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Archive for September, 2013

Special Presidential Delegation did a marvelous job representing President Ernest Koroma in the U.S.

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

 

By KABS KANU  AND PASCO TEMPLE :

President Ernest Bai Koroma , a people’s man who has captivated the hearts of one and all at home and abroad , the Uncle you would like to have over for Thanksgiving Dinner or Xmas and the outstanding diplomat, statesman and Head of State whose brilliance, charisma and clout are sought by international stakeholders and the international community in general, missed this year’s United Nations General Assembly because of a sprained ankle sustained playing the game that helps to  keep his mind and body fit–Squash.

presidentsmiling1

 

The President was direly missed and as one of the 5 diplomats President Koroma specially selected to represent him in all the events that had been lined up for him  in the U.S, I want to report that wherever we went–Washington DC, Maryland, Connecticut , New Jersey, New York –to  attend his programs  , the sentiments were the same-’-WE MISSED PRESIDENT KOROMA’.

Sierra Leoneans as well  sorely missed their always smiling, magnetic, charismatic , progressive and sagacious leader whom they had planned to meet in massive numbers during his stay in the U.S. It was reported that thousands of Sierra Leoneans all over the U.S. had planned to converge in Washington DC , New Jersey and New York to interface with their leader. Many had to disappointingly call their airlines to cancel their travel  plans at the last moment when Sierra Leone’s  Ambassador to the U.S. H.E. Bockarie Stevens, announced that the President has sustained an ankle sprain that had hampered his plans to be in the U.S.

God, the Father Almighty alone, knows why certain things happen. The President himself very much  looked forward to this trip and was very excited about it , but God destined otherwise  . We who believe in God and serve him have learnt to accept the Will of God in all circumstances.

Though he was not present , President Koroma was however well represented in the U.S.

When it became obvious to him that he would not be able to travel, President Koroma then went to work and appointed a 5-man team that was mandated to specifically represent him : According to a letter from State House, the President appointed  the Information and Communications Minister Hon. Alpha Kanu (Leader ) , Foreign Minister Hon. Samura Kamara, Ambassador to the United States , H.E. Bockarie Stevens , the Special Executive Assistant to the President , Dr. Sylvia Blyden and Minister Plenipotentiary to the UN, Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu to  represent  him and to attend all the events and programs the President was invited to in Washington DC, Maryland, Connecticut , New Jersey and New York, including the UN General Assembly. This mandate was  separate from the other representation by other ministers and diplomats to the UN General Assembly and the Millennium Challenge Corporation Meetings (By Chief of Staff, Dr. Richard Konteh and team ).

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HON. ALPHA SAHID KANU

The Special Presidential Delegation was joined later by Deputy Minister of Finance, Madam Mabinti Daramy ,  the Member of Parliament from Port Loko , Ms. Isata Kabia, the Head of Chancery at the Sierra Leone Embassy to the U.S, Mrs. Isha Sillah and the Information Attache, Mr. Pasco Temple . Of course, the advanced team sent by President Koroma consisting of  Messrs .Foday Mansaray and Ajibu Jalloh also joined the delegation in keeping with their mandate. The delegation was also accompanied by Dr. Horace Dove-Edwin and Madam Madina Rahman.

The team travelled here and there through the East Coast to represent the President wherever he was supposed to have been .

Previously , Pasco Temple and I had said the following about the trip :

“We have already reported on the Ronald H. Brown African Affairs Annual Conference organized by Constituency For Africa  (CFA ) , which President Koroma addressed by video link from Freetown on Tuesday Sepember 17. The President’s statement is still being acclaimed by participants at the meeting and the international community as it hit at the core of measures needed to be taken to harness the human and material resources in the diaspora for national development in Africa.”

“We have also reported on the successful MCC Town Meeting on Wednesday September 18 , also in Washington DC ,  in which the delegation participated as well as help to organize. President Koroma was represented at this meeting too by the Hon. Alpha Kanu , backed by his delegation.”

“On Thursday September 19, 2013 the delegation took part in a meeting at the National Democratic Institute For International Affairs  ( NDI ) in Washington DC. According to its mission statement :  ”NDI provides practical assistance to civic and political leaders advancing democratic values, practices and institutions. NDI works with democrats in every region of the world to build political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and to promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government”.

“President Koroma was invited at this session to be the keynote speaker and that role was played by the Information Minister, Hon. Alpha Kanu ,who read an instructive statement on behalf of the President. In the statement, President Koroma spoke about his government’s plans to utilize the creativity and knowledge of youth in his desire to have youths play a leading role in national development. The President said that the priorities of his government are gainful employment for youth and building entrepenure  skills which is emphasized in President Koroma’s Agenda For Prosperity. The minister spoke aout the appointment of many youths in government and other sectors and the formation of the All Political Parties Youth Association ( AYPA ) , through which youth come together to discuss national issues.”

We also attended the AMISTAD  celebrations in Connecticut , the MCC meeting in New Jersey and the important Sierra Leone-New Jersey Economic Summit at Essex County College. We also visited NASDAQ in New York and of course attended the UN General Assembly.

SAMURAK

FOREIGN MINISTER SAMURA KAMARA

As the events wind down, COCORIOKO  will be analyzing every event we attended  and stating how well the President was represented in each event  and what we achieved from each event.

