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Archive for September, 2012

UN Under-Secretary General Zainab Bangura voices concern for delayed justice for victims of 2009 Guinea-Conakry

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

UN Under-Secretary General Zainab Bangura voices concern for delayed justice for victims of 2009 Guinea-Conakry thumbnail

Mrs. Zainab Bangura (in photo), the United Nations Under-Secretary General, who is the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, has expressed strong concern for the apparent delay in bringing to justice perpetrators of the orgy of rapes in Guinea-Conakry during the political crisis in the West African nation in 2009. In a statement she released, Mrs. Bangura, the former Sierra Leonean Foreign Minister, who has vowed to help nip in the bud sexual violence in conflict, emphasized that “It is important that these and other charges are processed swiftly and thoroughly, as justice in Guinea has already been delayed for too long.”

Read full statement below

Statement by Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura
GUINEA-CONAKRY: POLITICAL RAPE REMAINS UNPUNISHED
(New York, 28 September 2012)

Three years ago today, the atrocities committed against peaceful protesters by security forces in Guinea-Conakry shocked the world. Women were particular targets of the violence. Public rapes and gang-rapes of women in broad daylight dramatically showed that sexual violence is not only a weapon in times of war. Whether it serves as a tactic of conflict or part of the repertoire of political repression, the intent is the same: to humiliate, silence, intimidate and punish the victims.

The International Commission of Inquiry on the 28 September 2009 events in Guinea verified that in addition to the massacre of at least 150 unarmed protesters, no less than 109 women suffered rape and other forms of sexual abuse. According to the International Commission of Inquiry, these widespread and systematic attacks could constitute crimes against humanity.

I welcome the indictment, announced earlier this month, of Colonel Abdoulaye Chérif Diaby, former Minister of Health in the Moussa Dadis Camara government, for his alleged responsibility in the 28 September 2009 events. It is important that these and other charges are processed swiftly and thoroughly, as justice in Guinea has already been delayed for too long. Although Lieutenant Colonel Moussa Tiegboro Camara earlier this year was charged for his role in the massacre, to date not a single perpetrator has been convicted.

Last November, my predecessor visited Guinea to meet with rape survivors, representatives of victims associations, and government officials. A Joint Communiqué was agreed between the government of Guinea and the United Nations, clearly stating the government’s commitment to fight impunity and ultimately prevent and deter sexual violence. The Joint Communiqué also welcomed the assistance of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law / Sexual Violence in Conflict to support the Panel of Judges in Guinea, created to lead national investigations into the 2009 incidents. The Team of Experts is currently engaged in discussions with the national authorities to deploy an expert on sexual violence, and I want to encourage the government of Guinea to facilitate this deployment as soon as possible.

There is an urgent need to assist the survivors and bring the remaining perpetrators to justice. It is equally crucial that all victims, other witnesses and their families are afforded full protection and that no effort is spared to ensure their safety throughout this process. Known abusers must not be allowed to hold positions of authority.

Addressing these atrocities is crucial for fostering reconciliation, for trust in the justice system, and for a durable peace. We are committed to supporting the government’s efforts to address impunity for sexual violence and to ensuring that such atrocities are never repeated. We will continue to monitor the situation in Guinea-Conakry and anywhere else that sexual violence may occur.

Kabs Kanu, USA

 

Sierra Leone Signs Accession Treaties On Sub-Regional Cooperation Relating To The Outer Limits Of The Continental Shelf

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Sierra Leone Signs Accession Treaties On Sub-Regional Cooperation Relating To The Outer Limits Of The Continental Shelf thumbnail

Sierra Leone yesterday September 26, 2012, signed two agreements in which the nation acceded to two treaties on sub-regional cooperation relating to the  extension of the outer limits of the continental shelf.

(Photo: Ambassador Touray signs the treaties while Director Sesay (left) and the Norwegian Ambassador Longva look on)

Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Shekou M.Touray, was given the enabling powers to sign the agreements on behalf of the Government and State of Sierra Leone, concerning the accession of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Framework Agreement on sub-regional cooperation between the Governments of the Republics of Cape Verde, Guinea- Bissau, Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal on the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles, signed in New York 21 Sept 2010; and the Treaty concerning the accession of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Agreement on Technical and Financial Cooperation between the Republics of Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal on the one hand and the Kingdom of Norway on the other,on intended Norwegian support to the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles, signed in New York on 21 Sept 2010, and Additional Protocol to this Agreement, signed in New York on 20 Sept 2011.

The Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN, H.E. Hans Wilhelm Longva took part in the occasion.

In accordance with the UN Convention on The Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS) , every coastal state is entitled to 200 nautical miles of its coastal waters as its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). However , the convention provides for an extension beyond  the 200 nautical miles  after due process .

Both of the agreements were already in existence between the other signatories, excluding Sierra Leone , but after yesterday’s landmark signing ceremony, Sierra Leone is now a full partner to the  multilateral agreements. The foreign ministers of the other 5 countries signed on behalf of their nations , while the Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Shekou M. Turay signed on behalf of Sierra Leone, in the absence of Foreign Minister , Hon. J.B. Dauda .

From left : The Permanent Representative, Ambassador Shekou Touray, Norwegian Ambasssador Hans Wilhelm Longva and DPR Keh Kamara

The Director of International Organizations and Legal Affairs Division of Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Alhusine Sesay, who piloted the program in collaboration with the Deputy Permanent Representative/Legal, Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara, said that the benefits of the agreements will be immense .According to him, if Sierra Leone’s continental shelf gets extended by additional 200 nautical miles, as the case may be, it will provide more exploratory territory for the country’s marine resources, oil and gas.

According to Ambassador Touray, “an Agreement on the outer limits of our maritime borders is a good one and in one way promotes peaceful coexistence with our sub-regional neighbors. It further helps to provide documentation which could help us secure and protect our rights and obligations within that respective domain…. The Desk Top studies and resulting data analysis based on the Technical and Financial cooperation with Norway will also help to back up our submission to the United Nations Commission on the Outer Limits Of The Continental Shelf for the delineation of our Continental shelf, which is in progress.”

 

MR. ALHUSINE SESAY EXPRESSES EXCITEMENT AFTER THE SIGNING CEREMONY

The  DPR/Legal Affairs  Ambassador Keh Kamara,  explained that accurate data analysis regarding our maritime boundaries will guide the Government in enacting  appropriate and up-to-date legislation governing Sierra Leone’s maritime space and its resources.

Representing Sierra Leone at the signing ceremony were the Permanent Representative, Ambassador Touray; the DPR/Legal Ambassador Keh Kamara and Director Alhusine Sesay.

LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU

MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY

PERMANENT MISSION OF SIERRA LEONE TO THE UN

NEW YORK, NY

 

President Ernest Koroma Goes To The Farmers To Motivate Them To Make Sierra Leone Self Sufficient In Food Production

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

President Ernest Koroma Goes To The Farmers To Motivate Them To Make Sierra Leone Self Sufficient In Food Production thumbnail September 25, 2012.

Agriculture is one of the pillars around which President Ernest Bai Koroma built his AGENDA FOR CHANGE , which has transformed Sierra Leone into a progressive and productive nation within five years. According to the Agenda for Change document, “Government has embarked on implementing a National Agricultural Response Programme (NARP), which focuses on providing support to farmer-based organisations, developing agricultural markets and enhancing the capacity of other institutions to support agricultural development. The Smallholder Commercialisation Scheme introduced 2009 has created cooperative clusters using a value chain approach. Consequently almost 400 farmer cooperatives are now engage in the scheme. ”

Another noteworthy action President Koroma took was the setting up of a Presidential Task Force on Agriculture  which he controls as Chairman and draws a lot of inspiration from the  hard and efficient work of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Dr. Joseph Sam Sesay.

According to Transparency Sierra Leone, “Agriculture is slated to be the engine for socio-economic change as we strive to achieve food security and job creation in Sierra Leone. His Excellency the President has identified it as a key priority area for the increase in food security and job creation. ”  Transparency Sierra Leone went on to say that “Agriculture is an integral part of development in Sierra Leone and the Ministry has been working assiduously to deliver on His Excellency’s Agenda for Change, by embarking on a massive overhauling of the sector to commercialize, privatize and incentivize agricultural development. ” Propounding on the investment and gains in the area of agriculture since President Koroma came to power in 2007, the organization stated that  ” In 2011, the agriculture sector accounts for about 45% of our GDP and employs nearly two thirds of the working population. In 2010, almost 10% of our national budget was allocated to Agriculture in accordance with the Maputo Declaration, which is a major accomplishment given that in 2007 it accounted for only 1.6% of the national budget. As at 2011, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security was allocated over 134 billion Leones which includes both Donor and Government funding.”

