleepless nights seeking ways to combat it. Distress messages and signals have been sent around the world – and one by one our friends are coming in with help.

  Like everyone knows by now, Sierra Leone doesn’t want help; we NEED it; and it brings hope to our hearts to see how other nations are responding to our distress and coming in, big time, with what we need.

  When Haiti, for example, was besieged with a hurricane, help came rushing in on time with little or no protocol – that, dear reader, makes one appreciate the neighbour principle, and the message of belonging to entities like the UN and its affiliates bodies seemed relevant and necessary.

  When Ebola struck our region, reports state that pledges were made which, if all were in by now, we would have seen a marked improvement in our fight against it. But, sadly enough, such help is being tied down to bureaucracy. You’re left with the feeling that our relevancy is second-rated compared with other regions, say, like the Middle East. If this is so, then you ask what’s the relevance of being signatories to bodies like the UN, if not but to further the interests of bigger nations like the USA and the UK, for example?

  Proper blame leveling will come later, certainly, but for now we will concentrate on the solutions, and giving praise where it is due.

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Addressing the Ebola Virus Disease and Trauma PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Editorial
Written by Abdulai Bayraytay   
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 14:14

To say that the peoples of the three West African states of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are undergoing trauma would be understatement. This is particularly so as these states are presently battling the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that was first detected and confirmed in Guinea and then spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia with the attendant deaths of innocent and unsuspecting people.

Indeed, the Ebola Virus Disease (EBV) reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the deadliest in the history of epidemics, has claimed the lives of a record cumulative fatality two hundred and fourteen (214) Ebola confirmed deaths, five hundred and ninety-one (591) confirmed Ebola cases and one hundred and sixty-one (161) survivors as of August 5, this year in the case of Sierra Leone.

So far, Governments have poured in millions of dollars with the international community complementing with experts and financial resources to mitigate and eventually eradicate the scourge of Ebola.  So far, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and his Government remain the only country that has pronounced the most stringent measures that include the deployment of the military and the police to cordon the epicentres of the virus and quarantine household of confirmed cases of Ebola.

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REMEMBERING DR SHEIK UMAR KHAN - THE CHIEF EBOLA DOCTOR IN SIERRA LEONE PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Editorial
Written by M C Bah, Atlanta, GA-USA, former NDA Presidential Aspirant   
Thursday, 31 July 2014 13:34

Our nation today mourned the passing of a giant medical crusader - Dr. Sheik Omar Khan who lost the battle he once fearlessly waged against the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. The Chief Ebola doctor passed away on July 29, 2014 at the Doctors without Border treatment center in Kailahun District. Today, we are heart broken by the sudden loss of a ‘national hero’ who captivated our imagination and inspired our moral instinct that there are still angels and prophets among us. That we can find hope in the illuminating heart of people like Dr. Khan who made our nation less dangerous against the deadliest disease in human history.

Dr. Sheik Omar Khan may not have come from Bethlehem in Palestine or Mecca in Saudi Arabia; but he left an indelible message of human compassion, a unique character of self-sacrifice and what it means to serve humanity even if it means losing your “cherished life” as he once mentioned to reporters. Even a Sierra Leonean who had never travelled to distance shores or not find his names on international headlines before and never shake hands with Kings and Presidents could save more than 100 lives by his simple God- fearing gift of an “agape love” – a redemptive action that requires no return but genuine goodwill to all.

In the midst of this deadly virus, Dr. Sheik Umar Khan taught us what we can do as Sierra Leoneans. That we can chose to only help our families, villages, towns and tribesmen and then build a bleak future for our next generation or we can confront our challenges and fears together and save many lives while transforming our communities and nation into thriving centers of economic development. Dr. Khan’s life on this earth reveals to us: we can be a blessing to others by doing extraordinary things.

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Free healthcare and the Ebola crisis PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Editorial
Written by Bai-Bai Sesay (+232 76 617326/+232 77 400438/+232 33 956984)   
Monday, 21 July 2014 18:47

PRESIDENT ERNEST Bai Koroma’s free health care initiative in a donor driven country like Sierra Leone is no doubt gaining tremendously successes since its inception few years ago.

BUT TODAY another deadly disease called Ebola is currently in the rampage killing our people mostly in the Kailahun and Kenema districts, eastern Sierra Leone.

WE HEARD of the disease from neighboring Guinea and Liberia respectively. And a recent broadcasting message to the nation, President Koroma warned that, Ebola is real and Ebola kills.

