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Archive for May, 2014

Africa’s First Ladies meet in The Gambia

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

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Sierra Leone’s deputy Ambassador to The Gambia, Haja Saidata Sesay this week joined some of Africa’s first ladies in observing this year’s 3rd WOMEN ADVANCEMENT FORUM 2014 (WAF) in The Gambia. (Photo: Deputy Ambassador Saidata Sesay seated with her counterparts)

This annual event was attended by first ladies of the Republic of Senegal, Burundi, Comoros and Nigeria’s state Governors first ladies of River, Ogun and Bauchi States, hosted by Mrs. Zineb Yayah Jammeh under the Theme – Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the MDGS.

The Forum was facilitated by the former Gambian Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay and attended by among other VIP’s the Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs H.E Aja Dr. Isatou Njie Saidy, UN Representative to The Gambia, cabinet Ministers, Heads of government Institutions, Diplomatic Corps, Women’s Organizations and a cross section of citizens and non citizens.

First Ladies

 WAF is one of the most attended global gender conferences and a platform that push for Women Advancement and Empowerment  and positive ways in realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS). The International forum has in all its meetings strived for the formulation of strategic and realistic approach for women’s socio- economic and political advancement and emancipation.

Declaring the forum open, Her Excellency Zineb Yayah Jammeh commended President Yayah Jammeh for supporting to host the forum in The Gambia, adding that her husband is a strong believer in the potential of women to help transform the socio – economic development of the African continent. She described the 2014 forum as an eye opener to Gambian women and the Girl child.

First Lady of The Gambia

 She called on all present at the forum to make this 2014 meeting an achievement in the implementation of the MDGS for the women and the girl child.

According to the first lady, current assessment revealed that MDG targets including maternal health, hunger and access to basic amenities such as safe drinking water are all likely to be met by 2015. She also noted that The Gambia is on track towards achieving MDG 3, which advocates for the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women. The fact of this she based on the progress the nation is making towards the attainment of MGD goals, taking into consideration that the Gambian government has accorded women their share of positions in the decision making process in which the girl child education is given top priority.

The current Chairperson of WAF, First Lady of Ogun State of Nigeria, H.E .Funso Amosun commended the Gambian government for hosting the forum. “WAF should be seen to deliberate, review and strategize the successes registered in the implementation of MDGs and as to how to come up with a strategy to maximize the attainment of the next step — Sustainable Development Goal” She said.

Awards of honor for their contributions in promoting women’s affairs were given to the First Lady of The Gambia Zineb Yayah Jammeh, first lady of Senegal- Faye Sall, first lady of Burundi and that of the first lady of Comoros and the wives of the Governors of Bauchi, Ogun and River States and the Vice President of The Gambia.

Traditional dancing from both Gambia and Nigeria climaxed the occasion.


“What Life Has Taught Me”: The Political Career of Dr. Siaka Probyn Stevens

Saturday, May 31st, 2014


The Stevens Family and The Executor of the Estate of the Late Dr. Siaka P. Stevens, have taken the decision to republish “What Life Has Taught Me”. The republication is in two parts. Part I covers the political career of Siaka Stevens and his role in shaping the political landscape of modern Sierra Leone. Part II covers his early childhood, growing up, education, surviving the depression, and his first job.

Dr. Siaka Probyn Stevens continues to influence the politics of Sierra Leone and the lives of Sierra Leoneans. He is part of the history of Sierra Leone. It is therefore important that Sierra Leoneans have access to his autobiography.
Dr. Siaka P. Stevens was a pioneer in many ways; (in 1964) he was both leader of the Opposition and Mayor of Freetown simultaneously, a feat yet unparalleled and unprecedented in the political history of Sierra Leone; the first Opposition Leader in Africa to lead his Party to Government through the ballot box; the second African President (after Late Julius Nyrere) ever to relinquish power voluntarily; first voices in what became a chorus of protests in Africa over the lending policies of the International Monetary Fund. Subsequent global condemnation of this policy validates Dr. Stevens stand and re-echoes his vision.

There is much in these pages to interest anyone — thoughts about the temptations of corruption, views on ideologies, and free speech. Siaka Stevens talks about his supporters and his opponents. He remembers the first Prime Minister, Sir Milton Margai, with reverence and respect — even when he reflects on his imprisonment during that period.
Perhaps most revealing of Stevens (and especially interesting to scholars for its new information and perspectives), is his assessment of the military, attempts on his life, coups he tried to forestall by gentle warnings to potential perpetrators, those that were attempted and failed, as well as the one that succeeded in 1967.

Stevens brings this period vividly to life and in the process poses difficult questions about how one controls a military bent on intervention in political affairs. Siaka Stevens has been more successful than many political leaders in this regard and as such his thoughts, concerns, and actions are particularly important. This book is important in addition because it reveals much more than the life of Siaka Stevens. It is also about the process of development, decolonization, and the dynamics of nation building.
Francis Stevens George.


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Dr.Siaka Probyn Stevens was the third Prime Minister of Sierra Leone from 1967 to 1971 and the first Executive president of Sierra Leone from 1971 to 1986. Siaka Stevens died on May 29th 1988. May His Soul continue to rest in peace. In 1985,Dr. Siaka Probyn Stevens published his Autobiography- ‘What Life Has Taught Me’. What Life Has Taught Me is in part a political history of Sierra Leone and in part the story of a self-made man. This is a republication of the autobiography, which comes in two parts. Part I covers his political career and his role in shaping the political landscape of modern Sierra Leone. There is much in these pages to interest anyone. This book is important in because it reveals much more than the life of Siaka Stevens. It is also about the process of development, decolonization, and the dynamics of nation building.

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Part I
Francis Stevens George & The Stevens Family
May 28, 2014
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Of public disagreements and character assassination

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

By Titus Boye-Thompson  :

Many a time the good name of people in public life becomes fodder for malicious and damaging attack to shock and awe the public by sensationalism. The perpetrators do not need to have their facts right nor is there any compunction to act in a professional manner. Some people would tend to defend their good name and take these urchins to court, but in most cases, the damage is already done.



