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No time to lose: New UNICEF data show need for urgent action On female genital mutilation/cuttingand child marriage
Written by Expotimes   
Monday, 21 July 2014 19:56

FREETOWN/LONDON/NEW YORK, 22 July 2014 –The UK Government and UNICEF are hosting today a first-ever Girl Summit to rally support for much faster progress to end female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and child marriage – two practices that affect millions of girls across the globe.

UNICEF data released today show that while prevalence has decreased slightly over the past three decades, rates of progress need to be scaled up dramatically, simply to offset population growth in the countries where the practices are most common.

“FGM/Cand child marriage profoundly and permanently harm girls, denying them their right to make their own decisions and to reach their full potential. They are detriments tothe girls themselves, their families, and their societies,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.“Girls are not property; they have the right to determine their destiny. When they do so, everyone benefits.”

 
REJOINDER: COMMENDING JULIUS MAADA BIO
Written by Yusuf Keketoma Sandi   
Monday, 21 July 2014 19:34

In an editorial piece of Awareness Times of 16th July 2014, the newspaper praised the alacrity of Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio in the manner he reacted to the ebola outbreak. The editorial piece particularly commended Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio for his solidarity message in which the former Head of State called on Sierra Leoneans to join the government’s campaign against the deadly Ebola virus. But it was not only about the solidarity message; the Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio also used the 2nd June 2014 Press Release to express his sadness for the loss of lives of his country men and women whilst at the same time called on development partners to come swiftly to the aid of our country in dealing with the fatal outbreak.

Therefore, if the Awareness Times newspaper needed any more assurance that a Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio Presidency for our country will be one of national cohesion, showing concern for fellow compatriots and above all a presidency which will be proactive in addressing a national tragedy then the content of that Press Release and the swiftness of his response to the ebola outbreak is one amongst many of the evidences abound. As such in my view it will be utterly retrogressive for our country that if the delegates of the SLPP elect Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio as their Presidential Candidate and there is another attempt to ROB SLPP off election victory and deprive the majority of suffering Sierra Leoneans their legitimate choice of Presidency through a free and fair democratic elections in 2017/18.

 
Emmerson, LAJ, Soundboy-richie, and others receive death threats for exposing corruption and tribalism
Written by Bai-Bai Sesay (+232 76 617326/+232 77 400438/+232 33 956984)   
Monday, 21 July 2014 18:53

Phonecalls and text messages follow attacks of Sierra Leone’s leading music producer, Joseph Richard Abdulai aka Soundboy Riche for producing ‘Kokobeh’ song by Emmerson Bockarie and ‘This Corruption’ by Amadu B Bah, aka LAJ.

Sound-Boy Richie is blind. He is an outstanding music producer and has produced songs for major artists in Sierra Leone including Steady Bongo, Jimmy B, Emmerson Bockarie, Kao Denero, LAJ, Star Zero and others. He has also produced songs for international artists across the world.  

There has been increased reports of political intimidation. Soundboy Riche has been telephoned with death threats for producing the United Serra Leone album featuring leading musicians in Sierra Leone opposing mineral exploitation, corruption and tribalism.  It follows the consistent attacks and assaults over the last few weeks.

 
Free healthcare and the Ebola crisis
Written by Bai-Bai Sesay (+232 76 617326/+232 77 400438/+232 33 956984)   
Monday, 21 July 2014 18:47

PRESIDENT ERNEST Bai Koroma’s free health care initiative in a donor driven country like Sierra Leone is no doubt gaining tremendously successes since its inception few years ago.

BUT TODAY another deadly disease called Ebola is currently in the rampage killing our people mostly in the Kailahun and Kenema districts, eastern Sierra Leone.

WE HEARD of the disease from neighboring Guinea and Liberia respectively. And a recent broadcasting message to the nation, President Koroma warned that, Ebola is real and Ebola kills.

ACCORDING TO officials in the health ministry, some several people of reported Ebola cases have been confirmed dead and nearly all of these cases are being reported in Kailahun and Kenema districts respectively.

MEDICAL EXPERTS say the major route of transmission of the Ebola virus is contact with persons infected with the virus. They went furthered to advise that the main way to stop the spread of the disease is preventing contact with persons with the virus, and everybody who has had this unprotected contact could be carrying the virus and at risk of infecting others.

 
Moyamba district council to account for Le191 million
Written by Sulaiman Bah   
Saturday, 19 July 2014 15:58

Moyamba, July 16 (SLENA) - In a hearing carried out by the Parliamentary Committee on Transparency and Accountability which took place at the Moyamba District Council on compliance based on the Local Government Act of 2004 by probing the operation of councils in the country, the committee discovered that one hundred and ninety-one leones (Le191 million) was spent on the rehabilitations of 15 water wells in the district which the committee said was not commensurate to the maintenance cost of the said water wells.

The committee found out that the engineering department was unable to defend the amount for the first, second and third quarter of 2013 for the rehabilitation of the fifteen standard water wells for the Moyamba township and some villages in the district.

 
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Editorial

Digital Learning worlds and Boundless Communication

The Internet has long since become an essential part of everyday life for students, researchers and academics, who after all were among the first to take advantage of the opportunities the technology offers for boundless communication.  These days it is almost impossible to imagine life without the Internet, and hardly any area of society remains unaffected by the global network; teaching (virtual teaching) and research are also changing thanks to the opportunities of virtual communication.  In the main feature of this article, I will be taking a look at the new digital learning worlds: a great deal is happening in all higher education, and people are engaged in a lively discussion about the consequences of educational offerings that are available anytime and anywhere, and about the new opportunities offered by the Internet when it comes to academic exchange and the democratization of knowledge.

