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WHAT KILLED SIERRATEL & SALPOST? …Mobile revolution or lack of innovation? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ahmed Fonike   
Friday, 21 June 2013 19:54

The Almighty Sierra Leone Telecommunication Company (SIERRATEL) and  The Sierra Leone Postal Services Limited (SALPOST) used to be the pride of Sierra Leone in service delivery but have crumbled  down  the drain to their unexpected  lowest  standards that really need some interventions.

Sierratel was formed as a government entity to provide affordable telephone services to the nation. It has in no doubt been the only gate way for all sorts of communication in Sierra Leone – meaning all companies do pay for this gate way. In the past years, Sierratel was a business giant in Sierra Leone from the late 1980s to early 1990s making meaningful economic contribution to the government. The first action that started crippling it was the establishment of an open line to homes and commercial premises which led to massive corruption among workers. Those connected were misusing the international line, no proper accountability from senior workers and payment of staff salaries became problematic. So, the ill managed company gradually turned out to be the centre of staff strikes and corruption. This continued till the wake of mobile companies in Sierra Leone in the late 1990s to 2000. Covered by the gate way mobile lenders from Sierratel, the mobile companies toppled Sierratel and became more powerful to this moment. The imperative question one may ask is - what has really killed the Almighty Sierratel, is it the mobile companies’ revolution or lack of innovation?( the giver to become the great loser).

After allowing customers or subscribers to the mobile companies to be loyal and develop trust in them, it  became difficult for Sierraratel to wake up from its long slumber and catch up with the 100 meters ahead mobile companies. To leap-frog now, build confidence in the millions of mobile subscribers in Sierra Leone has been a herculean task for the one time pride of Sierra Leone telecompany.

One may suggest among other things as a way forward that added to the cheapest rates, Sierratel which operates both land and mobile telephone services must design strategies like the sim and credits paid for but the mobile phone itself free. Also seasonal raffle draws and other sales promotions should be done.

The Sierra Leone Postal Services Company (SALPOST) on the other hand was formed to ensure effective and efficient delivery of mails, other parcels, information packages (normal and classified) both internal and external. It had a good structure and did well in the 70s and 80s but started declining in the wake of the new media technology known as Internet. This was because the internet provides website, email, facebook (social media) facilities that could easily replace the services SALPOST could provide.

With innovation however, SALPOST could have still survived and maintained its expected service delivery especially the hinterland document services in the country. There are certain documents that still need the services of SALPOST both local and International that go beyond international facilities. With facilities and well coordinated programs, SALPOST can still make its contribution to nation building. Why have DHL, Red Coat and others are still surviving and making inroads to the happiness of the public, staff and most important their owners/Managing Directors? All this is because of well coordinated programs and dedication. The idea is centred on sober arrangement with the Airlines for prompt delivery of international mails to their respective destinations. For local mails around the country, SALPOST should have small and good vehicles with dedicated staff who will not give flimsy excuses to deliver parcels on time. The above are just few examples of numerous services SALPOST should offer this nation.

Nevertheless, since SALPOST has lost direction of what to do to keep the Institution above the water, it is imperative that government inject and render it some innovations to salvage the deplorable and ridiculous condition of SALPOST.

The first move government can do towards this is to like the US A transfer the issuance of all passports to SALPOST whiles the Immigration concentrate on the real enforcement of immigrants and other duties. If passports issuance is done by SALPOST, that will wake up and make it fulfil all other functions. Added to the revenue SALPOST will generate for government, it will also become more viable and be a pillar of the Agenda for Prosperity. Immigration on the other hand will then be steadfast in checking for residential permits, expert rate fee, work permits and other documents around our bothers, in the cities and other big towns. The effectiveness and efficiency of this enforcement body (Immigration) can then be achieved and appreciated, hence a contribution to the Agenda for Prosperity. What out for more in the next edition in trying to salvage the situation of SALPOST.


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2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul


The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.


Business News

As World Bank Approves $28 Million Grant To Tackle Ebola, Amr. Stevens Talks Ebola at Freddie Mac

The World Bank has reinforced the President Ernest Bai Koroma led government to continue tackling the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) by approving (SDR 18,500,000) Eighteen Million Five Hundred Thousand Special Drawing Right) about Twenty Eight Million United States Dollars ($28 Million) as a grant to contribute in the short term to the control of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) out break and the availability of selected essential health services and mitigate the socio-economic impact of EVD in Sierra Leone.