ACCORDING TO officials in the health ministry, some several people of reported Ebola cases have been confirmed dead and nearly all of these cases are being reported in Kailahun and Kenema districts respectively.

MEDICAL EXPERTS say the major route of transmission of the Ebola virus is contact with persons infected with the virus. They went furthered to advise that the main way to stop the spread of the disease is preventing contact with persons with the virus, and everybody who has had this unprotected contact could be carrying the virus and at risk of infecting others.

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Misconceptions fuel Ebola outbreak in West Africa PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Editorial
Written by UNICEF   
Monday, 14 July 2014 13:41

UNICEF is stepping up efforts to prevent further spread of the disease

FREETOWN/GENEVA/DAKAR, 11 July 2014 – As the Ebola-related death toll rises above 500 in West Africa, UNICEF and its partners are expanding their activities across the region to halt the spread of the disease by combating rumours, fears and misconceptions.

“Rumours and denial are fueling the spread of Ebola and putting even more lives at risk,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “Some people still deny that the disease is real. Others believe that it doesn’t have to be treated.”

With more than 850 cases reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone by the World Health Organization (WHO), this first-ever Ebola outbreak in West Africa has become a major regional threat, unprecedented in duration and in scale. Widespread misconception, resistance, denial and occasional hostility in some communities are considerably complicating the humanitarian response to contain the outbreak.

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Editorial

26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.

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Business News

PARLIAMENT RATIFIES TWO AGREEMENTS TO IMPROVE ON PORTS FACILITIES

The Parliament of Sierra Leone on Monday 04th December 2017 debated and ratified two additional agreements aimed at improving and expanding Ports facilities in Sierra Leone to be at par with international best practices.

Presenting both Agreements prior to ratification, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Balogun Koroma said that the additional Agreements are geared towards addressing some of the concerns raised by MPs, in respect of expanding our Ports facilities to accommodate larger vessels, and the issuance of license with the view of combating money laundering, contra-band goods, and attracting more funds for Government.

Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of the House, also supported the ratification of the two Agreements, saying if our Ports are not developed, we would not be able to attract huge vessels; thus the need for the continuous improvement of our Ports facilities.

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Media News

Two veteran Journalists, now in the United States have paid a courtesy call on Sierra Leone's Ambassador

Two very respected and veteran Journalists who are in the United States of America for various reasons have called on Sierra Leone’s Amr. Bockari Kortu Stevens not only to appreciate the work of the Embassy, but also to pay courtesy as protocol demands.

Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson, former Lecturer Fourah Bay College, former Director of Information Ministry of Information and Communications, Former Director Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA), Former Chairman Independent Media Commission (IMC) and stringer French News Agency  etc. is on vacation and Mr. Cyril Juxon Smith Director Information and Communications House of Parliament, former Acting Director General Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) and former UNESCO Media Consultant  is in the United States of America to attend the funeral of his father.

Speaking at the Ambassador’s residence on 4821 Colorado Avenue, Washington DC  Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson said “Thank  you Amr. Stevens for accommodating us in the middle of your tight schedule, and also to discuss with us in a homely spirit.

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Commentary

Reasons why Sierra Leoneans Must Think beyond Tribal and Regional Lines Before Casting their Ballots This Time

As the national or general elections loom in Sierra Leone and, as a true citizen, I solemnly pray and hope with all hopes that Sierra Leoneans of the voting age will consider carefully who they would vote for, come March 2018. The divisive and immature nature of politics as it exists in Sierra Leone has, to a greater extent, contributed to the country lagging behind nearly all other countries in terms of progressive development. My readers should be mindful of the fact that certain countries in Africa would rather develop retrogressively than progressively, a situation wherein governments embark on ego-boosting programs that aren’t beneficial to the average citizen.

A government which expends its energy for the benefit of the people is a progressive government and that is what Sierra Leoneans want at this time after being in the doldrums for ages. It is therefore absolutely necessary for fellow citizens to refrain from casting their valued votes in favor of candidates because of tribal or regional affiliations but on how genuine and capable that candidate is, otherwise stagnation in progress is bound to follow.

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View Point

Youth Unemployment Is A Killer Virus In Sierra Leone

“I studied Sociology at NjalaUniversity and graduated in 2015 but still unemployed despite several interviews being attended. I am currently awaiting my MSc at Njala University which is to be awarded early next year,” said 29 year old MabintyKamara.