 

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AMBASSADOR BOCKARIE STEVENS

 

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DR.SYLVIA BLYDEN

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 MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY KABS KANU

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SOME MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENTIAL DELEGATION DURING THE AMISTAD CELEBRATION IN CONNECTICUT .FROM RIGHT : MR. AJIBU JALLOH, DR. SYLVIA BLYDEN , FODAY MANSARAY AND SECOND FROM RIGHT M.P. ISATA KABIA  : COURTESY AJIBU JALLOH

 

Personally , I want to thank President Koroma for the confidence reposed in me to be appointed as part of the delegation to represent him in the U.S . I want to assure him that , by the grace of God, I will always represent and serve his best interests wherever I find myself. It is always an indescribable privilege to serve one of the best Presidents in the world and a man so honored at home and in the international community that the mere mention of his name brings feelings of pride .

My service to the President transcends all barriers and even my job at the UN. I am not serving him because I have a job with government.  Even with the job at the Mission, I will always propagate and promote the works of President Koroma because he is a great leader and deserves it.  Long after the President would have finished serving his  second and final term of office , I will still be there with him to help promote and preserve his remarkable legacy. Therefore , my engagement  with the WORLD’S BEST IS A LIFETIME COMMITMENT because if God provides life, some of us will never allow this President’s legacy to put under the bushel after he leaves office. We want to leave something for children yet unborn –That when it mattered most, Sierra Leone had a President who turned the country around for the better.

Your confidence in me will not be wasted, Mr. President.

Sierra Leone open for business, says delegation visiting Essex County College

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

alphakanuessex

CULLED FROM THE STAR LEDGER NEWSPAPER OF NEW JERSEY : http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2013/09/sierra_leone_open_for_business.html

NEWARK — With 11 years of civil war and 10 years of rebuilding behind them, Sierra Leone’s government wants to bolster its economy by doing business with the one U.S. state they say has the highest number of expatriates: New Jersey.

A delegation of the country’s officials, including Agibu Jalloh, special assistant to President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, and Alhaji Alpha Abubakarr Kanu, minister of information and communications, visited Essex County College in Newark for an Economic Development Summit on Monday.

Sierra Leone, which is roughly three times the size of New Jersey and is located along Africa’s northwestern coast between Liberia and Guinea, feels it has fallen behind in terms of economic development and education.

No trade agreements or business contracts were signed during Monday’s luncheon, which also featured Rep. Donald Payne (D-10th Dist.), Essex County College Interim President Gale Gibson and members of the Newark African Commission. It was to put decision makers from both countries in a room together and let them shake hands, exchange business cards, set agendas and talk about the future.

President Koroma specifies New Jersey as a stop on the execution of his Agenda for Prosperity plan because it has the largest cohort of Sierra Leoneans anywhere in the U.S., said Jalloh.

“It’s an employment issue. We have youths who are healthy, but have nothing to do. There’s an opportunity here for knowledge transfer,” he said. “We have gold and diamonds, but don’t have the cutting and polishing facilities that get those materials ready for market. We also need supply chain industries and utility service providers.”

donald-payne-sierra-leone.JPGCongressman Donald Payne at the Sierra Leone – NJ Economic Development Summit at Essex County College on Monday, Sept. 23.Courtesy of Essex County College

The country has already has already attracted wireless service provider Africell, Indian telecommunications giant Airtel and London Mining, which set up an operation at a mine in Sierra Leone last year. Now the country’s officials want to add some U.S. companies to that list.

Payne, who holds a seat on the House Committee on Small Business, said other small African nations have expressed interest in doing business with the U.S. and Essex County in particular.

“They seem to understand what needs to happen to grow their economy,” Payne said. “They’re not the only ones — Liberia, Angola nad Ghana have all expressed interest in doing business with us.”

During his keynote address, Kanu, the minister of information, stressed the importance of Sierra Leone training workers to fill the jobs he hopes companies create in his country.

Fourah Bay College, a Western-style university with a 186-year history, lost some of its luster when its classical education was outpaced by the science, technology, engineering and math programs elsewhere.

“We were known as the Athens of Africa. Everybody went there for education,” he said. “We can’t go back now and invent the wheel. Nobody will say, ‘Oh, let’s buy it from them.’ My appeal is education is a business and technology is a business. It’s not just for me to make calls on my mobile phone.”

In the coming semesters, Essex County College will begin an exchange program with Fourah Bay College.

“For the study abroad program, of course we’d like students to study business, science, technology and math,” said Joyce Wilson, Essex County College’s acting vice president of administration and finance. “Really we just students to go and experience the country.”

NJ.com Mobile Site icon.jpg

N.J. NEWS ON THE GOOur redesigned mobile sitehas quick page loads and app-style navigation, and lets you join the conversation with comments and social media. VisitNJ.com from any mobile browser.

Dosso Kassimou is chairman of the Newark African Commission, which was created by the city in 2007 to promote city policies and civic engagement among its African citizens.

“I think the summit creates a relationship between the U.S. and Africa. As we globalize, all the big nations like China and India look to Africa as the next frontier,” he said. “Africa still has the most natural resources across the globe, but technology doesn’t have a presence there. It’s a very important time to look for opportunities for business exchanges.”

If, for example, a company decided to import food from Sierra Leone’s farmers, who account for more than half of the country’s gross domestic product, it could create jobs at the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, said Kassimou.

“What we need most of all is to create jobs,” said Blonnie Watson of Newark, Essex County Freeholder At Large. “And I’m sure this meeting will help us achieve that.

Sylvia Blyden is special guest at APC Washington Metropolitan Chapter Monthly Meeting on Sunday September 29

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

By KABS KANU and PASCO TEMPLE

 

Dr. Sylvia Blyden, the Special Executive Assistant to the President of Sierra Leone will be the Guest of Honor at the All People’s Congress ( APC ) Washington DC  Metropolitan Chapter’s Monthly Meeting on Sunday September 29, 2013.

