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President Koroma champions new agreement with UK for reliable energy

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Sierra Leone has become the first country participating in the UK’s Energy Africa campaign to sign an agreement to ensure power for all citizens of Sierra Leone by 2025.

The Government of Sierra Leone will eliminate tax on qualified internationally certified renewable energy products to ensure modern power to 1 million people by 2020.

The signing between the UK and Government of Sierra Leone took place during the country’s first decentralized renewable energy conference at Bintumani Conference Centre last week.

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The Energy Revolution event was hosted by Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Energyand the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The one-day event, organised by global development experts Adam Smith International, is the launch of a series of renewable energy initiatives to eradicate energy poverty in Sierra Leone. The Government aims to deliver off-grid technology and solar home systems to its population, where currently less than 1% has access power in rural areas.

Sierra Leone is one of ten African nations that have joined the UK’s Energy Africa campaign to expedite universal energy access to lift millions out of poverty and end dependency on aid.

The Minister of Energy Henry Macauley and the UK’s International Development Minister Nick Hurd signed the Sierra Leone Energy Africa Compact agreement launching the Energy Revolution.

“It is unacceptable that today more than 600 million people across sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity. In Sierra Leone alone, less than 10% of the population have electricity, and in rural areas where the majority of people live, it is practically non-existent,” said Minister Hurd.

“Working in partnership with Sierra Leone, the Energy Africa campaign can help to change that.  I am very proud to sign the first ever compact agreement on this campaign with the Government of Sierra Leone to ignite the solar energy market – helping to power business, hospitals and homes, making sure the poorest people no matter where they live can access clean, reliable and affordable energy.”

The President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, was the confirmed keynote speaker at the event and championed this new agreement that reinforces his Government’s commitment to provide all its citizens with access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy.

In addition to the Presidential Address and signing of the Compact, the Energy Revolution also included the official launch announcement of the Renewable Energy Association of Sierra Leone. The country’s leading renewable energy companies were in attendance, and the event also included a trade fair and exhibition supported by Power for All.

Renewable Energy focus. com

President Koroma Receives Update on Water Crisis in Freetown and report on GAVI Funds

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

By State House Communication Unit

In an effort to seek and promote the welfare of citizens, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma today Tuesday May 17 2016 summoned the appropriate authorities at State House to update him on the current water situation in Freetown, and also later received an Administrative Inquiry Report on allegations of misconduct in the management of the GAVI Alliance Funds Part 1.

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Updating the president on the ministry’s immediate strategies in handling the current water crisis, the Minister of Water Resources Momodu Maligie reported of repairing of leaking scour valve in the Guma dam that had long been plugged and thus reducing the volume of water from the dam; handing over of seven (7) water bowsers to Guma to supply water to communities in the capital; installation/rehabilitation of water tanks and bowser deliveries; network improvement to increase on water pressure to reach communities on the extreme end of the network; construction of bowser collection points for tanks to be installed at Mogegba, Grafton, has been completed and 8000 liters tanks will be mounted and networked on the platform today; special team for leakage detection and fixing is put in place and operating mostly in the western part of the city where leakage challenges are huge; development of smaller sources of water to augment the bigger sources; development/rehabilitation of boreholes which out of the ten existing boreholes only five can be repaired; communications and community outreach for the communication of correct versions as against the propaganda theory on the social media.

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With the above strategies, Minister Maligie said that there has been considerable improvement on the availability and access to water in the capital, saying “it is expected that on the completion of the collection point at Mogegba and the rehabilitation of some of the boreholes, we will experience significant improvement in serving communities living on the east end of the city.”

In another engagement, President Koroma received part one of the Administrative Inquiry Report on the Allegations of Misconduct in the Management of the GAVI Alliance Funds from the Public Service Commission (PSC). According to Dr Max Amadu Sesay, the president’s directive to the PSC to look into the GAVI Funds matter was in conformity with Regulation 14 of the Public Service Commission Regulations of 1982 and Rule 11:32 of the Civil Service Code, Regulations and Rules.

Dr Sesay said that after careful investigation into the irregularity identified in the GAVI audit report, the Disciplinary Committee has not found any of the nine (9) officers culpable. “On all the issues of irregularity identified in the GAVI audit report, Your Excellency, I can report authoritatively and without any fear of contradiction that the PSC Disciplinary Committee was unable to establish that any of the nine (9) officers was culpable,” chairman of the Commission Dr Max Sesay stated, adding that none of those officers had executive responsibility for either the management or disbursement of GAVI funds, and in fact, most of them had little or no knowledge that their work was funded by GAVI.

