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Archive for March, 2011

Sierra Leone’s progress in peacebuilding, gender empowerment, democracy and transparent government celebrated

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Sierra Leone’s progress in peacebuilding, gender empowerment, democracy and transparent government celebrated thumbnail

Sierra Leone‘s remarkable progress in building a peaceful society where multi-party democracy, political tolerance and a transparent government now prevail was celebrated all last week at the United Nations where the Peacebuilding Sierra Leone Country Specific Configuration review meetings were held.  With Foreign Minister, Hon. J.B. Dauda and representatives of civil society travelling from Freetown to take part in the week-long program at the UN, Sierra Leone was once again celebrated as the UN success story in post-conflict peacebuilding.  (Photo: Foreign Minister J.B. Dauda enjoying a joke with a stakeholder)

On Thursday  March 24,  Foreign Minister Dauda, civil society representatives and senior staff of the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN were treated to a buffet lunch by the Permanent Mission of Canada at their Mission House at 885 Second Avenue in New York, ahead of the big event – Friday’s meeting at the UN where a statement on behalf of President Ernest Bai Koroma was read by Minister Dauda, stakeholders in the Sierra Leone Peacebuilding Configuration and the Sierra Leone Civil Society representatives also made statements .

The feature of Thursday’s Buffet Lunch was the solid and magnificent presentation made by the civil society representatives, who impressed the large number of guests and demonstrated how much voice Sierra Leone has given to civil society.

Before the civil society presentation, the Chair of the Sierra Leone Configuration, Canadian Permanent Representative, H. E. John McNee and the Executive Representative of the UN Secretary General in Sierra Leone, Dr. Michael Von Der Shulenburg made remarks during which they highly praised the progress being made in Sierra Leone since the end of the war.

Ambassador McNee praised the Agenda For Change and political tolerance in Sierra Leone. He told the gathering that Sierra Leone has created a climate of peace which is impressive and the international community has played a great part in achieving this goal. He indicated that donors working with the UN – The World Bank and the IMF principally- have also helped to bring about the present impressive outcome. He however warned that the Presidential and Legislative Elections next year will be an important step and that Sierra Leone needs a lot of financial and logistical support. The Peacebuilding Commission , he went on, could help in garnering this support for Sierra Leone.

In his remarks, Mr. Shulenburg emphasized the important role civil society groups were playing in Sierra Leone‘s progress towards a democratic and transparent society and this, he said, was manifested by the presence of representatives of civil society. According to him, while other countries were having problems with democratic governance, Sierra Leone is a vibrant society where political parties, civil society and gender representatives were thriving.  He disclosed that all these groups were working together very well and he also noted the participation of women which he said also  was good. He noted that “the last frontier we have to win is women’s participation” and Sierra Leone has made progress also in this aspect.

Then came the participation of the civil society group from Sierra Leone. Composed mainly of women, key among them the Women’s Leader of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), former First Lady Mrs. Isatu Jabbie-Kabbah (commonly known as I.J) ,who represented the All Political Parties Women’s Organization , the civil society stole the show with their strong and articulate statements which manifested the strong voice they enjoyed in Sierra Leone. Speaking extemporaneously, without prepared statements, each and every one of them was eloquent and impressed listeners with their classic analyses of the issues.

Mrs. Kabbah lauded the progress being made in Sierra Leone in bringing women together, especially with the formation of the All Political Parties Women’s Organization She said that with women constituting 51% of the total population of Sierra Leone, “women want to advocate for our people and now we have the opportunity and we thank the UN and the government for it “. But she stated that much still needs to be done and emphasized that no government can succeed in Sierra Leone without the empowerment and increased participation of women. She lauded the present peace in Sierra Leone without which there will be no progress, but she said that women were advocating for 30% quota in parliament and government following the 2012 elections.

The Hon. Marie Marilyn Jalloh, All People’s Congress (APC) Parliamentary Representative for Constituency 35 , Bombali, who came to New York to represent the Women’s Congress as National Secretary General, said that women had set the pace in Sierra Leone. “We fought for peace and democracy in Sierra Leone. We have a lot to do and the international community is helping a lot.” Lauding the APPWO, she noted that there were still a lot of issues to be confronted, “but we are doing our best through gender and civil society participation. ”

Mrs Iyesha Josiah Kamara, representing the 50-50 Organization, said that women are advocating for the 30% quota participation because they constitute most of the population and they do not want the country to fail. She stated that it was during the war that women’s potential for leadership came out. She said that both during Bintumani 1 and 11, women played a leading role in the negotiations and they even confronted the rebels, pushing forward for democracy. “We want to go forward. The war has taught us that there are roles that women can play. We want support for gender equality dialogue forums. We have been in the background too long and we want the men to listen to us this time .We want the men’s minds to be re-orientated so they can think like us”. The hall cheered. She also called for capital development so that women could make their own progress economically .