According to the Secretary General of the Chapter, Mr. Alfred Kebbie Sesay, the occasion has the full blessing of His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma.  Mr. Ibrahim Sanpha Kamara ,  the President of the Chapter, while confirming the event , said that “Serious and very important matters affecting our noble chapter would be discussed at this meeting.” Dr.Blyden has said she will use the occasion to launch a passionate appeal to the APC  North America to unite and work together for the betterment of the APC, government and the nation.

Dr.Blyden was one of  the 5 government officials specially appointed by President Ernest Koroma to represent him in the United States and to attend all the events planned on his honour in Washington DC,  Maryland, Connecticut , New Jersey and New York.

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DR. BLYDEN ACCLIMATIZING IN NEW JERSEY AFTER HONORABLY SERVING HER BOSS PRESIDENT KOROMA AND COUNTRY IN THE U.S. 

In an exclusive chat with COCORIOKO this evening, the Special Executive Assistant (SEA) to the President, confirmed her attendance at the meeting. She said for her, she was “at home, very much at home inside the All Peoples Congress”.

“The truth is that as my Aunty Mabinty, the widow of the late former Vice-President S.I. Koroma, told me two weeks ago when we both travelled together on the same flight out of Sierra Leone, my antecedents are all APC; both maternal and paternal. My father, Babatunde Blyden, was the first elected National Secretary General of the APC Youth League. Check the records; at the age of 28 years my father was elected by all APC youths from around Sierra Leone. The roles of both my maternal grandfather S.A.J. Pratt and my paternal grandfather, Edward Wilmot Blyden in the APC winning the 1967 elections are extensively recorded. My antecedents are all APC,” Dr. Sylvia Blyden proudly said.

“Not only that but what many people do not know and which I will be revealing publicly for the first time, amongst many other facts when I address the meeting on Sunday, is that over one dozen years ago, at a time when it was not fashionable to be APC inside America, I was one of the brains who rallied others to create a solid presence for the APC inside America,” Dr. Blyden exclusively revealed to COCORIOKO.

“Together with the current Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu of Port Loko who was then living with his family in Maryland, I personally helped fund the setting up of the very first APC party offices in North America inside this 21st century; At the time, I was doing a lot of website designing work for Nigerians and Gambians which was a very, very lucrative business. I took from my legitimately earned money to help crystallize the APC in North America,” she stated.

“The very first APC website ever created in this world was 100% financed and designed by me with telephone numbers and fax machines all located on the website for easy contact. That is how President Ernest Koroma first contacted what was the first, well-structured entity of APC in North America. He was then the Managing Director of RITCORP Insurance. He visited the APC website I had launched and I can never forget how on New Year’s day that year, a male voice from Freetown which identified himself as Managing Director of RITCORP Ernest Bai Koroma, called the numbers listed there to speak to us but our office was closed. He left a very excited message on our APC-NA answering machine inside our APC party offices asking for our support,” Blyden informed adding “It was the now APC Deputy Parliamentary Leader, Hon. Bundu, who first listened to that message on our APC office answering machine”.

“Yes, I say ‘our’ offices because it was our offices, let me confirm today that the very first APC party offices rented inside the tall Bank of America building along New Hampshire Avenue in Maryland, was rented and paid for with my money; Yes, my money. That was over a dozen years ago when I was not even yet 30 years old but being as precocious as I am, I had seen the vision; I had seen the light that the APC should be back in the driving seat,” Dr. Sylvia Blyden explained to COCORIOKO.

“Talk to all APC strategists back then in America about my role and they will tell you. Talk to Ibrahim Bundu aka Bo School who is the current Deputy Leader of APC in Parliament; talk to Ambassador Eddie Turay our High Commissioner in London who was by then the APC National Leader; talk to Raymond Kabia the former Deputy Internal Affairs minister, talk to Osman T. Conteh, the former APC Chairman in America; talk to the current Deputy Energy Minister Bash-Kamara and they all will tell you who Sylvia Blyden is inside APC North America and the role I played in the strengthening of APC in America,” Dr. Sylvia Blyden stunningly revealed in her exclusive chat with COCORIOKO.

About why she had been such a critic of the APC all this time despite her significant role in forming APC inside North America back then, she cryptically responded with a smiling voice that, “It is all in the past now but trust me that everything will be revealed on Sunday at the meeting”.

COCORIOKO has learnt that the APC party meeting on Sunday is being held with the blessings of President Koroma, the National Chairman and Leader of the All Peoples Congress (APC) who has given permission to his Special Executive Assistant to attend the APC party meeting and address it.

“I have such tremendous respect for His Excellency the President as my boss and my political leader/chairman that there is no way I would attend such a meeting without his permission. President Koroma kindly and graciously granted me permission so on Sunday, I will be right there at the APC-NA party offices,” Dr. Sylvia Blyden ended her exclusive chat with COCORIOKO.

