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Archive for April, 2013

Franklin Township in New Jersey gives Sierra Leone Proclamation for Independence Anniversary day April 27th 2013

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

By Abdul H. Gabisi , Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Community of New Jersey (SLCNJ) :

Franklin Township on April 23rd 2013 had their Tuesday township meeting at their municipal court. The meeting was call to order at 7pm by the Councilman Mr. James Vassanella who also led members present with the pledge of Allegiance and the invocation.

The roll call was done by the Mayor Brian D Levine who called Councilman Mr. James Vassanella to begin the meeting with the Proclamation for Sierra Leone. Councilman James Vassanella read the Proclamation and called on Mr. Abdul H Gabisi, Secretary General of SLCNJ (Sierra Leone community of New Jersey) to receive it.

In response Mr. Gabisi warmly greeted the Mayor and the entire members of the Franklin Township. On Behalf of the SLCNJ leadership present and the Sierra Leonean community at large, he thanked the township for continuing to recognize the positive contributions Sierra Leoneans have made in the township. This was cumulated with their recognizing our independence day April 27, with a proclamation that has been done for the past three consecutive years. He further mentioned that Franklin Township since 2008 have been recognized by money magazine as the best township in the USA. This was repeated in 2010 and at present Franklin Township is among the 5 best townships in the US. He also thanked Mayor Brian D Levine for governing the Township for the third consecutive term. This speaks highly of his leadership.

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MR. HADI GABISI THANKS THE FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP FOR THE PROCLAMATION . STAN

 

DING BY HIM ARE THE CHAIRMAN, MR. LAMIN ALHARAZIM AND MAYOR LEVINE

At this juncture Mr. Gabisi called on the chairman of SLCNJ Mr. Lamin Alharizim and the Minister Plenipotentiary Mr. Leeroy Kabbs Kanu to say a few words. Mr. Alharazim expressed his gratitude to the mayor and the council for bestowing such recognition and added that Mr. Gabisi has given a befitting remark for this memorable occasion. He then introduced Mr. L kabbs kanu as a diplomat and also a residence in the Franklin Township.

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CHAIRMAN ALHARAHIM(SECOND FROM RIGHT ) AND MR. GABISI DISPLAYING THE PROCLAMATION : STANDING BY GABISI IS MR. MELBOURNE GARBER 

Ambassador Leeroy Kabbs Kanu also thanked the Township for the proclamation given .He mentioned his humble contribution as a teacher several years past and has now been very much integrated in its affairs. He reaffirmed that Sierra Leoneans here fully take this township as their home and will live and die here .

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MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY KABS KANU DISPLAYS THE PROCLAMATION : ON THE FAR LEFT : MR. AND MRS. BEN JALLOH

Sierra Leoneans present later took very interesting pictures which also commemorated the beginning of our Independence events. The secretary reminded all present of the forth coming Inter faith community prayer on April 27th our Independence Day. This will be followed with our Parade on May 4th and concluding with our Independence dance at night. All are encouraged to attend.

Abdul H Gabisi

MORE PICTURES TO BE PUBLISHED LATER TODAY 

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Victor Foh : I will further strengthen existing relations between Sierra Leone and China

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

 

By John Baimba Sesay :

Sierra Leone’s new envoy to the People’s Republic of China, Victor Bockarie Foh has assured, that with his appointment to China, more efforts will be put towards further strengthening the already existing relationship between the two countries by exploring opportunities that will capture areas dealing with culture, women and children and bridging a greater link between the embassy and Sierra Leoneans across the Asian continent, especially in the countries he is accredited to.  

He spoke on Friday 19th April,  during a telephone interview with this writer, following his approval by Sierra Leone’s House of Parliament as the country’s  new Ambassador Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of China, succeeding Ambassador Abubakarr Multi-Kamara who going  to the United Nations.

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According to Ambassador Foh, his appointment as Ambassador by President Koroma is an indication of the country’s commitment to fostering the already existing relationship with China, especially at the political level, saying, “the two countries are now cementing the long standing relationship that has been in existence for years and which was started by late Chairman Mao Zedong of China and President Siaka Stevens of Sierra Leone”. He was optimistic, of working all within his reach, to ensure, “we strengthen not just the diplomatic relations, but work towards sustaining the political relations, given what used to happen” He said, being the first party secretary to be sent  as Ambassador to China, he will work hard to reawaken the political diplomacy between the two states.

Speaking further on plans, Ambassador Foh said, there is also the desire on his part to see how the Sierra Leone’s culture could be exposed, given that “China has a rich culture just like Sierra Leone although ours is undeveloped. I believe my presence in China as Ambassador is not just to ensure infrastructural development, which has been very commendable, but we will also work towards extending the cultural relationship between the two countries.”

There also are plans on his part to work on collaborating with China on promoting women and children’s issues since “the world is getting more concerned now about women and children   and with china’s population we shall learn and exchange ideas on how to care for our women and children…we need to open up new areas of diplomacy and go beyond the traditional diplomacy. We need to improve on our relationship from economic and trade to cultural and political diplomacy.”