Mrs .Victoria Fatima Davies, representing the Destiny Women’s Empowerment Organization,  said that for too long women were not empowered and were victims of gender-based violence , but things have changed, thanks to the international community. She outlined the benefits that a nation enjoys when women are empowered : The home does not suffer and  the nation grows and develops .She said that teenage pregnancy and early marriage in Sierra Leone cause women not to be empowered .She called on the international community to provide support and encouragement towards the development of civil society. Expressing appreciation for gender mainstreaming, she emphasized that “What men can do, women can do, and even better.”

Mr. Moses Ndomahina, representing Transparency Organization, joked that he was the only man among the women but quickly added that this was a demonstration of the government’s commitment to the empowerment of women. He also called for more support to empower women in Sierra Leone and said his organization was committed to support of the 30% quota in participation being demanded by women.

The statements touched the stakeholders so deeply that in his closing remarks, Ambassador McNee said: “We listen to speeches whole day at the UN, but rarely do we hear such articulate and heartfelt statements”.  He thanked the civil society for its powerful statements and assured them of the support of the PBC.

Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN, New York, USA

 

Exclusive Interview with Foreign Minister Part 2

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Exclusive Interview with Foreign Minister Part 2 thumbnail

J B Dauda talks about his vast experience and the nation’s standing with development partners.

Kabs Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary, this week conducted an exclusive interview with Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Joseph Bandabla Dauda, who was in  New York to attend the United Nations Peace Building Sierra Leone Country Specific Configuration review meetings. It was the minister’s first comprehensive interview given any news media since his appointment in November. During the interview, the minister demonstrated extraordinary knowledge of the issues as will be seen from his answers. He spoke calmly, chose his words well and was very methodical in his responses.

During the first segment of the interview, the minister disclosed that to him, the nation comes first, ahead of party. He said that he accepted his appointment because in all he has ever done in life, the interest of the nation has always been paramount to him. His party, the opposition SLPP took him to task for accepting the appointment and when they wanted him to appear before a kind of disciplinary committee, the minister resigned from the party because the interest of Sierra Leone comes first, ahead of party. Today, Hon. J B Dauda is digging in his spurs as Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Today , we go Part 2 of the interview

Your appointment has been the subject of lots of  emotions from your old party as you have insinuated yourself , but how do you feel about  this decision by President Koroma’s decision to make you  Foreign Minister ?

First of all, I believe the President was looking for somebody with experience in governance so that I could add the wealth of experience I have acquired in my career , having served in two administrations , first the Presidency of the late Joseph Saidu Momoh of the All People’s Congress (APC)  where I rose from Minister of State in the Attorney General’s Office to Minister of Trade and Industry and later on Attorney General and Minister of State and Second Vice-President (1987-1992). I also served in the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah where I held the portfolios of Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Minister of Finance ( 1999-2005).

How will these experiences you have enumerated help you perform your job ?

I have been in cabinet for long and I am fully aware of the processes used in the formulation of government policy and as Minister of Finance for over three years, I had an active interaction with the International Community –the United Nations, UNDP, World Bank and many other financial institutions which formed the international community. I was involved in the mobilization of funds locally and internationally for the development of the country and in this capacity coordinated all the economic development of the departments and agencies.

In my new role as Minister of Foreign Affairs, one of my principal functions is to mobilize external resources for our economic development and in doing that also I have to coordinate all international assistance in partnership with the Ministry of Finance ; so my experience at the Finance  Ministry gives me an advantage to carry out that particular aspect of my function .Also, in the peace building process as Minister of Local Government, I was a member of the ministerial committee that actually conducted the disarmament process with the rebels.

We visited the rebel-held territories and spoke to them to give up their arms . We also oversaw at the initial stage the process of disarmament , resettlement and the reintegration of the ex-combatants and when I became Minister of Finance my main preoccupation was to manage a post-conflict economy in which our main concern was to form humanitarian relief which involved the provision of basic necessities like food, medicine, shelter, and the logistics for the transfer of internally-displaced persons to their homes and the resettlement of refugees from the neighbouring countries like Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Ghana. As you can see therefore, I have a wealth of experience which will help me perform my job very well.

With such a vast experience, your job is really well cut, Mr. Minister. Could you enlighten readers about our relationship with our international development partners  ? This has been the subject of a lot of speculation in internet forums  recently .

Our relationship has been reasonably good. Principally, the IMF is the major one , the institution that gives you the certificate that you are managing the economy well so that other development partners may contribute to your development efforts. If you don’t have the certificate, they will not participate and to get this certificate you need to manage well the programs of the IMF. They give you a number of economic and financial targets which you must achieve in a micro-economic stability -you must maintain micro-economic stability .You must have a single digit inflation rate and a relatively stable exchange rate with a very prudent fiscal policy. The government has on the whole managed the economy well, to the extent that we still have a program with the IMF , which is a precondition for securing assistance from international financial institutions and other development partners.

Thank you very much for making this clarification, Mr. Minister. It is good to know that we are performing well, especially coming from a man of your vast knowledge and experience.