The mere headline that engulfs you as the newspaper lambasts your life long achievements and tear your reputation to pieces is sometimes enough to make a preacher say a swear word. The libel laws in Sierra Leone are some of the most draconian but yet still, Newspaper editors allow their medium to be used as pedestals of immorality.

There is now growing evidence that the character assassination and damage to hard earned reputations are being done with impunity, guarded by any protection that a parochial system of sponsorship can muster or otherwise by a dastardly desire to defame others for political gain. There is also a sensational headline grabbing portrayal of ordinary events that does tend to overshadow the real truth behind the story. Where there is a semblance of genuineness or concern for the public good, it is a duty of the Press to disclose actions that are inimical to the sanctity of our way of community, respect for others and the general expectations of good social and moral order of our systems of family and interactive engagement. Alas, this sort of advice goes largely unheeded.

Some may argue that there are certain unspoken rules of decency not to talk of the requirements of professional conduct that sensational news that is yet unproven should not be published because the greater damage to the individual is far more grave than the immediate gratification of inquisitiveness that may result out of eavesdropping on the lives of those in public domain. The mere fact that a sensational story would be given wide currency even beyond its normal trajectory or ambit of a less well known rag, the effects of such exposure more than often destabilize families, reshape characters and in some instances affect the political aspirations of certain victims. It is true because it is reported in the news is an oft repeated maxim. The falsity of that is unmatched by the truism of letting a man have his day in court and prove himself amongst his peers as to his guilt or innocence and by dint of the preponderance and efficacy of evidence against him.

A recent story expatiated on a very personal allegation against an eminent person in society and in such ways as to drag other senior persons of status and authority into the milieu. Such reporting is gutter press at the least but the provenance of source and material yield much more concern than the message itself. There may be some semblance of political brinksmanship being outplayed and to the extent that counter allegations of political envy, the destabilization of a family unit and the defamation of a well-managed character and reputation comes up for attack at a level so low that it is unfathomable that action against such drivel would remain challenged. In the event, legal advice do caution against extending the currency of such attacks because more often than not, it is the act of defense that causes wider circulation of what is otherwise to be ignored.

The ongoing attacks on certain individuals in Government and high political office even if such attacks tend to emanate from their very own colleagues smack of jealously and envy. Why would people who work together for the same leader, are supposed to subscribe to the same principles of probity in public life go so veraciously at each other’s throats as if they are diametrically opposed to each other is a matter only for conjecture.

The result of such public spats not only leaves much to be desired but the simple principle of seniority should have been adhered to in a more rigorous fashion. One cannot address the conduct of another simply because there may be public approbation but only if any such attack is warranted, in the interest of public safety and security or tantamount to a defense of the sanctity of the smooth administration of public functions or office. Give it whatever dimension possible, certain people have assumed office by dint of their own calculations. Luck and the manifestation of superiority in the exercise of their duty and not chance may determine that they stay in office despite prevarications against their continued tenure. Nonetheless, when someone of cabinet rank is being publicly parodies for exercising authority or forthrightness, then something is very much wrong with the exercise and conduct of public functions.

Public disagreements would lead to disengagement from the focus to govern, especially when such public disagreements tend to be condoned in some ways. Someone should take some of these matters up and draw the line within the realms of respect for authority and to warn those who are invariably junior in rank and status not to openly castigate those who are above them. If it is the prerogative of the overall leader to act in matters that bring the administration of public functions to disrepute. That being said, we cannot continue to live in a state of personal emergency wherein an attack on a person, true of false tend to determine their acceptance or suitability for a position in Government or even outside of it. There have always been standing orders and rules governing behavior and conduct in public life. Inconsiderate judgment by the press, gossip, innuendo and passing diatribes has never been acceptable dictums of professional conduct.

Political envy is a multi-faceted . There are those who would attempt to bring another down because they have ingrained mistrust of the rationale that got others to position of political power and authority. What if some people have attained prominence by their own convoluted means or even by sheer genius. To bring down others because they are there while you are here is unproductive and uncharacteristic of good social order. To challenge genius is like attempting to clean the Augean stables. Some things are going to be hard to accomplish and some people harder to copy. The guiding principle is if you cannot innovate, emulate. It takes nothing away from you to learn from those who know rather than attempt to upstage them with inferior knowledge. Some are masters in their craft and people should be made to understand what that means. To assassinate another’s character believing that yours will be lifted up high is mischief. Remembering that pointing a finger at someone necessitates that at least three others are pointing back at you must be enough to deny the you the temptation to undo those who have surpassed your station.

Personally, this author would not engage with political enviousness because it has been demonstrated in so many ways that any rise to prominence has been by cause of intelligence and superior craftsmanship. I know my stuff and so have nothing to fear. Those who fear me are plenty to  name and the more they do, the more creative they allow me to become. They that attack me do so to their own detriment. I put myself wherever I have managed to be and in all circumstances, I have always been at the top of my career environments. I am a very hard worker and it is always those who do not know or have experience of my workmanship who would dare cross me. I doff my hat to someone like Sylvia Blyden because she has shown temerity when needed and compassion when called for. Her rallying call for attention to the Kissi people at Kailahun rained invectives against her but as time has unfolded, she is now known to have been right all along. They who attempted to boride her now scatter like pigeons at the sound  of the Baskerville hounds. This has been a strained piece but it is felt that some of this ought to be said. For one, it is debilitating when displays of unprofessionalism impinge on your liberty and freedoms by haranguing you with false news and attacks on your person. Many have suffered this in silence but it is high time that this dastardly act is held at bay. Secondly, it is undermining the state mechanism when two senior colleagues get engaged in an imbroglio that tends to do nothing but harm to a government that I have worked hard to secure. There are also the ramifications of attacks on persons of high estate. Such rambunctious nonsense and indiscriminate invectives obfuscate the potential for respectability even for the country let alone its effect in challenging the sanctity of family life. This sort of thing must stop.

