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Archive for March, 2016

President Koroma Launches 2015 Population and Housing Census Provisional Results

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

 

Speech by His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on the Occasion of the formal launching of the 2015 Population and Housing Census Provisional Results on March 31st 2016.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

From the 5th – 18th December, 2015, we carried out the officialcountingof ournation’spopulation and the compilation of economic, social and otherdata; data that would inform the formulation ofdevelopmentpoliciesand plans; data that would guide the demarcation of constituenciesforelections.

Over 16,000 field workers were deployed across the country for this exercise. A huge awareness campaign was embarked upon to engender public participation.

But Census is not just about counting our population or collecting different types of data. It is a process that also involves the analysis and evaluation of the data so collected and, of course, the publication and dissemination of the final figures and facts about the country’s demographic, social and economic realities.

We have come a long way in this journey, in providing the baseline data that will continue to serve as a reference point for our development trajectories. Today’s launch of the provisional result of the December 2015 population and housing census is a continuation of that long journey, it is part of the process of publication and dissemination.

By all indications, the Sierra Leone 2015 Population and Housing Census has been the most comprehensive data collection exercise ever undertaken in our country’s history. When my family and other members of my household were enumerated in December last year, we were subjected to a detailed list of questions soliciting a variety of important information. Apparently, the number of emerging issues has influenced the inclusion of more variables into the census questionnaire.

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This did not come by surprise; the goal of the 2015 Population and Housing Census is to increase the availability and accessibility of accurate, timely and reliable data on our demographic and socio-economic characteristics. It is designed to support evidence based decisions; to guide policy formulation and the monitoring and evaluation of development frameworks at national, sub-national and sectoral levels.

This is why the Census process stands out as a key building block in the development of every country. It is a painstaking process, it is a process that requires resources and could be faced with many other challenges. My government was aware of the challenges faced by Statistics Sierra Leone in this exercise especially during the two weeks of enumeration. But we are satisfied to note that those challenges were addressed with the support of our international partners and line government agencies. We are satisfied that those challenges did not derail the process and will not affect the credibility of the outcome. This has been made possible by the high level of stakeholder participation in the process with political parties, civil society, traditional and religious leaders, MDAs playing significant roles in ensuring a successful conduct of the whole exercise.

And this is why, even as we await analysis of a Post Enumeration Survey to determine the coverage and content errors; our international partners and observers have graded the December 2015 Census as “generally satisfactory” and that the few challenges they discovered were not unique to our process.

From the onset, I have emphasized on the need for credible census figures because this is what we need to strengthen our democracy and to guarantee a guided track in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and our Agenda for Prosperity.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as a government, we whole-heartedly accept these provisional figures. We believe that the figures give us an indication of the country’s development needs and challenges; we get a pointer to how far we have come, how many of our compatriots are being left behind, in what areas and what we should do to bridge the gaps in order to bring many more on board our unstoppable journey to prosperity.

We commend Statistics Sierra Leone for the hard work, we thank the people of Sierra Leone for the overwhelming interest and extraordinary participation in the process and we applaud all our international partners, including, UNFPA, DFID, IRISH AID, UK AID and UNDP for their overwhelming support in the census process.

While we look forward to the final results in December this year, I will entreat Statistics Sierra Leone to maintain the high standards throughout this process.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is now my honor to launch the Provisional Report on the Sierra Leone 2015 Population and Housing Census.