Victor Foh also called for China to be   looked at as “a giant in the world” and that as a country, Sierra Leone has a lot to learn from China.

Giving some contributing role that Sierra Leone played in terms of China’s entrance into the United Nations, Ambassador Foh said Sierra Leone played a crucial role in ensuring China’s entrance into the UN Security Council at a time when most countries would not know how China will be today.  “It was Sierra Leone that moved a motion for China to be allowed, when they were trying to enter the United Nations”, a role played by SAJ Pratt when he was Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone, at the time.   “So, even as small as we are as a country, China has always been grateful to us for that and I also appreciate their gratefulness to sierra Leone in particular and Africa as a whole”, he said, proudly.

On another note, Ambassador Foh also assured Sierra Leoneans, that he is “coming to represent the state of Sierra Leone and the President of Sierra Leone. I am an Ambassador that will care for all sierra Leoneans regardless of political coloration; regional belonging or tribal belonging. I am coming to ensure, it is not politics all the time but to ensure good relationship, unity and try to welcome all shades of political opinion” and will “work towards ensuring sierra Leoneans in china feel proud. I believe that coming from a grass root party that cares for the poor, I am coming to ensure, that it is not a question of who has what, but what we have as a state of Sierra Leone and a nation that belongs to us all”

Sierra Leone’s diplomatic relations with China started in 1971. The Sino-Sierra Leone cooperation of mutual benefit started from 1984. The embassy is also accredited to a number of countries in South East Asia and the Pacific Region, including Japan, New Zealand, Vietnam, and India, amongst others.

Born in Jimmi Bagbo, Bo District, in Southern Region of Sierra Leone, Victor Bockarie Foh has played a pivotal role in Sierra Leone’s political landscape, especially in the All Peoples Congress (APC) political party. A product of Fourah Bay College, Victor Foh was   Assistant District Officer in Bonthe, Koinadugu, Bo and Kambia Districts and was Senior District Officer in Kenema and Kono Districts between 1970 and 1982. He is vastly knowledgeable on Sierra Leonean issues, given his years of services as District Officer  in the Sierra Leone Public Service in 8 (eight) out of 12 (twelve) Political Districts in the country. He is also the first indigenous Sierra Leonean graduate teacher at the Ahmadiyya Secondary School, Kissy Dockyard Freetown between 1969/70 school year, where he taught Economics.

A New Jersey community still in mourning turns out to remember Mohamed Aziz Nabe at his 40th Day ceremony

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

By KABS KANU :

Still in mourning spirit following the recent stunning and heartbreaking losses , the New Jersey community turned out yesterday to memorialize the late Mohamed Aziz Nabe during his 40th Day Ceremony at the Portuguese Hall in South Jersey . Mr. Nabe , who was a community leader , ex-President of  the All People’s Congress  New Jersey Chapter and former Chairman of the  APC NA Rapid Response Team,  passed away on Monday March 11, 2013.

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As expected, the ceremony was jammed to capacity and family and well-wishers did a great job to stage a program much befitting a man who served his community and party selflessly. Mourners travelled from many parts of the Continental United States ,  Canada and Sierra Leone to attend the occasion. The program was officiated by a galaxy of eminent muslim leaders and scholars , including  the Assistant Chief Imam of Dawatul Islamia Mosque , Alhaji Hassan Savage  and  the Chief Imam of the Jamatul Haq Mosque of Somerset, Alhaji Abdullah Savage, Alhaji Sorie Tofro Nabe, Alhaji Abbas Savage, Alhaji Thannie Savage  and others .The  program was chaired  by Alhaji Brima Rahman of Dawatul Islamia , while the sermon was delivered by Alhaji Hassan Savage. Government officials present at the ceremony included the Member of Parliament for Constituency 50, Ms. Isata Kabia and the Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Nations, Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu.

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Before the traditional muslim prayers to mark the occasion, some tributes were made to the late man.

In his tribute, the President of the New Jersey APC Branch, Alhaji Badara Kamara , described Mr. Aziz Nabe as one of a kind and a man who faithfully served not only the mosque and the APC  but many other organizations. He said that Nabe was a good and kind man and the community has missed his fatherly advice and community initiatives .

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The Member of Parliament for Constituency 50 in the Port Loko District , Ms. Isata Kabia, who travelled from Sierra Leone to attend the memorial, paid a glowing tribute to Mr. Aziz Nabe, whom she credited for her present boldness to speak in public and partly for shaping her political career. She said that she was shy to engage in public speaking but Mr. Nabe encouraged her to be bold because he saw a bright political future ahead of her. She lauded Mr. Nabe’s good heart and kindness and expressed her deepest condolence to the family.

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THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PROGRAM ALHAJI BRIMA RAHMAN 

 

M.P.ISATA KABIA  PAYING HER TRIBUTE

After the tributes, the vote of thanks was given by Madam Khadi Nabe, who on behalf of the family, thanked individuals and organizations which stood by the family during its time of loss . She also thanked President Ernest Bai Koroma for his moral and financial support during the funeral.