Dr Sesay further stated in the report that the evidence available to the Committee pointed unequivocally in the direction of compliance by these officers with GoSL accounting regulations on the issue of Daily Sustenance Allowance (DSA), which he said was admittedly at variance with GAVI standards of financial management and accounting. On account of this, the Committee according to Dr. Sesay, exonerated all nine affected officers and recommended that all those officers who are below the statutory age of retirement be reinstated in the service by the Director General of Human Resources Management Office (HRMO) and deployed in accordance with their areas of specialty.

The Committee therefore recommended that the GAVI donors should consider reviewing their policies or approach to managing projects in Sierra Leone’s health sector, particularly in the area of financial management and accounting.

Parliament allows use 0f existing voters ‘ register for upcoming bye-elections

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

 The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Tuesday 17th May 2016 passed into law, with a slight amendment, the Constitutional Amendment Act, 2016, to allow for use of the existing voters’ register for the conduct of bye-elections in Constituencies 001 and 050 respectively.

In piloting the Bill in Parliament, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph F. Kamara said among other things that the Bill seeks to provide for the use of the existing voters’ register, which should have been reviewed and revised at least once in every three years. “The amendment will warrant NEC to conduct the bye-elections in those Constituencies as established by law,” he said. In responding to MPs’ comments, he also said that “the amendment will necessitate the filling of the gaps, and affirmed that both the Legislature and the Executive do have a moral responsibility to the people of Sierra Leone”.

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During the course of the debate, Hon. Daniel Koroma described “the Bill as clear and non-controversial with the view of serving a nationalistic purpose”. He also said that “laws are made with the view that they can be amended when necessary, noting that it is good for our legislative process”. He said also that “the Bill will allow for the conduct of the respective bye-elections created by death or those in search of greener pastures”. “Those people” he added, are “Sierra Leoneans who deserve representation in Parliament to articulate their views and aspirations in the governance of the State”.

Hon. Umar Paran Tarawally also said that “laws are made by men to conform with the status quo, whilst saying that the existing voters’ register should be used, devoid of police clearance in election administration, that creates room for suspicion and tension in case of missing identity cards”. This he described as a “bad practice” and noted that “the police are neither an extension, nor an organ of the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

On the other hand, Hon. Alhassan Kamara saw the police as constitutionally mandated to provide security by protecting lives and property in the country, and noted that any act of controversy during the conduct of those bye-elections will be met head-on by the police.

Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of Parliament told MPs that “the last review of the voters’ register should have been done by NEC in 2015, but ebola prevented that from happening for all its attendant reasons at least once in every three years”. She explained that “the amendment is aimed at allowing NEC to use the existing voters’ register for the conduct of those by-elections, which she also challenged, would be won by the SLPP”.

Hon. Ibrahim Bundu, Majority Leader of Parliament assured that “NEC is going to use the existing voters’ register and not another register, for the conduct of those bye-elections”. He also noted that it is expedient to amend the law as and when necessary”.

Department of Public Relations
Parliament of Sierra Leone
OAU Drive, Tower Hill
Freetown

Respect the values of the APC, Vice-President warns aspirants

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

 

The Hon. Vice President, Ambassador Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh has on Friday 13th May, 2016 sounded a note of warning to all “would be aspirants” of the APC Party informing that the APC is an Institution with laid down principles and values that cannot be compromised for anything. He made these statements whiles addressing a jubilant crowd at the Portloko Praying Field where he was keynote speaker on the Coronation of Paramount Chief Alikali Mela ll of Maforki Chiefdom and thirty five (35) Section Chiefs.

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In presenting the Paramount Chief to the people of Maforki, the Hon. Vice President took the opportunity to address the APC Party supporters, particularly so, those wishing to succeed President Koroma. He advised them to desist from their campaigns and focus on supporting the President’s Agenda for Prosperity. He described their desperation as a distraction to the President’s Agenda. ” Let us for now put politics aside and remain focus on the success of President Koroma’s Agenda. It is only when President Koroma succeed, that the APC will continue to remain in power” admonished the Hon. VP. He affirms that the APC is a Party that rewards hard work and loyalty, he cited himself as a perfect example.