Thank You all for your attention and God Bless Sierra Leone!
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POPULATION

 

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Government takes measures to restrict movements to and from Guinea

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

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THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS HEREBY INFORMED THAT FOLLOWING A MEETING HELD AT STATE HOUSE BETWEEN HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT, RELEVANT SECTORAL MINISTERS AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM ON THE RESURGENCE OF THE EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE IN GUINEA, HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT HAS DIRECTED THAT THE FOLLOWING MEASURES BE IMPLEMENTED IN OUR BORDER AREAS WITH GUINEA WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT:

(1) THAT MILITARY AID TO THE CIVIL POLICE (MAC-P) BE INVOKED IN OUR BORDER AREAS WITH GUINEA;

(2) THAT EBOLA PROTOCOLS, INCLUDING SCREENING AND SURVEILLANCE ACTIVITIES BE INSTITUTED IN ALL BORDER CROSSING POINTS WITH GUINEA;

(3) THAT THE NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT TEAM SHOULD UNDERTAKE A VISIT TO THE BORDER REGIONS WITH GUINEA, ESPECIALLY THE KAILAHUN AXIS, WITH A VIEW TO HEIGHTENING AWARENESS AND EBOLA PREVENTION CONTROL MEASURES AMONG THE PEOPLE IN THESE AREAS;

(4) THE PUBLIC IS ALSO ADVISED TO RESTRICT MOVEMENT TO AND FROM GUINEA. SICK PEOPLE AND CORPSES FROM GUINEA FOR BURIAL IN SIERRA LEONE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED DURING THIS TIME;

(5) MEANWHILE, GOVERNMENT WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE SITUATION IN GUINEA CLOSELY AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS HEREBY ENCOURAGED TO COOPERATE WITH THE SECURITY AND HEALTH PERSONNEL TO KEEP EBOLA IN CHECK.

END

STATE HOUSE 31ST MARCH, 2016

FREETOWN

Sierra Leone’s economy to grow by 4.3 percent in 2016, says IMF

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

SUPREMO
Sierra Leone economy to grow by 4.3 percent in 2016-IMF

“Sierra Leone’s economy is recovering from the twin shocks of the Ebola virus epidemic and the halt in iron-ore mining.

Economic momentum is building again, and GDP is expected to grow by 4.3 percent this year from a contraction of 21 percent in 2015.

The improvement reflects the pick-up in economic activities following the end of Ebola, and the resumption of iron ore mining early this year. Inflation remained stable at 8.5 percent in 2015..

http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2016/pr16143.htm

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IMF Staff Holds Combined 2016 Article IV Consultation and Fifth ECF Review Mission to Sierra Leone
Press Release No. 16/143
March, 29, 2016

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by John Wakeman-Linn visited Freetown during March 15–29, 2016 to conduct the fifth review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and hold the 2016 Article IV consultation discussions.1

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Wakeman-Linn issued the following statement:

“Sierra Leone’s economy is recovering from the twin shocks of the Ebola virus epidemic and the halt in iron-ore mining. Economic momentum is building again, and GDP is expected to grow by 4.3 percent this year from a contraction of 21 percent in 2015. The improvement reflects the pick-up in economic activities following the end of Ebola, and the resumption of iron ore mining early this year. Inflation remained stable at 8.5 percent in 2015, but a small up-tick is expected in 2016 due to the depreciation of the Leone.

“The government budget is under pressure, reflecting a likely shortfall in donor receipts, higher-than budgeted spending on certain categories of expenditures, and a shortfall in domestic financing. Notwithstanding the resumption of iron exports, the current account balance is projected to widen relative to 2015, as official transfers slow down. Despite pressure in the foreign exchange market, gross international reserves of the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) are projected to remain unchanged.

“Over the medium term (2017–19), growth could average 5 percent owing to expected improvements in the external environment and implementation of a wide range of post-Ebola recovery initiatives in key sectors. But there are important downside risks. Ebola virus could resurface, dampening economic activities. Dependence on external flows, especially from iron ore exports and donor support, leaves the economy exposed to external shocks. Further global economic slowdown, particularly lower demand from China, a major trading partner, could stall the momentum. Fiscal policy implementation could suffer from lack of financing, undermining growth prospects further. Banking system reforms, if not implemented, could create financial sector risks. Delay in the implementation of business environment reforms could impact on the transmission of economic policies, reducing growth impact. To ensure the economy is prepared to address these risks, policy makers will need to be prepared to adjust policies as necessary should the economic environment change.