 

ALHAJI BADARA KAMARA GIVING HIS TRIBUTE

In his sermon, Alhaji Hassan Savage warned his congregation that everybody will have to give an account to God about the life they lived on earth after their death. He commended the late Nabe for his unflinching faith in God .He recalled once when Nabe ,  pressed down by the illness that eventually caused his death , called him to come to him to pray for him. Before the prayers,   Nabe said that he certainly will go to the hospital but desired the prayer at the moment more than the hospital because God is more powerful than the hospital. “That was the kind of strong faith he had in God,  ” the preacher stated.

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MESSRS FODAY MANSARAY (FIRST FROM RIGHT ) , KALAWA AND JESMED SUMA IN GREEN LACE. SEATED IS M.P ISATA  KABIA

The Muslim cleric warned his congregation further to beware of Satan, the Devil because the Devil is out 24 hours a day to get people to sin against God. He called for unity in the community and advised people to learn to forgive one another, pointing out further that if one realizes that he had sinned against another person, he should be honest to ask for forgiveness because nobody is perfect.

 

NEW JERSEY LEADERS : FROM RIGHT-KABS KANU, BADARA KAMARA, PAVI JALLOH AND ISATA KABIA

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COMPOSITE VIEW OF MOURNERS

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MR. ALIMAMY TURAY ( APC NEW JERSEY SECRETARY GENERAL ) AND COMMUNITY ACTIVIST ADMIRE. FAR RIGHT IS MR. BUBU KAMARA

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BUBU MUSICAL ARTIST JANKA NABIE (LEFT ) , WHOM AZIZ NABE USED TO SAY PREDICTED THAT ONE DAY MR.ERNEST KOROMA WILL BECOME PRESIDENT OF SIERRA LEONE SEEN HERE WITH A FRIEND AHMED

The muslim leader commended Aziz’s widow, Mrs. Halima Nabe, for being a very loving wife to the late man. He called on Nabe’s children to stand by their mother now that their father was gone. “You will now  have to protect your mother”, he told them. Through that, he continued, their mother would bless them “and children will get arijana from their mother “, he taught.

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KABS KANU, QUEEN ABIE BANGALI-MANSARAY AND MADINA RAHMAN

An assortment of food wrapped in plastic bags was then distributed to mourners as is the tradition and the congregation was then treated to a sumptuous dinner .

The memorial ceremonies in New Jersey continue on Sunday April 28 with the 40th day ceremony for  journalist,  socialite  and Secretary General of the Sierra Leone -American National Organization ( SLANO ) , Mr. Shekou Dauda Bangura, at the Ukranian Cultural Center , 135 Davidson Avenue, Somerset NJ 08873 : Time: 1:00pm-7:00pm. Mr. Bangura, a bosom friend and associate of the late Nabe,  died on Thursday February 28 in a most shocking loss after a brief illness following a flu vaccine. He was one of those then providing moral support for Nabe at his sick bed and when he died suddenly, it was decided not to inform Nabe about his passing because Nabe had started fighting for his life in hospital as his sickness worsened.  It was thought that the shock would have hastened Nabe’s demise. A notice for visitors was placed at the door of Nabe’s hospital room  which warned  people  to desist from discussing recent happenings in the community , including the death of Dauda Bangura. Nabe passed away without knowing that his own friend and brother, who was hale and hearty,  had predeceased him. He will be stunned to meet him in eternity . Thankfully, the two friends have been reunited before the Lord.  They are now being memorialized a week apart, showing the grief that New Jersey is going through presently.

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 TRAVELLING ALL THE WAY FROM BOSTON TO ATTEND THE CEREMONY WAS MRS.AZIZA LYOUBI-SESAY

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MR. MOHAMED FOFANAH FROM WASHINTON DC APC CHAPTER ( LEFT ) AND THE WRITER

We call on all Sierra Leoneans and well-wishers to turn up on Sunday to remember Mr. Shekou Dauda Bangura, who was also a great asset to the community.

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 MR. PAVI JALLOH, M.P. ISATA KABIA AND MRS. JESMED SUMA

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 MESSRS BUBU KAMARA AND BEDOR BANGURA

© 2013, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

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Kabs Kanu Acts As Chargé D’affaires Of Sierra Leone UN Mission In The Absence Of Permanent Representative

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

 

The Permanent Representative of the Sierra Leone Mission to the United Nations, Ambassador Shekou M.Touray , has travelled out of the U.S  on official  duties. In the absence of Ambassador Shekou Touray, the Minister Plenipotentiary and Coordinator of C-10, Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu is acting as  chargé d’affaires. The Deputy Permanent Representative for Legal Affairs, Ambassador Osman Keh-Kamara is also away on official business.

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As provided for by diplomatic protocol, Ambassador Touray has informed the Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon .

IN OTHER NEWS, the 9th Round of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the UN Security Council Reform commenced yesterday at the UN Building in New York. Sierra Leone was represented at the meeting by the Minister Plenipotentiary , Mr. Leeroy Kabs-Kanu, the expert, Counselor Saidu Nallo and Counselor Lamin Khan.