BELOW ARE LETTERS FROM SENIOR OFFICIALS OF THE WASHINGTON DC CHAPTER ANNOUNCING THE MEETING :

__________________________________________
SYLVIABLYDENWASHINGTONDC (622 x 811)
All People’s Congress

Washington Metropolitan Chapter (DC, MD, VA)

From the Office of the President

Comrades:
Yes, indeed, the Special Executive Assistant (SEA) to the president, Dr. Sylvia Blyden, will be meeting with us in tandem with our monthly meeting this Sunday. Serious and very important matters affecting our noble chapter would be discussed at this meeting. I know your resolve, as members of this great chapter, to always do what is right for your APCWMC is unquestionable. I therefore have no doubt you will show in numbers and on time at the party office for this meeting and to welcome our most honored guest, the SEA.
We are the metro chapter, we are the APC Washington Metropolitan, we are, indeed, the grand old chapter who knows the right way to welcome comrades from our beloved Sierra Leone. We must continue to ride the ship of hospitality. I expect to see you all on Sunday.
Thanks,
Ibrahim Sanpha Kamara
President
APC Washington Metropolitan Chapter

From: kebbiesesay2000 <kebbiesesay2000@yahoo.com>

Date: Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 4:11 PM
Subject: APCWMC [ DR. SYLVIA BLYDEN TO ATTEND OUR GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING ON SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2013
To: apcwmc@googlegroups.com

All People’s Congress

Washington Metropolitan Chapter (DC, MD, VA)

Dear Members of Our Noble Chapter (APC- WMC):
I am elated to inform you that with the blessings of the father of our nation (Sierra Leone), His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, Dr. Sylvia Blyden, Special Executive Assistant to the President of Sierra Leone, has consented to attend our general membership meeting on
Sunday September 29, 2013 at 5pmIt is going to be interesting!
Please be on time.
            
                        “The sun will shine on those who stand, before it shine on those who kneel under them.” Chinua Achebe (1994).
             
 Date: September 29, 2013
Time:  5 PM
Venue: Our Party Office – 9420 Annapolis Road, Suite 203, Lanham, MD 20706
Thank you all for your continuing support.
Alfred Kebbie Sesay, MS, MBA, MHSA
Secretary General (APC-WMC)

Special Presidential Delegation did a marvelous job representing President Ernest Koroma in the U.S.

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

By KABS KANU :

President Ernest Bai Koroma , a people’s man who has captivated the hearts of one and all at home and abroad , the Uncle you would like to have over for Thanksgiving Dinner or Xmas and the outstanding diplomat, statesman and Head of State whose brilliance, charisma and clout are sought by international stakeholders and the international community in general, missed this year’s United Nations General Assembly because of a sprained ankle sustained playing the game that helps to  keep his mind and body fit–Squash.

presidentsmiling1

 

The President was direly missed and as one of the 5 diplomats President Koroma specially selected to represent him in all the events that had been lined up for him  in the U.S, I want to report that wherever we went–Washington DC, Maryland, Connecticut , New Jersey, New York –to  attend his programs  , the sentiments were the same-‘-WE MISSED PRESIDENT KOROMA’.

Sierra Leoneans as well  sorely missed their always smiling, magnetic, charismatic , progressive and sagacious leader whom they had planned to meet in massive numbers during his stay in the U.S. It was reported that thousands of Sierra Leoneans all over the U.S. had planned to converge in Washington DC , New Jersey and New York to interface with their leader. Many had to disappointingly call their airlines to cancel their travel  plans at the last moment when Sierra Leone’s  Ambassador to the U.S. H.E. Bockarie Stevens, announced that the President has sustained an ankle sprain that had hampered his plans to be in the U.S.

God, the Father Almighty alone, knows why certain things happen. The President himself very much  looked forward to this trip and was very excited about it , but God destined otherwise  . We who believe in God and serve him have learnt to accept the Will of God in all circumstances.

Though he was not present , President Koroma was however well represented in the U.S.

When it became obvious to him that he would not be able to travel, President Koroma then went to work and appointed a 5-man team that was mandated to specifically represent him : According to a letter from State House, the President appointed  the Information and Communications Minister Hon. Alpha Kanu (Leader ) , Foreign Minister Hon. Samura Kamara, Ambassador to the United States , H.E. Bockarie Stevens , the Special Executive Assistant to the President , Dr. Sylvia Blyden and Minister Plenipotentiary to the UN, Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu to attend all the events and programs the President was invited to in Washington DC, Maryland, Connecticut , New Jersey and New York, including the UN General Assembly. This mandate was  separate from the other representation by other ministers and diplomats to the UN General Assembly and the Millennium Challenge Corporation Meetings (By Chief of Staff, Dr. Richard Konteh and team ).

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HON. ALPHA SAHID KANU

The Special Presidential Delegation was joined later by Deputy Minister of Finance, Madam Mabinti Daramy ,  the Member of Parliament from Port Loko , Ms. Isata Kabia, the Head of Chancery at the Sierra Leone Embassy to the U.S, Mrs. Isha Sillah and the Information Attache, Mr. Pasco Temple . Of course, the advanced team sent by President Koroma consisting of  Messrs .Foday Mansaray and Ajibu Jalloh also joined the delegation in keeping with their mandate. The delegation was also accompanied by Dr. Horace Dove-Edwin and Madam Madina Rahman.

SAMURAK

FOREIGN MINISTER SAMURA KAMARA

Previously , Pasco Temple and I had said the following about the trip :

“We have already reported on the Ronald H. Brown African Affairs Annual Conference organized by Constituency For Africa  (CFA ) , which President Koroma addressed by video link from Freetown on Tuesday Sepember 17. The President’s statement is still being acclaimed by participants at the meeting and the international community as it hit at the core of measures needed to be taken to harness the human and material resources in the diaspora for national development in Africa.”

“We have also reported on the successful MCC Town Meeting on Wednesday September 18 , also in Washington DC ,  in which the delegation participated as well as help to organize. President Koroma was represented at this meeting too by the Hon. Alpha Kanu , backed by his delegation.”