“Progress has been made towards completing the fifth review. All end-December 2015 quantitative performance criteria and all indicative targets were met. All but two structural benchmarks were also met. The Public Financial Management (PFM) Bill has stalled in Parliament, as a result of which structural benchmarks on the establishment of the Treasury Single Account and the Natural Resource Revenue Fund were missed. Despite the overall progress, discussions aimed at completing the review continue. The mission and authorities reached a common understanding of the challenges and risks associated with the 2016 budget, and have made some progress in discussions on how to address those challenges. These discussions will continue in the coming weeks. There were agreements on some elements of near term policies. Fiscal policy will focus on managing government finances to reduce the immense stress it is under. Revenue policies will address enhanced mobilization and elimination of import duty exemptions and waivers which cost the budget significant revenue. Expenditure policy will seek to increase oversight of the finances of sub-vented agencies and state owned enterprises. Pro-poor expenditure will continue to be protected.

“BSL underscored its commitment to maintaining the current stance of monetary policy, so as to contain inflationary expectations. However, there is a need for the BSL to engage in proactive liquidity management to ease the tight liquidity situation in the banking sector. Financial sector policies will be crucial to promote growth, and it will be important to implement policies that enhance linkages between the financial and real sectors, which also complement a credible fiscal stance. Deepening financial intermediation, mobilizing savings, promoting credit, and providing longer-term financing sources for investments are important considerations in the effort to diversify the economy.

“The structural reform agenda has been instrumental to the improvements in the transmission of economic policies. The program contains policies to help enhance revenue, make public spending more efficient and transparent, the banking system more resilient, and the business environment more supportive of inclusive growth. Speeding up the pace of reforms including tax administration, and transition to the single treasury account are critical. Quick measures to address the problems in select banks would improve banking system performance, and create the atmosphere for durable private sector development.

“The mission met with President Koroma, Minister of Finance, Dr. Kaifalah Marah, and Minister of State for Finance Patrick Conteh; the Governor of BSL, Momodu Kargbo; senior government and BSL officials, representatives of the financial sector, private sector, civil society, and development partners.

“The IMF mission wishes to express its gratitude to the Sierra Leonean authorities for the constructive discussions and hospitality during its visit to Freetown.”
1 The ECF is a lending arrangement that provides sustained program engagement over the medium to long term in case of protracted balance of payments problems. The IMF Executive Board approved the arrangement for Sierra Leone in October 2013 (see Press Release No. 13/410).
IMF COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
Media Relations

E-mail: media@imf.org
Phone: 202-623-7100

Yellow Journalism destroying the fabric of Sierra Leone media

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

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Many Sierra Leoneans are very ignorant about the media. Though we live in a media society today, with everything pervaded by media, listening to some Sierra Leoneans gives you the sick feeling that they are stupid about the media.

You have public officials who are so clueless about public service that  they are not ashamed to boast in public that they do not need the media. Ironically, is it not  the media that constructs meaning to the events and other activities these so-called officials participate in, without which what they do would have no meaning at all ?

Secondly, any public official who has come to benefit his /her people and country knows that it is only the media that can effectively propagate his/ her agenda and good intentions .How an appointed or elected government official can stand in public and say he or she does not need publicity just shows the caliber and intellect of that official. Maybe, he or she came to perform another activity different from public and national service. What a shame.

The other problem bedeviling our nation is irresponsible journalism and ignorance about press freedom by media  practitioners themselves.

Dictionary .Com defines Press freedom as “the right to publish newspapers, magazines, and other printed matter without governmental restriction and subject only to the laws of libel, obscenity, sedition, etc. ” It goes further to define it as “The right to circulate opinions in print without censorship by the government. ” Freedom of press is a constitutional right.