More recently, we have embarked upon a huge, vast and unprecedented road construction all over the country which we have funded entirely from locally-generated revenue and this huge expenditure of these development projects has contributed to the rising inflationary rate in the country but in the current review of the IMF the point has been made by the IMF team that we must redouble our efforts at revenue-generation and expenditure control to enable us to finance the very ambitious development projects we have taken in the departments of infrastructure ,agriculture and more particularly the free medical insurance. This is a program we are also funding , giving free medical facilities to lactating mothers, pregnant women and children under 5. That has also eaten substantially into our resources. It is one of our flagship projects which has attracted a lot of people to access medical facilities that were not available before.

How about our relationship with the UK Department For International Development (DFID)? Some detractors online have been making all kinds of claims about our relationship with them.

Whatever claims these detractors were making were false. While the new coalition government in the UK was reviewing its assistance to other countries, aid was drastically cut down and in the case of certain countries completely discontinued. When it came to Sierra Leone, assistance was increased which reflects our good performance in terms of aid utilization from DFID. It also reflects the commitment the DFID has towards Sierra Leone. Again, one can interpret that as an acknowledgement of our efforts at the establishment and sustenance of a democratically good governance, principally in the areas of fighting corruption, staging democratic Presidential and legislative elections in 2007 local elections in 2008 etc. etc. We have the most robust anti-corruption Act in the whole of Africa .All our elections were judged by international monitors to be free and fair and on a special note the outcome of the elections in 2007 in which the opposition won against the incumbent ruling government , leading to a smooth transfer of power ,which is very rare in Africa.

Part 3 to follow …

Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN, New York, NY 10017

 

New Foreign Minister conducts first comprehensive interview: ” The interest of my country always comes first in all I do”

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

New Foreign Minister conducts first comprehensive interview: ” The interest of my country always comes first in all I do” thumbnail

New York March 24, 2011 – Since he was appointed Sierra Leone’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in November, veteran politician Hon. Joseph Bandabla Dauda had been so busy promoting and canvassing Sierra Leone’s national and international interests at home and abroad that he had not had the time to sit down with any pressman to discuss his new job,  his goals and aspirations  on the job and the factors that motivated him to accept the high-profile ministerial appointment from President Ernest Bai Koroma.    (Photo: J B Dauda, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation)

All that changed today in New York , as the Minister , who is fondly known as “JAM BODY FOR DEVELOPMENT,” took time off his busy schedule to sit down with Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN, Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, to have a very lengthy chat about pertinent matters pertaining to his job,  his past, Sierra Leone ‘s foreign policy objectives, his political beliefs and what it means to work with President Ernest Koroma and the All People’s Congress ( APC ) Government.

Mr. J.B.Dauda is a serious-minded  and experienced man and this is reflected on his face the moment you meet him. Having heard and read so much about the old, experienced politician , I considered it a magnificent opportunity this morning  to conduct this  first ever comprehensive interview by the  Foreign Minister , especially  with a man who has been one of the shakers and makers of  public opinion and political decisions in Sierra Leone for over three decades. J.B Dauda  is not the kind of man who betrays his emotions when you first meet him but when you start talking with him , you will discover  yourself speaking with a man who is not only  philosophical in his explanations  but one who chooses  his words carefully and displays a depth of knowledge of politics and the Sierra Leonean question that are at once amazing and very impressive.  As you listen to him uncover his repertoire of political knowledge, experience and wisdom, you begin to see why President Koroma, who is looking for the finest minds to help him rebuild Sierra Leone, reached across the political divide to invite Mr. Dauda, who was a staunch member of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) , to become the country’s third most senior member of government.

The nationalistic passion  that underpins his political ideology is the first things that Mr. J.B .Dauda proudly and unapologetically enunciated  the moment  the interview gained momentum. “When President Koroma approached me to become a minister in government, I did not look at myself being being invited to join a party. He did not invite me to join his party or leave my party .When he spoke to me , he said he was inviting me in my personal capacity and during this time we did not discuss party loyalty .He only invited me to be a minister , which to me was a good opportunity to serve my country. To me, my country has always come first. Throughout my political career which has lasted three decades, the interest of my country has always come first . I thought it was a good opportunity to serve my country. But after my appointment, my own party wrote me the same day suspending me for accepting  the job and when they decided to arraign me before a disciplinary committee I offered my resignation from the party because I said that throughout my political career, I had always put my country first and this was the first priority that made me accept President Koroma’s offer. Up ’till today,  I feel very proud of my decision to be associated with the APC government which has embarked on very substantial development projects which are transforming our country and therefore justifies the slogan of our 50th Anniversary that we are celebrating a new Sierra Leone …….”.

Throughout the interview which lasted over 2 hours , Mr. Dauda took his time to articulate his political philosophy and what the government is doing that has  justified his decision to accept President Koroma’s offer, and like the wise veteran politician he is, the minister will end the elaborate interview by appealing to the young people and all other Sierra Leoneans to change their attitudes and now consider the performance of the government  in power as the yardstick of support,  instead of tribe, ethnicity or political loyalty .

Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN, New York, USA

 

Foreign Minister J.B. Dauda meets Sierra Leone UN Mission staff

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

 

 The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation ,  Hon Joseph Bandabla Dauda, today met with staff of the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations in New York. The Minister is in the United States to attend the  UN Peacebuilding Commission  Sierra Leone Configuration Meeting to be held at the UN this week.