Deputy Ambassador calls on African women to be focussed

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

By John Baimba Sesay, Information Attaché China : 

Sierra Leone’s Deputy Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Her Excellency, Kumba Alice Momoh has called on a cross section of African women to be focused, committed and be dedicated to their core values so as to contribute positively to the growth of their respective countries within the continent.   She spoke on Thursday, 29th May at China Women’s University,(CWU) at a ceremony marking the close of a 15 days long seminar on Social Management Capacity Building for Female Officials from English speaking African countries.


The program, organized by China Women’s University and sponsored by China’s Ministry of Commerce, brought together women from over 12 African countries, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Namibia, Ethiopia and Kenya, amongst others.  Sierra Leone was proudly represented by Madam Elizabeth Manns, Women’s leader for the governing All People’s Congress and Madam Nancy Tengbeh, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and culture.   Speaking at the event, Madam Kumba Momoh congratulated participants for successfully going through the seminar. She encouraged them to put into good use what has been learnt in china.  “I am proud of you all. You have represented us as a continent effectively”,


Sounding optimistic about women’s contributing role to Africa’s growth, Madam Momoh said, this is the time that women should come together and be felt.  “This is our time as women. When you educate a woman, you have educated a country. I therefore encourage you to ensure, all what you have learnt is put into good use.”   She, on behalf of all the countries represented, expressed Africa’s appreciation to China for such training opportunities and particularly for the longstanding friendship between the two. China, she said, “has come to Africa to partner with us. They know our needs and today Africans are benefiting from the development support china is giving us.”


Liu Meng, Vice President of Chins Women’s University, in her statement congratulated participants for what she referred to as “two weeks of intensive mutual understanding between Chinese and African women.”   She said, they have a lot of “good memories and we have accumulated knowledge and experience and we were able to develop a vision for the future”, she said.  Madam Elizabeth Manns from Sierra Leone, in her statement said the “experiences gained during the program were very enriching” She paid tribute to China Women’s University for opening their doors to African women.

She also thanked the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and China Women’s University for the training opportunity whilst assuring that they will put to use what they have learnt in order to “create an impact and facilitate change”.   Other speakers included Ms. Mwolobi Martha from Uganda and Muthuuri Joyce Kanyiri from Kenya.   China Women’s University is the oldest and most outstanding women’s university in the People’s Republic of China. It is specialized in women’s higher education and research related areas. With currently over 5000 students, the University is under the administration of the All China Women’s Federation.


THE OSWALD HANCILES COLUMN : ‘Ebola War’: Anticipate!! Be Proactive!!!

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

The ‘Ebola virus’ is a living thing.  Like all living things, it obeys the Infinite Divine’s  imperative to survive.  The Ebola virus makes a stupid survival mistake in ‘attacking man’.  For once its victim, man, dies – the Ebola virus gets buried with it.   The Ebola’s enemy now is man; the species with the highest intelligence created by God.  It will be a shame on ALL Sierra Leoneans, and an insult on God who has given man the best brain,   that the Ebola virus that has no brain at all  can win even a few battles with man.  If the collective leadership of this country fail to use   its  brains  – collectively – then, the ‘brain-less’ Ebola virus will win many more battles.  That is why in this ‘war’ the Ebola virus has declared on us, we must ANTICIPATE how the ‘enemy’ would strike, and, understand our own strengths and weaknesses, and be pro-active.   Apparently, we are not aware of this: the Ebola enemy, like a ‘good military’, is using our weaknesses against us. 


The health minister di try….but…

This is an excerpt from   an interview  recently conducted by the  US-based  COCORIOKO newspaper with the health minister, Miata Kargbo: “By then, there were 5 of them and 3 more (being tested for the Ebola virus in Kenema) were added to them, making 8. Because of the treatment we had given them, they said they were feeling better and wanted to go home, but we said we were not going to release them because one of them had tested positive for Ebola. The family stood their ground. The doctor even called and spoke to the husband and he started to agree. By the time I got home from work at 8 p.m., I heard that families had become very stubborn and vowed that we were not going to take their relatives anywhere. They threatened that they will soon start burning our vehicles and cutting off our heads…’


Such explanations to the public through the press are good.  ‘Di minister done try, but…’  What  Sierra Leonean  society needs in future are wonderful stories on how  the government, indeed, the entire ‘governing elite’ (in the private and public sectors), would outwit  the Ebola enemy NOT explanations on how the Ebola enemy  would defeat  ‘us’  by infecting “just five people” – using our people’s cultural attitudes against us!! The Kissi Teng chiefdom in Kailahun (like the Pujehun District chiefdoms closest to Liberia; the chiefdoms that border Guinea in the Kambia district; the same for Koinadugu) have been declared ‘Ebola war frontline’ zones.  The ministry of internal affairs, the local government councils, the MPs, etc. should have helped to get the health ministry to better understand the THINKING of the people in the frontline chiefdoms, and, co-opted their traditional, political,   and  religious leaders into  an ‘Ebola War Plan’ .




Money for Video Dramas a Must


Talking….talking…talking…can help.  But, then, mere talking alone WILL NOT do in this Ebola war!!!  Another mental  weakness of the average African is our incapacity to  SEE INTO THE FUTURE  – and, especially  to form PICTURES in the head when confronted with a  NEW THREAT which is not immediate.  I had suggested we do VIDEO DRAMAS.  There is a burgeoning film industry in the country.  Most are Freetown-based.  But, we could recruit local actors to do films in Gissi, Mende, Susu, Temne, Limba, Krio....Of course, this is going to cost MONEY.  Where would the money come from?