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The Hon. VP urged the people of Portloko to unite and reconcile their differences. “The APC is a Party that bears no grudge” declares the Vice President. “My coming here today, with the former Head of State, Rtd. Captain Valentine Strasser, is a symbolic move of reconciliation and national cohesion. It points to the fact that we hold no grudge against anyone” he reiterates. He also informed the gathering of his now brotherly relationship with the former Vice President and Flagbearer of the SLPP, SOLOMON EKUMA BEREWA, who had once prosecuted him for treason; and the bond he has formed with the Hinga Norman family. All this, he stated, points to the fact that we must unite as a people, forgive one another and forge ahead as a nation.

The program was chaired by Councilor IS. Bangura.

©Communications Unit
Office of the Vice President

“Educated and Skilled Human Resource is the only way out of Africa’s current predicament and the ultimate base for the success of Agenda 2063’’

Friday, May 13th, 2016

…Ambassador Ismael Koroma

By Abdul Karim Koroma

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Ismael Koroma has told Member States of the African Union, including International Organizations and Partners in Ethiopia that the only way out of the current predicament confronting development in Africa; is for the continent to invest on education and ensure sustainable quality educated and skilled human resource capacity on the continent which will also serve as a major foundation for the success of the African Union Agenda 2063.

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Ambassador Koroma was among three other distinguished panelists: H.E Mrs. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict; Mr. Daniel Bekele, Executive Director of Human Right Watch-African Division; and Mr. Michael Yaw Lumor, Advocacy Advisor of Save the Children International. All of them delivered specific papers on the theme: “Protecting education from attack in Africa: challenges and promising initiatives’’ organized by Save the Children and the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack , at the Headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa on Monday 9th May, 2016.

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In his brilliant presentation titled “The Safe School Declaration’’, Ambassador Koroma stressed that the impact of armed conflict on education has created a serious humanitarian, social as well as developmental challenges for young people, teachers and educational authorities on the continent. He said nowadays educational facilities are being frequently selected and destroyed as soft targets during armed conflicts, while students, teachers and school authorities suffer the brunt of such atrocities. He argued that it was the prime responsibilities of all governing authorities in Africa to protect the right to education; thus protecting the sanctity of educational facilities and the lives of students, teachers and school authorities.

 

 

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He praised the Government of Sierra Leone for its commitment to safeguard and promote education following the country’s civil conflict which devastated its educational sector, as well as one of the fifteen Member States of the African Union which have endorsed the safe school declaration. He lamented some of the stories of young people who were recruited as child soldiers during the conflict in Sierra Leone and highlighted some of the major steps the government took to reintegrate those young people back into the society through education and the difficulties to handle the long-term consequences. Ambassador Koroma encouraged other Member States of the African Union to endorse and implement the said declaration; stating that the declaration “describes the immediate and long-term consequences of attacks on students, teachers, schools, universities and the military use of schools and universities during armed conflict’’.

Ambassador Ismael Koroma was a Media and Communication Lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, before his appointment as Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Agriculture Minister calls for calm as tempers flare in oil palm dispute

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

 

Titus Boye-Thompson, Communications Expert

 

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) Prof. Patrick Monty Jones, on Monday 9th May 2016, called on all sides to exercise patience and understanding in one of the longest run disputes between land owners, Paramount Chiefs and a local project at Mattru Jong, Bonthe District. In a heated debate over the issues, Prof. Monty Jones admonished all parties to be patient as Government seeks to bring what he called a lasting peace for progress and development in the Chiefdom.

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Speaking at a packed meeting called for the purpose of finalizing the long running dispute which according to the Chief Agriculture Officer Mr Sankoh has spanned three Ministers with none coming this close to secure a lasting agreement between the parties. Announcing to the large gathering that he had first of all sought for and secured His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma’s approval for this matter to be decisively settled, Prof. Monty Jones made it clear that as he sees it, the solution, based on the clamour of the majority of the people was to invite private participation on the Oil Palm Project at Mattru Jong. In this regard, Prof. Monty Jones announced that he will start the process of privatization of the plantation and invite interested parties to bid for and manage the plantation. He however promised that after defraying the loan repayments and other costs undertaken by Government thus far, the local land owners, Paramount Chiefs and other stakeholders will benefit from a share of the residual proceeds from the sale of the plantation. Asking for assurances from the Paramount Chiefs and other stakeholders for their commitment to the peace that had been brokered between the parties, Prof. Monty Jones cautioned the people of Jong Chiefdom that there will be no development in any area if peace does not prevail. He advised that even with the call by the people for privatization of the plantation, no private sector company would be willing to invest in an area where the community does not act in harmony and with one accord.