“On Thursday September 19, 2013 the delegation took part in a meeting at the National Democratic Institute For International Affairs  ( NDI ) in Washington DC. According to its mission statement :  ”NDI provides practical assistance to civic and political leaders advancing democratic values, practices and institutions. NDI works with democrats in every region of the world to build political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and to promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government”.

“President Koroma was invited at this session to be the keynote speaker and that role was played by the Information Minister, Hon. Alpha Kanu ,who read an instructive statement on behalf of the President. In the statement, President Koroma spoke about his government’s plans to utilize the creativity and knowledge of youth in his desire to have youths play a leading role in national development. The President said that the priorities of his government are gainful employment for youth and building entrepenure  skills which is emphasized in President Koroma’s Agenda For Prosperity. The minister spoke aout the appointment of many youths in government and other sectors and the formation of the All Political Parties Youth Association ( AYPA ) , through which youth come together to discuss national issues.”

We also attended the AMISTAD  celebrations in Connecticut , the MCC meeting in New Jersey and the important Sierra Leone-New Jersey Economic Summit at Essex County College. We also visited NASDAQ in New York and of course attended the UN General Assembly.

As the events wind down, COCORIOKO  will be analyzing every event we attended  and stating how well the President was represented in each event  and what we achieved from each event.

 

ambassadorbockariestevens

AMBASSADOR BOCKARIE STEVENS

 

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DR.SYLVIA BLYDEN

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 MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY KABS KANU

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SOME MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENTIAL DELEGATION DURING THE AMISTAD CELEBRATION IN CONNECTICUT .FROM RIGHT : MR. AJIBU JALLOH, DR. SYLVIA BLYDEN , FODAY MANSARAY AND SECOND FROM RIGHT M.P. ISATA KABIA  : COURTESY AJIBU JALLOH

 

My service to the President transcends all barriers and even my job at the UN. I am not serving him because I have a job with government.  Even with the job at the Mission, I will always propagate and promote the works of President Koroma because he is a great leader and deserves it.  Long after the President would have finished serving his  second and final term of office , I will still be there with him to help promote and preserve his remarkable legacy. Therefore , my engagement  with the WORLD’S BEST IS A LIFETIME COMMITMENT because if God provides life, some of us will never allow this President’s legacy to put under the bushel after he leaves office. We want to leave something for children yet unborn –That when it mattered most, Sierra Leone had a President who turned the country around for the better.

Your confidence in me will not be wasted, Mr. President.

 

PRESIDENT KOROMA DETERMINED TO BUILD ON GAINS OF AGENDA FOR CHANGE

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Posted by  on September 1, 20130 Comment

Sixteen tribal heads representing all the ethnic groups in the country paid a courtesy call on President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at the Presidential Lodge, Hill Station.

Welcoming the tribal heads, President Koroma acknowledged the pivotal role tribal headmen and women played during the November 2012 elections that returned him for a second term of office. He said that the time for politics is over and now is the time for development.

President Koroma assured the traditional leaders that he will continue to build on the gains made under the Agenda for Change and now under the Agenda for Prosperity.

“We will continue to construct roads and bridges, improve on our agricultural practices and expand on the smallholder commercialization programme. We will continue to empower our women and youth and create more space for their voices to be heard”, said the Chief Executive.

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He also maintained that government is working round the clock to provide pipe-borne water, improve on agricultural productivity and other developmental strides, adding that there is a determination to lift this country to the level where it won’t go backwards again.

He however appealed to the tribal heads to continue to play their sacred role by sensitizing the people. “We will not compromise that as development can only take place in an atmosphere of discipline and hard work.”

The President pledged to look into the concerns of the tribal heads, saying “This is the time for all of us to work together as prosperity does not come on a Silver Plata. We are planning to open a centre of excellence for youth. We are creating opportunities for everybody and we want people to rise to the occasion. No country can develop without hard work. He urged them to engage their people to help sustain the ongoing transformation of the country.

President Koroma further called on the tribal heads to sensitize their people to desist from constructing houses in dangerous locations in the municipality. The life of any Sierra Leonean, he warned, is as important as any other life.

Delivering the vote of thanks, the Mende Tribal Head, Chief Mathew Young called for inclusion of tribal heads in state functions. He also pleaded with President Koroma to consider tribal heads for stipend which they need to carry on their work.

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

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High-powered Presidential team storms New Jersey for big MCC Meeting today

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Posted by  on September 22, 2013:

By KABS KANU and PASCO TEMPLE : 

The high-powered team  led by Information Minister Hon. Alpha Kanu that was appointed by President Ernest Bai Koroma to represent him in the U.S. during this year’s United Nations General Assembly stormed New Jersey yesterday for today’s all-important Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC ) Town meeting at the Ukranian Hall in Somerset, NJ. The meeting will start at 5 : 00 pm .

CFATOWNMEETING1 (600 x 399)

SOME MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENTIAL TEAM 

The team arrived by road from Connecticut where it  participated in the 25th Anniversary ceremonies of the AMISTAD Committee.

Today’s MCC Meeting, like the others so far held,  will be jointly organized by the Sierra Leone Embassy to the United States and the MCC  and will be staged by the umbrella organization, Sierra Leone Community of New Jersey (SLCNJ).

