Freetown, Jan. 20,016 (MOHS) - A high powered Belgian Trade Pre-Mission to Sierra Leone, led by the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Mr. Pieter De Crem has visited the Connaught hospital for possible support to the institution.
The team which comprises officials from Belgian Government, Belgian companies, representatives from Africa and mediavisited the Ebola trial vaccine unit, the screening facility for the patients as well as triage and isolation facilities and Dialysis unit of the hospital.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Mr. Pieter De Crem said the Federal Government of Belgium Foreign Trade supported Sierra Leone a lot when they were hit by the Ebola crisis through their airline company.
The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) is appalled by the arrest, by the police, of journalist Jonathan Leigh, Managing Editor of the Independent Observer newspaper, over an alleged publication of reported violent incidents in Kono following campaigns by the ruling All People's Congress (APC) and the main opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) in the build-up to the Saturday December 19, 2015 by-election in Constituency 25 in Kono.
Mr. Leigh was picked up in his office in the evening of Thursday 17 December by three officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), who told the journalist that they were acting on "orders" to arrest him regarding his front page publication of that day. The investigating officers said the journalist was being interrogated for "false publication"; he was subsequently detained after statement had been obtained from him.
SLAJ is concerned that there seems to exist a consistent pattern by the police to arrest journalists for their publications instead of allowing the body established by law to regulate the media – the Independent Media Commission (IMC) – to handle such matters. We view Mr. Leigh's arrest as a clear case of political harassment and intimidation and therefore call for his immediate release.
The Public Relations Officer of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA), Sorie Ibrahim Kanu has reacted to a story published in the Awoko Newspaper of Wednesday 9th December 2015 titled: EPA To Close Salini Impregilo Quarry Operations.
In that publication, Mr. Kanu said that the author of that article failed to know that the Government of Sierra Leone is responsible for property acquisition, borrow pit, quarries, land for camp construction and all EIA Licenses for any road projects across the country.
He pointed out that SLRA acquired EIA Licenses for the Matotoka Road rehabilitation and construction project in December 2013.
"There was a misunderstanding that Salini Empregu is operating a quarry for the said project without a valid license, but failing to know that Salini Empregu is among the quarries that operates under road projects in the country," he said.
He added that, closing Salini Impregilo will give them a plus because any time they stop working, government will lost not less than US$ 10,000 dollars a day and multiply in four days, you'll see the huge amount of money government may lose if a closure comes in.
"As the people know, contractors are operating with time frame and maximizing profit which is their aim," he pointed out.
Mr. Kanu drew reference in the Lungi Port Loko road when the 'Ojeh' society placed a ban on the CRSG in Lungi, little they didn't know that the company was not losing anything.
The Public Relations Officer told this press that they want to inform the general public that it's not the responsibility of any road contractors to acquire license for its quarry operations but the said misunderstanding is being resolved by SLRA and EPA -SL amicably.
Ahead of the 2015 population and housing census, Statistics Sierra Leone and its international partners on Monday 30 November briefed President Ernest Bai Koroma on its preparedness to conduct the census. The housing and population census is scheduled to take place from 5th to 18th December, 2015.
President Koroma thanked the institutions involved in the census process for their great efforts and stated that he will continue to urge the general public to fully participate in the census to have correct data on the population and other sectors. He pointed out that the data collected will help in policy direction and in the disbursement of funds.
The president emphasized the need for enhanced sensitization and awareness raising, particularly in remote areas, and called on paramount chiefs to be fully involved in order to reach remote areas. He thanked development partners for their financial and technical support towards the conduct of the census and assured of government’s support and commitment to live up to its responsibility.
NEW YORK/LUSAKA, 26 November 2015 – If current levels persist, the total number of child brides in Africa will rise from 125 million to 310 million by 2050, according to a UNICEF report released at the African Union Girls Summit in Lusaka, Zambia, today.
UNICEF’s statistical report, A Profile of Child Marriage in Africa, points to slow rates of reduction, combined with rapid population growth, as major causes for the projected increase. In all other regions of the world, current rates of reduction and demographic trends mean there will be fewer child brides each year. By 2050 Africa will surpass South Asia as the region with the highest number of women aged 20 to 24 who were married as children.
“Child marriage generates norms that have become increasingly difficult to exterminate – norms that undermine the value of our women,” said Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma. “Through greater awareness, teamed with a collaborative approach, the crippling effects of child marriage can be eradicated.”
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.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, April 20, 2017/ -- Four illegal fishing cases have been found during a joint surveillance mission conducted by Greenpeace (www.Greenpeace.org/Africa/en) and Sierra Leone fishery authorities. Two Chinese vessels and one Korean vessel have been arrested for infringements of Sierra Leone fishing legislation, including possessing or using illegal fishing nets on board, no visible marking and a lack of required paperwork, including log books and authorisation for unloading catch. Fishing authorities ordered the vessels to return to Freetown port for further investigation. A fourth vessel, owned by an Italian company, was found with four kilograms of shark fins on board. Though not illegal under Sierra Leonean laws, this is a clear violation of European Union (EU) fishing rules. This boat’s case will be taken further with relevant EU authorities.
In addition, more than 70 bags of shark carcasses were found on one of the Chinese vessels.
The 4th session of the China Africa Press Center (CAPC) Program hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) was officially launched on Wednesday 1st March 2017 in Beijing, China. This year’s event is running simultaneously with the China South Asia Center 2017 program. Both programs brought together forty-four journalists from Africa and South Asia.
