Inequality reduction increasingly important to continued progress in helping the world’s poorest
WASHINGTON, October 2, 2016 –A new World Bank study on poverty and shared prosperity says that extreme poverty worldwide continues to fall despite the lethargic state of the global economy. But it warns that given projected growth trends, reducing high inequality may be a necessary component to reaching the world’s goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.
According to the inaugural edition of Poverty and Shared Prosperity—a new series that will report on the latest and most accurate estimates and trends in global poverty and shared prosperity annually—nearly 800 million people lived on less than US $ 1.90 a day in 2013. That is around 100 million fewer extremely poor people than in 2012. Progress on extreme poverty was driven mainly by East Asia and Pacific, especially China and Indonesia, and by India. Half of the world’s extreme poor now live in Sub-Saharan Africa, and another third live in South Asia.
In 60 out of the 83 countries covered by the new report to track shared prosperity, average incomes went up for people living in the bottom 40 percent of their countries between 2008 and 2013, despite the financial crisis. Importantly, these countries represent 67 percent of the world’s population.
Pay No Bribe (PNB) is an innovative reporting platform where citizens can anonymously report incidents of petty corruptionand bribery. Citizens can register an incident by calling a hotline phone number (515), the PNB website or on a mobile application in Krio, Mende and Temne. The recorded data will allow the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) to monitor public sector corruption trends, and use quantitative evidence to design more effective anti-corruption policy and processes.
PNB is modelled on other successful systems in Ghana, Uganda, and India. In keeping with the GoSL’s commitment to tackle petty corruption and bribery in key service areas, the platform allows citizens to anonymously record incidents in key areas such as water and sanitation, healthcare, education, police and energy. Incidents are logged according to location, the type of bribe requested and (if monetary) the amount. Age and gender are also recorded.
A six man delegation from the Independent National Commission on Human Rights in Liberia jets in to under study the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL).
The delegation among other areas of study will enquire in to Inter- departments coordination and reporting, requirement for achieving ‘A’ status, International Protocols andtheir ratification as national instruments, networking with other institutions of government responsible for human rights as well as CSOs, fund raising with donor organizations and the Commission’s role in the implementation of the TRC.
The Liberian Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) came in to existence in 2005 in accordance with Article XII of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) endorsed in Accra, Ghana, to sell the end of the Liberian civil crisis in 2003. The CPA called for the establishment of the INCHR to monitor conformity with human rights as well as promote human rights education throughout the various sectors of the Liberian society, including rural and urban communities, schools, the media, the police and the military. It further obligated the Commission to work together with local Liberian human rights civil society organizations, international human rights organizations and relevant UN agencies to monitor and strengthen observance of human rights in the country. The INCHR was also set up in line with the Paris Principles.
Written by M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 22:02
As part of the Hajj rituals, Sierra Leone pilgrims on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 completed the slaughtering of about 800 sheep and goats in the Holy city of Mecca. Chairman of the 2016 Hajj Committee to Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Sheka Sahid Kamara (alias Shekitoo) led over 20 pilgrims to witness the slaughtering of the animals.
The two-day exercise was done in the presence of Sierra Leone’s Ambassador in Saudi Arabia, H.E Alhaji Mohamed Sillah Kargbo and Representatives were drawn from the 12 Districts in Sierra Leone; 2 from the Western Urban/Rural Areas respectively, the Chief Imam at the Gadaffi Mosque in the East End of Freetown, Sheikh Osman Bangura, a Freetown - based Missionary, Dr. Ahmad Ramadan Jalloh, Paramount Chief Robert Coker Seilolo Papapwe III of Bagruwa Chiefdom in the Moyamba District, an Independent Media Commissioner, Muctar Turay, the Director, Development Assistance Coordination Office (DACO) in the Ministry Finance and Economic Development, Kawusu Kebbay and some Journalists.
The Moseray Fadika Trust is particularly concerned about the unfounded and completely incorrect news being published by clueless individuals and certain media outlets, irresponsibly alleging that Ambassador Gibril Santigie Moseray Fadika’s briefcase and bank cards were stolen; and that there is a family fight over his estate or properties.
These reports are not true, but mere fabrication of lies. These reports have done nothing but use lies and myths to target the family and cast a dark shadow on the Fadika family during our time of bereavement.
The Moseray Fadika Trust can confirm that it has not recorded any reports that Ambassador Fadika’s briefcase and bank cards were stolen. And there is no evidence of any alleged family fight over his estate.
Ambassador Fadika arrived in London on the 29 July 2016 to launch his campaign for the All Peoples Congress (APC) Party leadership and President of Sierra Leone and to participate in a charity event for children and other activities organised by the Sierra Leonean community in the United Kingdom. Whilst in the United Kingdom, Ambassador Fadika was able to participate in a number of events.
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.
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".
Press freedom has come under severe attack in West Africa as security agencies, particularly the police, appear to be on rampage against journalists and media workers. In a space of 38 days (January 5-February 12, 2017), 30 media workers have been arrested, detained and/or assaulted by security forces, prompting fears that the gains that have been made in recent years on press freedom and freedom of expression could be eroded.
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.
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.
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).
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.
The Legal Aid Board office in Freetown was stretched to the limit following the storming of the office by desperate students ofthe Njala University seeking the intervention of the Board to secure the release of their colleagues who had been arrested and held in police cells around the city.
On a normal weekday, you would expect at least forty people crammed in the Freetown office to seek the services of the Board. The situation on Thursday, March 23 was characterized by mild chaos as too many students wanted to visit the office to provide updates on students arrested by the police.
The team of Legal Aid Board staff comprising Bankole Morgan and Anthony Karim Kamara negotiated the release of five of the six students detained at the Central Police Station. One was not released because of an alleged inflammatory statement to bring the city on its knees.
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.
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.