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Archive for the ‘COMMENTARY’ Category

APC NJ Inauguration Gala was the biggest and the best occasion in New Jersey for a long, long time

Monday, May 2nd, 2016


Members of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC)  last Saturday staged the biggest and the best social occasion in New Jersey for a long time.

The party’s much-talked -about Inauguration and Fund-raising Gala was  really grand and it had everything : Total involvement by the huge number of supporters the party had recruited in the Garden State, including the large number of dedicated women in the State now on board (And women rock the cradle that makes the world go round ) ; color, excitement, patronage from the community and other states ;  glowing speeches from Mayor Phil Kramer, Minister Plenipotentiary Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, Parliamentarian Albert Deen;Koroma and Deputy Health Minister Madina Rahman,    and of course non-stop enjoyment during the jampacked gala night at the Holiday Inn, Davidson Avenue, Somerset, New Jersey.



ALIMAMY TURAY INTRODUCES MEMBERS OF THE APC- USA on his left hand side ( Beatrice Conteh, Fynda Fillie- Faboe and Ibrahim KAMARA ). On his right are executive members of APC NewJersey



DJ Sly, who dashed in from Freetown at the eleventh hour to control the show,  kept revelers on the dance floor for three straight and uninterrupted hours with thrilling music , after all the ceremonies and speeches.





All roads indeed led to the APC New Jersey Gala last Saturday and the program will be talked about for a long time to come and those who think that the opposition-inspired propaganda against the party in salacious social media publicity and the recent off-color song by the politicized , once-respected  musician, Emerson Bockarie, had affected the APC’s acceptability, popularity and magnet- like capacity to draw in supporters must have been disappointed and shamed as the APC  proved once again that it is the party of the people. The crowd the party pulled last Saturday told a story that the APC  is still very popular .

















Almost any Sierra Leonean  that matters in the New Jersey society is now an APC supporter, especially the women . It was simply amazing and fascinating to see  the mammoth support that the party had garnered over the past year especially  and New Jersey went  red at the weekend , starting from Saturday morning when partisans dressed in specially-produced white T-shirts with the red APC  logo made a colorful community outreach , visiting members and key spots in the township in  a show of physical presence and morale-boosting visibility , led by the President of the Chapter, Mr. Alimamy Turay and officials.












The ceremony at Holiday Inn was attended by a galaxy of VIPS ; key Municipal township  officials  led by Mayor Philip Kramer ;   Sierra Leone government officials including those sent from Freetown to represent President Ernest Koroma ( Deputy Health Minister , Hon. Madina Rahman and  Member of Parliament from Constituency 34, Bombali District , Hon. Albert Deen Kamara ) , Minster Plenipotentiary to the U.N, Hon. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu; high-ranking officials , including the Chairman of the APC-USA Mr. Ibrahim Sanpha Kamara and top officials and chapter Presidents from different states in the U.S, heads of Sierra Leone organizations like the Chairman of the Sierra Leone Community of New Jersey ( SLCNJ ), Mr. Lamin Alharazim and the Chairman of the West African Community, Mr. Foday Mansaray; religious leaders,   including Imam Abdallah Savage and Pastor Philip Conteh etc. etc. The opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) was represented by former Chairman Jerry George and leading officials of the party in New Jersey.



The program started with the playing of the national anthems of Sierra Leone and the U.S,  followed by prayers by Imam  Abdullah Savage and Pastor Philip S. Conteh.

In their statements, Minister Plenipotentiary Kabs-Kanu appealed to all Sierra Leoneans to be united and to help to promote and rebrand their country under the leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma, who is doing so much to change the socio-economic and political face of the nation for the better, while Deputy Health Minister Madina Rahman dwelt on the development projects President Koroma has embarked on to better the lot of all Sierra Leoneans. MP Deen Kamara said that because of what President Koroma has done for Sierra Leone, the APC  will continue winning elections after elections .










The inaugural oath to members of the new APC-NJ Executive was administered by the Interim  Chairman of APC-USA, Mr. Ibrahim Sanpha Kamara , who was introduced by  the Interim Secretary General, Ms. Fynda Fillie-Faboe .