The Ebola War is not for health minister alone!! Finance minister, it’s your war, too


The health minister has been put into a position to be almost fighting the Ebola War….Alone!!  The other ministers appear to be  going about their normal businesses.  If we need MONEY to do video drama then the finance ministry has to come up with IMMEDIATE cash.  The finance ministry not coming up with immediate $500,000 NOW, for example,  to wage war on the Ebola virus could lead to loses of BILLIONS OF DOLLARS for the country – both in the short term and the long term The finance ministry could have to put other normal businesses like non-urgent foreign travels by government officials  on the back burner for now.  Let us not forget our ‘rebel war’ between 1991 and 2002. When the war started in 1991, it was dismissed as a ‘Kailahun matter’.  The troops sent to the war front were supplied with disgraceful quantities and quality of arms and ammunition.  Even getting adequate food was a problem for them.  Within one year, it was these  same soldiers  from this ‘war front’ that overthrew the APC government!!!  The NPRC government ‘threw’ a lot of money into the ‘war effort’ between 1992 and 1994.  But, by 1994, a lot of money being ‘thrown’ at the war effort would end up in the private bank accounts of a few commanders.   We need immediate money, but, the money spent has to be fastidiously  monitored – the  Anti Corruption Commission, Transparency International, Campaign for Good Governance, Society for Democratic Initiatives, etc….. should now prime themselves to be ‘frontline commanders’ also in this  Ebola war.



Ebola war must involve big companies, churches, mosques…


And, the corporate bodies could chip in.  Directly, or, indirectly, the Ebola virus winning more battles within Sierra Leone would adversely affect the economy, and, consequently, would affect ALL private companies operating within the country. The Ebola Task Force should have messages specifically targeted at corporate bodies – to get money from them.

Two months ago, I was in the Council of Churches of Sierra Leone (CCSL) building when the health minister lobbied for the support of the Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone in the Ebola War.  She apparently got it.  But, who is monitoring what these religious bodies are saying and doing in their churches and mosques on a daily and weekly basis?  That is one of the weaknesses of Sierra Leoneans which the Ebola enemy could easily take  (or, has been taking ) advantage of.  In a crisis, we would call conferences, seminars, or, the much-liked ‘workshop’, and talk…talk….talk…  Then, we leave such meetings – and continue life as normal.   Doing nothing, or, little, of what we would have learned about in such meetings.  This must change!! There has to be LEADERSHIP to ensure that this changes.




The Ebola war mandate the  use of private media gurus


There could be little need for the articulate   health minister (or, any government official)  to come and tell the people tomorrow like she explained recently to COCORIOKO newspaper: “We have been sensitizing the people in whatever language we could communicate with them , using loudspeakers , billboards and flyers… ”   Media experts have to be contracted, consulted,  and recruited, to design messages, and, work on feedback mechanisms.  You can use billboards and flyers, but, would they communicate the relevant messages with the appropriate intensity – to stimulate SPEEDY change of habits?  We  should link up with some of those  media professionals who are good enough to make relative fortunes in a narrow market like ours  doing media work.  The government should not wait for those professionals to go begging for contracts – they should be fastidiously objective as they select the best among them.  The Ebola war transcend  a ‘health ministry’ matter.  It is a ‘defense ministry’ matter; a matter for the Office of National Security (ONS), an information/communication ministry affair.



Wars  mandate extreme measures, and have to have ‘Collateral Damage’


Some of our local journalists have been hyping up a rumor that armed police were sent to the Kissi Teng chiefdom in Kailahun to apprehend Ebola suspects.  They made this to sound like a horrible thing for a government to do.  What if it becomes a necessary thing to do?  What is the use of maintaining a military with millions of dollars every year and when we are faced with one of our greatest threats to national security the troops cannot be used?  We have to begin to think out of the box in this Ebola war. The physical presence of well-armed soldiers in the ‘frontline chiefdoms’ could send a message that….Or,  before the troops go in, there should be media bombardment that people must be vigilant about movement in and out of  Ebola suspect areas.    Such a message could then   be followed with the  military’s intimidating presence.



Let me restate what I have published in previous articles on the Ebola menace.  After 9/11, the US government established the Department of Homeland Security – to better coordinate all the formidable   intelligence and security branches of the US government. They risked violating some of the US’ cardinal tenets of not invading privacy by allowing these security agencies to tap nearly ALL telephone calls; to  peek into nearly ALL e-mail messages.  And, those who were arrested as terrorist suspects, were incarcerated in Guantanamo, out of the jurisdiction of US law.  The lesson for us is this: when a nation is threatened severely, there must be firm action by its leadership; the greater good has to take precedence over individual liberties.



Thinkers in government, in  universities and media, in civil society groups, etc. ; producers and presenters, DJs,  on radio and TV, must now be part of the Ebola war effort; and, where necessary, should be induced….  A ‘fire brigade’ approach by the health ministry to ‘defuse the immediate Ebola fire’ is laudable.  But, a more strategic thrust is the only chance of success.  The Ebola virus could be in every district right now – because we did not close our borders.  We have to encourage people to let ALL  recent visitors from Guinea and Liberia be ‘put out’  – to go for Ebola tests.  We have to anticipate what could happen.  Be proactive.  We have to build up scenarios to PREVENT any more Ebola attack; scenarios of an Ebola attack – and scenarios of actions to take.  


Leone Stars lock horns with Swaziland tomorrow

Friday, May 30th, 2014

By: Prince Scott on May 30, 2014.


Ahead of Leone Stars crucial home match against Swaziland tomorrow at the National Stadium in Freetown, our players are very confident of securing a victory here. While a wide range of supporters back home have put the players under criticism of not playing regular football for their clubs where they ply their trade, Sierra Express Media Sports reporter Prince Scott took a positive step to bring the players rating after watching their training sessions both at the National Stadium and on the beach for the past days.



Christian Caulker – Despite Caulker missing three matches for the national team he is still regarded as the country’s number one goalkeeper for a decade now; he lost his place in the team after he turned down an invitation to play against Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles in a World Cup qualifying match last year due to passport problem. He has also been criticized by fans of not having a club, a fact I will not deny but Caulker is very active with his sport club and he has just returned from a football tournament outside the USA.