 

Pandemonium broke out when Mr Syl Goba, a former Deputy Minister and local resident attempted to cake a commitment to the newly brokered peace. He was frustrated from addressing the gathering for what was largely seen as his role in protracting the dispute. The crowd was subsequently quietened by the Minister who maintained that the emphatic will of the people was for peace to prevail. In the event, the Minister delegated authority to the Project Coordinator Mr Alusine Kallon to continue in his present role but to be closely supervised by the District Agriculture Officer, Mr Musa Kandeh. They will report to the Chief Agriculturist at MAFFS head office in Freetown who in turn will report directly to the Minister on progress at the site. It is expected that the privatization process will take six to eight months and this interim management would remain in place for that period until a buyer is found for the plantation.

 

Earlier, Minister of State South, Mr Muktarr Conteh, noted that the responsibility for peace rests with every stakeholder in the District and with the Mattru Jong landowners and Chiefdom authorities in particular. He addressed the meeting with hope of good news on Government’s commitment to construct the Bo – Mattru Road as well as to complete the ongoing road works in the town within two years. This he said shows Government’s desire to attract private sector investment into Mattru and to secure more projects for the District but for this to happen, peace must prevail.

 

 

 

Dr Sheku G. Kamara, Adviser to the President on Agriculture confirmed that he had visited the Mattru Jong Chiefdom four times already simply to engage in discussions on this matter, He lamented that certain parties had not been truly committed to a lasting solution in the past but declared his support for the peace now brokered by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, saying that this was the best chance for the people to settle this matter that had been a bone of contention for such a long time.

 

Commending the people of Mattru Jong for their commitment to peace, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security informed the gathering that his Ministry remains focussed on the President’s post Ebola reconstruction directive to increase production and productivity of agriculture produce in the country. In that regard, there are already support available to farmers to diversify their crop production as well as to encourage farmers to increase the areas under cultivation. He enjoined the people of Mattru Jong to put all the difficult times behind them and to move on from a Plantation that was established over forty years ago and for which the people have suffered enough as a result of under achievement of their aspirations for their welfare. The Minister assured the gathering that he will closely monitor the progress of the interim management team and would seek to secure the best settlement for all concerned. In attendance at the meeting were Paramount Chief J. C. A. D. Sheriff and Paramount Chief D. C. Baryoh. Both Paramount Chiefs made statements recommending the peace for their people and committed to working with the interim management in smoothing over any residual matters that would need attention at the local level.

 

 

 

Ambassador Alimamy Koroma presents copies of Letters Credence and of Recall to Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

 

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador designate to the People’s Republic of China, Hon. Alimamy Philip Koroma will on May 17th, 2016, at the Great Wall of the People, meet with the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping to present his original Letters of Credence and those of Recall of his predecessor.

This was made known on 12th May, when Ambassador Koroma had gone to present copies of the said letters to the Deputy Director-General, Protocol Department, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ZHANG Yiming.

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Ambassador Koroma thanked the Chinese Government for standing by Sierra Leone during the ebola period, referencing how years of diplomatic and people-to-people ties have continued to grow.

He paid glowing tribute to then President Siaka Stevens who had chosen to support China in the 70s, a decision, he said, continues to pay dividend in lifting the bars of cooperation ties between the two Republics, assuring the friendship between the two nations will continue to be cherished and valued.

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He was grateful to the Chinese Government, he said, for speedily approving his nomination and by “providence and coincidence, within a week”, he would be able to present his credentials to President Xi Jinping.

Sierra Leone, Ambassador Koroma said, is a small country “but with big challenges” though the country has come a long way. “We are grateful for the role of China in the fight against ebola. Ebola is over, but problems left are still on. We continue to appeal to your government to continue to stand by us”, Ambassador Koroma said.

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With the pending presentation of his Original Letters of Credence and Recall of his predecessor, he said, he was literally hitting the ground running, with no time to waste.