However , like all rights in the community, press freedom comes with responsibility . Your freedom stops where somebody’s right begins. Some speech are not protected by press freedom or freedom of speech. Slander (verbal defamation) and libel (written defamation), threats, treason, copyright infringements, trade secrets, and promoting unlawful acts are unprotected . So is malicious gossip, a preoccupation that Sierra Leoneans enjoy and now that Social Media has turned every waif into a journalist, is now being practiced with great levity.

False and fake news reports, lies , slander and libel against innocent people and manufactured stories and doctored pictures are now the order of the day in our media. That is all our media practitioners are feeding our people today. Most of our news outlets are scandal sheets , not newspapers.

Maybe, the reason that Sierra Leoneans are so reckless and irresponsible with the media is that the laws of libel, slander , defamation, invasion of privacy and sedition are not being enforced in our country.  These laws exist in our law books just to be perused and not to be enforced. Because the authorities are turning a blind eye to reckless and irresponsible media excesses, yellow journalism prevails in the country and is destroying the fabric of the media.

If the authorities had been setting robust examples of irresponsible and reckless journalists who break the law with impunity , the charade in our media landscape would not have been happening.

Our journalists have to be taught that everybody has a right to a good name , until they bend the law. Doctoring stories and pictures against innocent  people in the media is wrong and should not be part of us.

When will we start enforcing the Laws of Libel, Defamation and Sedition in Sierra Leone ? Do we really care about Journalism standards in Sierra Leone ?

 

 

 

 

 

Please Kamarainba Mansaray, See Dr Nahim

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

 

By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop)

Some time ago when Dr Edward Nahim, the only psychiatrist in Sierra Leone, said that there were about 600,000 Sierra Leoneans in the country with different mental issues; I was one of those who frowned and did try to make mincemeat of his informed opinion despite me being ignorant of psychiatry.

And my ignorance was informed (no apologies for the irony here) by the fact that there were very little mad people roaming the streets of Freetown and all the provincial cities. But little did I realize that there could be people who appear to be sane yet mad. And the Chairman and Leader of the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, seems to be one of such Sierra Leoneans who could qualify for a visit to Dr Edward Nahim’s clinic.

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KAMARAINBA BEING WALKED OUT OF THE PRINCINTS OF PARLIAMENT YESTERDAY BY SECURITY OFFICERS AFTER HE WENT THERE WITH A GROUP OF UNEMPLOYED YOUTHS TO CAUSE TROUBLE DURING THE CONFIRMATION HEARINGS

Though he might look sane, but the recent utterances and actions of Mr Kamarainba Mansaray are showing some of the signs of the initial stages of full-blown madness. Just like mad people, he has developed the habit of fighting imaginary demons and talking unnecessarily in situations in which silence could have been very wise and golden.

And he has also developed another pattern of criticizing anything and everything the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) does or what he assumes the Koroma-led administration has done or would do. And in most—if not all—cases, he comes out like someone who is chasing shadows at the PZ Roundabout! This is because while he puts up the pretentiousness of someone who should be taken seriously; he usually comes out as someone who could better eke out a living in a circus than being a politician.

And because he likes to hear his own voice on radio and thinks he is ‘Cameragenic’ (is that another One Dropian dropped word?), that’s why he has never missed an opportunity to embarrass himself on radio and television. He started off with his challenge of the by-election results that catapulted Ibrahim Ben Kargbo from being an Adviser at State House to Parliament. When he realised the foolishness of his court action, he started crying about snakes where there were only worms. He even showed his ignorance of the country’s constitution on the Mohamed Bangura appointment issue. And when he was schooled, on national television by a lawyer on the provisions in the constitution that give Mr Bangura a sort of clean bill of eligibility, he blabla-ed like a sheepish student caught peeping on a professor’s notebook.

