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Welcome to the Expotimes News
AWEEF to be launched today
Written by Bai-Bai Sesay in Nairobi, Kenya   
Sunday, 03 December 2017 08:28

More than hundred (100) participants that include Women Entrepreneurs, African energy specialized institutions, government institutions, financiers, scientists and academicians, private sectors, business personalities  and CEOs, civil societies etc. are expected today to attend the launching of the Africa Women Energy Entrepreneurs Framework (AWEEF) on the theme: “Innovative Solutions to empower women entrepreneurs” in the energy sector.

The launching ceremony will take place during the closing plenary session of the science policy business forum at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

According to Simone Oluoch-Olunya, UN Women Deputy Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, the launching of AWEEF is aimed at establishing a vehicle and/or platform to implement and operate the solution action plans indicated in the “Libreville outcome statement” and the “Africa Environment Ministerial Declaration” titled “Innovative Environmental Solution to implement the SDGs and AU Agenda 2063”.

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A PASSIONATE LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT – EXTRAORDINARY EDITION: INTERNATIONAL ELECTION OBSERVATION IN AFRICA – A FIASCO OR A COMMENDABLE SERVICE?
Written by Rev. Dr. Abraham J. Williams (Clergyman/Human Rights Advocate) Email: abrahamwilliams2001@yahoo.co.uk, abrahamwilliams2014@gmail.com   
Saturday, 02 December 2017 22:21

Your Excellency Sir,

I write this piece not to cast aspersion on our international election observers or observer missions, but to critically examine how helpful, impactful or counterproductive their role generally, have been, in enhancing or rendering bogus, our electioneering processes and democracies. This is also acknowledging that a lot of money is always expended during these observer missions.

 

Since many African elections seem to be characterized by massive rigging, fraud and systemic irregularities, either by the ruling parties and/or presidents, so as to perpetuate their power at will, or maintain undue influence and control over successive governments, international election observation, though not an end, is vital in objectively defining and classifying the level of democracy in each African government and country.

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5 Lessons Learned From Applying a Legal Empowerment Approach to Community Land Protection in Sierra Leone
Written by Hassan A. Sesay Legal Empowerment Advocate Namati: Innovations in Legal Empowerment First published via Land Portal   
Saturday, 02 December 2017 22:11

The Namati team in Sierra Leone is engaged in an ongoing effort to discover sustainable measures for community ownership, management, and administration of land and natural resources throughout the country. To this end, we have taken on a new project: the application of a legal empowerment approach to community land protection.

Land administration in Sierra Leone has often been characterized by scholars and pundits as “chaotic and unsustainable”. This is because many of our land laws are archaic and allow for a vast disconnection between what those laws say and how they are used or implemented.  The country is in the midst of a land reformation process which will update our laws and ensure better harmonization between our formal and customary land tenure systems. As it stands now, a new land policy

 has been approved by the government which entails progressive provisions for the promotion of investments, as well as the protection of the respective land-owning families and others throughout the country. Efforts are currently underway by government and civil society organisations, including Namati and international partners, to ensure the progressive provisions of this policy are passed into law.

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AMBASSADOR OMRIE GOLLEY WEIGHS IN WITH KOREAN SUPPORT FOR HOUSING IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE FLOODING DISASTER
Written by Abdul Malik Bangura   
Friday, 01 December 2017 06:54

Eversince Sierra Leone’s President, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma called for support to salvage the condition of August 14th 2017, flooding and mudslide victims in the country, Sierra Leone hardworking Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Omrie Michael Golley has tirelessly engaged the People of Korea Republic, so as to see how the south-south east Asia country would help in resuscitating the plight of vulnerable Sierra Leonean citizens who are affected by the twin shocks.               

Against this backdrop, His Excellency OmrieMichealGolley has finally jet into with three Korean experts in infrastructural low-cost housing.

The experts, who are from the South Korean JUAN Construction Company, arrived the shores of Sierra Leone on Tuesday 28th November 2017, and the teamcomprises Mr. HoseonSeong, Chairman of the construction company; and another two namely Huian Kim and Kichang Kim.

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Sierra Leone’s Unelectrified to benefit from US$200 Million World Bank Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project
Written by press release   
Friday, 01 December 2017 06:47

FREETOWN, November29, 2017 —Sierra Leone is amongnineteencountries in West Africa that will benefit from a regional off-grid electrification project that will provide beneficiary countries withneededsupporttofosterasustainableandscalableoff-gridsolar energy markettomeettheelectrificationneedsof its unservedpopulations under the Lighting Africa Program,supported by the World Bank Group.