He will want to prove critics wrong tomorrow if he is given the ok, no doubt Christian is Leone Stars all time impressive shot stopper he is going into tomorrow match with a 75% mind set for the game.


Solomon Zombo Morris – He is gradually getting his name into the national team as he has put a brilliant performance in the absence of Christian. Playing his club football in France makes him no doubt the second choice to Christian. Watching him at the team hotel last night as he was doing some personal training he looked bright going into the game at 70%.


Aruna Bangla Kamara – The young Under 20 and FC Kallon goal keeper is still learning from Caulker and Morris but he is a promising star coming up for the national team in the last two years. Just coming from Ghana and joining the national team is a big boost for him to secure more experience when it comes to handling the national team, he looked compose as I saw him taking lectures from Christian Caulker; Kamara may look little by volume but he is going into the match with 60% mind set.



David Simbo – Simbo looked fresh and deadly after missing the first leg away in Swaziland due to late arrival of his ticket and his club CAF champions League match with TP Mazembe wherein he helped his side secure a 1-0 home win for 90min, he also took on Egyptian Zamalek in the same competition before joining the rest of the squad for tomorrow match, however he looks 80% determined.


Umaru Z. Bangura – the Dynamo Minsk player joined the team on Wednesday night to take part in two training sessions, he is also the team’s deputy captain. He is the rock man in holding the central defense for Leone Stars; Bangura is very comfortable playing that role for the past years. He looks calm in the team hotel as he looked 85% ready for the Swazi strikers tomorrow.



Ibrahim Soja Kamara- is a young lad but very mature in the game; he played the right back position for both his club and the national Under 20 team recently. He was given a heavy task last week to maintain the same position for Leone Stars away in Swaziland which he did to the best of his ability, if given the chance tomorrow he looked 70% set for it.



Yeami Dunia – just coming back from Ghana with the Under 20 team is a good thing to write home about for him, but playing in the senior team will give him more confidence in his game, he looked dull by looks but deadly in keeping his position on the pitch; he looks 60% ok for the match.



Ishamel Jaw Jaw Koroma – no doubt he knows what he is doing when it comes to national matters. Very bold in serving his country in the defense; Sierra Leoneans are pointing at him as a superb replacement for his brother Umaru Bangura. Koroma is 70% set.



Ibrahim Marcel Koroma – he is a regular for the national team, he looked slow but very sure in his tackling and defending, his presence on the pitch will please many supporters as he is going into the match 75%



Gebril Sankoh – Sankoh has not played many games for Leone Stars but he is a mature defender both playing in Europe and Africa. With a nice CV he is making a name for himself in this area here at home. Barrel looked 70% ok as he knows what this match means to him.




Rodney Strasser – The Genoa midfielder looked composed for tomorrow’s match after missing the first leg with a minor injury; despite many fans don’t see his play, he is one of Sierra Leone’s finest midfielders. Watching him in the team hotel listening to cool songs on his Dre Beat he looked 80% positive.



Mohamed Medo Kamara – he is Sierra Leon’s popular player; he always gives his all for both club and country. He missed the first leg due to stomach pain but has recovered and is ready for the second leg tomorrow. Medo as he is fondly called, has given coach John Mckinstry a sigh of relief with his presence as he looks to hold the midfield with a total of 100% to his mark.



Kahlifa Jabbie – The tall lanky man is a complete midfielder – he looked positive for tomorrow’s match with 88%.



Alfred Sankoh – Leone Stars playmaker who can play anywhere in the midfield but he looks more comfortable playing from the wings either left or right. The Turkish based midfielder wants to show more to his fans as his record is good with his club, but hopes to give them the taste of their money tomorrow with his 80 %.



Ibrahim Soggor Kallay – he is making a name for himself in the national team. Based in Sweden he is well known for his positive passes whether long or short. He looked 70% ready for this challenge.



Michael Lahoud – is a newcomer into the team and much has been said about him – yet all is left to Irishman to give him a taste so fans can know what stuff he is made of. However he looks 50% bright.



Natinel T. Fullah – The home-based player is looking up to make his name known by Sierra Leoneans if coach Mckinstry gives him the ok.




Kei Kamara – The tall Middleborough striker has a heavy task to undertake tomorrow as he is forced to make a new partnership with former FC Parma player Sulaiman Sesay due to injury on Mohamed Bangura, Ibrahim Bangura, and Alhassan Kamara. He will have to prove it tomorrow as he is having some cool time practicing how to score goals for Sierra Leone from the goals scored with his Play Station, he looks 88% positive.



Sulaiman Fullah Sesay – He was very active in training with his new partner Kei Kamara as they had some quiet time talking together.



The former Inter Milan man gave Leone Stars the much vital away goal within two minutes to make it Leone Stars fastest goal in the team history. Playing soccer on his iPad is said to ease the tension on him for tomorrow’s match. Sesay looked very comfortable playing alongside Kamara. If given another opportunity I believe he can repeat it here in Freetown. Looking at him from a distance he looked 80% positive to add another name for himself and the country.



Methodist Girls High School ABC Club Inaugurated

Friday, May 30th, 2014


by the Communications Unit (ABC) :

As the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change continues with the journey of transforming the lives of Sierra Leoneans by catching the young, the Methodist  Girls High school ABC club was inaugurated on the 28th May 2014 at their school compound Freetown.

ABCFSSG 1 (600 x 450)


The Chair Person Madam Isata George- Sankoh in her opening remarks informed the pupils that they have a huge task ahead of them by serving as change agents to their peers, siblings and the community and by doing this, they are planting the seeds for a positive attitudes that will lead to a successful nation ”attitudes has its roots in words and fruit in action” she noted.