And now he has taken his madness to Dr Christiana Thorpe, the deputy minister-designate for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. In this case what Kamarainba Mansaray doesn’t know, or he knows but is feigning ignorance of, is the fact that the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) of the late Ahmad Tejan Kabba had set a precedent. By arguing that Parliament should not approve the nomination of Dr Thorpe on the ground that she was “…the Chief Returning Officer of the country’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) that conducted the elections which President Dr Ernest Koroma won in 2007 and 2012…” (according to his letter of 24th March 2016 to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments), means that he is deliberately forgetting about the circumstances in which Dr James Jonah was appointed Minister of Finance by the late Tejan Kabbah.

Kamarainba Mansaray cannot pretend that he doesn’t know that Dr James Jonah was the Chief Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that conducted the 1996 elections which the late Tejan Kabbah won. If Parliament approves the nomination of Dr Thorpe and Kamarainba decides to again take his madness to the Supreme Court; I will like him to know that in courts of law, arguments are most of the time proffered and judgments delivered based on precedents or case studies. If the SLPP had their Dr Jonah why can’t the APC get their Dr Thorpe?

And Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray keeps talking about “the principles of good governance and true democracy” and parroting about “morality and uprightness…” in his letter under review. Though some might find such statements, coming from him, comical; I find them tragic.

I find them tragic because how could Mr Kamarainba Mansaray talk about “good governance and true democracy” when he is his party’s Chairman and Leader, Treasurer, Public Relations Officer (PRO) and Secretary General all rolled into one. From the manner in which he runs his party’s national headquarters, he has shown and still showing dictatorial tendencies. And as a rejoinder to his parroting about “morality and uprightness”; I will be scriptural here by asking that: “He who without sin cast the first stone”. And I don’t think Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray will pick up any stone let alone hurl one.

But the rejuvenating thing about Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray’s madness is that it is still in its embryonic stage. So, just a visit to Dr Edward Nahim’s clinic might save him the trouble of running half-naked around the Cotton Tree. Or that visit might also save Sierra Leone the spectacle of seeing a pretentious young handsome man always fighting imaginary demons on radio and chasing shadows on television.
medsankoh@yahoo.com/+232-76-611-986

Attorney General and Minister of Justice Orders the Establishment of Legal Aid Office in Port Loko

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

 

By Hassan Bruz
Northern Bureau Chief

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice –Hon. Joseph Kamara has instructed for the setting up of a Legal Aid Office in the Northern District of Port Loko. It is in response to some of the concerns surfaced by the People of the District as a way to improve the Justice Delivery Systems in the Country. He further disclosed plans for the deployment of a Resident Magistrate in all Class ‘A’ Districts adding that there will also be a Resident Judge for Port Loko District.

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Hon. Joseph Kamara was in Port Loko as part of a weeklong familiarization tour that has seen him in Kailahun, Kenema, Bo, Magburaka and Makeni. The purpose was to sort the experiences and perceptions of both the Local Authorities and the General Public on either the Policy or Practices in the Justice Sector. This initiative which was jointly developed with the Chief Justice, also created a platform to brief the Public on the Plans, Policies, and Actions so far taken to improve the System of Justice delivery in the Sierra Leone.

The turnout at the Port Loko District Council Hall where the meeting took place was Massive and those in attendance were bold enough to press home their feelings. Paramount Chief Alhajie Kompa Bomboli of Koya who doubled as Chairman of the Council of Paramount Chiefs in Port Loko, spoke on the appointment of Local Court Chairmen and the crowning of Section Chiefs that is no longer in the care of Paramount Chiefs and how much it has belittled their authority. He was buttressed by the Paramount of Lokomasama- Pc Bai Marrow Angbothor, who demanded clarification between the Powers of a Paramount Chief and that of a Member of Parliament.