The officials sworn in and inducted into office were :

  • PRESIDENT :  Alimamy Turay
  • VICE-PRESIDENT : Ibrahim Coulson Mansaray
  • ASSISTANT SECRETARY GENERAL :  David Bomboli Mansaray
  • FINANCIAL SECRETARY : Sulaiman Kargbo
  • TREASURER : Francis Sieh Kanu
  • WOMEN’S LEADER : Namina Kossay
  • YOUTH LEADER : Mamadu Jalloh

Mr. Ibrahim Kamara charged the new APC NJ Executive to uphold and promote the ideals and programs of the APC  and to work in unison with the national branch and other chapters in interest of the party and the country .

In his inaugural address, the newly sworn-in President of the APC New Jersey Chapter , Mr. Alimamy Turay, outlined the massive recruitment exercise  his executive had embarked on since he was elected and said that he was gratified that the number of members has increased dramatically. He also lauded the cooperation he was receiving from the executive and the rank-and-file and he pledged to do a lot to promote the agenda of President Ernest Koroma and the party.

The APC New Jersey Chapter capped the colorful and exciting program by giving awards to the Rev. Kabs -Kanu for moral and financial  support to the party and past Presidents Alhaji Alie Badara, Mr. Pavi Jalloh, Mr. Alex Mansaray and other members Mr. Foday Mansaray and Mr. Santogie Koroma for their commitment.

After all the statements and protocols, it was time for celebration and did the crowd dance  ! It was a delightful night .

This program will be spoken about for years to come.


Independence Anniversary : President Koroma says we must continue to move forward

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016


PRESIDENT-KOROMA-CHIEFToday is our fifty-fifth anniversary as an independent nation, and I congratulate all Sierra Leoneans, within the country, and in our Diaspora on this great day.Our country has been tested severally in the course of our history as an independent state. We have been tested by undemocratic forces, tested by war, and in the last two years we have been tested by a very evil disease.

We prevailed in all these instances; we prevailed against anti-democratic forces in 1996 and implemented the provisions of the multi-party constitution of 1991 in order to restore democracy. We prevailed against the masters of war, and we have prevailed against the deadly Ebola virus.

All these battles left their scars, but we also came out of them with new resolutions that are now part of our national character. We are not a perfect country, but we have had the longest spell of democracy since we pushed out anti-democratic forces in 1996, and it is now part of our national expectations to hold regular multi-party elections, to have our laws passed by parliament, and our cases, however contentious, to be determined by the courts. We are not a perfect country, but we are giving priority to our programmes of social protection for the vulnerable, from war wounded, to Ebola survivors, to pregnant women, suckling mothers and children.

We may be less than perfect in implementing some of our programmes, as there are some officials who divert resources meant for our schools, and hospitals and other government programmes. But we have ensured that these are no longer swept under the carpet. We have empowered the Audit Service to call them out; we have empowered the Anti-Corruption Commission to prosecute the accused, we have empowered Parliament to hold public hearings all over the country. The results might not be as perfect as many want them to be, but what we have done is a far cry from what used to happen, when Audit reports were not seen by the public, when there were hardly any prosecutions of the corrupt.

We are not a perfect country but we have moved the farthest into rebuilding the infrastructure of this land, from roads to waterworks, and health centres and changing for the better the cities and townships of Bo, Makeni, Magburaka, Moyamba, Koidu, Lunsar Kailahun, Pujehun, Bonthe, Port Loko, Kabala and Kenema. Of course what we have done is still not enough, there is still a lot to do, but we have as Sierra Leoneans been lauded for how far we have come to sustain our democracy, rebuild our infrastructure, maintain peace, and contribute to world stability by sending peace keepers to other lands.

There are some amongst us who tend to only point out what we have not done, or what we should have done better. There are those amongst us  who are so engrossed with what is not perfect about us that they fail to acknowledge the many actions we have taken together to move this nation forward. That is the nature of democracy, people have the right to see or not to see achievements, people have the right to be blind to successes, people have the right to talk as if nothing good has been done, people have the right to oppose, opposition is an entrenched right in a democracy.