The minister was met on arrival at the mission by the Permanent Representative , Ambassador Shekou Toure , who formally welcomed him , and other senior staff, including the Deputy Permanent Representative for Legal Affairs , Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara , the Minister Plenipotentiary, Mr. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu and the Head of Chancery, Mrs. Margaret Jah-Matturi.

The Foreign Minister  then held a meeting with the diplomats during which pertinent matters affecting the Mission and the operations of the staff were discussed. The Minister said he arrived two days earlier to the meetings to be able to visit the mission to introduce himself formally since his appointment few months ago and not only meet most of the staff for the first time but listen to their views about the work of the Mission. He assured the diplomats of his commitment and willingness to improve their conditions of operations. The minister acquainted the staff about new measures soon to be implemented by government to boost the Sierra Leone diplomatic service .

At the end of the meeting, the Deputy Permanent Representative for Political Affairs ,Ambassador Rupert Davies gave the vote of thanks.  He expressed thanks to the Foreign Minister for coming to the Mission to see staff and listen to their views about their work. He expressed confidence in the ability and experience of the minister and said he had no doubt that the minister will justify the confidence reposed in him byPresident Ernest Koroma.

The Foreign Minister was then taken on a conducted tour of the Mission premises by the Head of Chancery ,Mrs. Jah-Matturi.

WE BRING YOU A  PICTORIAL DISPLAY OF THE FOREIGN MINISTER’S VISIT TODAY.

FOREIGN MINISTER J.B. DAUDA ADDRESSING SIERRA LEONE’S UN MISSION STAFF

SOME OF THE MISSION STAFF LISTENING KEENLY TO MINISTER DAUDA

AFTER THE MEETING : FROM LEFT–AMBASSADORS DAVIES AND KAMARA; HEAD OF CHANCERY MARGARET JAH-MATTURI , FOREIGN MINISTER DAUDA AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE SHEKOU TOURAY

FROM LEFT : VICTORIA SULIMANI ( BACK TURNED ) , MINISTER DAUDA , AMBASSADOR KAMARA AND THE NEW FINANCIAL ATTACHE , MR. FOMBA BARWOH

 

Kono District Council Chairman Sworn In

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Koidu: The Chairman elect of the just concluded Kono District Council (KDC) election Finda Diana Konomani over the weekend took the oath of office, administered on her by the Permanent Secretary of Rural Development in presence of President Ernest Bai Koroma and Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana at the Koidu City Football Field.
Chairman for the occasion, Idaru Kalokoh, said Kono is the first District to produce a woman as Chairperson of a District Council and referred to the day as history in the making.  The day itself he observed would serve as a double edge sword that will also see the handing over of site of roads in Kono to the contractors
GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, STATE HOUSE
TOWER HILL, FREETOWN. SIERRA LEONE
MEDIA ADVISORY
CODE:   SH/28/11                              21st MARCH 2011
KONO DISTRICT COUNCIL CHAIRMAN SWORN INTO OFFICE
Koidu: The Chairman elect of the just concluded Kono District Council (KDC) election Finda Diana Konomani over the weekend took the oath of office, administered on her by the Permanent Secretary of Rural Development in presence of President Ernest Bai Koroma and Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana at the Koidu City Football Field.
Chairman for the occasion, Idaru Kalokoh, said Kono is the first District to produce a woman as Chairperson of a District Council and referred to the day as history in the making.  The day itself he observed would serve as a double edge sword that will also see the handing over of site of roads in Kono to the contractors.
Speaking, the Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure Alimamy Koroma told the large gathering, that Kono was making history as Diana assumes office as first Chairperson  of a District Council. Kono, he said is part of Sierra Leone and not forgotten as Kono people thought. President Koroma he told them has heard their cries and the day will change the history of Kono through infrastructural development forever.
The Minister informed that Kono has been given a full dose of 20 kilometers of road construction, unlike other big towns like Makeni, Bo and Kenema that got only 10 kilo meters each.
Resident Minister East, William Juana Smith presented the Chairperson, to the President, his Vice president Samuel Sam Sumana and the Kono people. He referred to the occasion as an epoch making one and gave a background profile of Diana Konomani
.
In her inaugural address Diana Konomani said the occasion is historic and expressed thanks to President Koroma, Vice President Sumana and all those in general who had contributed to her success. She noted that the presence of the President is a clear indication of his love and commitment for the people of Kono.
She acknowledged that the building of Kono will require time and patient and said that her Council will focus on education and teen age pregnancy. She promised that the Council’s limited resources will be wisely and transparently use.
Finda Diana Konomani, called on everyone to come together and work for the development of the country as a whole.
Representatives of Paramount Chiefs and Members of Parliament all commended Diana and promised to work with her Council in line with Government Agenda for Change.
Director General of SLRA Munda Rogers, informed that in addition to the high way road Kono will be provided with 10 kilo meters of roads inside Kono, plus other feeder roads.
Speaking, President Koroma, expressed his happiness to attend the occasion and the warm welcome accorded to him and his entourage. He said the victory of APC in the elections has proved that Kono is not that same of yesterday and that the party is gender positive.