Concerns were also raised by the Deputy Chairman of Council in Port Loko-Councillor Ibrahim Santigie Bangura. He did not only observed that the bulk of those in Correctional Centres are young people who ought to be the future leaders of the Nation, but went further to appeal for a Resident Magistrate as well as Civic Education to fast track Court Trials and help people gain basic knowledge on some aspects of the Law. Abu Kemoh Sesay, Hassan Yansaneh and Madam Rugiatu Benson – the Chairperson for the Maforki Local Court, contributed on a number of issues ranging from the need for legal representation for Accused Persons, rape and other sexual related cases that are often delayed at the Family Support Unit of the Sierra Leone Police. There was also the issue of the Local Court Supervisor who is said to be fond of snatching cases from the Local Courts as well as the exploitative pattern in the process of electing Section Chiefs in certain Chiefdoms in the District. Madam Rugiatu Benson explained how the unavailability of salaries for Court Chairmen is bound to reduced them to corrupt tendencies which she noted will serve as a setback to the dispensation of Justice.

F U K Daboh is the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of the North/ Western Region which comprised – Lungi, Lunsar, Masiaka, Port Loko and the entire District of Kambia. He spotlighted the crucial role of the Police in society whose duties includes the arrest, investigation, charging and prosecution of people. He said that is why the Police are not favoured by the public. He spoke of the drastic reduction of Check Points adding that there were only 3 from the Border District of Kambia to the National Capital of Freetown. He said even though there are mistakes along the line, the Police are trying to be very professional. He assured the Attorney General of his support.
The Chief Justice –Abdulai Hamid Charm was deputised by the Resident Judge in charge of the Northern Province –Hon. Justice John Bosco Allieu. He said the reason for the visit, is for them to look at ways through which the Justice Sector can be made more efficient. Hon. Justice Allieu mentioned the inadequate sessions of the High Court which he noted, are conducted for just 2 weeks in 3 months and 8 times for the whole year. He cited the issue of witnesses who are reluctant to come and testify in Court. The Resident Judge zeroed with an appeal for all to support the Justice Sector and to also see the need to address the issue of accommodation for the Resident Magistrate. Similar concerns were also expressed by the Deputy Director for Correctional Centres who observed that most of what was being said about their Centres is incorrect. He gave a brief account of the prevailing situation at the Centre in Port Loko that has a total of 109 Inmates of which 73 were without indictments.

In conclusion, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice stressed the need for people to have confidence in the Justice Sector and for all to be truthful in the execution of their respective duties, as it is only the truth that shall set them free. He said the Chief Justice and him have made significant impact within the first 30 days of their appointment. I gather they have filed over 90 Indictments. Mr. Joseph Kamara was earlier introduced by the Director of Public Prosecution- Mr. Sulaiman Bah, as a professional Lawyer that had trained and practised in the United States of America. He served as lead prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leones and rose to the rank of Deputy Prosecutor. Mr. Joseph Kamara became Commissioner of Anti Corruption Commission in 2010 and was in his 2nd. Term of 5 years, when he gained the appointment of Attorney General and Minister of Justice………….

Big Loss to Journalism in Salone, as another former BBC Stringer dies

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

By M.B. Jalloh :

Foday Fofana reportedly passed away at their 19 Hagan Street family residence in the East End of Freetown in the early hours of this morning.

Born in the late 1950’s, Foday reported for the BBC in Sierra Leone after Kalilu Kamara left in the 1980’s. He reported for sometime before he had problem with the late President Joseph Saidu Momoh. His last report for the BBC about Sierra Leone was in 1989 when he blasted Major General Momoh from the Guinean border town of Pamlap.

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From that point, he went to Spain and later came to Guinea – Conakry where he also worked as a BBC Stringer for a few years. During his stay in Conakry, he worked closely with the late President Lansana Conteh and the then main opposition leaders, Alpha Condeh (incumbent president) and Bah Mamadou. He travelled extensively accross the country with the trio during political campaigns in the early 1990’s.

He was an active member of the newly formed Sierra Leone Veteran Journalist Union. He was also a multlingual (English, French and Spanish ) . He was fluent in many other local languages : Temne, Kuranko, Susu and Fulani.