© 2013, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discu

Sierra Leone Airport Authority is stimulating economic growth and fostering country’s drive to prosperity

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

By John Baimba Sesay-China

apI watched SLBC TV on Tuesday, 9th April and heard the Lands Minister, Hon. Musa Tarawallie talk about plans by government to transform Lungi into Sierra Leone’s commercial city. This is encouraging news, given its strategic location especially from the viewpoint of trade.

Sierra Leone’s development growth has been reflective in a range of areas. From infrastructure to energy generation and distribution, to the fight against corruption and image branding, amongst others, we have continued to score the greatest percentage. This is also the case in the areas of promoting democratic credentials which today larged helped in us gaining international recognition for our successes and more support to our development. Take for instance, the area of air transport; we recently got encouraging news in that late last year, government signed an agreement with the China Railway International Consortium for the construction of a brand new airport in the mainland of Mamamah in the outskirts of the country’s capital, Freetown. This is in addition to infrastructural support projects to Sierra Leone from the Chinese government. This new airport in the mainland, when constructed, will help in fostering trade and in expanding our city.

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  The first point of a nation’s ability to encourage more direct foreign investment has to do with the outlook of its airport.  An airport has a lot to do in stimulating economic growth and in pushing a nation’s prosperity. To this end, Sierra Leone is no exception.2007 saw an air travelling system that was in a bad and unacceptable shape in Sierra Leone; the international airport was in a declining state with sub-standard facilities. The rebranding drive of the country was introduced and was led by President Koroma. This was reflected in giving a facelift to the airport. Then, government started pursuing the urgent need to rehabilitate the airport with an aim to meet international standards. So, by 2010, various works were initiated including the overlaying of the runway, widening of the taxi way and relocation of ground lighting system. In line with international best practice, we saw the procurement and installation of new scanning equipments for security screening of passengers, baggage and cargo. This has today helped largely in addressing the most related concerns of the travelling public, airlines and the regulating bodies. This will in the future, subsequently lead to an increase in business opportunities for the airlines and also an encouraging growth in export trade, since airlines that have been refusing to pick up cargos from the airport, if any, due to the absence of scanning facilities, would now be able to do such.

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There also has been the rehabilitation, modernization and expansion of the Presidential Lounge, all part of the rebranding efforts of government.  We also today have a 95% completion in the modernization and expansion of the terminal building. This is expected to increase the terminal building’s operation capacity by 100%, with an aim to addressing congestion and improving security, and ensuring comfort of passengers, airlines and other users of the airport. Also, with the political support given by the government, we saw the construction of heliports under the Airport Transfer Project, aimed at highlighting the efficiency, effectiveness and safe transfer of passengers to/from airport to Freetown. This as a matter of fact will help in discontinuing the system the system wherein, domestic helicopters operate with international flights on the same apron which is against international best practice.  Today, we have seen an almost 100% improvement in the complete replacement and upgrading of Navigational Aid and Communications Equipment at the airport aimed at enhancing airport’s profile on safety and facilitation of aircraft operations.

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But there are a number of challenges the airport is faced with. Of primary concern is that of encroachment of lands belonging to the airport, both at Lungi and Hastings. This is a serio0us challenge they may be faced with. Given government’s determination to always move in line with international best practice, there is the need for support the airport management. This is where the lands ministry will come in and provide the leadership for such support.  There still exist a number of opportunities that the airport management will surely utilize all in a bid to support the prosperity drive, being led by the President. Government’s continued support to the growth of the airport; from the framework of oversight functions by the Ministry of Transport and Aviation cannot be overemphasized. Privatizing  Hastings Airport  will also  definitely enhance domestic operations thereby augmenting the airport’s revenue generation drive and thus reducing the burden on  the airport to take care of staff at Hastings Airport which has not only been inactive but has been leading to a drain in revenue for the airport. There is a commitment to construct a cargo complex at the airport by the Grand Handing Company and this, when completed, will surely help stimulate growth in export and import and also foster the needed transformation of the airport to a regional hub for cargo transshipment, which subsequently will enhance economic growth at the country level.

 

It is in line with these given opportunities that the nation will continue to commend the airport management for the tremendous progress they have made in recent time and in also encouraging them to continue with efforts at expanding the upgrading of the profile and security capacity that will subsequently lead to more airlines into the country.    One cannot also over state the need for them to constantly do a follow up on the construction of the Cargo Handling and Warehousing facility which as I have argued earlier will stimulate export and import. Facilitating domestic air transportation upcountry should also be considered, given the determination of the airport to also decentralize their work.  This can be started by rehabilitating the aerodromes upcountry. The need for the airport management to also support government’s current efforts in constructing a new airport at the mainland should also be considered, all in a bid to support the agenda for prosperity, Sierra Leone’s blueprint for national development.