In all these plans, President Koroma’s goal  is to make Sierra Leone  self-sufficient in food production. Since he initiated his agricultural reform programs, farming activities have accelerated throughout the nation. Fertile lands that had lain dormant for over 20 years due to the war and the SLPP’s lack of interest in agriculture have been converted into productive farmlands yielding significant production of rice, corn, pepper, potatoes and cassava.

Being the hands-on worker , President Koroma goes into the fields himself to interface with the farmers and to demonstrate to them his seriousness and commitment with his plans for Sierra Leone to become self-sufficient.  Sierra Leone is blessed to have a proactive President who goes on to the scene to make sure that things happen.

Kabs Kanu, USA

 

Changing to Prosperity – an Agenda for Progress

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

 

By Titus Boye-Thompson :

A five year time line has just passed, marking the same period of authority of Ernest Bai Koroma as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the APC as a party returned to power by popular plebiscite. The marking of such an anniversary is symbolic especially taking into account that the Constitution of Sierra Leone dictates that there be elections for the Presidency and members of the Houses of Parliament after every five years after assuming office. The passing of the five year mark was therefore a time for reflection on the mandate given to Ernest Bai Koroma and the APC for the stewardship of this nation state. The cynic will ask the question as to what benefits have accrued to the people of this Country during those five years.

 

 

TITUS BOYE-THOMPSON

 

 

Firstly, it is with great gratification that no report deemed it fit to describe those five years as tempestuous or tumultuous. These has been some of the most secure, non-violent and democratic period experienced by citizens of this Country and as a Country moving away from conflict to democracy, the challenges of keeping the peace and maintaining such order and respect for institutions cannot be understated. In the least, those years have been seen as engaging, meaningful and development orientated. The Country has moved on and with the many achievements of the Government, it will be safe to say that the Country experienced the most rapid period of social and economic growth in its entire history.

It is significant therefore to note that in the marking of these last five years, President Ernest Bai Koroma delivered a speech that ran through the changes that his Government has secured, especially in the lives of the ordinary man and woman in Sierra Leone. He attributed his win as a win for the Country, his tenure as a positive impact on the lives of every Sierra Leonean and his vision as a portal of hope for the future of every citizen of this Country. He reeled off those changes in such practical terms that the least man or woman out in the streets can identify with those changes and recognize that for once, this has been a Government that had brought meaningful change to the Country and its people. From the many road projects in every region of the Country, the establishment of Agricultural Business Centers making a difference to the way rural people organize their agricultural produce including reducing the hunger period in tie agricultural life cycle from a period of around three months top just under six weeks. The changes in job opportunities, education, skill training and career development options for young people is also significant, given the priority and importance put on the advancement of young people by President Koroma and his Government.

The mandates of development rest squarely on a positive vision firstly accepting the need for change and secondly providing tangible initiatives to exacerbate such change. The President was adamant that his priority for Government would place high priority on getting a viable and sustainable infrastructure in place that will be robust enough to sustain the change and development objectives that he would set. His first priority was to take this Country out of the dark ages from the bootstraps and drag it into the present. Energy was a major setback to attracting investment in some of the vital industries in this Country. It is inconceivable to build a growing economy on an environment plagued with persistent blackouts, power outages and fuel shortages. Solving the issues plaguing the energy sector has therefore yielded significant gains for this economy, opening up the mining sector once again to previous highs, attracting new investments in rolling stock, machi8nery and mining equipment, boosting production of mineral resources and expanding into hitherto expensive mining processes such as kimberlitic extraction. The attendant gains on all of these can be counted by the expansion of job opportunities, increased revenues in loyalties and taxation.

Some cynics would assert that these projects for which the present Government lay claim to were started when the previous Government was in power. For some it may justifiably be true but then it had always required the prioritization of initiatives to convert the good intentions of proposals to be borne out by actions on the field. The measure of this Government’s success has been ascribed in part to its avowed determination to get things done now, not on its dexterity in deferring projects to a life cycle that will outlive its own existence. There will be difficulty decisions to be made, priorities to be set and an overall capacity to engage on the problems and issues that are of bread and butter concerns of the people of this Country. The success of President Ernest Bai Koroma has therefore hinged on his making those decisions that are of benefit to the entire Country. His prioritizing of energy has borne fruits for the Country as a whole and not just for Freetown. Investments attracted to the economy has benefited places as far apart as Port Loko, Makeni and Tonkolili in the North, Moyamba in the South, Kenema, Kailahun and Kono in the East whilst most of these institutions pass through and operate residual facilities in the Western Area thus adding value to the economy of the Capital city. Inward investments have therefore not been assigned in accordance to any political strongholds but have rather been secured on the basis of Sierra Leone as a singular entity with any benefits derivable going through to local communities. In the main, new roads, schools and bridges including rail systems have been built across the Country with a plan to encourage such further infrastructure into the future so that the economy can be long term sustainable.