Read more...

Business News

Finance ministry holds seminar for local councils

Bo, July 15 (SLENA) - The Public Financial Management Reform Unit (PFMRU) in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) has started a two day seminar on the quality and timeliness of in- year report for devolved sector heads and finance officers of Local Councils at the J&E Resort in Bo.

According to Report in 2012, PFMRU in collaboration with key stakeholders including Audit Service Sierra Leone introduced the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS), a cash basis reporting to all councils for the production of financial statement.

Read more...

Media News

Envoy Foh Highlights Media’s Role in Sierra Leone’s Democratic Dispensation

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China has said that without Constructive, Free and Independent Press in a democracy , it would be difficult for the three arms of Government (Executive, Legislature and Judiciary) to effectively and appropriately perform their constitutional mandates. The media must be given ample space to operate freely and independently, though constructively  professional.

Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh made these remarks on Wednesday,25th June whilst welcoming a group of broadcasters: Alpha Amadu Bah, Fatu Kamara, Ibrahim Mansaray, Hawa Tucker and Zainab Kamara all from the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation (SLBC) who  had gone to brief him on the  outcome of a forty-five day long training they participated in, on Digital Media Technology.

According to Ambassador Foh, the Government of His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma has tremendous respect for Journalists and their profession.

Read more...

Commentary

The Fight against Corruption Should be the Business of all Sierra Leoneans

The fight against corruption the world over has never been an easy task; it has always been a challenging one especially in Africa where many governments continue to frown on the concept of transparency and accountability which enable the citizenries to hold their authorities accountable for their actions.

And when governments deliberately refuse to open up their day-to-day activities to their citizenries, there is the likelihood that such governments would involve in corrupt practices and their citizenries could not hold them accountable since their authorities are running closed governments.

Read more...

View Point

REJOINDER: COMMENDING JULIUS MAADA BIO

In an editorial piece of Awareness Times of 16th July 2014, the newspaper praised the alacrity of Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio in the manner he reacted to the ebola outbreak. The editorial piece particularly commended Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio for his solidarity message in which the former Head of State called on Sierra Leoneans to join the government’s campaign against the deadly Ebola virus. But it was not only about the solidarity message; the Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio also used the 2nd June 2014 Press Release to express his sadness for the loss of lives of his country men and women whilst at the same time called on development partners to come swiftly to the aid of our country in dealing with the fatal outbreak.

Therefore, if the Awareness Times newspaper needed any more assurance that a Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio Presidency for our country will be one of national cohesion, showing concern for fellow compatriots and above all a presidency which will be proactive in addressing a national tragedy then the content of that Press Release and the swiftness of his response to the ebola outbreak is one amongst many of the evidences abound. As such in my view it will be utterly retrogressive for our country that if the delegates of the SLPP elect Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio as their Presidential Candidate and there is another attempt to ROB SLPP off election victory and deprive the majority of suffering Sierra Leoneans their legitimate choice of Presidency through a free and fair democratic elections in 2017/18.

Read more...

News - Press Release

FISHERIES OFFICER BAGS ANOTHER INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Following Sea Web’s announcement of Victor Hamusa Kargbo, Fisheries Officer and Head of the Joint Maritime Committee, as one of nine winners of the 2012 Seafood Champions Awards at the 10th International Seafood Summit in Hong Kong, the International Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance Network based in the USA has also recognized him for successfully going through its 2014 Stop Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing IUU Award Contest.

 SeaWeb is the only international, nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to strategically communicating about ocean issues. They transform knowledge into action by shining a spotlight on workable, science-based solutions to the most serious threats facing the ocean, such as climate change, pollution and depletion of marine life.

Read more...

Society -Local News

Sierra Leone OGI/OGP Attends OK festival in Germany

As a constant promoter of openess and good governance in Sierra Leone,the Open Government Initiative is leading a team of officials from the private sector,civil society and media to attend the OK festival in Berlin Germany.

The OK festival is a global,inclusive and participatory open data and open knowledge event organized by Open Community world wide.Over 1.000 people from over 60 countries including Sierra Leone will share experiences on open data processes and encourage participants to network  in promoting the power of openess,transparency and accountability as a positive force for change.

Read more...

Development

Moyamba district council to account for Le191 million

Moyamba, July 16 (SLENA) - In a hearing carried out by the Parliamentary Committee on Transparency and Accountability which took place at the Moyamba District Council on compliance based on the Local Government Act of 2004 by probing the operation of councils in the country, the committee discovered that one hundred and ninety-one leones (Le191 million) was spent on the rehabilitations of 15 water wells in the district which the committee said was not commensurate to the maintenance cost of the said water wells.

The committee found out that the engineering department was unable to defend the amount for the first, second and third quarter of 2013 for the rehabilitation of the fifteen standard water wells for the Moyamba township and some villages in the district.

Read more...

Politics

NEW ENERGY MINISTER APPROVED

Parliament on Thursday 17th July 2014 overwhelmingly   approved the new Minister of Energy – Ambassador Henry Olufemi Macauley, his Deputy 2 – Alhaji Hassan Barrie and others to make tremendous and meaningful contributions to Sierra Leone.

Mr. Macauley was recently a High Commissioner to Nigeria with accreditations to the Republics of Angola, Benin, Cameroun, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and ECOWAS. He has a significant experience in corporate business development and International trade in the West African sub-region.

“I count myself lucky to have been given another opportunity after the ambassadorial position by President Koroma to serve my country in a different capacity” were the careful words of the new Minister.

Read more...
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