 

With this, there is every need to commend the general leadership role that President Koroma has always provided in ensuring the airport moves in line with global trend and be able to contribute to stimulating economic growth for national development. Kudus too to John Sesay, General Manager SLAA

 

 

Nothing Can Stop the “Agenda for Prosperity” From Bringing Prosperity to Sierra Leone

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

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It was no coincidence that the hand of destiny in September 2007 elevated His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to the exalted position of President of the Republic of Sierra Leone; a post-conflict country that is rising again to meet its destiny of greatness.  (HE President Ernest Bai Koroma)

In November 17, 2012, Sierra Leoneans gave him another opportunity to serve them for the second time after restoring the people’s faith in the ability of his administration to deliver on its promises in his first term of office.

In his first term, President Koroma under his ‘Agenda for Change’ restored the confidence of Sierra Leoneans in the ability of his All People’s  Congress (APC) Government to build roads, attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investments, increase employment opportunities, provide free healthcare for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Those tremendous achievements whetted the appetite of the people for more development. In his second term, therefore, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has made a solemn promise to work harder to meet these expectations for more development in the nook and cranny of Sierra Leone. So from the ‘Agenda for Change’ to the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’, the President will keep moving and doing more; and will continue doing more and more.

Barely one month to the November 17, 2012 multi-tier elections in Sierra Leone, President Koroma officially presented his party manifesto to the Sierra Leonean electorate titled: ‘Transformation for National Development’ otherwise known as the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’.

Making his solemn pledge to the nation in his inauguration ceremony on his second term in office on February 22, 2013, at the National Stadium in Freetown, the President had this to say:

“But let it be known that for development to happen, it requires the collective efforts of government and the people; all of us must therefore do more. The farmers must do more, the doctors and nurses must do more, the youths must do more, and the teachers must do more, traders must do more and everybody must do more.”

The President also believes that for the Agenda for Prosperity to succeed, we must do more in impacting the laws, we must do more in increasing on productivity, we must do more to help our communities and grow our economy. This is what the Agenda for Prosperity is all about; all of us doing more to bring home the fruits of the achievements made during the Agenda for Change. Now is the time to do more; now is the time to move to the Agenda for Prosperity.

Every well-meaning Sierra Leonean can testify that prior to President Koroma’s assumption to power in 2007, our country as a post-conflict nation had numerous challenges ranging from economic hardship exacerbated by the global financial crunch, poor economic governance and public financial management, tackling of corruption and graft since the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC)  was a toothless bulldog that lacked prosecutorial power, until 2008 when the 2002 Anti-Corruption Act was amended to give it such power, to bringing the political gap between the Northwest and Southeast of the country.

With much political will, President Koroma successfully turned things around in three years under his ‘Agenda for Change’, which won him much admiration among majority of Sierra Leoneans.

While we face the future with optimism and quest for taking Sierra Leone to another level under the ‘Agenda for Prosperity; President Koroma has called on all of us as citizens to “put our shoulders to the wheel and work diligently to achieve our national objectives”.

By and large, education is relevant to our quest for prosperity  and that is why the President Koroma led government is doing more for education so that the country will provide a productive workforce with the required skills to transform our great national resources into wealth. The country therefore needs more engineers, geologists, mines specialists and other expertise to creating wealth for our country and communities.

The youths to whom President Koroma has dedicated his second term, are the mainstay of the country’s hopes and the pillars of the President. While the President has pledged to empower them to be productive and creative, he believes that “with the youths, I will do more; with the youths, we will all do more.”

But to attain such fact, the President has made it very clear that one can only do it through a “disciplined approach through respect for the laws and fidelity to our heritage of learning and freedom.”

For the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ to succeed, frontline workers of the state such as the police, teachers, nurses and traditional chiefs should rededicate themselves to the sacred ethics of service by providing the first contract between citizens and the state, which must be made civil, ethical, and reflective of the founding motto of our nation; “Unity, Freedom and Justice”.

This is predicated on the grounds that for far too long, Sierra Leoneans have allowed indiscipline and lawlessness to gain ascendancy in all facets of our society. But this time around, President Koroma wants Sierra Leoneans not to allow the ‘corrupt and unjust’ to hold this nation to ransom.

According to President Koroma; “Let truth and honesty inform the choices one make so that our actions will promote traditional standards of decency and uprightness that can only spread positive ripples throughout society.”

The President also wants citizens to be very sensitive to the issues affecting our country instead of laying them squarely at the doorsteps of government because what affects Sierra Leone should be of concern to all Sierra Leoneans. He’s very cognizant of the fact that, for a better tomorrow, we must be united, we must display a spirit of enterprise, and we must work together in an immersed manner to satisfy our just expectations.

The objectives of President Koroma, as contained in his ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ is to bring all Sierra Leoneans onboard the development train so that they will re-double their efforts to improve on the achievements made during the ‘Agenda for Change’ all of them must contribute positively to development in their own respective professions so that at the end of the day, Sierra Leone would have succeeded through the collective efforts of its citizenry.