A conclusive analysis on the last five years is already available within the report on  the Government’s flagship Agenda for Change. The comprehensive account of activities and initiatives including third party donor supported projects are contained in the second joint report recently published by the Ministry of Finance. A robust economy is maintained by sound public finance, responsive fiscal management and responsible public expenditure profiles. It is significant that this Government has, after a very long time, embarked on projects funded entirely by locally generated funds secured through taxation and other receipts. The Country is fast moving away from being a donor dependent economy to that of self-sufficiency. It would only be from such a threshold can a Country move on to prosperity based on its internally generated resources and revenues. That is the mark of responsible leadership to which the President now turns to as evidence of the gains made from his tenure of office. In the event, the last five years have been years of growth and progress underpinned by sound political leadership and responsible accountability and transparency in public finance.

It is no doubt that some challenges remain. The challenges in respect of attitudes and the enabling environment for nation building remain to be major obstacles. The acceptance of these aspects of our development and the establishment of the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change Secretariat remain the singular most apt vision of the President. There can be no change unless the environment and its actors are prepared for that shift, suppressing retractable behaviors and engendering positive attitudes. The Agenda for Change has been a success, encapsulating the narrative of a development focused Government and the vision for leadership by a dynamic and charismatic leader. The challenge now is to transform this agenda for change to one of prosperity. For that, the key word is continuity. It is necessary that the mandate to Ernest Bai Koroma be extended on 17th November 2012. That he has set the stage for development is a valid reason to extend that mandate. It is also significant to note that the successes of this Government reflect a fine mix of the skills to form such a tightly knit team comprised of the Vice President, Ministers and their Deputies, Heads of Parastatals and other Departments. There are also those who have supported this Government in diverse capacities as Party Functionaries, Contracted Officials and Advisers. The APC Party machinery is also a willing counterpart to the success of this Government hence the President’s assertion that his successes have been that of the ordinary man and woman. The rallying cry should now be, “One Country, One Election,

‘De Pa don really woke’ : How President Koroma has transformed Sierra Leone to a land of beauty

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

By KABS KANU : 

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. There is no true Sierra Leonean who is not proud at the brilliant manner President Ernest Bai Koroma has transformed Sierra Leone from a stone age country to one of the most modern and beautiful in West Africa. Before President Koroma came to power in 2007, Sierra Leone was the citadel of backwwardness in the Sub-continent.

Not only was there no electricity or water supply and not only was the capital , Freetown the darkest city in the world ; infrastructure were dilapidated and ramshackled. Roads were filled with potholes and thick mists of dust that rose with the passing of every vehicle coated buildings and poles. There was hardly a serious radio station or TV service .The farmlands in the interior lay in waste as agriculture had been abandoned .Mining had ground to a halt . Disappointment, discouragement and despair hung thickly on the nation like a pall. There was no hope for the Sierra Leonean people . The opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP )  had done nothing for them .

Only five years after President Koroma  came to power,  there has been a dramatic transformation in the country. Sierra Leone is now an architectural beauty and an artist’s delight. Modern roads and state-of-the-art architecture span the city and the hinterland. If ever our country was beautiful, it is now that this beauty is glowing to the pride of all Sierra Leoneans. Not only that , Sierra Leone now has  radio and TV service that are the envy of other West African nations as the SLBC is heard  and SLBC/TV is viewed all over the world .Agriculture has been revived and Sierra Leone is making steady progress towards self-sufficiency in food production.  There are mining activities all over the country with attendant availability of jobs. Of course, Sierra Leone now enjoys unlimited flow of electricity and the Bumbuna Electricity Dam has been completed.

The opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP )  has a monumental mountain to climb to convince the people of Sierra Leone and the international community that the Ernest Koroma Government has done nothing for the nation  since its took the reins of power via democratic elections in 2007. Pictures do not lie and they tell the story of a thousand words. The Sierra Leonean people are quite right to say that “De Pa don really woke ” ( Translated : “The Boss” -meaning the President – “has really done his assignment ” ).

WE BRING YOU THE PHOTOS THAT THE SLPP WOULD RATHER NOT HAVE YOU SEE BECAUSE THEY CLEARLY EXPOSE THEIR LIES AND DIRTY POLITICKING , EVIL AND DECEITFUL PROPAGANDA AND THEIR FOOLISHNESS NOT TO ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT PRESIDENT KOROMA HAS ACHIEVED FOR THE NATION. Photos courtesy of the Salone Sledge Hammer 

THIS IS NOT HAWAI, LAS VEGAS OR RIO DE JANEIRO . THIS IS  CONGO CROSS  IN THE NEW FREETOWN UNDER PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA

THE NEW FREETOWN UNDER PRESIDENT KOROMA : THE CONGO CROSS BRIDGE

THE OUTSKIRTS OF FREETOWN 

© 2012, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

17 Responses to “‘De Pa don really woke’ : How President Koroma has transformed Sierra Leone to a land of beauty”

  1. Abu Bakarr Gbendeh KamaraJuly 21, 2012

    I do Proud to be Sierra Leonean, I see my country getting beauty. I believed in my faith that is gonar be morn beauty than this in future by the name of the Almighty ALLAH. I do appriated your efort.I knew that you are the Man, the Father in the making that Almighty ALLAH send.
    Best Regard
    Abu Bakarr Gbendeh Kamara.

    Reply

  2. THONKLA BANGURA LONDON (UK)July 21, 2012

    This was why I said during the mourning of late mammy Alice funeral,that why should Sierra Leoneans forget MAMMY ALICE KOROMA.The love of your son for his country is immense and the legacy of President will force us to continue praying for the late mother of the nation.WELL DONE MR.PRESIDENT,PLEASE DO NOT LOOK BACK OR ALLOW FOOLS TO DISTRACT YOUR VISION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. SIERRA LEONE UNDER H.E PRESIDENT KOROMA WILL BE HEAVEN.

    Reply

  3. Di Pa don really wok. Di S.L.P.P geh eye, but dem nor dae see, dem geh ase, but nor dae yeri watin di International community dae tok but di country en betteh wan. Wunan don shame.

    Reply

  4. Sullay Edward kamaraJuly 21, 2012

    Well done papa koroma. God bless you.

    Reply

  5. Frank JallohJuly 22, 2012

    well done, EBK. we dae for you. you na real BRA. D borboh dae sleep, e go wake up november 18th after d election. lol

APC – North America to aid 2012 Campaign Efforts with Four Trucks

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

 

By Anthony Abdul Karim Kamara, Jnr :

Philadelphia, USA:- For all the talk about infighting in the North American wing of the All People’s Congress (APC-NA), Chairman Al-Aziz Turay has successfully summoned his administration and comrades to rally folks at home and abroad to do their best in ensuring that President Ernest Bai Koroma wins re-election come November 2012.

 

 

As part of the North American branch strategic efforts to support the 2012 Campaign, the APC under Chairman Turay’s leadership has purchased and shipped four Ford Ranger trucks from Philadelphia which will be officially donated to the party when they arrive in early October.

According to Samuel Dilito Turay, APC-NA Assistant Secretary General, the said trucks, “will aid the movement of campaign staff and delivery of campaign materials all across the country.”  The purchase of the trucks was facilitated by four resident members of the Philadelphia chapter, three of whom are also officials of the APC administration. They include Elections Officer, Madam Mamusu Conteh-Luke, Compliance Officer, Alusine S. Lovell, Samuel Dilito Turay and Mustapha Victor Bangura.

 

Purchase of the trucks was made possible through the fundraising efforts of the various APC chapters and generous contributions from individual members of the APC-NA team. The same administration had previously also donated 14 generators and 14 All-In-One printers with contributions from the APC UK, Holland and Germany branches. Members of the APC-NA team as well as chapter executives expect to travel to Freetown to cast their votes and galvanize support for the re-election of President Koroma.