The Presidential Team , which has been very busy attending back-to-back programs on behalf of President Koroma in Washington DC, Maryland and Connecticut  will also attend the UN General Assembly in New York . In that team also are the Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Bockarie Kortu Stevens ;  his Deputy Mr.Ibrahim S. Conteh;  Minister Plenipotentiary to the UN, Rev. LeeRoy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu ;  the M.P .from  Port Loko , Hon. Isata Kabia ; Deputy Finance Minister Ms. Mabinti Daramy, Special Executive Assistant to the President Dr. Sylvia Blyden; Dr. Francis Dove-Edwin of the Diaspora Office ; Mrs. Isha Sillah , the Head of Chancery of the Sierra Leone Embassy to the U.S; Messrs Foday Mansaray and Ajibu Jalloh , the Special Assistants in the President’s Office.

Other top government officials are in the U.S. to represent the President but in different assignments. The Foreign Minister, Dr.Samura Kamara is leading the delegation to the UN General Assembly; Dr. Richard Konteh is attending the MCC Meetings while the Minister of Youth, Hon. Alimamy Kamara was attending the youth program at the National Democratic Institute (NDI ).

 

High-powered Presidential team storms New Jersey for big MCC Meeting today

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

 

 By KABS KANU and PASCO TEMPLE : 

The high-powered team  led by Information Minister Hon. Alpha Kanu that was appointed by President Ernest Bai Koroma to represent him in the U.S. during this year’s United Nations General Assembly stormed New Jersey yesterday for today’s all-important Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC ) Town meeting at the Ukranian Hall in Somerset, NJ. The meeting will start at 5 : 00 pm .

The team arrived by road from Connecticut where it  participated in the 25th Anniversary ceremonies of the AMISTAD Committee.

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AMBASSADOR BOCKARIE STEVENS

Today’s MCC Meeting, like the others so far held,  will be jointly organized by the Sierra Leone Embassy to the United States and the MCC  and will be staged by the umbrella organization, Sierra Leone Community of New Jersey (SLCNJ).

The Presidential Team , which has been very busy attending back-to-back programs on behalf of President Koroma in Washington DC, Maryland and Connecticut  will also attend the UN General Assembly in New York . In that team also are the Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Bockarie Kortu Stevens ;  his Deputy Mr.Ibrahim S. Conteh;  Minister Plenipotentiary to the UN, Rev. LeeRoy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu ;  the M.P .from  Port Loko , Hon. Isata Kabia ; Deputy Finance Minister Ms. Mabinti Daramy, Special Executive Assistant to the President Dr. Sylvia Blyden; Dr. Francis Dove-Edwin of the Diaspora Office ; Mrs. Isha Sillah , the Head of Chancery of the Sierra Leone Embassy to the U.S; Messrs Foday Mansaray and Ajibu Jalloh , the Special Assistants in the President’s Office.

Other top government officials are in the U.S. to represent the President but in different assignments. The Foreign Minister, Dr.Samura Kamara is leading the delegation to the UN General Assembly; Dr. Richard Konteh is attending the MCC Meetings while the Minister of Youth, Hon. Alimamy Kamara was attending the youth program at the National Democratic Institute (NDI ).

 

Alpha Kanu makes eloquent case for reparation for heroes of Amistad Revolt

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Alpha Kanu makes eloquent case for reparation for heroes of Amistad Revolt

Posted by  on September 22, 2013 : 

ALPHAKANUADDRESSINGAMISTAD1 (600 x 337)

A delegation representing President Ernest Bai Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone participated yesterday Friday September 20, 2013 in ceremonies marking the 25th Anniversary of the Amistad Committee in New Haven, Connecticut. The delegation was led by the Minister of Information and Communication, Hon. Alpha Kanu, who was the keynote speaker at the Municipal Building event and the state banquet later in the evening.

The statement delivered by the Hon.Alpha Kanu at both occasions was so  instructive and so eloquently delivered that  newspapers in Connecticut and Boston carried the story this morning.

We bring you the Hon. Minister’s speech which has struck a chord in America.

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“ALL WE WANT IS MSKE US FREE”

SPEECH DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OF THE JUBILEE CELEBRATION OF THE FOUNDATION OF THE AMISTAD COMMITTEE Of NEW HAVEN CONNECTICUT, USA
By Hon. Alpha Kanu :  Minister of Information & Communications Technology– Presidential & Government Spokesman, Sierra Leone

Friday September, 20th 2013

Congress woman Rosa De Lores of the United States House of Representatives

The Mayor, of the great city of New Heaven: Hon. John DeStefano

The president, Board of Aldermen, city of New Haven: Hon. Jorge Perez;

Chairman committee of the sister cities of New Heaven and Freetown ,
Supreme Court Justice of the State of Connecticut , Justice the Hon. Fleming L. Norcott.

The Hon. Toni Edmonds-Walker, Representative of the 93rd District of the state of Connecticut.

The Hon. Martin Looney, Senator of the 11th District of the state of Connecticut

The Hon. Toni Nathaniel Harp, Senator of the 10th District of Connecticut.

Members of the Amistad Historic Committee headed by its President the honourable Alfred L. Marder

Madam Vinnie Barrow, the distinguished and renowned actress and poet from the State of New York

The Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United States of America, H E Bockarie Kortu Stevens,

The Deputy chief of Mission to the United States oF America, H E Alhaji Ibrahim Sorie Conteh

The Consul -General of Sierra Leone in New England, USA, the Hon. Mohamed Barrie.

Distinguished members and colleagues of His Excellency, Predient Ernest Bai Koroma’s delegation to the United States of America

Mr. Chairman, Hon. Alfred L. Marder

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me, on behalf of His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the dear profound apologies for his unavoidable absence at this August gathering to celebrate the freedom of the Amistad heroes 175 years ago.