But let us be reminded that we are being lauded nationally and internationally for our resilience in rebounding from war and military rule, for conducting credible elections and censuses, for moving to rebuild our country, for being amongst the safest countries in the world, for being amongst the most religiously tolerant, for being amongst the most hospitable of people. These are no mean achievements in a world where bigotry is on the rise, where there is war and destruction in many lands, where insecurity rocks even advanced nations, where xenophobia and abuse of human rights are on the increase in many regions of the world.

But we should not pat ourselves on the back and become complacent. We must continue to move forward. This is a youthful country of Seven Million people, full of energy; that is why I have appointed so many youths to very responsible positions. This is a country that would move faster forward when we get more women into leadership positions; that is why we have placed more women in leadership positions than at any time in our country’s history. Our determination to move this country forward is still very strong, and we will not be distracted.

We should not be distracted from rolling out our Post Ebola Recovery Programme. We have just completed the roll out of the first phase and already, there are signs that we are getting back on track. We have put our farmers back on the fields, the nets of our fishermen are back in the sea, our children are back in school, business activities are regaining momentum, and the sick are regaining confidence in our health system and are going back to the health facilities. Many more of our compatriots are benefiting from our social safety programmes, many more survivors, widows and orphans are being targeted for support to help them rebuild their lives. The challenges are many but we have held on and our economy is slowly recovering with a projection of 4.3 percent growth this year. Together, we are retracing our giant strides towards prosperity.

As we soldier on, we must take ownership of our 10-24 month recovery programme with the same zeal and enthusiasm that we demonstrated in the fight against Ebola. The lessons we have learnt from our success in that fight are evident – when we come together as a united country with a common purpose there is no problem we cannot overcome. We must remain focused, stay together and work together to be able to achieve the new targets we have set ourselves. Our priorities include Education, Health, Social Protection, and Private Sector; and now we have added Energy, Water and Governance.  These would be the foundation upon which we would build a more robust nation.

I salute the 35,000 Sierra Leonean Ebola Response Workers and thousands of international personnel who were engaged in the fight against Ebola. Their courage, bravery and dedication was beyond compare and their tireless efforts helped us immensely to prevail over the evil virus. I also commend the international community whose acts of solidarity, generosity and thoughtfulness inspired us to sustain the fight until the end of the outbreak. We remember with sadness those who lost their lives through contact with the virus; in particular the Doctors, Nurses and Health Workers who made the supreme sacrifice.

I salute the resilience of our people.  We still have a lot to do, but we shall not waver in our commitment to doing more. And together, we shall achieve the goals of our aspirations.

I wish you all a happy independence anniversary and may God bless the Republic of Sierra Leone.

President Koroma’s statement at UN Climate Change Summit , delivered by Foreign Minister Samura Kamara

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

STATEMENT by H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma  , President of the Republic of Sierra Leone

 delivered by

 Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara

Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

 High level Signature Ceremony for the Paris Agreement

 United Nations, New York, Friday 22nd April 2016

 samura UN

Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary-General,

Heads of State and Government,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,


I bring you warm greetings from His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone who, with deep regret, could not attend this historic moment.  I am therefore honoured to deliver his message as his special envoy and I quote:


“Your Excellencies, in December last year, we met in Paris to agree on a plan to drive down global emissions, and to avoid the disruptive impacts of climate change. We committed ourselves to drastically cut down global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. We also agreed to meet every five years to review our progress in respect of our various pledges and to strengthen our commitments to the achievement of our common goal. The Paris Agreement demonstrates an increasing momentum that we must build on our achievement of our common goal and also an increasing momentum that we must build on our collective effort to address the threats of climate change.


We must maintain this momentum in the face of the continuous reality that no country is secure from the impact of climate change. Our world will only achieve its goal on climate change if we remain united in this fight. Our world will win this battle only when we act upon what we have agreed on in Paris.