 

PRESS RELEASE : Minister of Transport and Aviation Signs Open Skies Agreement with US Government

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

 

 Washington D.C.10th September 2012: An Open Skies Agreement was today signed at the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C. between the Governments of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the United States of America. Signing on behalf of Sierra Leone was the, Minister of Transport and Aviation, Honourable Vandi Chidi Minah.

Welcoming the delegation, the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environmentt, Robert D. Hormats, lauded the efforts of the Government of Sierra Leone in recent years, in developing the economy, democracy, and minimising corruption. These goals, he said, are reflected in international Human Development indices and recognized in Washington. These development strides, he observed, have resulted in a handful of American businesses launching operations in Sierra Leone, in the Tourism, Industries and Energy sectors.

 

 

 

He mentioned among others, the Joule Africa, which has invested $625 million in the hydro-electrical project to raise output from 50 to 380 megawatts by 2017. He described the Open Skies Agreement as a new step forward that will benefit the two countries in terms of free flow of passenger and cargo traffic, the promotion of trade and tourism, while at the same time discouraging government interference in the management of the airlines, and ticket-pricing. He was optimistic that the offshore oil and gas reserves could fetch an income of about one and half billion Dollars for the Sierra Leone economy in five years. He paid tribute to all those who have made the Open Skies dream possible.

Responding, Honourable Vandi Chidi Minah thanked his host for the warm welcome and extended his appreciation on behalf of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and People of Sierra Leone. He reiterated the importance of the agreement noting that it is in line with strategies for the transformation of Sierra Leone’s airport, and hotel services, the expansion of Sierra Leonean businesses to the US and above all, creating an enabling environment for US investment in Sierra Leone, which he said will lead to, among other things, more job opportunities.

At the ceremony were, H.E. Bockari Kortu Stevens, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the USA, First Secretary Saspo I. Sankoh, and Information Attaché Elizabeth Foray. Also present on the high level delegation from Sierra Leone were the Air Transport Regulations Manager Mr. Abu Bakarr Kamara, The Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Tommy T. Tengbeh and Chairman of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Victor E. O. Spaine.

For HOC,

Elizabeth M. S. Foray Information Attaché Embassy of Sierra Leone 1701 19th St NW 20009 Washington DC.

Councillor Bode Gibson Wins The Freetown APC Mayoral Candidate Contest

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Councillor  Bode Gibson has been elected  the Mayoral candidate  for the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC) , following the Primary Elections held at the Atlantic Hall in Freetown today. The Councillor polled 106 votes. He was followed by the Acting Mayor Gibril Kanu who scored 56 votes.
The full results as announced by the APC
  • Councillor Bode Gibson   106 votes
  • Acting Mayor Gibril Kanu   56 votes
  • Mr. Theo Nicol   35 votes
  • Rev. Gibson 30 votes
  • Dennis Williams  12 votes
  • Bishop Christian Cole 2 votes
  • Winston Ojukutu-Macauley 2 votes
  • Musu Hajanatu  1 vote
  • Eustace King  0 vote
The incumbent Chairman of the Waterloo Rural District Council, Mr. Alhassan Cole also emerged winner in the Primary.

President Koroma says Agenda For Prosperity will empower women in Sierra Leone

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

SUPREMO ADDRESSING

By State House Communications Unit : 

Kenema: Gender equality has been identified in Sierra Leone as pivotal in the quest for good governance by the government of President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma. As a result, calls for women’s participation in decision making at central and local levels, and other gender empowerment demands are not only becoming the order of the day, but also that President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has gone further to declare that the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ holds in store more programmes for the empowerment of women in country.

He made this declaration while delivering a statement during the occasion of the welcome and honour ceremony of Mrs. Naasu Fofanah by the National Sowie Association held at the Saint Mark Hall Holy Trinity Parish, Balma Road, Kenema.

It would be recalled that Mrs. Naasu Fofanah was appointed by His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma as Gender Advisor in the Office of the President, State House.

Organized by the National Female Traditional Leaders, with representations drawn from across the country, the occasion was meant to express thanks and warm gratitude to President Koroma for the appointment of Mrs. Fofanah as Gender Advisor to the President.

President Koroma in turn thanked the women for their acknowledgement of the offers that government has made to the women of Sierra Leone under his administration. He described women as everything, thus importance should be attached to their roles in the country.

“This is the first government that has made the highest appointments of women in the history of Sierra Leone. Government is making women into great personalities”, he said, and continued; “we want to further push women’s issues forward.”

