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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

Yesterday Parliament summoned key ministries, departments, and agencies, in relation to their role ina state of emergency, following unhealthy reporting in the media about certain individuals and institutions in the fight against Ebola.

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.



HRW West Africa: Respect Rights in Ebola Response

(Nairobi, September 15, 2014) –West African governments should ensure rights protections as a crucial element in controlling the unprecedented Ebola epidemic ravaging the region, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch expressed its sympathy to the families, friends, and colleagues of those who have died as a result of the Ebola outbreak, and recognized the courage of many health workers and others in caring for the sick.
Governments in Ebola-affected countries should better protect health workers from infection, limit use of quarantines, address the gender dimensions of the outbreak, ensure security forces responding to the crisis respect basic rights, and facilitate independent monitoring of emergency measures and donations, Human Rights Watch said. Donor governments, through international assistance and cooperation, should help these governments fulfill the right to health and efforts to address the epidemic’s broader impact.
“Given the tragic magnitude of this epidemic, the affected governments cannot and should not be expected to fulfil the right to health on their own,” said 
Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The international community must help assume this responsibility, while insisting that governments do their part by ensuring transparency and respect for human rights as they respond to the crisis.”


View Point

7 Years in Office: Congratulations President Koroma !!

Our utmost priority as Sierra Leoneans at present is fighting to eradicate the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). But Wednesday 17th September, 2014, should not go unnoticed; as it will be another important milestone in the political history of His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, when he will be celebrating his seventh year in office as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone’s Press Attaché in Saudi Arabia, M.B. Jalloh, takes a brief look at how it all happened in seven years. 

It is expected to be a joyous moment not only for the President, but also members of the governing All People’s Congress (APC) and the country at large, for having a patriotic and selfless leader who has worked exemplarily well for the country and his people.


News - Press Release

EBOLA OUTBREAK UPDATES---September 17, 2014
  • Total Survived and Released Patients  =  349
  • New Confirmed cases  = 29, as follows:

  Kailahun = 22, Kenema = 1, Kono = 0

  Bombali = 0, Kambia = 0, Koinadugu = 0, Port Loko =0, Tonkolili = 3

  Bo = 1, Bonthe = 0, Moyamba = 0, Pujehun = 0

  Western Area Urban = 2, Western Area Rural = 0

  • Cumulative confirmed cases = 1,571, as follows:

      Kailahun = 551, Kenema = 410, Kono =15

           Bombali =113, Kambia =3, Koinadugu =0, Port Loko =155, Tonkolili = 35

           Bo = 77, Bonthe = 1, Moyamba = 17, Pujehun = 10

          Western Urban = 129, Western Rural = 55

  • Total cumulative confirmed death is 483, as follows:

Kailahun = 195, Kenema = 229, Kono = 2

Bombali = 6, Kambia = 1, Koinadugu = 0, Port Loko = 16, Tonkolili = 2

Bo = 16, Bonthe = 1, Moyamba = 6, Pujehun = 1

Western Area Urban = 6, Western Area Rural = 2

  • Probable cases = 37
  • Probable deaths = 37
  • Suspected cases = 127
  • Suspected deaths = 11

Society -Local News


A letter of request for assistance from the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to his counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, of the Russia Federation was presented by a Ministerial delegation from Sierra Leone in Moscow. The letter requested President Vladimir Putin to provide a wide range of assistance to curtail the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in the West Africa sub-region, especially Sierra Leone. The Ministerial delegation also requested the Russian Medical doctors to help the fight against the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.

Presenting President Koroma’s letter to the Russian Federation, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma briefed the Russian Medical Institute in Moscow of the spread of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone and other West African countries. The Minister noted that the disease has quickly infected and killed some citizens of the affected countries and devastated their economies.



Ebola: World Bank Group Approves US$105 Million Grant

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2014 - The World Bank Group’s (WBG) Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$105 million grant to finance Ebola-containment efforts underway in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, help families and communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and rebuild and strengthen essential public health systems in the three worst-affected countries to guard against future disease outbreaks. The new grant is part of the US$200 million Ebola emergency mobilization first announced by the WBG in early August.



Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh in Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to present his Letters of Credence to Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, with accreditation to 11(Eleven ) other countries in the Southeast Asia Pacific, Victor Bockarie Foh is in  Hanoi, the capital city of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to present his Letters of Credence to President Truong Tan Sang.

The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is amongst 11(Eleven) other countries to which the Sierra Leone Ambassador resident in Beijing is accredited to. The other countries of his accreditation include Australia, New Zealand, Royal Thailand, Democratic Republic of Korea, Republic of Japan, Republic of Indonesia, Singapore, Republic of India, Republic of Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

During his official visit in the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, His Excellency Ambassador Foh is expected to hold discussions with Viet Nam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Agriculture, and of particular relevance, the Ebola Virus  Disease in Sierra Leone and the West African Sub-Region and to raise awareness of Agricultural and Food Security of Sierra Leone. 

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