“I graduated in 2012 with Honours from the Department of Accounting, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. I have sent several job applications; the only long job I got was with the International Medical Corps during the deadly Ebola virus and since then no job. I was also a volunteer teacher but the Minister of Education, Science and Technology did not approve me and others after almost a year of voluntary service so I quit,” said 31 year old Mohamed LaminKanneh.

In Sierra Leone, despite the numerous promises made by President Ernest BaiKoroma to figuratively ‘lay his life for the youth,’ unemployment among youth is one of the highest with no end in sight to reduce the spate of this social menace. According to the United Nations Development Program, approximately 70% of youth are underemployed or unemployed and an estimated 800,000 youth today are actively searching for employment.

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News - Press Release

Sierra Leone receives US$10 Million Supplemental Financing from World Bank as support to Landslide and Flooding

FREETOWN, December 13, 2017 —The World Bank Group has approved aSupplemental Financing (SF) in the amount of US$10 million to help the Government of Sierra Leone meet immediate needs associated with the landslide and flooding disaster that struck Freetown on August 14, 2017.The SF is a grant, provided as a supplemental budget support operation that will flow directly into the Government’s budget.

The funding, under the First Productivity and Transparency Support Credit (PTSC-I), will ensure that the reforms supported under thisoperation remain on track and are implemented without the risk of delays due to competing capacity or budgetary priorities arising from the post-disaster recovery. It will also help with the rebuilding of critical infrastructuredestroyed during the landslide and flooding.

Since the end of the Ebola epidemic, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) has initiated substantive reforms to boost productivity, restore fiscal stability, and gradually rebuild buffers. The Government initiated substantive reforms, focusing on agriculture, fisheries and energy, supported by the First Productivity and Transparency Support Credit (PTSC-I), to boost productivity and start rebuilding the country's buffers.

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Society -Local News

John Baimba Sesay: The Diplomat who Deserves Parliamentary Representation

John Baimba Sesay is a native of Kapethe Village, Safroko Limba Chiefdom, with chiefdom headquarter town of Binkolo, in Constituency 034, Bombali District. The Constituency covers Safroko Limba and Pakimasabong Chiefdoms in the same district.

Born in the early 1980’s, he holds Bachelor of Arts (BA) Mass Communication, with Hons, 2004-2008 from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. He also holds a post graduate Master of Arts (MA), Mass Communication (2009- June 2010) degree from the same university.

John Baimba is my colleague based in Beijing. Having worked for a number of daily newspapers, including, Independent Observer, For Di People and Awoko, he has a wealth of experience in journalism.

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Development

World Bank Group Boosts Financing for West African Power Pool Regional Power Transmission Project

FREETOWN, December13, 2017 —The World Bank Group on November 17, 2017 approved Additional Financing in the amount of US$59.57 million to West African Power Pool (WAPP) - Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea (CLSG) PowerInterconnection Project, which aims to increase electricity supply in the four participating countries.

The project will interconnect the four participating countries into the 225 kV (kilo volt) regional energy market in West Africa, and will also enable the connection to the WAPP of the planned hydropower plants in Bumbuna Extension, Yiben and Bekongor in Sierra Leone and Mount Coffee in Liberia and other future generation projects.

The Project will provide residents of Greater Monrovia Area in Liberia; Bo, Kenema and the Western Areas in Sierra Leone; and the Forest Region of Guinea, with improvements in power supplies in the short-term. It also pursues a regional infrastructure developmental approach that will provide over the medium- to long-term adequate electricity to the people of the four countries in a more efficient and cost effective way, boosting economic and social development.

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Politics

It will not be Business as Usual…Bio assures Diaspora

He was passionate, confident and assuring as he addressed hundreds of Sierra Leoneans at the prestigious Royal Regency Hall in London on Saturday 9th December 2017 with a very simple message that as the next President it will not be business as usual. For a man who has a solid track record as a disciplinarian, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio continues to attract many voters who feel the country needs a strong and disciplined leadership.

Cataloguing the current state of the country, Bio spoke about a divided country, the poor drowning in poverty, rich swimming in affluence, poor governance, battered economy, high public debt, third hungriest country, high inflation among others . He also reminded his audience that many of the things which necessitated the war such as bad governance, mismanagement of the economy, injustice have been the features of the current APC Government.

However, Bio's message was not just about the doom and gloom but also making a case why he is the right choice that the country needs. He spoke about his track record, experience and how he has always put his country first. "Some have come with slogan, country first, but I served my country first at a very tender age. I did not go around the world to work and come back old to say country first. When I was young I gave my life to our country," a passionate Bio said.

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