He appreciated suggestion by the Deputy Director-General that when he is settled, he should travel to the provinces, visit Local Government establishments and establish contacts with them.

Responding, ZHANG Yiming congratulated Ambassador Koroma on his appointment.

As a country, he said, China attaches great importance to his nomination as Ambassador given that his predecessor now serves as Sierra Leone’s Vice President and was optimistic, Ambassador Koroma will further play a constructive role in enhancing cooperation between China and Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone, ZHANG Yiming said is an important country and one with which China enjoys strong and excellent bilateral relationship with since 1971.
“We are grateful to your country for supporting China on many occasions” he said, further recalling the role it played in facilitating diplomatic ties between China and Liberia.

Because of the strong and unbroken ties with Sierra Leone, he said, China had to render strong support to Sierra Leone in the ebola war. “Our bilateral relationship is in the best period since we established diplomatic ties. Sierra Leone is not a large country but has rightful natural resource and we can do a lot”, he said.

What China has been doing in decades since ties with Sierra Leone, ZHANG Yiming said, is a demonstration of true friendship with Sierra Leone and that notwithstanding the size of a country, they see all countries as equal partners.

John Baimba Sesay
Information/Press Attaché
Sierra Leone Embassy
People’s Republic of China
+8615010707051

Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-kanu

Sierra Leone – Liberia call for more collaboration to End Ebola, plus other Presidential news from State House

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Sierra Leone – Liberia call for more collaboration to End Ebola

The leaders of Sierra Leone and Liberia on Friday 6 May, 2016, called for more collaboration to end Ebola in their respective countries.

The call came following a joint communique signed by both President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma and his Liberian counterpart, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who was on a one-day working and friendly visit to Sierra Leone.

 

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The two heads of state, according to the communique, agreed on not only ending the Ebola epidemic in their respective countries, but also exchanged views on political, security, health, socio-economic cooperation as well as progress and challenges with national dimensions of the implementation of the post-Ebola recovery programmes.

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Ending Ebola in the respective countries and in the sub-region, the two heads of state expressed satisfaction and optimism, and reiterated the need for cooperation with each other in the implementation of their post-Ebola recovery/reconstruction programmes.

Both President Koroma and President Johnson Sirleaf also agreed to intensify bilateral teamwork at all levels – intelligence sharing and security alertness, considering recent atrocities caused by terrorist networks in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. They therefore heightened the need for peace and sustainable development in the MRU basin after Ebola.

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The two leaders agreed on providing support for ECOWAS programmes for political and economic integration and promised to attend the forthcoming ECOWAS summit of heads of state and government in Dakar, Senegal in June 2016.

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Addressing a meeting shortly after the signing ceremony, President Koroma said Sierra Leone will continue to engage with Liberia to finding lasting solutions to the current economic situation facing the three Ebola hard-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

President Koroma commended President Johnson Sirleaf for her relentless efforts in defeating Ebola in Liberia.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in her response, extended gratitude to the Government and People of Sierra Leone for the warm reception on her arrival at the Presidential Lounge in Lungi.

She disclosed that she had, prior to her visit, held similar engagement with Guinean President, Prof. Alpha Conde. She noted that she was making her first visit to the country after the Ebola outbreak and expressed heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives to the disease. President Johnson Sirleaf promised continuous cooperation with Sierra Leone within the MRU framework.

Madam Johnson Sirleaf also commended health workers for their dedication and diligent service in the fight against Ebola, adding that Liberia will continue to stand by Sierra Leone to push for greater development. She extended an invite to President Koroma for a reciprocal visit.

 

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President Koroma Receives Clay Factory Report

By State House Communication Unit

President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Monday 9 May 2016 received a report by Legal Aid Board Executive Director Mrs. Fatmata Carlton Hanciles and team on the resolution of the Clay Factory issue as well as the fate of illegal squatters therein.

The president thanked the team for their contribution in resolving the issue and proposed another working visit to Clay Factory together with line ministries to ensure all stakeholders are fully involved. He disclosed that government was reaching out to the informal sector to enhance the transformation of the facility, and cited the Makola Market in Ghana as an example.

 

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President Koroma observed that no country can grow without the full involvement of the private sector. He encouraged business people to do their trade with utmost seriousness, and called for a halt in all activities on the ground until after his proposed visit.