Some countries may be able to stave off some of the effects, but our globalized world has also increased the routes through which these effects move from country to country, from one region to another, and with very disproportionate consequences.  It is therefore not in any one country’s interest to regard the effects of climate change as a problem for a particular country or region alone.


Sierra Leone is ranked as one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change.  And it is all too obvious that we are increasingly experiencing adverse impacts of climate change in almost all sectors.  This poses a huge challenge to our development. Changes in weather patterns in the Pacific Ocean and in the North Atlantic continue to unleash devastating floods all too often. Last year, Sierra Leone was hit by unprecedented floods in our capital city, Freetown as well as in other major cities in the Southern and Eastern regions. Thousands of people were displaced including women and children.  Also many household farms and businesses were destroyed; and several people lost their lives. This dim reality poses a huge threat to our development.


We are also aware that climate change affects countries that are hard pressed in terms of technology and resources to be able to adequately address adaptation and mitigation mechanisms. The capacity of our populations to adapt to climate change is also inadequate. This is why we should continue to encourage developed countries to provide the required financial and technological resources to assist developing countries combat this looming global disaster.


We are therefore calling for action not only to lower emissions of greenhouse gases, but also to strengthen the capacities of developing countries in order to deal with the impacts of climate change and to save our planet.


While we request your support and collaboration, let me use this moment to re-echo Sierra Leone’s commitment to fully abide by the Paris Agreement. My Government’s current five-year development plan incorporates inclusive green growth as an integral part of our development agenda.


To further underscore my government’s commitment to the course of a better and safer environment, I established the Environmental Protection Agency under my direct supervision. My Government, in collaboration with our development partners is also implementing projects on adaptation, including climate information and early warning systems. We remain committed to these efforts, and we seek further collaboration in confronting this global threat.


Mr. President, distinguished Heads of State and Government, fellow delegates, it is our moral duty to work together to sort out the problem of climate change because it will be very unfair to pass on this danger to the next generations without concrete efforts to resolve it.



Let me conclude, ladies and gentlemen, with the commitment that my Government will ensure the timely ratification and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement”.


I thank you all for your attention.














As he launches the Wellington- Masiaki project, I will not be distracted – President Koroma

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016
By State House Communication Unitimages/pics/wellington-masiaka road project.jpgFREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 26 April, 2016// —President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma Monday 25 April launched the Widening and Tolling of the Wellington – Masiaka road project.

The project will address the traffic congestion, significantly minimise road accidents and facilitate trade and commerce.

Launching the project, President Koroma pointed out that he inherited a country where roads were being constructed only by donors until when he decided that government should start implementing its own infrastructural projects.

The President described good road network as a means of reducing garage bills adding that it is because “we are the people’s government that is why we are going to continue to improve the living standards of the people.”

“Nothing will distract me and we would continue to remain focused; I will continue to do more roads and other development projects until I hand over the baton to my successor,” he said.

President Koroma emphasised that his transformation agenda is not limited to roads but it’s inclusive of energy, water, health, education and other sectors and the evidence is for all to see.

The President stated that the Wellington-Masiaka highway project is an experiment for government and that the contractor – China Railway Seventh Group – will run the toll system for the first ten years after which they would redo the second layer for the next fifteen years before handing over the road to government.

President Koroma observed that there are too many accidents along the roads and that being a caring government it was imperative that something be done about the situation.

He also announced that government has done so many projects to win the approaching 2018 elections and beyond. But stressed that ”we are not doing the roads out of political interest only but more importantly, to satisfy the needs of our people”. In the end, ”we are assured that they would vote us in the succeeding elections”, he said.

President Koroma announced that this event is only the first in a string of infrastructural development projects he would launch in the next few weeks. ”In the next two weeks, I will be launching the widening of the Magbalay bridge, which will be followed by that of the Magbang bridge”.

And then, to the thunderous applause of the audience, he further stated, ”Funds have been secured for the completion of the Lumley-Tokeh and the Hillside Bye-pass roads’’.