The grant was occasioned by a recommendation of the committee under section 1(d) of Articles of Agreement on the proposed Financing (Ebola Emergency Response Project) to the Republic of Sierra Leone.


Media News

Parliament versus Free Speech

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Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon Chernor Bah, saidit is difficult to manage issues of human rights, which includes free speech, in a state of emergency, where these rights have been suspended.

  He reaffirmed Parliament’s position that after the Ebola war is over, everyone including MPs is going to give a full account about how each cent was spent – as this happens to be the thorny issue presently across the country.



Mallam O. reflects from the divided city of Cape Town in South Africa
The marvelously colourful Njala University College's (NUC) prospectus of the early 80s made him so convinced -- THAT was the best place for him to pursue a Masters degree in West Africa. 
Why shouldn't he want to study at Njala University College at that time? Drawing from the fact that its sister college, Fourah Bay College, the first University in West Africa, had John-the-Baptisted quality tertiary education in the region. NUC, then a constituent college of the University of Sierra Leone, must equally be an address for international students. No doubt. And it was for me.
He landed from Britain to a beautiful rainy-season-just-ending weather at Lungi International Airport. There was a subtle gust of a mixture of breeze from the sea and the rivers that snake into the surroundings of Lungi township, as he disembarked from the plane. He had seen the sky-blue colour below and thought the sky itself must have willingly shared its content with this land below; a land whose beauty he had come to bask in.

View Point


“If you leave behind even a single burning ember, it’s like a forest fire”-Dr. Tom Frieden-Director of US Atlanta based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in a US Parliamentary hearing in August after a to the Ebola stricken Mano River Union Basin

“Ebola is here and is real. Though its fatality level can be high, it is definitely preventable and treatable if reported very early. Therefore, DON’T TOUCH; DEAD OR ALIVE as health is wealth and information is power and strength”


News - Press Release

EBOLA OUTBREAK UPDATES---September 29, 2014


  • Total Survived and Released Patients  =  434


  • New Confirmed cases  = 90, as follows:

  Kailahun = 0, Kenema = 0, Kono = 0

  Bombali = 4, Kambia = 2, Koinadugu = 0, Port Loko =39, Tonkolili = 9

  Bo = 2, Bonthe = 0, Moyamba = 0, Pujehun = 3

  Western Area Urban = 11, Western Area Rural = 20


  • Cumulative confirmed cases = 2,095 as follows:

      Kailahun = 529, Kenema = 426, Kono =18

           Bombali =227, Kambia =14, Koinadugu =0, Port Loko =270, Tonkolili = 74

           Bo = 96, Bonthe = 1, Moyamba = 55, Pujehun = 19

          Western Urban = 218, Western Rural = 148


  • Total cumulative confirmed death is 544

·         Probable cases = 37

·         Probable deaths = 37

·         Suspected cases = 190

·         Suspected deaths = 11


Society -Local News

NYC Commissioner Speaks against Ebola

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  In an exclusive interview recently, Mr. Sesay said Ebola is the greatest enemy of our wellbeing, socio-economic development, and even has the potential to destroy a nation.

He therefore implored Sierra Leoneans to put hands on deck to wipe out the disease in the country.



Minority Leader presents 500 bags of rice to Kenema and Kailahun Districts Ebola Taskforces

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Kenemareceived 333 bags of the rice while Kailahungot 200 bags, respectively.

Dr Lahaidescribed Mr. Sesay as a philanthropist  and was urged to do the donation because the people of Kenema and Kailahun have shown political tolerance and leadership, especially during the visit of HE the President in the two districts.



President Koroma Commissions Mobile Lab and Holding Centre

As Government continues to intensify its efforts in the fight against the Ebola virus disease (EVD), President Ernest Bai Koroma on Friday 26th September 2014, commissioned the BSL-3 mobile laboratory at the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Hospital at Jui. The occasion also saw in attendance officials from the Ministries of Health and Sanitation and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and experts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Medical team from China.

President Koroma noted that the facility will increase the response time in sample throughput, especially during this trying moment of the Ebola outbreak and also create opportunities for capacity development of health workers in the country. With this, President Koroma urged Sierra Leoneans working at the Hospital to exploit the opportunities and develop their various capacities.

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