ABCFSSG 2 (600 x 450)


During the programme,Mrs Yvonne Sawyer Principal , of the  Junior Secondary School (JSS) in her welcome statement  noted that ”Negative attitude has been the norm and epidemic eating deep in to the fabric of our society. She thanked His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for his timely intervention of creating the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change Secretariat. With the  relentless research by the Secretariat  to have come up with this program for Pilot Schools Agent of Change Club there seems to be a light in the tunnel.

ABCFSSG  3 (450 x 600)


She appealed to the Pupils to listen and learn very fast as she is sure that the attitudinal messages that have  been passed on to them, are the same messages  the teachers are passing on to them. She also noted that everyone should be committed to positive change as they already have Change Agents in schools and communities  she concluded.

ABCFSSG 4 (600 x 450)


The National Coordinator & Second in Command at the ABC Secretariat Madam Nanette Thomas noted that the rationale for the establishment of the Pilot Schools Agent of Change is to train peer educators who will be used in the school system to influence positive attitude and behaviour through persuasive information and communication. These clubs are also entry points in addressing issues of indiscipline and Lawlessness such as : extra school charges, lack of standards and values, examination malpractices , sexual harassment, extra lessons, professional misconduct, gangstarism, cultism, grand supremacy, violence and drug abuse of school going children.

” my advice to you all is, let girls be girls to carry books and not mothers to carry babies.  The ABC condemns this ”after BECE ,answer belleh” and sexually Transmitted Grades syndrome. Use smart choices ,as great hopes make everything possible in this women’s world. Let us all join the match as we listen to the words of President Koroma in his inaugural speech in 2007,”We must be ready now to embrace change; change in our attitude towards one another; change in our attitude to our work and be responsible, and change in our attitude towards our nation. All of these changes should translate positively in to progress and development of our country ”she noted.

ABCFSSG 5 (450 x 600)


The Deputy Minister of Youth, Madam Feremusu Konteh in her key note address encouraged the pupils to be, zealous towards their academic work and also their daily lives. In her statement, she informed the pupils that the President has dedicated his second term to the Youths and that is why she was at the inauguration as the Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs.

She noted that there alot of negative things happening in the school system such as money for grades, sexually transmitted grades and the like.

She told the pupils not to be lawless and that Lawlessness cannot take them anywhere. ”Do you believe that each and every one of you can change your stars?”  In this country only few are born wealthy, whilst majority were born by parents who are poor but with determination and good attitudes those born poor became rich in the future that is why you should not look down upon yourself, you can make it with positive attitudes. Some of you watching me will one day be President of this country, Ministers, Doctors,  Lawyers and the likes, but you can’t achieve these goals without good attitudes, hard work and determination.

She noted that the girls should pay attention to education, and they should put aside all forms of unseriousness because when you educate a girl child, you have educated the whole nation. She told them that sex can be the most interesting thing in life and can also be the worst  thing in life because a woman will be very happy when she gives birth to a baby at the time she wanted it than the time she don’t need it. You can’t have babies who doesn’t have fathers or whose fathers are not strong to take care of the baby if this happens, it will be alot of strain to you the mother. She lured them that patience and determination is an important key in life ”what changes a man’s star is determination”, what you didn’t get from patience, impatience cannot give it to you, what you didn’t get from obedience ,disobedience cannot give it to you.” I am here because of you, my Ministry was established because of you so I am appealing to you girls to take your education seriously, let your books be your best friends when a woman is educated ,the sky becomes her limit, she concluded.

The Principal  of the Senior School (SSS) Madam Daisy McEwen in her statement informed the pupils that the journey of these agent of change club has been a laudable venture as it started with the training of the pupils, followed by meetings between the ABC Secretariat and the school authorities, election of the Executive Members of the school club,  and now it’s the inauguration of the pupils of the club. The need for attitudinal and behavioural change cannot be overemphasized, there is a need for a complete and urgent change in our society. The call by His Excellency ,Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma  President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, for attitudinal and behavioural change and the establishment of such a Secretariat could not have come at a better time as any delay  will have catastrophic consequences on all of us she stressed.

The program ended with a vote of thanks which was done by Mariam Binta Jalloh the President of the ABC Club.  In her vote of thanks, she pledged the loyalty of her Club and promise that they will work relentlessly for the furtherance of the ABC work in every spheres of their life, school and their various communities in transforming the lives of Sierra Leoneans.


Port Loko District intensifies efforts to replace Mamanso Ferry with a modern bridge

Friday, May 30th, 2014

It appears the lifelong dream of the Peoples of Masimera and Marampa Chiefdoms especially those who are divinely separated by the Rokel River and who have always have it tough to go across this great River will surely breathe a sigh of relief sooner than later, if the untiring efforts of the Port Loko District Council are accorded the desired consideration by the Government of Sierra Leone.



This is the perception of Chairman Ahmid Munirr Fofana who seems to be on oath that the age old Mamanso Ferry is replaced by a Modern Bridge with international standards. I was opportune to join him at his Port Loko District Council Office recently in my quest to know what is the response of Council to the repeated appeals of the inhabitants of these sister chiefdoms in the District.

Chairman Ahmid Munirr Fofana started with the horrifying history of the Ferry that dates way back in the colonial Era and how it has outlived its usefulness for several decades now. He said the Ferry is more of a death trap when the tide is high and is especially dangerous in the Rainy Season when the it is not operational due to high tide and rough weather.

He made mentioned of the countless number of School going Pupils, as well as the lots and lots of pregnant women and Lactating Mothers that have eventually perished by drowning in the search for either Education or Heath Services on either sides of the River. He said it is normally very difficult for these Communities to access Service Providers either in Health, Education or Agriculture so much so that Masimera is about the most deprived and under developed Chiefdom in the Northern District of Port Loko.

Of late, the Paramount Chiefs of the 2 Chiefdoms together with the Ward Councillors of the affected Areas, made a representation to the Council Chairman and prevailed on him for his immediate intervention. Consequently, Chairman Fofana engaged the Management of Geneses Farm- a Holland Based Agricultural None Governmental Organisations operating in these Chiefdoms, to look at the possibilities of salvaging the situation as a result of which several follow up meetings have since been held with other Development Partners that are experts in the construction of such a Bridge.