Alhaji Hon. Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay, Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure, explained that (prior his appointment) his ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CRSG, granting the latter the right to investigate, implement and operate the project for the Widening to Four-Lane and Tolling of the Wellington – Masiaka Highway on a Finance, Design, Build, Operate, Maintain and Transfer arrangement.

Following that development, a committee of MDAs, with SLRA playing a leadership role, was requested to critically examine the Technical, Legal and Financial proposals submitted by CRSG, with a view to making professional recommendations to government, prior to the signing of the Concession Agreement.

The Chairman of the ceremony Alhaji Kemoh Sesay appealed to key stakeholders, including parliamentarians, councilors, traditional leaders, civil society, trade unions and the media to help in carrying out effective sensitization on the benefits of the project especially the toll system which is a new phenomenon in Sierra Leone.

Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Zao Yanbo said, “if you want to get rich, you have to build roads first,” because we believe that infrastructure is one of the key elements for a country’s progress. As a matter of fact, the vulnerable infrastructural facility constitutes the main bottleneck impeding the socio-economic development of Sierra Leone, the Ambassador asserted.

On behalf of the contractor, the representative of CRSG said the project is a way of strengthening the close friendship between Sierra Leone and the People’s Republic of China. “The frequent mutual visits between governments of the two nations in recent years and the deepening of civilian cooperation have already consolidated the friendship and accelerated mutual development of the two countries,” Luo Yu Gui of CRSG said.

Hon. Claude Kamanda, of Constituency 95 said that good roads save lives as well as promote socio-economic activities. He explained that a toll system means you have to pay a small fee to access it and that will help government to maintain the road network.

Patrick Saidu Conteh, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development spoke on the huge volume of traffic the Wellington-Masiaka Highway has attracted being the only inland accessible road. Mr. Patrick Conteh went on to state that the Wellington-Masiaka road was done over 22 years ago and there has been no major overlay since.

Mr. Conteh also noted that with the rapid development and growth potentials of the country, it is evident that the existing two-lane is no longer adequate to meet the increasing traffic demand and the loss of productive time to congestion and sometimes the loss of lives through accidents is hampering development and economic growth.

He further noted that the project cost stands at about US $150 million, saying that the contractor will, raise debt financing from their Bankers in China at a very competitive interest rate payable over 25 years, inclusive of a four year grace period. “The related amount plus interest will be recouped through the “Toll” Revenue of the road,” said Mr. Conteh.

UN says Paris Agreement on climate change must aim for long-term environmental stability

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Source: United Nations

21 April 2016 – As global leaders prepare to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change tomorrow at United Nations Headquarters in New York, the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction today called on signatories to go beyond their existing commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if the world is to avoid catastrophic future weather events.

“I welcome the fact that over 160 countries have declared they are signing up to the Paris Agreement but we are in real danger of being overtaken by the rapid pace of global warming if signatories do not significantly scale up the level of their ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Robert Glasser, the UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction.

“It is clear that weather and climate are implicated in 90 per cent of major disaster events attributed to natural hazards. Droughts, floods, storms and heatwaves have the potential to undermine many developing states’ efforts to eradicate poverty. Climate change is adding to pre-existing levels of risk fuelled by exposure and socio-economic vulnerability,” he added.

Indeed, in order to keep the global spotlight focused on climate change and build on the strong momentum generated by the Paris Agreement, global leaders will participate tomorrow in a signature ceremony hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.



The Paris Agreement was adopted by all 196 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on 12 December 2015. In the Agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Thus far, the latest assessment indicates that more than 165 countries will sign the landmark accord, setting a record for the most countries to sign an international agreement on one day. The previous record was set in 1982, when 119 countries signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The event coincides with International Mother Earth Day and in his message on the Day, Mr. Ban said the Paris accord, in conjunction with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, holds the power to transform our world.

All of the world’s largest economies, and the largest greenhouse gas emitters, have indicated that they will sign the agreement on Friday. The signing is the first step towards ensuring that the agreement enters into force as soon as possible. After signing, countries must take the further national (or domestic) step of accepting or ratifying the agreement.