The President would like me to inform you that. 25 years of existence for any person, animal, place or thing in the face of adverse political and changing environment is no mean feat.

He sends his heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Alfred L. Marder , the President and founder of the Amistad Committee of New Haven Connecticut and to all the members of that noble and philanthropic organization for having steered the Amistad’s course on an even keel to record such phenomenal success and recognition for the heroism demonstrated so long ago

In order to capture the importance H E President Ernest Bai Koroma and the rest of the nation of Sierra Leone attach to the memory of the Amistad heroes, the title of my presentation this morning is:

“Making the Case for Reparation for The Heroes of the Amistad Revolt”

In 1787, the celebrated English abolitionists, Granville Sharpe and William Wilberforce , advocating for the freedom of a captured slave Jonathan Stronge posed this famous question during his trial in the Supreme Court.

“Is it right to make a man slave against his will?”

The Lord Chief Justice in his ruling declared that Jonathan Stronge was a free man and that any slave setting foot in England was free.

So it was that slavery was abolished first in England and this cascaded down to the rest of the world notably here in the United States.

In a bid to find a settlement, on the African homeland for the freed slaves, a Province of Freedom was founded in present day Sierra Leone.

Missionaries and traders in legitimate goods flocked to Sierra Leone to convert the freed slaves to Christianity, educate them and teach them skills and trades .

Thus it was that by 1827, Fourah Bay College in Freetown was established as the first university in Africa south of the Sahara.

In. 1845, the CMS Grammar school was established for the education of boys.

Two years later, in 1847, the Annie Walsh Memorial school was founded for the education of girls.

The establishment of institutions of learning meant that the practice of slavery was already a thing of the past.

However, in February of 1839, 52 years after the Mansfield declaration in England, Portuguese slave hunters had the audacity and temerity to land on our shores to abduct a large group of people , our countrymen and women and shipped them to Havana, Cuba, a then notorius center for the the illegal slave trade, in gross violation of our sovereignty and in complete disregard for international law.. I say sovereignty because in 1839′ Sierra Leone was already a thriving colony under the British Empire. It had its own system of government , laws, police and all institutions of state. We even had the Granville Sharpe constitution of Sierra Leone , written in 1789. This abduction therefore, violated the constitution of Sierra Leone and all of the international treaties then in existence. Fifty-three Of our forebears were purchased by two Spanish planters and put aboard the Cuban schooner, the Amistad , for shipment to a Caribbean plantation. On July 1, 1839, the Africans seized the ship, killed the captain and the cook, and ordered the planters to sail to Africa.

On August 24, 1839, the Amistad was seized off Long Island, NY, by the U.S. frigate,the Washington. The planters were freed and the Africans were imprisoned in New Haven, Connecticut on charges of murder. Although the murder charges were dismissed, the Africans continued to be held in confinement as the focus of the case turned to salvage claims and property rights. President Van Buren was in favor of extraditing the Africans to Cuba. However, abolitionists in the North where we are here today , opposed extradition and raised money to defend the Africans. Claims to the Africans by the planters, the government of Spain, and the captain of the brig led the case to trial in the Federal District Court here in Connecticut. The court ruled that the case fell within Federal jurisdiction and that the claims to the Africans as property were not legitimate because they were illegally held as slaves. The case went to the Supreme Court in January 1841, and former President John Quincy Adams , the 6th President of the United States of America, argued the case for the Africans. He defended the right of the accused to fight to regain their freedom. The Supreme Court decided in favor of the Africans, and 35 of them were returned to their homeland. The others died at sea or in prison while awaiting trial. Some of whom we honored this afternoon.

The case for the prosecution is this.

1. The Africans were abducted in a sovereign country 52 years after the abolition of slavery… This is a crime against humanity committed by citizens of Portugal. This makes Portugal a corespondent in the case.

2. The Africans were incarcerated unlawfully here in the United States under the false presences proferred by the rogue Spanish planters.

3. Spain joined in bringing the false action against the Africans. This means that Spain as a nation is liable for any damages the court may award.

4. 18!ofmthe Africans died while awaiting trial and Spain must take responsibility their deaths.

My submission this morning is that, through the help of former President
John Quincy Adams, may thenLord bless his soul, the Africans won the case.

Somebody must take responsibility and damages must be paid.

Spain, having joined the action must take the greatest responsibility and must be made to pay compensation both to the surviving family members and to the state of Sierra leone.

If we must move forward in an era of peace , democracy and respect for human rights and the sovereign rights of other nations, Spain must be made to offer reparations in order to close this sad part of recent human history.
I know tht in US Law, there is no statute of Limitations for murder, manslaughter, kidnap and crimes against humanity.

The treatment meted out to the Amistad Revolt Heroes by their captors and the overt support for these crimes by their home government make the case ripe for class action law suit. This might draw the attention of some human right lawyers here on the Umited States or anywhere else in the free world to take up the matter as a test case.

The debate is open. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

This is the United states of America, the land of freedom. Make the heroic Africans truly free even in their graves.

For ” ALL WE WANT IS MAKE U S FREE””

I thank you.

President Koroma’s Youth Policy praised at National Democratic Institute in DC

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Posted by  on September 21, 2013: 

 By KABS KANU and PASCO TEMPLE : 

Senegalese American R&B and hip hop recording artist, songwriter, and record producer Aliaune Damala Akon Thiam, known as ‘Akon’ has described Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma as one of the finest leaders of Africa, whose love for youth has transformed the West African Country from one of the least developed, to that of one of the fastest growing economies in the world. He said President Ernest Bai Koroma’s love for youth is in his policies and actions.