Government, he noted will continue to support Diana as the APC stands for the development of the nation.

With regards to roads construction, he said government was there to commission the roads in Koidu. He also spoke on health, agriculture and education. Roads infrastructure, noted that Kono network will surpass that in Makeni, Bo and Kenema. He also informed that the Kono road project will cost up to US$90,000,000M and that government has started plans for electricity in Kiodu and its environs.
President Koroma called on the Kono People not to take the law into their hands but rather to work together for development.
As part of his visit the President also visited the Kono Power Plant at Simbakoro, where he was taken on a conducted tour of the Plant by the Deputy Minister of Energy Martin Bash Kamara. The six megawatts plant when completed later this year the Minister informed, will serve Kono and its environs.
En route to Freetown President Koroma commissioned the Nimiyema Chiefdom Community Bank in Njiama Sewafe, had a stopover at Masingbi where he spoke to the people of Masingbi and environs in a big meeting organized by Paramount Chief Bai Kruu and Member of Parliament Mabinty Forna.

Together with the Vice President the President also made another stopover and spoke to the people of Makali and Matotoka.

President Ernest Bai Koroma & Delegation Arrive in Nigeria to Launch West Africa Insurance Companies Association

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

President Ernest Bai Koroma & Delegation  Arrive in Nigeria to Launch West Africa Insurance Companies Association . Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has arrived in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Tuesday March 15th,2011 with a three Man delegation including Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hon. Joseph B. Dauda to officially launch the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) Reinsurance Corporation Plc. According to Program of events, the launching ceremony will take place today Tuesday at the Lantana Hall, Eko Hotel &suites , Adetokumbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island in Lagos.

PHOTO :

 Secretary_to_the_Lagos_State_Government_Mrs._Princess_A.A._Ogunsanya_

welcoming_President_Koroma_on_arrival_at_the_Lagos__Airport_Presidential_wing.

On arrival, President Ernest Bai Koroma and his delegation was received by Secretary to the Lagos State Government Princess  Adenican-Ogunsanya, Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Relations to the Lagos State Government Toyin Caxton-Martins, Director General of Chattered Insurance Institute of Nigeria Mr. Adeboyega Adepegba, WAICA Lagos Rep. Alice Onomake, Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria H.E. Henry O Macauley, Lagos Liaison officer Dudley Elliott, Information Attaché Pasco Gerald Temple and Lagos Protocol officer Prince Fatai Fagbere.

 

Sierra_Leone’s_Foreign_Affairs_Minister_Hon_J.B_Dauda_in_black_and_white_lined_French_Suit_in_the_amidst_Senior_Government_officials.

Above this photo : A cross-section of insurance executives waiting to receive President Koroma

At the EKO Hotel, President Koroma was greeted by a large group of Insurance Chief Executives most of whom were his colleagues from different parts of West Africa including Sierra Leone National Insurance Company’s Mr. Yaskey.

Meanwhile, Hon. Joseph B. Dauda has signed the Headquarters agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and WAICA, for the establishment of the West African College of Reinsurance in Sierra Leone.

President Koroma Attracts More International awe

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has attracted more International admiration resulting from his passion for regional growth and development. His emphasis on social integration – the act of acceptance – and social solidarity at local and international levels which is tendon to innovative consultancy organisations for development cooperation and business promotion world-wide need not be over emphasized.

President Ernest Bai Koroma has been recognized by the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) as one of the strongest proponents of the idea to establish a regional reinsurance institution, under the auspices of WAICA.

WAICA Reinsurance Corporation will create a doubly assurance for both clients and insurers by reinsuring the already insured.
Reinsurance is insurance that is purchased by an insurance company (insurer) from another insurance company (reinsurer) as a means of risk management, to transfer risk from the insurer to the reinsurer. The reinsurer and the insurer enter into a reinsurance agreement which details the conditions upon which the reinsurer would pay the insurer’s losses (in terms of excess of loss or proportional to loss). The reinsurer is paid a reinsurance premium by the insurer, and the insurer issues thousands of policies.

The West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) was founded in 1973 by insurance institutions in the five English speaking West African countries, including the Republic of Gambia, Republic of Sierra Leone, Republic of Liberia, Republic of Ghana and ,the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Consequent upon the international nature and structure of the organisation, activities of WAICA in member countries are still attended and supported by distinguished Government personalities at ministerial and occasionally higher levels.

“You will recall Your Excellency, that several years ago, and with you as one of the strongest proponents, the idea of establishing a regional reinsurance institution under the auspices of WAICA was fully accepted. Since then, a lot of events have happened and we are happy to report that we are in the very final stages of the establishment of the institution which is to be named WAICA Reinsurance.

In view of the above, it is our pleasure to on behalf of the executive committee and entire membership of WAICA cordially invite you to be the Chief Launcher of this new regional institution.