“The momentum achieved by so many signatures on one day sends a clear signal of solidarity and resolve. Now we must unleash the full force of human ingenuity and ensure low-emission growth and improved climate resilience, the UN chief noted in his Earth Day message.

“Leadership from the top is crucial. But each of us has a role to play. We can make energy-efficient choices, stop wasting food, reduce our carbon footprints and increase our sustainable investments,” said the Secretary-General, stressing that small actions, multiplied by billions, will bring about dramatic change, bolstering the Paris Agreement “and setting us on a trajectory to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”



The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for at least 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the Secretary-General.

There are 13 countries, mostly small island developing States, which are expected to deposit their instruments of ratification immediately after signing the agreement on Friday.

Events tomorrow will begin with an opening ceremony starting at 8:30 a.m., which will include music from students of New York’s Julliard School and a short video bringing the “gavel moment” from Paris to the signature ceremony.

This will be followed by the signature ceremony, which is a legal formality where only Heads of State or Government, foreign ministers, or other representatives with “formal powers” from their Governments may sign the agreement.

After signing the agreement, leaders will deliver their national statements, having been asked by the Secretary-General to, among other things, provide an update on how their Governments will implement their national climate plans and integrate them into their overall sustainable development plans; and indicate their Governments’ timetable for ratifying the Agreement.

In the afternoon, there will be a High-Level Event on Implementation, which will focus on highlighting how all actors of society and economy can accelerate action, learn from one another, and replicate and scale successful initiatives and activities that will deliver the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The session will be moderated by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, and French Environment Minister and COP 21 President Ségolène Royal. The session will feature a link-up with the Solar Impulse aircraft that is attempting to be the first airplane to circumnavigate the world using only renewable energy.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, David Nabarro, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, told reporters that the signing of the Paris Agreement is crucial because achieving progress in relation to climate change is central to the broader effort of achieving the SDGs.

“Most people who looked at the global situation say that if we don’t succeed in maintaining the world under a 2 degrees Celsius rise, then it’s going to be incredibly difficult to realize the Sustainable Development Goals,” he warned. “And so implementing the Paris agreement is important for promoting prosperity, improving people’s wellbeing, and protecting the environment.”


Dr. Samura Kamara here : Attends debate on SDGs and AU’s 2063 Agenda today

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura Kamara is in New York to represent the country in a series of international engagements and the Climate Change Conference at the United Nations.

samura kamara 4

The minister, who arrived on Monday, is slated to take part today in a High-level Forum on “The Africa We Want in 2030, 2063 and Beyond: Early Action and Results on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in the context of the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of Africa’s Transformative Agenda 2063: Opportunities and Challenges” (co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Sweden, the African Union and the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA)) .

The minister will also take part in a round table and panel discussion  on the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs ) on the topic : “Financing for sustainable development: follow-up to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development .”

Dr. Samura Kamara will also represent Sierra Leone at the all-important Climate Change Conference on Friday.

The purpose of the conference will be the deposition and signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change .

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change will be deposited at the UN in New York and opened for signature for one year on Friday April 22, 2016 through 21 April, 2017.

It must be recalled that in December 2015, during the Paris Conference , dubbed COP 21, a first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal was adopted by 195 countries . The aim of the agreement, which will enter into force in 2020, was to set out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

President Koroma praised for standardizing health services to sub-regional specifications

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016


Freetown, April 19, 016 (MOHS) – The President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma , through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has over the weekend donated a three Compartment Mortuary Cold Rooms each to the Kenema, Bo, Kambia and Makeni Government Hospitals Mortuary.

Handing over the mortuary cold rooms on behalf of the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to the Kenema and Bo Government hospital mortuaries, the Government Pathologist and Chief Consultant Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma described the event as a Post Ebola Recovery programme in building a resilient health system.