On behalf of the delegation, Mrs. Hanciles expressed her profound gratitude to President Koroma for giving them the opportunity to look into the Clay Factory matter, and explained that the lorry park was handed over to her organization to look into issues of illegal squatters. She reported that she held several meetings with all stakeholders including civil society organizations.

She also informed that they had discussed the way forward on the proposed transformation of Clay Factory Freetown Central Lorry Park into the Ernest Bai Koroma Lorry Park so as to benefit the entire community.

Madam Hanciles pleaded with President Koroma that the vacant land be utilized for the purposes of shops, stores, a parking lot and market for trade fairs preferably on Saturdays, to encourage periodic interface between and among traders from different parts of the country.

The meeting brought together stakeholders including, Motor Drivers and General Transport Workers Union, United Indigenous Commercial and Petty Traders Union, Sierra Leone United Boat Owners Association, the Indigenous Transport Owners Association, Sierra Leone Commercial Bike Riders Association Sierra Leone Traders Union, Shop Owners Association, market women, concern traders and the National Rogbianbay Traders and Farmers.

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Ambassador Koroma Takes Leave of President

By State House Communication Unit

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador designate and plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of China Alimamy Philip Koroma on Monday 9 May 2016 took leave of President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House in Freetown, marking the commencement of his tour of duty.

According to Dr Samura Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Alimamy Koroma is the 9th Sierra Leone Ambassador to China whose memorandum (agreemo) was received within the shortest time.

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Addressing the new Ambassador, President Koroma described Sierra Leone’s relationship with China as unique. He said Sierra Leone had provided support to China at the time the country needed it most and the latter has reciprocated visibly.

The president informed that the trade relationship between Sierra Leone and China is growing and therefore urged the new Ambassador to further strengthen the bilateral ties and also break new grounds that will attract more development.

As Africa is agitating for membership of the United Nations Security Council, President Koroma advised the new Ambassador to not only focus on economic cooperation, but also shift his efforts in canvassing China’s support for Africa’s common position in the UN Security Council and push for equal representation in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He pointed out that Africa will take a radical move in the next AU Summit in that regard. The president also expressed hope that the Ambassador will live up to expectations of the people of Sierra Leone and assured him of government’s support.

Ambassador Koroma thanked the president for reposing confidence in him to represent Sierra Leone in China. He said it was a coincidence that being the 9th ambassador, he was also taking leave of President Koroma on May 9. The former Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure vowed to put the interest of the country above all else in discharging his duties as Ambassador in China and nine (9) other countries.

 

“Hand Hygiene is a life-saving approach” – Deputy Health Minister II

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

 

Sierra Leone has joined other countries the world over to commemorate World Hygiene Day on the theme: “Hand Hygiene Supports Safe Surgical Care”.

 

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Cross section of the audience

Addressing the ceremony at the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) in Freetown, Deputy Minister II of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Madam Zuliatu Cooper described the practice of hand hygiene as a two way approach for both the patient and the health worker.

 

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Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation II, Madam Zuliatu Cooper

giving her keynote address

She reminded her audience that hand washing practice was a life-saving intervention during the Ebola outbreak and reduces the risk of infection.

Madam Cooper reiterated the need for the parent, patient, and the health worker, to observe all precautionary measures practiced during the Ebola outbreak, stressing the importance of infection, prevention control in all health facilities.

Commenting on the waste management and water system at the Princess Christian Maternity hospital, the Deputy Minister promised to engage in dialogue the Minister of Water Resources, Massada and the Freetown City Council to address the problem.

The Health Ministry, she disclosed is working towards providing accurate data and records on hospital care with a view to establishing a resourceful management system in the health facilities.

The Medical Superintendent, Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH), Dr. Alimamy Philip Koroma said they were able to provide hand washing stations at strategic locations in the hospital but faced with serious water shortage that would have helped to compliment the efforts of the cleaners and hygienists. He reminded his audience that infection; prevention control cannot be effectively implemented with the expected results in the absence of a perfect running water system and appealed for an urgent attention to address the problem.

Medical Superintendent, PCMH, Dr. Alimamy Philip Koroma

Dr. Koroma disclosed the training of over 600 clinical and non-clinical staff, the establishment of litter bins in every ward, and veronica buckets at strategic locations, and a developed system to motivate staff for infection, prevention and control (IPC) practice in the hospital.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer II, Dr. Amara Jambai re-emphasizes the need for hand hygiene practice both in the home and health facilities, adding that hand hygiene should be applied before the health worker touches the patient and commended the IPC Unit in the hospital for the good job in ensuring health worker and patient safety measures are practiced.