But this could not happen in the midst of indiscipline and lawlessness and that is why the president has frowned on those vices by launching ‘Operation WID” to deal with indiscipline and lawlessness in all facets of society.

The fact, however, remains that President Koroma’s ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ has begun and nothing absolutely can stop it from bringing prosperity to Sierra Leone.

“We will continue to prioritize agriculture in our Agenda for Prosperity”…President Koroma assures the North

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

 

 By State House Communications Unit :

Makeni, Northern Province, 13th April 2013; His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has reiterated his commitment to continue to prioritize agriculture in the Agenda for Prosperity. He made this statement on the occasion of the handing over ceremony of over Le32 billion worth of Agricultural Development Assets to Koinadugu, Kambia and Bombali Districts in Makeni City, Bombali District.

Delivering his keynote address, President Koroma gave pretty much the same assurances he gave to the people of the Southern and Eastern Provinces to the people of the Northern Province that government will work hard to increase the production of our staple food beyond self-sufficiency, with emphasis on sustainable land and water management to improve yields, promote export crops, promote commercial agriculture along the value chain, link farmers to markets, as well as provide effective rural and agribusiness financing systems that will increase the access of smallholder farmers to finance.

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Giving a brief background on the state of the agricultural sector in Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma disclosed that when he took over government as President in 2007, agriculture was on top of his list of priorities in the Agenda for Change, saying “We clearly articulated our vision for the sector as the engine for socio-economic growth and development through commercialization and the promotion of the private sector, including the farmers and farmer-based organizations”.

The Chief Executive noted that it was on the basis of the foregoing that government significantly augmented the budgetary allocation to the sector from the 1.6% inherited from the previous government to the current 10% being allocated by the national budget.

Commenting further on how far Sierra Leone has come in improving the agricultural sector, President Ernest Bai Koroma revealed that the country, under his leadership, embarked on the process of developing a comprehensive roadmap for the long-term development of the sector within the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme commonly known as the CAADP process. This process, he said, “led to the formulation of the National Sustainable Agricultural Development Programme or NSADP, which serves as the country’s 20-year roadmap for the agricultural sector.”

According to His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, government and development partners decided to particularly focus attention on the smallholder farmers for the first five years (2010 – 2014), which led to the meticulous and painstaking conceptualization and formulation of the Smallholder Commercialization Programme (SCP), popularly known as “Farm for Business”.

“Since the launching of the Programme in July, 2010, we have been able to organize the smallholder farmers into farmer-based organizations, built their capacity through farmer field schools and supported them with Agricultural Business Centres, hire purchase tractors, rice mills, rice cutters, rice reapers, cassava graters, rice de-stoners, rice threshers, generators, power tillers and other equipment and inputs,” he said, adding that government has rehabilitated inland valley swamps, constructed and rehabilitated over 326Km of feeder roads and established financial services associations all over the country.

President Koroma paid glowing tribute to the World Bank, the European Union as well as the Government of Sierra Leone for the support in making WAAPP a reality today.

President Koroma encouraged farmers to increase the yield rather than the size of their rice farms. “Let’s concentrate on how much we can produce, which is still under three tons per hectare, rather than the size of our farms”, he urged. This, he said, is what the West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) is all about; to improve on the technology , seedlings etc.

Finally, the president called on all Sierra Leoneans, especially the youth to seize the opportunity thrown up by the agricultural sector and help develop the country. He urged all to eschew violence and lawlessness as the time for idle and political talk is over. “Prosperity”, he said, “can only come with discipline and hard work”.

As President Koroma Opens Industrial Growth Centre in Bo…He reiterates commitment to prioritize agriculture in the Agenda for Prosperity

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

By State House Communications Unit :

Bo, Southern Province, 12th April 2013; His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has assured the people of Bo in the Southern Region of Sierra Leone that his government will continue to prioritize agriculture in the Agenda for Prosperity. He made this declaration on the occasion of the formal opening ceremony of the Industrial Growth Centre as well as the handing over of Agricultural Development Assets to District Councils in the Southern Province.

The president said that government will work hard to increase the production of our staple food beyond self-sufficiency, with emphasis on sustainable land and water management to improve yields, promote export crops, promote commercial agriculture along the value chain, link farmers to markets, as well as provide effective rural and agribusiness financing systems that will increase the access of smallholder farmers to finance.

EBKBOGROWTHCENTER (600 x 447)

PRESIDENT KOROMA OPENING THE BO GROWTH CENTRE

President Koroma further noted that “We will enhance a productive livestock industry and continue to encourage large-scale private sector investments in agriculture with effective out-grower schemes that will support the Smallholder Commercialization Programme”.

Giving a brief background on the state of the agricultural sector in Sierra Leone, the president disclosed that when he took over government as President in 2007, agriculture was on top of his list of priorities in the Agenda for Change, saying “We clearly articulated our vision for the sector as the engine for socio-economic growth and development through commercialization and the promotion of the private sector, including the farmers and farmer-based organizations”.

The Chief Executive noted that it was on the basis of the foregoing that government significantly augmented the budgetary allocation to the sector from the 1.6% inherited from the previous government to the current 10% being allocated by the national budget.