The US$200 million Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) is expected to help address the key barriers to attract private sector participation in promoting off-grid solar electrification in the fifteen ECOWAS member nations plus four other countries – Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad and Mauritania.

The project, which will be implemented by the ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), will support two major work streams. The first work stream focuses on the development of a “Regional Market”and will have a budget allocation of about US $60 million. These funds will contribute to market assessment studies and the identification of policy barriers, as well as help to create a unified regional market for solar products in the nineteen project countries by harmonizing trade policies and strengthening the countries’ bureaus of standards with the adoption of a regional quality standard for standalone solar. The project will also ensure provision of an entrepreneurship development facility; provision of seed funding to local startup entrepreneurs; and provide incentives to attract impact investors through provision of matching grants; while reducing the risk from public institutions to the private electricity service providers.

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Editorial

26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.

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Business News

PARLIAMENT RATIFIES TWO AGREEMENTS TO IMPROVE ON PORTS FACILITIES

The Parliament of Sierra Leone on Monday 04th December 2017 debated and ratified two additional agreements aimed at improving and expanding Ports facilities in Sierra Leone to be at par with international best practices.

Presenting both Agreements prior to ratification, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Balogun Koroma said that the additional Agreements are geared towards addressing some of the concerns raised by MPs, in respect of expanding our Ports facilities to accommodate larger vessels, and the issuance of license with the view of combating money laundering, contra-band goods, and attracting more funds for Government.

Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of the House, also supported the ratification of the two Agreements, saying if our Ports are not developed, we would not be able to attract huge vessels; thus the need for the continuous improvement of our Ports facilities.

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Media News

Two veteran Journalists, now in the United States have paid a courtesy call on Sierra Leone's Ambassador

Two very respected and veteran Journalists who are in the United States of America for various reasons have called on Sierra Leone’s Amr. Bockari Kortu Stevens not only to appreciate the work of the Embassy, but also to pay courtesy as protocol demands.

Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson, former Lecturer Fourah Bay College, former Director of Information Ministry of Information and Communications, Former Director Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA), Former Chairman Independent Media Commission (IMC) and stringer French News Agency  etc. is on vacation and Mr. Cyril Juxon Smith Director Information and Communications House of Parliament, former Acting Director General Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) and former UNESCO Media Consultant  is in the United States of America to attend the funeral of his father.

Speaking at the Ambassador’s residence on 4821 Colorado Avenue, Washington DC  Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson said “Thank  you Amr. Stevens for accommodating us in the middle of your tight schedule, and also to discuss with us in a homely spirit.

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Commentary

WHO PAYS THE NOVEMBER 2017 ECOWAS COURT / V.P. SAMUEL S. SAM-SUMANA’S COURT RULING CHARGES/FINES??

Your Excellency Sir,

For over a month now, since the ECOWAS Regional Court in Abuja, Nigeria handed down their landmark opinion on the Vice President, Samuel Sam-Sumana’s appeal law suit against his “unconstitutional removal” from power by your APC government, having been legally sanctioned by the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, I have been taken, both by extreme trepidation and satisfaction, as I continue my reflection. In their ruling, (in resume,) the ECOWAS Courtoverturned” the Sierra Leone Supreme Court’s seemingly “compromised” opinion that saw Mr. Sam Sumana arbitrarily or constitutionally deposed from his position as the duly elected Vice President of Sierra Leone (alongside you,) midway your second presidential tenure in 2015; just after the infamous Ebola viral epidemic devastating scourge on Sierra Leone. The ECOWAS Court ruling therefore “ordered” the immediate reinstatement of the vice president, furthering that all backlog of his remunerations and emoluments be accorded him, from the time he was sacked, to date; along with his claim for damages of U. S. $ 250 million.

Upon the ruling by this higher regional court, I have had to do some very sober reflections and musing over the “political manoeuvres” and intrigues that originally erupted from an internal APC party wrangling that proceeded to the Sierra Leone parliament, and had to eventually culminate into what most objective and independent legal minds considered a “blatant travesty of justice and breach of our constitution.” This ruling also brought a legal embarrassment to the Sierra Leone justice system in the sub region, continent and world over. And whereas I would not want to meddle with the political ramifications and implications of that higher regional court’s “legal opinion,” I would like to briefly examine the moral and economic considerations, as I objectively see them. This then obviously takes me back to my caption question that I would summarize as “Who Pays the ECOWAS Court’s Ruling Charges??”