His death comes about one year after the passing of Lansana Fofana, (Lans Fofy) another veteran BBC journalist.

Foday ‘ s death is a big loss to the Journalism profession in Sierra Leone. He would be missed not only by Journalists but his readers accross the country. He was a prolific writer who mentored a good number of young journalists. Foday was a close family friend. May Allah forgive him and make paradise is reward and permanent abode.

Presidential appointees are expected to sail through Parliament

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

interview
COMMITTEE ON APPOINTMENTS INTERVIEWS NINE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES

President Koroma has made the best choice of Ministers and Ambassadors for the country. Nine of those fine young men and women were today interviewed by the Committee on appointment and public service in the House of Parliament. Here are the nine nominees interviewed:

Captain (Rtd) Abdul Rahman Kamara-proposed Deputy Minister of Defence
Dr. Christiana Thorpe-proposed Deputy Minister I, MEST
Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden-proposed Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs
Mr. Monfred M. Sesay-proposed Justice of the Court of Appeal
Mr. Mohamed Bangura-proposed Minister of Information and Communications
Mr. Bai Mahmoud Bangura-proposed Minister of Youth Affairs
Mr. Ahmed Khanou-proposed Minister of Sports
Ms. Nanette Thomas-proposed Minister of Political and Public Affairs and
Mr. Sidie Yahya Tunis-proposed Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs

By Koroma APC

Invest Sierra Leone – Sierra Leone’s only annual investment forum returns to London

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

 

Posted on 30 March 2016 by Africa Business
Invest Sierra Leone, the only annual forum dedicated to encouraging investment into Sierra Leone, returns to London on 5 May 2016. Endorsed by the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), Invest Sierra Leone is a not-for-profit collaboration between Freetown Insight magazine, Sierra Leone’s only business journal, and leading global law firm – Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

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It follows on from last year’s successful inaugural event – Post Ebola economic renaissance in Sierra Leone and the role of the private sector – which was held in the House of Commons. The forum brings together leaders from Sierra Leonean business, industry, investment, finance, governance and development policy to share insights and identify innovative approaches to investment in Sierra Leone.

It follows a panel format giving interested investors the opportunity for in-depth discussion with government ministers, CEOs, financiers and the country’s most successful business and investment pioneers. This year’s forum is chaired once again by the Rt Hon David Lammy MP. Confirmed panellists include Dr Samura Kamara, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Dr Kaifala Marah, Governor Designate of the Bank of Sierra Leone; Guy Warrington, High Commissioner Sierra Leone Designate; Amara Kuyateh, Deputy Director General of Sierra Leone’s National Social Security and Investment Trust; Paddy Docherty, Chief Executive of Phoenix Africa Development Company; and Tom Cairnes, founder of ManoCap – the Africa focused private investment firm.

Consistently ranked as one of the top legal firms globally, Herbert Smith Freehills has a long-standing relationship with Sierra Leone, having provided over £2 million worth of free legal advice to the Government of Sierra Leone in support of the country’s development goals through the firm’s award-winning “Fair Deal Sierra Leone” pro bono programme. The programme is the first large scale pro bono facility offered by a law firm in support of one country’s development efforts. Herbert Smith Freehills together with Standard Chartered and Prudential plc, recently produced Sierra Leone: An investor’s guide which outlines the opportunities the country offers, provides context for potential investors and lists useful resources.

For information please contact: Memuna Forna at memunaforna@ftinsight.net

Sierra Leone Airport Authority’s Acting General Manager Calls for Support and Cooperation

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

By Hassan Bruz
Northern Bureau Chief

The Acting General Manager at the Sierra Leone Airport Authority [SLAA] – Mr. Idris Nabih Fofana, has urged for the support and cooperation of all, so as to enable him achieve the desired goals. He made an exceptional appeal to the Senior Executive Management, Board of Directors, Ministry of Transport and Aviation, the Supervisory Agencies and the entire Staff of the Airport Authority.