Chief Medical Officer II, Dr. Amara Jambai

Other highlights include statement by the Deputy World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, Dr. Abdoulie Jack, and presentation on the theme: “Hand Hygiene Supports Safe Surgical Care” by the IPC Focal Person, Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH), Sr. Christiana Kallon.

IPC National Coordinator, Madam Nanah Sesay Kamara

The programme was chaired by the IPC National Coordinator, Madam Nanah Sesay Kamara.

JAK/KK/MOHS/SLENA

Vice- President Victor Foh’s statement at Pan -African Parliament in South Africa

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

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ADDRESS BY AMBASSADOR DR. VICTOR BOCKARIE FOH VICE PRESIDENT OF SIERRA LEONE – GUEST OF HONOUR AT THE SECOND ORDINARY SESSION OF THE FOURTH PARLIAMENT OF THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT – MOUSA IDRIS HALL, MIDRAND, SOUTH AFRICA 3RD MAY,2016
Your Excellency, President of the Pan-African Parliament
Hon. Roger Dang Nkodo
Hon. Vice Presidents
Honourable members of the Pan-African Parliament
Excellencies
Distinguished Guests
Invited Delegates
Ladies and Gentlemen

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I bring you fraternal and goodwill greetings from His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the people of the Republic of Sierra Leone. I also bring you profound apologies from President Koroma for not being able to attend this Session of the Pan-African Parliament. He asked me to represent him, and I am sure he is here with us in spirit, because he holds dearest to his heart the Pan-African Parliament and what you stand for, namely, Good Governance and prosperity for the people of Africa.
On my own behalf, I consider this a singular honour for which I am thankful, first to my President for asking me to represent him and second, to the President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), Hon. Roger Dang Nkodo, Vice Presidents, Honourable Members and staff of this august Body, for the privilege to address them on this occasion. I am considerably humbled, yet extremely pleased that with PAP, Africa is certainly moving towards integration and development.
Mr. President,
Excellencies
It is disheartening to note that while Africa is moving forward, we are confronted with emerging challenges which, otherwise, could be avoided. The threat posed by armed organizations and the unsavoury attacks by these groups are among some of our greatest man-made challenges we are faced with. Let me, on behalf of President Ernest Bai Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone, express deepest sympathy to all those countries affected by such attacks. As a country, we went through it for more than ten years, and we know how frightening and devastating these attacks could be, not least of all the fear and anxiety the people live with. It is a pity that these attacks are happening in our “backyards” and by our own compatriots. While these attacks may target individual countries, we must find a continental and / or global solution to them. We believe PAP, through its mandate, can strengthen continental solidarity and build a sense of common destiny among the people of Africa.
Mr. President,
Excellencies
Recently, we were visited by the deadly Ebola Virus Disease. We lost scores of our compatriots. It was a dreadful scourge. As a country and as a sub-Region, we were devastated. Economic growth and development were halted. Our survival as a nation was threatened. With the resilience of our people and through the support of friendly countries of the world, we fought a good fight and defeated the Ebola Virus Disease. Some of our dear African countries banned flights to Sierra Leone and to the sub-Region. We bear no grudge. Suffice it to say, we learnt good lessons, and we will build on lessons learnt to push for greater African unity, and show each other that we should, and must be our Brothers’ Keepers”. Sierra Leone is now Ebola-free, and we are on the path to Economic recovery. On behalf of His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone, let me thank all those friendly countries that supported us and our sister countries in the Mano River Basin to combat the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease. We say so from the bottom of our hearts.
Mr. President,
Excellencies
A new Bureau of PAP has been elected into office. I wish them a successful tenure. Let me thank the out-gone Bureau for moving PAP to another level. The secret to success is for the new Bureau to build on the foundation laid by the out-gone Bureau. You can never succeed by quarreling with your past. However, you can learn good lessons from the past to build great institutions. You can learn from the successes and / or failures of the past to promote peace, security and prosperity throughout the continent. You can use the failures and / or successes of the past to be innovative; to facilitate cooperation and development in Africa; to facilitate cooperation among Regional Economic Communities and their Parliamentary fora.
Mr. President,
Excellencies
The new Bureau is dear to all Sierra Leoneans because this is the first time a Sierra Leonean is elected to the Bureau of PAP and in no mean capacity.
As a Government, we wholeheartedly supported the candidacy of Honourable Dr. Bernadette Lahai, notwithstanding the fact that she does not only belong to the Opposition Party, but also, the Minority Leader in our Parliament. We should practise cross-party politics to do what adds value to us as a country, and as a continent. As recently observed by His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, Politics is not a matter of life and death….let us change the dynamics and see politics as a means to improving the welfare of our people.
Mr. President,
Excellencies,
The Pan-African Parliament was founded on the principle that the people of Africa would be fully involved in the economic development and integration of the continent. It grew out of the vision to provide a pan-continental platform for the people of Africa through African Parliamentarians, and grassroots organizations to get more involved in discussions and decision-making on emerging challenges in Africa and elsewhere. While progress may be slow, we applaud your achievement, so far. I am pleased to inform you that the Sierra Leone Parliament ratified the protocol to the Constitutive Act of the African Union relating to the Pan-African Parliament on the 21st April, 2016 making us the fourth country to ratify this protocol in Africa. Let me also assure this House that all the remaining AU legal instruments will be ratified with minimum delay.
Mr. President,
Excellencies
It is pleasing to note that the AU theme for 2016 is: Year of Human Rights, with special focus on the Rights of women and girls; the role of women in development and challenges to the full enjoyment of their Human Rights. We feel strongly and passionately about the involvement of women in the Economic growth and prosperity of Africa. We all should march forward, leaving no one behind, as we endeavour to build a strong and productive continent. We must empower women through purposeful education, appropriate exposure and useful resources, so that they would emerge and favourably compete in all fields of endeavours. In our Recovery and Development strategy, namely, our Agenda for Prosperity, the issue of Gender, Women’s human rights and empowerment and human development stand out very prominently. Empowerment and Advancement of women must be a priority to all of us.
Mr. President,
Excellencies
In this light Sierra Leone has taken giant strides to enact laws and ratify Protocols in favour of women, including:
The Maputo Protocol
The Domestic Violence Act of 2007
Devolution of Estate Act of 2007
The Registration of Customary Marriage and Divorce Act of 2007
Child Rights Act of 2007
The Prevention and Control of HIV and AIDs Act of 2007
The Sexual Offence Act of 2012
His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is mindful of the role and contributions of women to national development. Critical decision-making positions in Sierra Leone are now occupied by women. We believe women who have been capacitated must be part of state governance at all levels.