Chairman Ahmid Munirr Fofana told the Sierra Leone News Agency [SLENA] in an interview that he has also contacted Engineers from the Sierra Leone Roads Authority to initiate a feasibility Study as a parallel alternative for the realisation of the Project. He said Council is currently identifying Development Partners for the construction of a modern Bridge to replace the Age old Mamanso Ferry. He spoke of the meeting of Engineering Consultants from Holland together with those of the Ministries of Works and Infrastructure, as well as that of the Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security he facilitated in 2011 in which the proposals for the construction of the Bridge were discussed.

Chairman Fofana said, that meeting has encouraged him to develop a Memorandum of Understanding with the Team of Consultants Engineers from Holland and the Management of Genesis Farm as well as the Port Loko District Council in a bid to facilitate the feasibility and Technical Designs of the Bridge.

He said the Council has been able to convince the Management of Geneses Farm and its other Development Partners to undertake the feasibility Study and now making frantic appeals to the Sierra Leone Government to undertake the Project especially when the Development Partners in Holland now require the Sierra Leone Government to guarantee the Financial Commitments of Banks in Holland to fund the Project.

As in the case of Natives and most well meaning people in the District of Port Loko, Chairman Ahmid Munirr Fofana is of the firm conviction that the establishment of a Modern Bridge in replacement of the dilapidated Mamanso Ferry shall increase Economic and Social Development in the 2 Chiefdoms. He is of the firm belief that the Bridge will be able to connect both Masimera and Marampa Chiefdoms to the Southern Province of the Country through Mathourr along the Bo Highway. The Chairman said it will also enable the Geneses Farm and the few other None Governmental Organisations operating out there to access the lots and lots of Needy Communities awaiting service. He said it will as well go a long way in easing the Traffic Congestion especially towards the International Airport Town of Lungi from the Provinces adding that it will enhance easy access to investments in terms of Education, Health and Agriculture .

The Port Loko District Council Chairman went further to outline the funding of the Feasibility Study, the Preparation of the Bills of Quantity for the construction of the Bridge and the sourcing of Funds for the eventual implementation of the Project as some of the prevailing challenges in having it actualised. He therefore zeroed with an appeal to the Sierra Leone Government through the Works and Infrastructure Ministry to take ownership of the Project by providing the required Financial Guarantees for the Project to take off in earnest. You can now have a look at the Engineering Drawings and Designs of the stages of Project as portrayed by both the Resident Minister, North-Hon. Alie Badara Kamara and Chairman Fofana himself …..

“Agenda for Prosperity Requires Politicians , Civil Servants to work as a Team”…Secretary to the Cabinet

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Secretary to the Cabinet (right) and Chief of Staff (left)



The Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, Dr. Ernest Sahid Alie Surrur says the Agenda for Prosperity (A4P) requires politicians and Civil Servants to work as a formidable force to actualize the vision of the country.

Dr. Surrur was addressing Permanent Secretaries, Professional Heads, Director Generals and other senior government officers at the official opening of a three day Leadership for Results forum for Permanent Secretaries, Professional Heads and Director Generals organized by the Office of the Chief of Staff on Wednesday 28th May, 2014 at Leone Lodge, Lumley Beach Road.
The Secretary to the Cabinet observed that the relationship between political and administrative leaders was not working well as it is expected. He said sometimes Cabinet decisions are not implemented and the two parties blame each other for the non implementation of such decisions.

Dr. Surrur said the cooperation among Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Professional Heads and Director Generals requires mutual respect for the respective roles they have to play in achieving the objectives of the A4P. “You all have critical roles to play in delivering results for the government and the people of Sierra Leone. So you must work as a team to achieve that” he maintained.

The Head of the Civil Service observed that many of the A4P projects require cooperation among Ministries, Agencies and local authorities. He said the A4P is a national vision for the good of the country and the people of Sierra Leone adding that everyone must put hands on deck to make it succeed.

Dr. Surrur noted that Ministers needed to fully understand and appreciate the responsibilities and constraints on Civil Servants especially in the areas of Finance and Human Resource Management. He maintained that Deputy Ministers need clearer tasking and support from their Ministers and Permanent Secretaries to enable them perform. Dr. Surrur added that senior Civil Servants also need clearer procedures and certain competencies in working with Ministers.

Making some recommendations for a healthy relationship between the political and administrative wings, the Secretary to the Cabinet said Ministers needed to seek and listen to Civil Service advice, especially on implementation; Civil Servants should play active role in policy development; Ministers and senior Civil Servants should share accountability for performance; MDAs should improve on the links between policy and implementation plans; effective partnerships between the politicians and the Civil Servants in developing proposals; establish Cabinet Standing Committees to consider memos before Cabinet, with sector Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Professional Heads involved; and more dialogue and consultations on policies among Ministers before Cabinet meetings.

The Chief of Staff, Dr. Richard Konteh said the Civil Service was critical in the governance of any country. He said his office was aware of the critical role that Permanent Secretaries and Professional Heads can and should play in ensuring that their Ministries function. “Your role is very important in the governance of the state” Dr. Konteh re-affirmed.

The Chief of Staff observed that the relationship between some Ministers and Civil Servants has not been one of the best and called on the participants to point out issues that they think are responsible for the strained relationship between them and the politicians.

Commending the Secretary to the Cabinet for a strong collaboration, Dr. Konteh said the offices of the Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service and the Chief of Staff are very complimentary to each other disclosing that they are nurturing a very strong partnership to ensure that reliable, efficient, accessible and quality service is delivered to the populace.