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View Point

MR. PRESIDENT: SIERRA LEONEANS ARE DYING OF STRESS

Dear Mr. President, events leading to, including the horrible aftermath of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, the twin disasters of mudslide and flooding convey unarguably a fatalistic dose of stress. Worsening is the inflation of basic food stuff and the devaluation of our Leones which has made life very difficult for the average citizens.

Mr. President,stress is increasingly becoming visible in the conduct of most Sierra Leoneans; hence stress is a pressure or worry caused by the problems in somebody's life.

Before 2007 elections, protestation songs by Emmerson Bockarie, Innocent and "Dry yai crew" assumed the role of the opposition parties against the Tejan Kabbah-led SLPP government. Today, public transport cabs/buses, ghettos and the ‘Ataya base’ have now assumed that position in venting out frustrations against your APC led government.

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News - Press Release

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation presents AWOL Awards to outgone Minister

(MFAIC Press Office, 4th January, 2018). The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Kaifala Marah has presented the All Walks Of Life (AWOL) prestigious award of ‘Best Ministry of the Year 2017’  to the outgone Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara at a press conference held at the Ministry’s conference Hall, Tower Hill, Freetown.

In his brief statement before officially handing over the award to the outgone Minister, Dr. Marah gave a brief overview of the introduction of performance contracts in 2014 by His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma that set in motion the process of enhancing and operational mandates in various MDAs. It is against this background that the Ministry was among the five best performing Ministries based on the outcome of the Ministry’s Performance Contract Assessment Report for 2016/17 (Performance Tracking Table – PTT) in the country.

Dr. Kaifala Marah lauded the relentless efforts of Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, during whose tenure the Ministrydeveloped and articulated, for the first time ever, a comprehensive strategy to guide and re-invigorate the national approach to foreign policy and international cooperation in a rapidly changing global environment.

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Society -Local News

FOREIGN ENVOYS PAY COURTESY CALL ON THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

(MFAIC Press Office, 5thJanuary, 2018). Five Foreign Envoys including the Head of Delegation of the European Union, Amb. Tom Vens; the Honourary Consul of the Arab Republic of Syria, Hussein Jawad; Charge D’ Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nadali Heydari; Charge D’ Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Xinming; and the Honourary Consul of India, Harish Agnani; have paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Kaifala Marah at his Tower Hill office in Freetown.

According to the foreign envoys during their separate meetings with the Minister, their visit to the newly appointed Minister is to enhance and deepen the existing partnerships and bilateral relations between their respective countries and the Republic of Sierra Leone. They extended fraternal salutations and congratulatory messages from their Government and people of their respectively countries to the Government and people of Sierra Leone.

The foreign envoys underscored their Governments’ continuous assistance and support to Sierra Leone. Thecurrent electoral climate in the countrywas discussed within the perspectives of bilateral and multilateral relations, underlining the common interests in developing political, cultural and economic relations, as well as the interpersonal relations between the EU, the Arab Republic of Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran,the People’s Republic of China, India and Sierra Leone.

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Development

SIERRA LEONE AND ISRAEL ADVANCE DIPLOMATIC TIES IN SEOUL

The Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Ambassador Chaim Choshen today 4th January 2018 paid a courtesy call on Sierra Leone's Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Ambassador Omrie Michael Golley, at the Sierra Leone Mission in Seoul, the South Korean Capital. 

Ambassador Choshen, who was appointed as Ambassador of Israel to South Korea in August 2016, expressed his appreciation for being warmly received by his Sierra Leonean host and counterpart, and stated that his Government was very keen to expand its relations with Africa, citing the examples of Official Visits in recent months by the Israeli Prime Minister Mr Benjamin Netanyahu to various countries in Africa.

Recounting the recent Official Visit of His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma to Israel, Ambassador Omrie Golley stated that the recent visit of President Koroma underscored the importance that his Government was attaching to expanding Sierra Leone's ties with Israel, particularly in the economic sphere.

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Politics

It will not be business as usual – Bio assures diaspora

He was passionate, confident and assuring as he addressed hundreds of Sierra Leoneans at the prestigious Royal Regency Hall in London on Saturday 9th December 2017 with a very simple message that as the next President it will not be business as usual.

For a man who has a solid track record as a disciplinarian, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio continues to attract many voters who feel the country needs a strong and disciplined leadership.

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