Mr. President
Excellencies

There cannot be good reason why it is easier to trade with Asia, Europe and the Americas, than trade with our compatriots in Africa. Why should trade with other continents flourish to the detriment of intra-African Trade? Where is our common destiny? For the most part of our recent history, we are only a source of raw materials; exporting resources and jobs to other parts of the world with, gross imbalance in rewards. Africa must use its raw materials and resources to industrialize; to create jobs for its own people; to significantly open its market to African Products, so that we can together build a prosperous Africa. This way, we can end the risk of insecurity, of radicalizing our youth and promote peace, security and stability. The nexus between Peace, Security and Development cannot be over-emphasized. By this way, we can create a prosperous continent now and for the future. We must see ourselves as competitors for the development of Africa. Our collective destiny lies in our collective hands.
Mr. President,
Excellencies

Let me end my remarks by touching very briefly on the African Peer Review Mechanism, the APRM. As we all may recall, the APRM was established primarily to foster the “adoption of policies, values, standards and practices of political and economic governance that lead to political stability, accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration, economic growth and sustainable development”. It is a mutually agreed instrument, voluntarily acceded to by the member states of the African Union as a self-monitoring mechanism. By becoming a member, we all agreed to “voluntarily and independently review our compliance with African and international governance commitments”.
To be able to compete favourably at the international sphere, we must ensure good governance by instituting measures to monitor our progress and build on our successes. The Pan-African Parliament must strengthen its monitoring capacity of member states through established structures, not least the African Peer Review Mechanism. This is how we ascertain and ensure that quality services are delivered on a timely basis. This is how Africa can move forward.

God Bless you
Long Live African Unity
God Bless Africa
I thank you for your attention.

Ambassador Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh
VICE PRESIDENT
Republic of Sierra Leone