AIRPORT

 

Mr. Idriss Nabih Fofana, who was speaking in an exclusive interview with the Sierra Leone News Agency [SLENA], said one of his immediate objectives is to consolidate Peace and Harmony in the working relationship amongst the Senior Management cadre before engaging the general Staff and Workers, on the need to collectively work out a 5 year Plan for the eventual development of the Airport. He based his appeal on the fact that the Management of the Airport has gone through 2 consecutive Transitions in its Leadership – a process that is generally believed to have created some animosity particularly among those who were vying for the position of General Manager.

The Acting General Manager said, the 5 year Plan would aim at maximising Revenue Generation, Improving upon the Infrastructure of the Airport and develop the Human Resource Capacity so as to enhance the delivery of quality service to the Airport Users. He believed this will immensely contribute towards the Economic Growth of the Country. Widening his explanation on the prevailing situation at the Freetown International Airport Mr Fofana said Management is operating on an injurious financial status owning to the then outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in the Country. He said the Airport lost about 65 percent of its projected revenue during that period, and that they lost 7 out of the 9 scheduled Airlines that were operating into the Country. ‘The Country was isolated from the rest of the World as no one wanted to come to Sierra Leone during Ebola’ Mr Fofana reiterated.

Indeed there has been a series of transitions at the Airport in recent times, starting with Mr. Donald Bull who proceeded on retirement and was succeeded by his then Deputy- Mr. John Briama. Barely 3 years after his attainment to that position, he was compelled to go on retirement and was succeeded by Mr. John Sesay. The most pitiful aspect in this succession has to do with Mr. Mohamed Swaray Deen who was Deputy General Manager to Mr. John Sesay. He served for less than 1 year when he was retired. Unlike his predecessors who were appealing for an extension of tenure, he refused to add a single minute to his retirement date. As is always the case, a lot of people are eying the seat. I gather almost half a dozen people are aspiring to succeed Mr. Swaray Deen including his then Deputy and now Acting General Manager- Mr. Idriss Nabih Fofana.

I am sure a good number of you are curious to know who this Acting General Manager is and if he is up to the task in the event he becomes the substantive. Well, Idriss Nabih Fofana is a 43 year old man that hails from Mayaya Village in Kaffu Bullom –the very Chiefdom where the Airport is situated. He is optimistic that his skills, knowledge, and professional experience will secure him the job. Apart from his Honours Degree he obtained from Fourah Bay College, Mr. Fofana has a Masters Degree in Environmental Sciences and Sustainability from Lund University in Sweden. He has a 15 years experience in Senior Management and Airport Operations. He is arguably the only Sierra Leonean at the Airport that is certified and designated as International Airport Professional from Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme of International Civil Aviation Organisation [ICAO] and Airport Council International [ACI]. This entails a series of courses ranging from Air Transportation, Airport Financial and Commercial Management, Airport Planning, Development, and Environmental Management, Airport Operations, Safety and Security to Airport Executive Leadership.

Mr. Idriss Nabih Fofana said he has the relevant qualification and appropriate professional experience in Project Design, Planning and Management which would enable him manage and coordinate the implementation of all Civil Engineering Infrastructural Projects at the Airport. He has similar knowledge and experience in the procurement of works, goods and selection of Consultants with specific training in World Bank Procurement guidelines and procedures. He was the Head of Engineering and Maintenance as well as Projects Coordinator at the Sierra Leone Airport Authority, Member of the Procurement Unit at the Freetown International Airport, and even served as Project Manager on the Upgrading, Extension and Modification of the Freetown International Airport. He was also the Deputy General Manager at the Sierra Leone Airport Authority until his appointment to the current capacity of Acting General Manager.

Mr Fofana is an Associate Lecturer at Fourah Bay College- University of Sierra Leone. Below are some of his Photos including that of the much talked about Freetown International Airport……..