Last year, the Chattered Insurance Institute Of  Nigeria CIIN, the premier professional organization for those working in the insurance and financial services industry, recognized President Ernest Bai Koroma as the first successful Chattered Insurer to become a President of a Country through one of the most credible, transparent and non violent election process.

He was awarded together with former Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Madam Zainab Hawah Bangura, and Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria H.E. Henry O. Macauley.

Pasco Gerald Temple
Information Attache
Sierra Leone High Commission
Plot 308 Mission Road
Central Business District
Federal Capital Territory
Abuja, Nigeria
Tel:+2347062701748
www.slhcnigeria.org

Ambassador Bockarie Stevens meets with APC Washington, DC Metropolitan Chapter

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Ambassador Bockarie Stevens meets with APC Washington, DC Metropolitan Chapter thumbnail

 on March 15, 2011.

 

The APC Washington DC Metropolitan Chapter Executive under the dynamic leadership of Mrs. Yabom Thaslim Sesay-Koroma paid a courtesy call on the Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the United States of America , His Excellency Bockarie K. Stevens on Saturday, March 12, 2011 to introduce the new executive  and update him with the activities of the chapter .The meeting was held in an atmosphere of openness  and frank exchanges of ideas and ways to promote the chapter’s activities in the interest of peace and unity.

In her opening remarks, the President of the APC Washington DC Metropolitan Chapter, Mrs.Yabom Thaslim Sesay-Koroma expressed sincere appreciation to H.E. Ambassador Bockarie K. Stevens for accepting the request of the executive to meet with him to introduce the executive and update him also with the activities of the chapter since the last elections held in September, 2010. She informed the Ambassador of the surge in the membership of the chapter, the interest of many Sierra Leoneans to become members of the chapter, and the important role the youths are playing to promote and be actively involved in the activities of the chapter. She also informed the Ambassador about increase in the finances of the chapter, the commitment of members to pay their dues, which has increased our membership dues in the months of January and February respectively, total money and balance at hand since the executive came into office. She informed the ambassador of the successful outcome of the inauguration ceremony of the executive in December, 2010. These developments that have been taking place are really unprecedented in the history of the chapter. She affirmed and reiterated the resolve of the executive to keep up with this momentum thereby maintaining the integrity and credibility of the leadership and the executive, while transparency and accountability is the yardstick of measuring the work of the executive. The President then introduced all members of the executive who were present at the meeting.

The Vice President of the Chapter, Alhaji Alhaji Dumbuya reported to the Ambassador the plan of activities of the chapter for 2011 which included fund-raising events, membership drives, fund raising trip to Atlantic City, leadership and conflict resolution workshops, other activities planned by the different committees and the youth wing of the chapter.

The Youth Director Mr.Mohamed Kamarainba in his remarks, elaborated on the Project “Feed the Youths”: to be held in Freetown during the 50th Anniversary Celebrations in April 2011. The youth wing and the executive have been working seriously on this project which has drawn huge support from our membership. The aim is to raise the sum of $25,000 to implement this viable project in Freetown. A container worth of food items and drinks is expected to be shipped to Freetown in the next couple of days.

Other speakers at the meeting included Prof. S. Michael Dillo Sesay, Secretary General of the APC Washington DC Metropolitan Chapter who also highlighted on the activities of the chapter and the determination of the entire executive to promote the ideals of the party and move the chapter to an unprecedented level.

In his remarks, His Excellency Ambassador Bockarie K Stevens welcomed the new executive of the APC Washington DC Metropolitan Chapter to the Embassy and expressed his satisfaction with the work of the executive, which is being felt and recognized as evidenced by the tangible results achieved within this shortest period of time since it was elected to office. He thanked the President of the Chapter Mrs. Yabom Thaslim Sesay-Koroma and the executive for their hard work, dedication and commitment to the chapter and the party. He lauded the achievements of the executive, especially in the area of membership and in the area of financial transparency and accountability.

The Ambassador reiterated the achievements of the party under the indomitable leadership of our President His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma in transforming the socio-economic development of Sierra Leone. He emphasized the importance of unity and peace for the interest of the chapter and the party as we prepare for 2012 that is just around the corner. He reminded all that we should not be complacent because of the achievements of the party and government in the past three years of governance. He appealed to all party stalwarts and supporters to be more vigilant and steadfast to thwart the insidious efforts of the opposition in desperation to regain power at the next election. He called on all to continue the good work for the chapter and the party to ensure victory in the next coming presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

Ambassador Bockarie Stevens wholehearted and unreservedly congratulated the executive under the leadership of Mrs. Yabom Sesay-Koroma in accordance with the decision of the leadership of the party which officially recognized Mrs. Yabom Sesay-Koroma as the legitimate president of the APC Washington DC Metropolitan Chapter. He appealed to the leadership of the chapter to work ardently and fervently towards reconciliation and peace with all other members of the chapter especially members of the other group of the chapter who had had contentions in the past elections of the chapter. He emphasized on the issue of an inclusive administration as outlined in the letter sent from the Secretariat of the party in Freetown which is intended to foster peace and reconciliation in the interest of the chapter and the party.