The program you will give journalists the opportunity to cover major domestic and international events in China such as the upcoming Two Sessions, i.e, the 5th Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) and the 5th Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese
People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (similar to Parliamentary sessions in many countries) in March, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May and the 9th BRICS Summit in Autumn this year.
A NEW DAWN FOR JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN SIERRA LEONE, PARLIAMENT APPROVES MELRON NICOL-WILSON AS NEW OMBUDSMAN
The Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone has overwhelmingly approved the appointment of Mr Melron Nicol-Wilson as new Ombudsman, on Tuesday April 11, 2017. This follows him being named by H.E President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as the replacement to Justice Edmond Cowan - a long-standing legal icon, who now chairs the Sierra Leone Constitutional Review Committee.
A man whose action speaks louder than words, Mr Nicol-Wilson has been appointed as new Ombudsman for Sierra Leone, a position reserved for high-profile people, who are well-respected and with unblemished character. Mr Nicol-Wilson has the typical pedigree of an Ombudsman, best known both in Sierra Leone and internationally as a champion for justice and human rights.
The Parliament’s decision to approve Mr Nicol-Wilson was anticipated, as the high-profile human rights lawyer emerged unscathed from an exchange of views with Members of Parliament.
(The thoughts expressed in this article are purely and entirely the thoughts of the author)
Election in any democratic setting, include the enjoyment of those rights that will elicit the full participation of individuals in determining the political life of his/her country. An election is a decision making process through which eligible citizens(those who have reached the age of majority, 18 years and above and with sound mind) freely choose their leaders through the ballot box to hold public offices for a specified term.
Generally, people vote with the expectation that the office holders would represent their communitiesand or countries best interest. Elections are viewed as a central feature of the rule of law, human rights, and democracy. Essentially, election is a testimony to peoples’ sovereignty and that ought to be respected and the process must be credible, otherwise there will be challenge with regards the acceptance of the result.
The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Thursday 20th April 2017 unanimously voted for the deferment of debate on the Bill entitled “The Finance Act 2017”, pending a pre-legislative briefing and that it should be piloted by the substantive Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo.
Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of the House who moved the motion explained the importance of the Finance Bill that it provides for the sources of revenue for Government in respect of taxation. She furthered that the pre-legislative hearing will clearly explain the reductions, additions, and significant changes that have been included in the Finance Act of 2017 to Members of Parliament, who will better articulate issues connected thereto during the course of the debate.
The Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, SBB Dumbuya said that “judging from the significance of the Bill, it should be preceded by a pre-legislative briefing” as per the dictates of parliamentary practices and procedures.
The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles and other staff of the Freetown Office have paid an on the spot visit to the Legal Aid Board Office in Waterloo where they interacted with clients. There were twenty-two clients with women accounting for the majority.
Ms. Carlton-Hanciles spoke to some of the clients about their complaints majority of which were maintenance cases. She also touched on the quality of service provided by the staff. She assured that they will received the same quality of service asclients in the Freetown Office and other parts of the country where the scheme has got an office. ‘You have to be patient with us because we do have enough staff to service you all at the same time but we will continue to do our best with the resources at our disposal,’ she assured them.
The Defence Counsel, Lawyer Tholley and Paralegals Arnold Dixon and GibrilJallohbriefed the Ms. Carlton-Hanciles and team on the volume of cases received per day. Ms. Carlton-Hanciles assured that steps are being taken to improve the office with furniture, computers, fan and air conditioners. ‘There is need to improve the working environment for you and our clients as the numbers accessing the scheme continue to increase,’ she said.
PRESS RELEASE: Rural Renewable Energy Project Conducts Installation Training
FREETOWN, 19 April 2017: UNOPS Sierra Leone is hosting a training for selected installation companies, in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, the President’s Recovery Priorities (PRP) programme and United Kingdom Government’s Department for International Development (DFID – also known as ‘UK Aid’).
The theoretical aspect of the training runs from 18th to 20thApril at the Golden Tulip Hotel, followed by 14 days of on-the-job sessionsin Petifu and Conakry Dee communities, in Port Loko District.ASACO, the supplier of the solar equipment, is providing the training facilitators and installation tools.
Participants are mainly Sierra Leonean engineers from Barefoot Women Solar Engineers Association (BWSEA),Frontier Business Solutions (FBS) and APTECH Africa Limited. Training contents include, photovoltaic (PV) system basics, types of solar systems, arrays and connections, project safety and guidance on using the installation checklists.
Former elected Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana left Freetown International Airport, Lungi late afternoon Wednesday April 19, 2017 onboard Kenya Airways on an "Emergency Travel Certificate", en route to Abuja, Nigeria on or about April 23/24, 2017 for the hearing of his petition filed on October 24, 2016 in the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, "seeking an enforcement of his fundamental Human Rights arising from his unconstitutional removal from office, and for further orders contained in the application."
"This matter has been set down for hearing by the Court for April 26, 2017."
According to a spokesman for the Sam Sumana family Matthias Bendu who was with Sam Sumana at the airport until the aircraft was airborne because of advanced information reaching the family that there would be some problem awaiting Sam Sumana at the airport, Matthias Bendu told this Writer on the cellphone from the airport that Sam Sumana "was detained by Immigration Officers at the airport for more than thirty minutes after the aircraft landed, and it was due to the intervention of the Inspector General of Police Francis Munu who told the immigration Officers that Sam Sumana had not committed any crime and must be allowed to travel".