 

 

ASKNDI (600 x 448)Speaking during a one day meeting of the West African Youth Forum at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Washington D.C. Thursday, Akon said  the early stage  of his life was characterized by challenges like most youth, and said some countries including Sierra Leone were also feted with challenges at some stages, but with determination and fortitude, the challenges were overcome and things got turned around for the better.

Akon said he met President Ernest Bai Koroma some years back and described him as a leader with vision, whose determination has immensely contributed to the turn – around of the country.

He also used the medium to call on African – Americans to support their people through the provision of knowledge and other means to acquire knowledge.

Earlier, Thione Niang , a political activist,  community leader, international motivational speaker and consultant recalled visiting Sierra Leone, and in particular President Ernest Bai Koroma  some years back, and said “I compared the country before he assumed Presidency and  the present: “I can say President Ernest Bai Koroma has  Passion for youths.”

Delivering his key note address on behalf of President Ernest Bai Koroma, Minister of Information and Communications and Government Spokesman Hon. Alhaji Alpha Kanu said “Mr. President has dedicated his second term in governance to youth empowerment and development.

“Since President Koroma became president in 2007, his ambition has been to promote youth affairs. He has established youth policies that will bring more skills-training and jobs for young people in Sierra Leone: and the government is now bringing both the private and public sectors together to address issues affecting youth development in the country.

He said President Koroma had issued a directive urging Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to develop documents and programmes that will aim at creating empowerment and employment for young people in the country.

“As I speak, the government has established the National Youth Commission, and most importantly, the government of His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has received funds from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to construct a modern youth village for the youth in Sierra Leone.”  Adding, the minister disclosed that  “The village will be solely meant for the acquisition of skills and knowledge.” Minister Kanu emphasized.

In his contribution, Minister of Youth Affairs, Hon. Alimamy Kamara reiterated his call on young people to be disciplined and law abiding.

He said the government was about to construct many technical vocational institutes to capacitate them.

Hon. Alimamy Kamara said the Government is working with the United Nations Development Agency (UNDP) on the Youth Employment and Empowerment Programme (YEEP), initiated in 2011.

He said this program builds on UNDP’s extensive post-war experience, supporting the recovery of Sierra Leone’s youth.

The Minister went on to say that  the program is designed to strengthen national policy, strategy and coordination for youth employment and further seek to provide basic support services for youth across the country.

The Hon. Minister said the Program is focused on three key components: (a) Institutional and Policy Development that is based on building sufficient technical capacity of the Ministry of Youth, National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) to facilitate policy development and ensuring that relevant policies are coherent and have a positive impact on employment creation.

(b)Youth Empowerment that is focused on promoting youth empowerment and leadership through the strengthening of Chiefdom and District Youth Councils. (C)Employment Promotion- Focused on assisting youth in their transition from school to work through the provision of employment promotion services such as internship opportunities and support to micro, small and medium-sized business development.

Information Minister and Goodwill Ambassador intent on creating a bright future for Sierra Leone with the Way To Happiness Program

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Posted by  on September 21 2013

 A common-sense program designed to instill leadership values, reduce crime and boost national productivity and industry is something sought by many nations, governments and administrative systems around the world.

Now that Colombia has seen visible and striking results with broad-scale implementation of The Way to Happiness program at a national level, other forward-thinking nations are following suit.

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Leaders of Sierra Leone, including the Minister of Information, Mr. Alpha Kanu, Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Bockari Stevens and Goodwill Ambassador Ms. Isatu Timbo gathered in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to meet with representatives of the Association for Better Living and Education to review The Way to Happiness program and plan its implementation at national level in Sierra Leone.

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MRS. ISHA TIMBO-NWOKEDI

Goodwill Ambassador for Sierra Leone, Ms. Isatu Timbo arranged the meetings, having been working with The Association for Better Living and Education International and The Way to Happiness Foundation International in Los Angeles for over a year now.  Ms. Timbo is a driving force to help others and is intent on bringing The Way to Happiness and ABLE’s array of social betterment programs to Sierra Leone and West Africa to change conditions for the better for generations to come.

Viewed as a natural fit with Mr. Koroma’s visionary Attitudinal and Behavorial Change Initiative, The Way to Happiness program is both non-religious and non-political in nature and is based entirely on common sense.

With the broad-scale distribution and implementation of The Way to Happiness program in Colombia by the National Police to over 5 million citizens, the resulting 50% drop in crime statistics and marked increase in tourism have attracted the attention of a growing number of governmental and community leaders seeking a more calm, productive and prosperous future for their respective countries and communities.

Its diverse appeal to all ages and unique simplicity of implementation are facets which make The Way to Happiness program attractive to government leaders, philanthropists, corporate executives, educators and community leaders alike.

Since the original publication of The Way to Happiness in 1981 by Author and Humanitarian Mr. L. Ron Hubbard as a non-religious common sense guide to better living, response has been immediate and remarkable.  Now an international movement with more than 350 Chapters across the world, there have been more than 100 million copies of The Way to Happiness distributed in all 195 nations across the planet thus bringing positive, common sense values to the world.

The Way to Happiness program has been used with great success by governments, administrators and communities across the world from the US and South America to areas of the Middle East and Africa to instill values and a positive approach to both youth and adults alike—resolving conflicts, reducing overall crime and conflict and thus paving the way for a brighter future.

For more information see www.ABLE.org and www.thewaytohappiness.org