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Press Release
Fathers the biggest influence on children’s lives in Sierra Leone, says U-Report survey, as UNICEF highlights parents’ key role ahead of Father’s Day PDF Print E-mail
Press Release
Written by press release   
Saturday, 17 June 2017 17:39


Freetown, 16 June 2017 – A survey of more than 8,000 people across Sierra Leone suggests fathers and mothers are the biggest influence on people’s lives, with fathers scoring slightly higher than mothers, in a poll carried out in the last few days by the U-Report platform.
 
But when asked about whether fathers in Sierra Leone were taking their responsibilities seriously, half of respondents selected ‘a little bit’, with only 20 per cent saying ‘definitely’. UNICEF is using Father’s Day, marked this year in many countries on 18 June, to celebrate fatherhood and highlight the importance of love, play, protection and good nutrition for the healthy development of young children’s brains.
 
With more than 90 countries celebrating Fathers’ Day this month, the initiative invites families to post photos and videos of what it takes to be ‘super dads,’ using the hashtag #EarlyMomentsMatter on their Instagram and Twitter accounts.

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Africa: Make Girls’ Access to Education a Reality: End Exclusion From School for Married, Pregnant Students PDF Print E-mail
Press Release
Written by press release   
Friday, 16 June 2017 15:12

 

 

 

(Dakar, June 16, 2017) – Millions of pregnant and married adolescent girls across many African countries are being denied their education because of discriminatory policies and practices, Human Rights Watch said today, on the Day of the African Child. More than 49 million girls are out of primary and secondary school in sub-Saharan Africa, with 31 million of them out of secondary education, undermining their rights and limiting their opportunities.

Early marriage and teenage pregnancy are significant factors. In sub-Saharan Africa, 40 percent of girls marry before age 18, and African countries account for 15 of the 20 countries with the highest rates of child marriage globally. The region also has the world’s highest prevalence of adolescent pregnancies. In 14 sub-Saharan countries, between 30 and 51 percent of girls give birth before they are 18. Cultural or religious beliefs often stigmatize unmarried, pregnant girls, with the result that many pregnant girls are forced into early marriages.

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Dr . Sylvia Blyden addresses the UN; statement receives much acclaim from member states PDF Print E-mail
Press Release
Written by KABS KANU   
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 08:33
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden , yesterday Tuesday June 13, 2017 addressed the 10th Session of the Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention 0n the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  presently going on at the UN Headquarters in New York.
The Statement was received with much acclaim and appreciation from other Member States.
The Full text here follows:
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SLPP PRESS STATEMENT : POLITICAL INTIMIDATION: THE ARREST OF THE LEADER OF ALLIANCE DEMOCRATIC PARTY (ADP) PDF Print E-mail
Press Release
Written by press release   
Friday, 02 June 2017 19:09
The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has been informed of the arrest of the Leader of the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), Mr. Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray on allegation of illegal possession of stun gun. The SLPP is also informed that the said stun gun was found with Mr. Mansaray during the bye-election in Ward 025, Segbwema, Kailahun District on May 27, 2017.    
 
The SLPP is most concern that the APC has again resumed its crude practice of attacks and threats to opposition party members as we approach the 2018 elections. In particular, Mr. Mansaray and other ADP members have been attacked by the APC even in the presence of the Sierra Leone Police. 
 
Recently, Mr. Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray and members of the ADP were attacked in Lunsar during the bye-election in Constituency 50 and in Makeni during the Local Council bye-election in Ward 089. The APC government has now instructed the arrest of Mr. Mansaray for allegations of possessing weapon. 
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THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS PROJECT: A LEGITIMATE SINE QUA NON IN SIERRA LEONE’S PROGRESS PDF Print E-mail
Press Release
Written by Sheka Tarawalie (Shekito)   
Monday, 29 May 2017 14:59
PREAMBLE
“An estimated Le81 billion was paid to traffic officials in bribes to settle traffic offences in the last twelve months. This means that government is losing Le700 billion of domestic revenue from unpaid fines as the monies do not go through official revenue channels…” This formed part of a much-publicised 2016 report titled CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES OF GOVERNANCE (VOL 6), sub-titled ‘Corruption Stops With Us: Ending Bribery For Traffic Offences In Sierra Leone’ by  a coalition of civil society and media activists, the Citizens Agenda for Prosperity (CAP).
This, plus many previous and subsequent of such reports, informed His Excellency the President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma to initiate a traffic lights project which would not only reduce or eliminate traffic police officers from the streets but also provide mechanisms through which monies paid as penalties will directly be deposited into government coffers. But not only that, this project portrays us as nation ready to catch up with the rest of the world in civilization, this projects prevents accidents, saves lives, gives us a sense of orderliness, and also saves fuel consumption for motorists. Suffice it to say that probably certain recent accidents which have seen us losing valuable lives could not have occurred if traffic lights had been installed extensively.
In his determined bid to ensure that the project succeeds, President Koroma specifically assigned me to see that it comes to fruition.
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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

"President Koroma is a big disappointment to press freedom" - SLAJ

Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, has said that President Ernest Bai Koroma has disappointed the media on press freedom in the country. 

“Successive governments have given us false hopes on the repeal of the criminal libel law. The politicians have lied to us. They have taken us to be big fools. President Koroma is our biggest disappointment. We had high hopes in him but he failed us woefully. So we will not trust any politician again, because when they get into office they forget about their promises,” said Nasralla.
 
Nasralla was speaking last Friday while formally launching a report on criminal defamation laws in Africa by PEN Sierra Leone at the SLAJ Harry Yansaneh Memorial Hall, Campbell Street, Freetown. 
 
He recalled that before he was first elected President of the Republic in 2007, President Koroma was a staunch campaigner against criminal libel law in Sierra Leone, but when he became President he suddenly had a different view.
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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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