Mrs. Yabom Sesay-Koroma informed the Ambassador of the efforts exerted by her executive and personally to forge unity, peace and reconciliation with the Bero’s Group, but which proved to be futile. It was however decided that the process of seeking peace and reconciliation should continue for the common good of the chapter and the party. Officials present at the meeting decided that the Ambassador makes the necessary arrangements for a peace and reconciliation meeting with members of the Bero’s Group as a way to move forward in the interest of the chapter and the party.

Other members who spoke at the meeting included Mr. Mohamed Lamin Fofanah, political adviser, Pastor Bobson Bangura, acting organizing secretary, Mrs. Mariatu Florence Bangura, assistant women’s leader, Pa Brima Kargbo, acting financial secretary, Ms. Rachel Mariatu Bundor, treasurer, Mr. Mohamed Kamarainba, youth director.

By Michael Dillo Sesay, APC WDCMC, Secretary General

Ambassador Touray and Japanese Minister discuss PBC and Security Council issues

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

 

 The Minister responsible for Political Affairs in the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, Mr. Kaz Aikawa,  paid a courtesy call on Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, H.E. Ambassador Shekou Touray , at the Sierra Leone Mission , East 49th Street, New York on Wednesday. Ambassador Touray and Mr. Aikawa, who is  also responsible for the Peacebuilding Commission , Security Council Reform and legal issues,  discussed significant issues underpinning the PBC and the reform of the United Nations Security Council.

TOP PHOTO : AMBASSADOR TOURE AND MR. AIKAWA HOLDING TALKS

During their discussion, the Japanese diplomat said that Sierra Leone is a priority subject with Japan, which is why the Japan is  expressing  its support to the country  with reference to the Peacebuilding Commission and employment -creation in Sierra Leone. He lauded Sierra Leone for being one of the success stories of the United Nations in the area of peacebuilding. “You have made yourself a success story of the UN from war to peacebuilding and national reconstruction, “, he emphasized .

He went on to say that since Sierra Leone is Chair of the Committee of 10 (C-10 ) on Security Council Reform , he came to also discuss reform issues with Ambassador Touray . He stated that the Group of 4 ( G-4) consisting of Japan, Brazil, Germany  and India believe that the Intergovernmental Negotiations need momentum and a step-by-step approach , which is the way to go and as a result the G-4  are working towards a draft resolution that will provide for expansion of the Security Council in both the Permanent and Non-Permanent Categories and for improvement of  the working methods. “We started reaching out this week to our African and European friends to test the waters ..and we want inputs on the proposed resolution “, he added.

AMBASSADOR TOURAY (RIGHT) AND THE JAPANESE MINISTER SHAKE HANDS AFTER THEIR DISCUSSION

Responding to the Japanese Minister, Ambassador Touray thanked him for paying him a courtesy call and underscored the fact that Sierra Leone and Japan will understand  each other  more through such interactions. Ambassador Touray said that Sierra Leone is engaged in national reconstruction and the emphasis is on rebranding the country. He told the Japanese diplomat : ” You are playing a good role in our development strides . As far as your role in the PBC , you have been instrumental in developing the architecture of the Commission and giving it a new dimension that development has a role to play in peacebuilding , and the emphasis should not be just on peace , human rights  and the Rule of Law. We appreciate your  country’s efforts and hope that during your time you will do the same”.

Ambassador Touray informed the minister  that Sierra Leone will be conducting Presidential and Legislative Elections in 2012 and that the nation will need good friends like Japan to make the elections  a success. He disclosed that Sierra Leone would appreciate any logistical support  as there were gaps in the availability of vehicles, for instance .

On the reform of the UN Security Council, Ambassador Touray stressed the importance  of the African Common Position, as enunciated by the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration. “On your proposed resolution, we look forward to hearing more from you .Whatever will give the negotiation process a momentum we will be obliged to move along with it once it does not compromise the African Common Position. “  Ambassador Touray noted that the whole issue of Security Council Reform is a comprehensive package and Categories of Membership  and The Question of the Veto are interconnected .

The Minister Plenipotentiary and Coordinator of C-10, Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu,was present during the deliberations.

Exclusive Interview Final installment : Foreign Minister talks about the new dispensation in Sierra Leone

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Exclusive Interview Final installment : Foreign Minister talks about the new dispensation in Sierra Leone thumbnail

Cocorioko last week held a marathon interview with the Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone, Hon J.B. Dauda. We have already published three installments of the interesting and eye-opening interview with one of the most experienced politicians in Sierra Leone. As the Minister returns to Sierra Leone tomorrow, we bring you the final installment of the interview.

From all the responses we have heard from you, I am sure that readers will agree with me that you really understand the issues in Sierra Leone. Knowing yourself to be however constrained at the time by your membership with the opposition SLPP, what was the first thing that came to your mind when President Koroma offered you the job?

Well, before the offer, the President and I have been friends discussing national issues. As Minister of Finance, I was a frequent visitor to Parliament to introduce Bills .We had known each other and spent lots of time together. When President Koroma approached me to become a minister in government, I did not look at myself being invited to join a party. He did not invite me to join his party or leave my party .When he spoke to me, he said he was inviting me in my personal capacity and during this time we did not discuss party loyalty. He only invited me to be a minister , which to me was a good opportunity to serve my country. To me, my country has always come first.

