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.
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.
In 1996, some WTO members raised the need for an agreement on trade facilitation as part of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreements. Negotiations on the said agreement however lasted for nearly 10 years. It was only in November 2014, that WTO members agreed to incorporate the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) as part of the WTO Agreements.
The main purpose of the TFA is to foster more efficient customs clearance procedures, promote the use of modern technologies to ensure the speedy movement of goods and people, advance effective cooperation between customs and other relevant authorities involved in trade facilitation, and to improve technical assistance and capacity building support in these areas.
The TFA covers trade in all goods and contains 24 Articles in 3 Sections. Section I refers to trade facilitation standards and obligations, Section II relates to the flexibilities provided for developing countries with regards timelines for the implementation of specific provisions of the Agreement, and Section III pertains to institutional arrangements. The high points of this agreement in relation to the NRA are:
Ambassador Alimamy Phillip Koroma on Thursday 23th June attended the 6th African Digital TV Development Seminar, in Beijing, organized by StarTimes.
Also attending the seminar are Sierra Leone's Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Mohamed Bangura, SLBC's Director-General, Deputy Director of Communications in charge of e-Governance, MM Jalloh and the Embassy's Press Attaché.
Over 140 officials in broadcasting and television institutions from 41 African and Asian countries, among whom are 30 ministerial representatives are also attending.
Climate Change: An Impact Assessment in Sierra Leone
“Climate change poses a serious challenge to the attainment of the Development Goals. Changing rainfall and climate patterns and rising sea levels will exacerbate existing economic, political and humanitarian stresses and affect human development in all parts of the world. This is especially true for countries that rely heavily on climate-vulnerable sectors such as agriculture, water resources, forests and biodiversity to maintain and improve the living conditions of their populations. It is therefore important to manage climate change risks as part of our development approach.” EPA-SL Report 2016, National Climate Change Secretariat: Mainstreaming Climate Change Guidelines into National Development Planning.
This story is specifically on the impact of Climate Change in Sierra Leone and what is being done about it as captured in the above quotation from a report published by the Environment Protection Agency- Sierra Leone (EPAS-SL.) The writer posits that if all the information provided by the various official and private respondents during the interviews he conducted were true, then the story, which takes into account the writer’s own personal observation over the past forty five years, would unfold as he has recounted here.
SLPP BENJAMIN AND ADP KAMARAINBA SHOULD TELL THE NATION AND THE WORLD WHAT GOOD DEVELOPMENT THEY HAVE DONE IN SIERRA LEONE
Sometimes even one does not want to say anything in connection with certain issues, especially social and political issues in the country because of personal and family commitment. But sometimes because of the love for my country, Sierra Leone particularly for its peace, security, progress and development, I have to step in. I have to come in to make my present felt, because certain people in the country always think and feel that there is nobody like them.
Therefore, they will say and do anything they will like to say and scot-free. Even at the expense of the poor, powerless and defenceless masses, they just don't care about that. As long as they bent on pursuing their wicked and unpatriotic clandestine devil incarnation like diabolic satanic plans that will destroy the hard earned golden peace that God has given us, to satisfy their caustic destructive political ambition.
The Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Bar Association (SLBA), Mr. Julian Cole has called on the Sierra Leone Legal Board to assist with finding a solution to issues of bail processing and approval. Cole noted that those charged with approving bail do impose their own conditions and this is imposing obstacles in securing bail for accused persons.
Cole registered the concern when the new executive of the Bar Association met with the management of the Legal Aid Board on Tuesday, July 26. Cole lauded the Legal Aid Board for the significant progress in promoting access to justice and the commitment shown by its lawyers in handling a lot of cases in court.
The President of the Association, Ms. Rhoda SouffianKargboNuni said her Association will build on the partnership between the two institutions. ‘If you need any assistance from us, please let us know,’ she said. ‘When the Board succeeds, the profession can take some of the credit.’
In its determination to reach out to all facets of the society to spread anti-corruption messages, the Northern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Wednesday 20th July 2016 in an outreach meeting sensitized the people of Rotifunk, Kafu Bullom Chiefdom, Port Loko District.
Explaining the purpose of the meeting, ACC Senior Public Education Officer David Kanekey Conteh described the engagement as '' fambul talk'' forum intended to bring to light some of the corrupt practices that continue to reinforce poverty on the lives of the rural poor. Conteh added that the meeting was also to present to the people of Rotifunk the ACC Regional Manager North, Mr. Abu Bakarr Kamara in a bid to interact with them and also familiarize himself with some of the challenges they are confronted with and to enlist their support in the fight against corruption.
“My strategy in the fight against corruption focuses on hunting the tigers and swatting the flies. I will make no distinction between grand and petty corruption. Corruption is a terrible offence, and I will pursue perpetrators vigorously,” the ACC Commissioner, Ady Macauley, told the General Assembly of the Network of Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa (NACIWA), in Cotonou, Benin. It was the maiden participation of the Commissioner.
Ady Macauley said in Sierra Leone the public clamour when the Commission prosecutes high profile people and this is so because they believe that people in authority are entrusted with the management of State resources for the public good. He said the Commission continues to enjoy public confidence and trust and is performing exceedingly well in its prosecution front.
The ACC Boss said, on petty corruption, his Commission is getting support from Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs), the media and CSOs. He highlighted to the Assembly an instance where a traffic police officer brought to the ACC a commercial driver for attempting to bribe him.
The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) on Tuesday 19th July, 2016 advised the leadership of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) to re-do the zonal/sectional Consensus in thirty-two (32) Constituencies out of the one hundred and twelve (112) Constituencies nationwide. It can be recalled that after the consensus building processs held on Saturday 18th June,2016, the Commission received series of complaints and petition from some SLPP members.
Speaking to a cross section of the National Officers and key party stakeholders, the Chairman Hon. Justice M.E.Tolla Thompson says as a Commission it is its duty to ensure peace and stability between and among members of political parties.
Hon Justice Thompson also informed the meeting that the Commission will work with a Committee that will set dates for the re-run of these consensus building processes and will be monitored by the Commission.
Hon Justice Thompson also advised that the Regional Elections Complaint Committess (RECC) should be constituted on or before Monday 25th July,2016.