Government Pathologist and Chief Consultant Forensic Pathologist,
Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma

He said needs assessment tour was conducted few months back on all district mortuaries and laboratories across the country and noticed that majority of the mortuaries were without cold rooms and the laboratories unequipped.
Dr. Owizz Koroma told his audience that the President in his wisdom thought it wise that all mortuaries and laboratories should be standardized to meet those in the West African sub region, as they have learnt from the past Ebola epidemic and to prepare for any future outbreak.
He said with these cold rooms, the district mortuaries would help deliver the expected outcome in preserving corpses for dignified burials.
Speaking on behalf of the Kenema District Health Management Team, the Medical Superintendent, Kenema Government hospital, Dr. Prince Masuba commended the President and the Ministry of Health for their effort in improving their mortuary service.


Dr. Owizz Koroma handing over the Cold Room to Dr. Prince Masuba

He described the donation as a good initiative by President Koroma in building a resilient health system, adding that learning from experience during the Ebola outbreak, they knew the challenges faced in handling corpses.
Dr. Masuba assured Dr. Owizz Koroma and team that they would take care and utilize the cold room for its intended purpose.

Dr. Prince Masuba
The Laboratory and Mortuary Specialist, Kenema Government hospital, Mr. James Massally described the donation as a milestone in the development of the mortuary.
He recalled during the Ebola epidemic when it was difficult especially when they had to separate corpses from those new arrivals, noting that with the cold room, the storage facility would be improve in strengthening the mortuary service.
The Medical Superintendent, Bo Government hospital, Dr. Gerald Younge expressed sincere gratitude from the Hospital Management to the President, the Government and the leadership of the Health Ministry for the gesture.

Dr. Gerald Younge receiving the Cold Room from Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma
He told the visiting team that the Post Ebola Recovery Plan demands a lot from them because some of the key indicators include patients and health workers safety, essential service and community participation.

Dr. Gerald Younge
Dr. Younge commended the President and the Ministry for the good initiative, adding that the cold room would be used judiciously.

Dr. Owizz Koroma (L), Dr. Osman Kakay (R) and team in one of the Cold Rooms
In a similar vein, the Medical Superintendents, Kambia Government Hospital, Dr. Osman Kakay,
and the Makeni Government hospital, Dr. Mamod Idriss Kamara on behalf of the District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) thanked President Koroma for the gesture, describing it as an invaluable treasure for the country.

Information Minister poised to give SLBC and SLENA a facelift

Monday, April 18th, 2016


By: Editayo George Temple, Proprietor, Universal Times Newspaper +23279316750

Newly appointed, approved and sworn Minister of Information and Communications, Hon. Mohamed Bangura has in his first official engagement abroad, lobbied the Government and People of Lebanon in relation to the revamping of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation (SLBC ) and the Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA) respectively, during an authorized visit to Beirut on behalf of his Ministry under review.

facelift 1


Hon. Bangura disclosed such planned agreement with this medium (The Universal Times Press) via an exclusive telephone interview from his Hotel suite in Beirut during his official visit to Lebanon alongside the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Ambassador, Victor Bockarie Foh who also doubles as head of the delegation.

In light of the aforementioned, the Lebanon Information Minister, Ramzi Joreige also expressed his admiration for the development strides achieved so far by the APC Led Government under the outstanding and result oriented leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, thus presented a gift to Hon. Bangura in a bid to register the Government and People of Lebanon’s commitment to the empowerment of the SLBC, SLENA and by extension the Ministry of Information and Communications in Sierra Leone accordingly.

facelift 2


In response, Hon. Mohamed Bangura thanked his counterpart for the gift and promises, thus promised to promote the bilateral ties between both countries and share best practice in the interest of the general good.

Credit: The Universal Times Newspaper

Exclusive Report : UN Signing ceremony of Paris Agreement on Climate Change April 22, 2016

Saturday, April 16th, 2016


The Paris Agreement on Climate Change will be deposited at the UN  in New York and opened for signature for one year on Thursday April 22, 2016  through 21 April, 2017.
The agreement will enter into force after 55 countries that account for at least 55% of global emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification.