President Koroma however recalled that all other Heads of State failed to apologize to the women for wrong doing to them during Sierra Leone’s decade old war.

“But I went to Moyamba on International Women’s Day and apologized to the women of Sierra Leone for all what has been done to them, and as a government we are also committed to give women the 30% quota”, he said.

President Koroma used the occasion to encourage the women folk to work in close partnership with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs as well as the Gender Advisor in the Office of the President in relation to women’s issues, adding that government will give independence to women to enable them continue to regulate the initiation of underage girls into the well respected Bondo Society.

On behalf of female Paramount Chiefs, PC Madam Maltida Y.L. Minah the Fifth of YKK chiefdom, Pujehun district, commended President Koroma for prioritizing women’s issues by appointing Mrs. Fofanah as a gender advisor. She described the event as a special moment for women and stated that all present at the ceremony were leaders of the female secret society- the Bondo.

PC Minah disclosed that all female Paramount Chiefs have agreed that no girl should be initiated into the Bondo Society below the age of 18, adding that the women of Sierra Leone have confidence in Mrs. Fofanah as well as believe that she would continue to advocate on behalf of women.

Mrs. Fofanah joined her constituents to profusely thank President Koroma for her appointment which was based on the vision he has for women in the country. Mrs. Naasu Fofanah, who is working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, further informed all present that President Ernest Bai Koroma believes in the potentials of women in moving Sierra Leone forward.

 

“Agenda for Prosperity”: Koromaism II

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

 

By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop) :

 

I cannot predict who President Ernest Bai Koroma’s running mate, in this year’s November Presidential poll, will be. This is simply because the President is still making that issue an issue of an enigma wrapped in a labyrinth of political puzzle. But one prediction I will make, with all certainty, is that the 2012 manifesto of the President and his ruling All People’s Congress (APC) will be dubbed: an “Agenda for Prosperity”.

MOHAMED SANKOH ( ONE DROP)

This is predictable like a typical unadulterated Konoman’s wife pregnancy: whatever the sex of the would-be baby, there is a predestined name for it—even if born posthumously. So, those of us who are now experts in Koromaism (well, I will be modest here by not referring to myself as the exponent of Koromaism because even that self-celebrated egocentric publisher, who was once pillorying me for having the audacity of conceptualising the “Agenda for Change” thus, is now more Koromaist than yours truly) know that an “Agenda for Prosperity” will be the progression of the “Agenda for Change”.

 

The “Agenda for Change” was, and still is, the foundation for futuristic constant electricity supply; good and wider roads; the transformation of agriculture from a subsistence affair to a commercialised one; the improvement of conditions of service for government workers; the improvement in the educational standards in the country, and the assurance of good health in the form of the Free Health Care initiative. In summary, it is the sign-posting of what the President wants Sierra Leone to look like after he would have retired in 2017. And to synopsise the summary further: it is all about actions rather than intensions.

 

And since the “Agenda for Change” has progressed to breathtaking transformational level; so enters the “Agenda for Prosperity”. The “Agenda for Prosperity” is the would-be pruning and polishing of the current positive transformations taking place countrywide. It will, definitely, extricate Sierra Leone from a beggar nation, which the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) left it in 2007, to an alms-giving nation in the next twenty years.

 

Unlike the SLPP presidential candidate’s opaque “New Direction”, which is not only rudderless but a document of sublime organised nonsense enveloped in tasteless logic, President Koroma’s “Agenda for Prosperity” will be the blueprint for Sierra Leone total economic emancipation. It will be Sierra Leone’s version of Germany’s “Marshall Plan”, as it will take the country from the “worst of times to the best of times” (to quote the British celebrated novelist, Charles Dickens). It will be a workable document not the utopian directionless “New Direction” of Madder Bio (by the way, the SLPP Presidential candidate has been missing in action for sometime now. Has he gone to the United States of America to raise funds?).

 

President Koroma’s “Agenda for Prosperity” is expected to be the transition point wherein lots and lots of Sierra Leoneans will be elevated from abject poverty to middle class level—through hard work—as the President’s plans will create the avenues for both personal and national growth. It will be a document that will further strengthen all the democratic tenets which the “Agenda for Change” has not only upheld but projects in the modus operandi of the President. The “Agenda for Prosperity” will take Sierra Leone into the level wherein accountability, transparency, and nationalism will be virtues rather than the vices which the eleven years SLPP rule made them to be.