Amadu Femoh Sesay

Information Officer-Cabinet Secretariat

Sierra Leone’s diplomat speaks at Brand South Africa,China Office Dialogue

Friday, May 30th, 2014

“What Africans Paid For South Africa’s Freedom”, A Presentation at
Brand South Africa (China office) Dialogue, 30th May 2014, Beijing,
People’s Republic of China

Kindly allow me, on behalf of my Ambassador and Embassy thank Brand
South Africa, China Office for inviting me to make a presentation on
the theme “What Africans Paid For South Africa’s Freedom”, even as
that country is marking 20years of democracy.

BAIMBA SPEAKS 1 (600 x 450)


Though on short notice, making such a presentation to scholars from
counties like Morocco, Algeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, African PhD
students  in leading Chinese Universities and Chinese journalists
could be challenging, but at the same time a learning process for me,

Apartheid was all about racial discrimination.  The enactment of
apartheid laws in 1948 led to the institutionalization of racial
discrimination. This was felt in every aspect of human life.

BAIMBA SPEAKS 2 (600 x 450)



Intervention by OAU:
The OAU and now AU came into been and helped propel the Independence
of the entire African Continent. From 1963, following its formation,

a.    It immediately called for sanctions against South Africa and
Portuguese goods and also agreed that each member state would
contribute 1% of their budget to the OAU fund for liberation.
Volunteer liberation fighters starting propping up and a Liberation
Committee set up to give aid to the liberation movements.

b.    The mandate of the committee was to soon expand to cover the
promotion of an international campaign against apartheid, under the
auspices of the UN. The committee closely followed developments in
South Africa and presented annual and special reports to the UN
General Assembly and the Security Council, with recommendations for

c.    In April 1969 fourteen independent black states from Central and
East Africa met in Zambia to discuss African issues. The meeting
resulted in the formulation of the Lusaka Manifesto, a statement
outlining the diplomatic position of independent African states. It
called for black majority rule for all states in Africa and for human
equality and dignity throughout Africa and rejected racism.

African Leaders Took a Centre stage:
Individual African governments made enormous financial and material
contributions to the work of the South African liberation movements.

First, diplomacy was a major tool used by Africans in the fight
against apartheid not until in 1962, when African members of the UN,
through a resolution–Number 1761 (XV III)–requested for a “Special
Committee against Apartheid”. This committee was to become, later, the
main instrument of the UN for promoting and monitoring action against
apartheid. It informed world opinion of the situation in South Africa
and promoted action against apartheid by UN bodies and agencies.
During his undercover trip across Africa in 1962, Nelson Mandela was
received with munificence by all the African leaders he met. Several
African leaders at the time played crucial roles in ensuring a free
South Africa. Few examples below:

a)    Through his writings/poetry, Leopold Sengor of Senegal spread the
gospel of Negritude which put the Black race into prominence,
worldwide. Africans in the diaspora took the anti-apartheid banner and
fought with the rest of Africa for the abolition of apartheid.

b)    Sekou Toure of Guinea and Modibo Keita of Mali joined Kwameh
Nkrumah of Ghana as trail blazers to drive home to West Africa the
imperative need to free South Africa from White minority domination.

c)    Julius Nyrere of Tanzania was also a leading figure in the fight
against apartheid in South Africa

d)    Ghana was a leading force, in rallying support against apartheid.
Nkrumah in  6 March 1957, spoke about the need to liberate the whole
of Africa, when he said, in his independence speech, that  “the
independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the
total liberation of the whole African continent”

e)    Fourah Bay College of Sierra Leone, the oldest institution of
Higher Learning in Africa, South of the Sahara was an invaluable
academic training ground, without territorial limitation(s) for
Freedom Fighters from the SADEC and beyond.

The 1960 Sharpeville massacre  in South Africa (Nkrumah’s intervention)
*    Occurred in March 21, 1960 following shooting on Black South African
protesters. There was a serious intensification of oppressive measures
against opponents of the apartheid regime;

*    Nkrumah sent an aircraft to wait in Francistown (now Botswana) to
ferry to Ghana, any South African who managed to reach the safety of
Francistown. Among South Africans who came to Ghana, were Ronald
Segal, editor of a magazine called Africa South, and, H. M. Basner,
who was given important posts (Basner became an influential columnist
for Nkrumah’s paper, The Ghanaian Times)

*    In his drive to free Africa including South Africa, Nkrumah was
deposed while inflight to China in 1966. Ghana and Africa as a whole
was robbed of a Freedom Fighter President. The ramifications are far

Financial Support:
Mandela is believed to have received a gift of thousands pounds
sterling that Sir Ahmadu Bello made to the ANC.  This was same with
MKO Abiola a Nigerian business man. Lesson learnt:  Indicative that
when it came to South Africa, almost all African leaders rallied round
to help, without consideration of the existing ideological

June 16, a Tragic Moment for Africa:
Afrikaans was the “language of the oppressor” and it resulted in
growing resentment in teachers as well as students. It was on June
16th June 1976 when the resentment crossed all thresholds; thousands
of black students went on a protest rally from their schools to
Orlando Stadium. Students were killed and Africa was united in
condemning the aggression and brutality of the white. Since then, 16th
June is celebrated as day of the African child.

The price that Africans paid for South Africa’s freedom is beyond
measure.   The struggle for a free South Africa largely helped in
forging African unity amongst nations in the continent.

During the period when Fire Brand African leaders were spreading the
South African gospel of Race Equality regardless of Color, a few
others were spreading the Red Carpet for Apartheid South Africa to
Walk Tall.

Without prejudice, the list of African countries that suffered the
most with apartheid SA could be drawn from the ages of African
Diplomatic Missions here in Beijing.

John Baimba Sesay,
Sierra Leone Embassy
People’s Republic of China


John Baimba Sesay
Press Attaché
Sierra Leone Embassy
7 Dong Zhi Men Wai Dajie,
Chaoyang District, Beijing
People’s Republic of China
*Tel: 0086-13701206875*
* Fax:0086-1065323752*

Public relations are a key component of any operation in this day of
instant communications and rightly inquisitive citizens. -Alvin Adams