Throughout my political career which has lasted three decades, the interest of my country has always come first. I thought it was a good opportunity to serve my country. But after my appointment, my own party wrote me the same day suspending me for accepting the job and when they decided to arraign me before a disciplinary committee I offered my resignation from the party because I said that throughout my political career, I had always put my country first and this was the first priority that made me accept President Koroma’s offer. Up until today, I feel very proud of my decision to be associated with the APC government which has embarked on very substantial development projects which are transforming our country and therefore justifies the slogan of our 50th Anniversary that we are celebrating a new Sierra Leone because this is the first time a huge infrastructural development covering the entire country has been undertaken, and which justifies the slogan. The infrastructural, energy, water, health projects when completed will really transform our country to a new country that would move us towards sustainable development.

But how did your people in Kenema take it?  The opposition press said they were angry with you.

When I was appointed, some of my detractors in the SLPP said I was a spent force and I had no support in Kenema. When they approached me to respond, I told them that words were not sufficient, but action. Therefore I invited them to Kenema to go and see for themselves the reaction of my people to my presentation to them by President Ernest Koroma. On that day, thousands of people from all walks of life converged at the city football grounds in their colorful dresses of red, with various groups displaying banners, ashoebi etc. There were thousands of people who had spent their own money to go and celebrate my appointment.  That was a clear demonstration of the support of my people and a befitting appreciation of the President’s gesture for appointing me minister. Thus those who held the view that my people were not happy with me were completely ignorant of the political situation in my area.

How do you find working with President Koroma?

Extremely good, enjoyable, pleasant and rewarding. It is rewarding because I find him to be very diligent, honest, committed and patriotic. He loves his country and is always talking about resources in developing the country. I find him a good partner to work with to develop the country. He is a man whose programs know no line of division. He knows no tribe or region. He only knows Sierra Leone as a unit and the result can be seen in the development projects going on all over the country.

Given all your experience with your old party and the demands of national reconstruction, what advice do you have for the people of Sierra Leone who are part of the equation?

For Sierra Leonean , based on my experience in politics going three decades, the current trend in Sierra Leone today is a new thinking that politics is  based on the performance of a party or government in power . The old idea of drawing support for ethnic reasons is no longer valid. Sierra Leoneans now, particularly the young ones , are looking for a leader who delivers ,who performs and who is developing the country .The voting pattern is now dependent upon the services and programs delivered to the people. The APC understands this and that is why development is being taken not only to the North but to the South and the East and people are now proud to come out and associate with the government because they are glad that government is spreading development all over the country, e.g., Bo and Kenema where substantial development is taking place.

The President draws huge crowds of admirers whenever he goes there and this is reflected in the polls results in the South/East  He is very popular in the South/East and secondly his personal disposition is also very pleasant.

Well, thank you, Mr. Minister, for giving this long interview . Our readers indeed have a lot to chew on. Thank you for giving us such a valuable part of your time.

Thank you too for interviewing me.

Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN, New York, USA

 

Pictorial Display : Sierra Leone Mission celebrates Minister Plenipotentiary’s birthday

Friday, March 11th, 2011

 

Monday March 7 , 2011 was the 57th birthday of  Minister Plenipotentiary of the Permanent Mission  of Sierra Leone to the United Nations and Publisher of Cocorioko, Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu. The Sierra Leone Mission celebrated the occasion with a lunch in honour of the Mr. Kabs-Kanu .  During the occasion, diplomats and local staff sang the happy birthday song and wished Mr.Kabs-Kanu many more happy returns. Cocorioko brings you group pictures employees took with Mr. Kabs-Kanu after the lunch and refreshments.

From left : Deputy Permanent Representative for Legal Affairs Ambassador Osman Keh-Kamara; the Permanent Representative’s Assistant Mrs .Iris Max-Macarthy; the receptionist Ms. Fatmata Mamie Pemagbi; the Minister Plenipotentiary Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu; Counselor Victoria Sulimani and Counselor Saidu Nallo .

Picture 2 : Far right the Secretary of the Mission, Mrs. Sherene Ramashegan

Picture 3: FROM LEFT Minister Plenipotentiary Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu ; DPR for Legal Affairs Osman Keh-Kamara and DPR for Political Affairs Rupert Davies

The following message was posted on the APC Worldwide Forum by Kabs-Kanu :

THANK YOU ALL

I wish to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of you who sent me and my wife birthday greetings and best wishes on these forums. I never at any time doubted that I had so many precious people on these forums who loved me  and my optimism was justified by the fervent outpouring of love for me and my wife. the moment my buddy, Foday Morris, posted the announcement about our  birthdays .You will never know how much your goodwill and birthday wishes meant to me and my wife. You made my wife know that I am much appreciated and she expresses her thanks.

 KABS-KANU also wants to thank all those people who sent him texts, letters, cards and calls on his birthday. He will send out thank you letters this weekend.
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