It must be recalled that in December 2015, during the Paris Conference , dubbed COP 21, a first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal was adopted by 195 countries . The aim of the agreement, which will enter into force in 2020,  was to set out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has  invited leaders from all countries to attend the  high-level signing ceremony , which will  “accelerate climate action and to drive the political momentum towards ratification and early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.” according to the UN.

The UN also states that “The Paris Agreement, like most international agreements concluded under the auspices of the United Nations, designates the Secretary-General to serve as the depositary.  This means that the Secretary-General is the sole custodian of the original of the AgreementWhat exactly is going to happen at the Climate Signing Ceremony on 22 April? – United Nations Sustainable Development and performs a number of key functions relating to participation in the Agreement, such as receiving any signatures to the Agreement or any instruments or communications relating to it and informing the parties of the entry into force of the Agreement “.

Heads of state, representatives of government, foreign ministers and members of civil society will on Monday  start arriving in New York for the week-long Climate Change Conference at the UN .

It must be recalled that during the Paris Session : 

Governments agreed

  • a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels;
  • to aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C, since this would significantly reduce risks and the impacts of climate change;
  • on the need for global emissions to peak as soon as possible, recognising that this will take longer for developing countries;
  • to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with the best available science.


Sierra Leone will be represented at next week’s UN Conference by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura Kamara .




Ambassador Stevens engages Sierra Leone Consuls in economic diplomacy

Friday, April 15th, 2016

By Umaru S. Jah – Information Attaché, Germany

In an effort to support the successful implementation of the post Ebola recovery plan, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Jongopie S. Stevens has embarked on a strategic diplomatic engagement with his Consuls across Germany and other countries of accreditation to promote the socio-economic development of the country.

With its main pillars focusing on immediate recovery and building national systems for resilience and sustainable development, Ambassador Stevens said the recovery plan can achieve its overall objectives if concerted efforts are made to mobilize, lobby and encourage both development partners and humanitarian agencies, to increase their level of support towards the country’s development agenda.



He believes that Sierra Leone’s Missions in collaboration with its consulates should take the lead in identifying meaningful development partners abroad. This is why he has taken it upon himself to effectively engage his Honorary Consuls/Consuls General in what he described as ‘Economic Diplomacy.’



Ambassador’s first visit in this regard was to the Sierra Leone Honorary Consul General in Milan – Italy, Mr. Allesandro Rosso. Fruitful discussions aimed at, among other things, lobbying for development assistance projects and mapping out strategies in relation to promoting investment programmes in the country were held.
He singled out the health sector as a key among the areas that needed urgent intervention, and further encouraged Dr. Rosso in Milan to engage potential health partners for assistance in that direction.

Ambassador Stevens said his visit to other Consuls in his areas of accreditation is imminent, focusing on other sectors mainly agriculture, energy and infrastructural development projects.



Responding, Mr. Rosso welcomed the Ambassador’s initiatives and promised to work tirelessly in promoting the country’s interest. He disclosed plans to organise a meeting with senior health officials and humanitarian agencies in Milan, inviting Sierra Leone’s Health Minister, Dr. Abu Bakar Fofanah, to discuss specific areas of interest in the health sector.

In another development, the Ambassador witnessed the International Wine Festival in Verona, Italy, with over four thousand exhibitors across the country. Inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Italy, H.E Sergio Mattarella, the event provided a unique opportunity to build a network of contacts for business partnership.

During the event, Ambassador Stevens engaged Italian entrepreneurs and manufactures who are keen to explore the business potentials in Sierra Leone.

It could be recalled that Sierra Leone had made considerable progress towards a number of the Millennium Development Goals, including the health sector, prior to the Ebola outbreak. But the emergence of the outbreak has turned the clock back, causing substantial human sufferings, deaths and economic degradation.

Despite the fact that the disease has been eradicated and business activities have returned to normalcy, Sierra Leone is still faced with enormous challenges in its socio economic recovery process.

With the continued and sustained commitment of the government of Sierra Leone and its development partners, indications are rife that the recovery process will yield fruitful dividend.