Commenting further on how far Sierra Leone has come in improving the agricultural sector, President Ernest Bai Koroma revealed that the country, under his leadership, embarked on the process of developing a comprehensive roadmap for the long-term development of the sector within the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme commonly known as the CAADP process. This process, he said, “led to the formulation of the National Sustainable Agricultural Development Programme or NSADP, which serves as the country’s 20-year roadmap for the agricultural sector.”

According to His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, government and development partners decided to particularly focus attention on the smallholder farmers for the first five years (2010 – 2014), which led to the meticulous and painstaking conceptualization and formulation of the Smallholder Commercialization Programme (SCP), popularly known as “Farm for Business”.

“Since the launching of the Programme in July, 2010, we have been able to organize the smallholder farmers into farmer-based organizations, built their capacity through farmer field schools and supported them with Agricultural Business Centres, tractors, rice mills, generators, power tillers and other equipment and inputs,” he said, adding that government has rehabilitated inland valley swamps, constructed feeder roads and established financial services associations all over the country.

President Koroma paid glowing tribute to UNIDO for the support in establishing the Industrial Growth Centre in Bo as well as IFAD for their support to the key component of the SCP, which is component 4; providing access to finance for the rural population. “With the support of IFAD, my Government piloted the Rural Finance and Community Improvement Programme (RFCIP) in the Eastern Districts of Kono, Kailahun and Kenema, and later extend to Koinadugu, Bonthe and Pujehun Districts.”

The president also disclosed that government’s ceaseless determination to transform the agricultural sector has received a great boost through the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) approval of “government’s request of US$50 million Grant to compliment the ongoing interventions in the agriculture sector”. He also paid glowing tribute to development partners, particularly the United States of America, Australia, Canada, South Korea, the Bill Gates Foundation and the Multi-Donor Trust Fund of GAFSP.

Sierra Leone Represented at approval of UN Arms Trade Treaty

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Sierra Leone Represented at approval of UN Arms Trade Treaty thumbnail

The UN General Assembly last Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 overwhelmingly approved the first international treaty that will regulate  the multi-billion-dollar global arms trade, and prevent the weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, warlords, organized crime figures and human rights violators.  The General Assembly voted 154 in favor, 3 against and 23 abstentions.

Elated at the adoption of the treaty, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki -Moon, stated that he  ”wholeheartedly welcomed the adoption of a first-ever Arms Trade Treaty by the General Assembly.  It is a historic diplomatic achievement — the culmination of long-held dreams and many years of effort.”  The UN boss went on to say that, “This is a victory for the world’s people.  The Arms Trade Treaty  will make it more difficult for deadly weapons to be diverted into the illicit market, and it will help to keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and their like from acquiring deadly arms. It will be a powerful new tool in our efforts to prevent grave human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law.  And it will provide much-needed momentum for other global disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.”

The UN Secretary General applauded ”States for their willingness to compromise on a number of complex issues, thus making it possible for us to have a balanced and robust Treaty text.  I commend the members of civil society for the critical role they played from the inception of this process, through their expert contributions and enthusiastic support.” He explained further that, “The adoption of this Treaty demonstrates the great things that can be achieved when Governments and civil society work together through the United Nations.”  He called on “all Governments to join forces with civil society to ensure its full and effective implementation.” He assured the Assembly that, ”The United Nations will provide its full support as we strive to fulfill the great promise of this landmark global instrument.”

Also expressing delight at the adoption of the treaty was the deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA, Mr. Frank Jannuz.  He said that,  ”Today’s victory shows that ordinary people who care about protecting human rights can fight back to stop the gun lobby dead in its tracks, helping to save countless lives “.  He went on to say that ,”The voices of reason triumphed over skeptics, treaty opponents and dealers in death to establish a revolutionary treaty that constitutes a major step toward keeping assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons out of the hands of despots and warlords who use them to kill and maim civilians, recruit child soldiers and commit other serious abuses.”

The General Assembly President, Vuc Jeremi of Serbia , described the treaty as groundbreaking and that  the final text was robust and actionable.  Through this treaty,  he went on,  arms-exporting countries would be legally bound to report arms sales and transfers. They would be obliged to assess whether the weapons they sold could be used to facilitate human rights abuses and humanitarian law violations. He stated that the treaty will also protect the rights of its signatories to regulate the buying and selling of conventional armaments,  as well as the primacy of national legislation in defining the conditions under which citizens could own and operate arms.

The Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was held in New York from 18 to 28 March 2013.

Sierra Leone was represented at the Conference by the Deputy Permanent Representative for Legal Affairs, Ambassador Osman Keh-Kamara , the Deputy  Commissioner of the  National Commission on Small Arms (SLeNCSA),  Rtd. Col. Saa Anthony Sinah ,  the Military Attache at the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN, Col. Ronnie Harleston and Mr. Saifu George.

Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary and Coordinator of the Committee of 10 on UN Security Coucil Reform, Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN, NY

 

Activities of President Koroma while in USA

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Activities of President Koroma while in USA thumbnail

By: on April 2, 2013.

 

The three days working visit of President Ernest Bai Koroma and his delegation was full of activities.  Soon after his arrival at the Andrews Air-force Base on Tuesday night, President Ernest Bai Koroma and his team of experts held a planning meeting regarding the three days program and how it was scheduled.  (Photo:President Ernest Koroma being led out of the S.Leone Embassy by US Secret Service Agents,  after talking to Heads of Sierra Leonean organizations, Embassy Staff and granting interviews to some local and international)

Members of his delegation, Finance Minister Dr. Keifala  Marah, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Matthew Samura Kamara, Information and Communications Minister Hon. Alpha Kanu, Health Minister Hon. Miatta Kargbo, State Chief of Protocol Ambassador Soulay Daramy, State House – Chief of Staff Dr. Richard K. Konteh, Executive Assistant to President Ernest Koroma Dr. Sylvia Blyden, Personal Assistant to President Koroma Mr. Brian A. Gilpin, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Coordinator Mr. Mahmoud Idriss and  that of the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Washington DC (Ambassador Bockari Stevens, Deputy Chief of Mission Ambassador I.S. Conteh, Head of Chancery Mrs. Isatu Sillah, Fatmata Dao, Edward Kawa and Pasco Gerald Temple together with a delegation from  the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to United Nations in New York led by the  Permanent Representative Ambassador Shekou M. Turay and comprised of the Deputy Permanent Representative for Legal Affairs, Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara , the Minister Plenipotentiary, Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu and the Head of Chancery, Mr. Alhusine Kamara. properly planned the attendance of scheduled meetings according to specialization and importance.

At 9:30 a.m. -10:00 a.m. of Wednesday, President Ernest Bai Koroma, Dr. Keifalla Marah, Dr. Matthew Samura Kamara. Hon Alpha Kanu and Ambassador Bockari Stevens in the Company of U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone Ambassador Owen and Control offuicer Andrew Silski met with the Acting Director of Peace Corps Carrie Hesslker-Radelet.

At 10:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. President Ernest Bai Koroma  delivered a speech at a Peace Corps event with “Friends of Salone”(Former Peace Corps to Sierra Leone).

Mid-day to 1:30 p.m. saw him having a meeting with Bechtel executives. President Koroma and his experts were again engaged at 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. with  the Chief executive of MCC Daniel Yohannes, Ambassador Owen, Andrew Silski, Dr. Richard Konteh, Mr.Mamoud Idriss, Dr. Sylvia Blyden, Ambassador Soulay Daramy and Mr. Brian Gilpin.

President Ernest Bai Koroma addressing Sierra Leonean Heads of organization and Community groups at the Embassy of Sierra Leone

President Ernest Bai Koroma addressing Sierra Leonean Heads of organization and Community groups at the Embassy of Sierra Leone

At 3:00 p.m., President Koroma and delegation met with Staff of Embassy of Sierra Leone Washington DC, cross section of heads of Sierra Leone community groups in USA and granted series of interviews to several media houses, including one of the most recognized Radio for breaking local and international news in the USA, with a very wide listenership of at least One hundred and fifty Million People – “National Public Radio”.

At 5:00 p.m. President Koroma was also interviewed by Voice of America Television crew “Day Break Africa”, “One on one” and “in focus”  hosted by Anchor – Sheka Ssali  and produced by  Deirdre Murray-Mcintosh, Senior Television Producer, Voice of America TV, Africa Division.

7:00 p.m., saw him attending a congressional meeting.

At 9:45 a.m. on Thursday March 28, President Ernest Bai Koroma attended a joint meeting with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at Defense Department (Pentagon).

Mid-day met him at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel meeting with First Step  and Samshi CFO Jonathan Shafer and World Hope’s John Lyon, Richard Schroeder and Steve Brown.

2:10 p.m. met President Koroma and his chosen few at the White House, where he successfully held a very unique and meeting with the world’s most powerful Country’s President Barack Obama.

At 5:00 p.m. President Koroma met with Chevron President Ali Moshiri and at 6:00 p.m. with the open Government Partnership and close the day by 9:00 p.m. with a meeting with Corporate Council for Africa (CCA).

The Four Heads of State in a round table discussion, chaired by Outgoing Assistant Secretary of State For African Affairs, Ambassador Johnny Carson(Center)

The Four Heads of State in a round table discussion, chaired by Outgoing Assistant Secretary of State For African Affairs, Ambassador Johnny Carson(Center)

On Friday March 29th, 9:00 a.m. President Ernest Bai Koroma attended a roundtable  discussion with four other Heads of State at the Institute of Peace (USIP), before attending an Economic and Development Round Table at the MCC  from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. before departing for the most prestigious and protected Andrews Air-force Base in Virginia, where Air-Force One is kept at the hanger.

By Kabbs Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary and Coordinator of the Committee of 10 on UN Security Coucil Reform, Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN, and Pasco Temple, IA, USA