Freetown, Feb. 2 (SLENA) - United States of America Ambassador designate to the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency John Hoover today on Monday February 2, 2015 called on Vice President, Alhaji Chief Sam-Sumana at his Tower Hill office in Freetown.
Welcoming the US envoy, Vice President Sam-Sumana said the presence of the ambassador in the country is reaffirmation of the relationship that exists between the two countries and that the bilateral relationship was manifesting itself as the United States is always by the side of Sierra Leone especially in difficult times, such as the eleven year civil war and the current ebola crisis while at the same accommodating Sierra Leoneans in the USA and other opportunities enjoyed by the country and its people from USAID, etc.
“Your presence in our country, I believe, will make a difference in the lives of the people of this nation,” Hon. VP sam-Sumana reiterated, stressing that the people of Sierra Leone are beneficiaries of America’s good governance system, democratic principles, rule of law, among others.
The VP added that he was confident that the two countries can build on such a relationship and that his presence will continue to enhance it.
Speaking on the present Ebola situation in the country, Hon. Vice President said he was happy for the low number of reported ebola cases which he said was a manifestation of the intervention of international partners including the USA CDC, volunteers and soldiers to end the scourge in the West African sub-region.
On his recent visit to Kono Vice President Sam-Sumana recalled the culture of acceptance by the people in those areas that ebola was real and it was killing people.
He maintained that the indigenes of the chiefdoms he visited have suspended all traditional and cultural activities, refrained from touching one another, stop washing of the dead and handshaking, in addition to the massive ebola education campaign.
He said among those border chiefdoms, only Soa Chiefdom recorded Ebola cases and that the others, Mafidor, Gbaneh Kandor, Lei, Fiama and Toli had no case.
Efforts, he said, has been made by His Excellency, President Koroma in achieving the decreasing ebola figures and for a zero new infection of the scourge in the country.
These challenges, the VP went on, were to prevent and control any other deadly future outbreak and revamp the country’s health system, including education, improvement on infrastructure, provide employment and transform the country into a middle level income country.
In his remarks, His Excellency Ambassador Hoover emphasized on the issues outlined by the Vice President which, he said, were potentially credible.
He assured the Vice President that as an ambassador to this country, this embassy has put in place strategies to wipe out the deadly Ebola scourge, bring back the Peace Corp volunteers, re-open schools, get the economy back on its feet, create job opportunities while strengthening and building the capacity of the country’s health system.
He went on to assure the Vice President of his continuous good working relationship with the government and people of Sierra Leone and also to strengthen the bilateral relationship that exists between the two countries.
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.
New World Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone, Mr. Pamindar Brer, on Friday 13 November expressed frustration regarding the high cost of mobile tariffs, even when the country has moved from satellite to fibre optic.
Speaking to a cross section of newspaper editors, many issues were discussed on which the Bank is currently engaged in as its support to the Government and people of Sierra Leone, whom he praised for their resilience during the ebola crisis.
He said USD126 million has been provided by the World bank to Sierra Leone to help in its post ebola recovery – an amount that should be mainly used to strengthen the health sector.
A lawyer representing a group of judges implicated in a recent corruption scandal in Ghana has threatened that his clients will sue media organisations which publish the documentary video on the scandal.
The lawyer, Nii Kpakpo Addo, issued the threats on privately-owned Citi FM in Accra on November 18, 2015.
“Monday or Tuesday, you will see that we will be bringing up defamation suits that will touch on every single person that has been associated with the said petition, who has republished the defamatory material,” Addo said. “Republication of defamatory materials itself is defamation, so whether you uttered it or you republished it, you should be prepared to meet us in court.”
THAT DEPLORABLE HOUSING CRISIS OF OUR MILITARY PERSONNEL
In spite of the increment made by the Government of Sierra Leone to allocate about twenty million United States Dollars for the construction of new military barracks across the country, personnel of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) are still complaining over what many describe as “deplorable housing crisis” especially during the raining seasons.
Speaking to The Voiceless Sierra Leoneans on condition of anonymity at the Wilberforce military barrack, one RSLAF Personnel informed that since he enrolled in the military on 4th April 1988, much has not been done to salvage the current housing crisis the military is faced with. He added that, “When I was recruited the morale of the military was exceptional and housing was never a problem as we were all provided an apartment together with our families.”
According to him, those glorious days degenerated with no end in sight, noting “our bosses are not sincere as what they write on papers and say on radio is not what they do.” He said the Ordinary Ranks are hugely suffering the brunt of the housing problem, adding that the salary is not encouraging as it cannot provide them affordable and accessible housing. He went on to say that the available houses in town especially Freetown is expensive and they also need to take care of their children. He said they are worried and frustrated at any time we approaches the raining season. He said most of the houses, apart from the officers’ quarters, leaks and the Estate Department has neglected its duties due to insufficient funds.
He noted that most of the Non Commissioned Officers and their families at the Wilberforce Barracks used “Down the Gutter” to attend to nature because the houses are without toilets. He added that the place called “Down the Gutter” is used for three purposes namely: As toilet, laundry and bathing.
Sierra Leone poor performance in global entrepreneurship development
Standfirst - With the recent Global Entrepreneurship Index showing Sierra Leone to be right near the bottom of the table when it comes to commerce, we need to start paying serious attention to the problem
READING through the recent Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) for 2016 one cannot but observe the fact that Sierra Leone comes a disturbing and worrying 128th out of the 132 countries surveyed.
Apart from the fact that we are close to the bottom of the table, it is also frightening to realise that Sierra Leone slipped five places down from last year’s ranking when we were 123rd. Apart from the fact that Sierra Leone has performed badly globally, we are also at the bottom of ranking among African countries according to the GEI report.
Sierra Leone stands below the likes of Uganda (123), Benin (124), Burkina Faso (126), Madagascar (127), Mauritania (129), Malawi (130), Burundi (131) and Chad (132) according to the ranking prepared by the Washington-based Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute. Our score is 14.6 compared to the best score of 86.2 by the top-ranking country, the United States, which is followed by Canada, Australia, Denmark and Sweden.
In reference to testimonies given by Cameroonian returnee housemaids posted recently on the Social Media, and a subsequent recording posted by a concerned Sierra Leonean migrant worker domiciled in Kuwait on the plight of Sierra Leonean housemaids in Kuwait, the Embassy of Sierra Leone in the Gulf State of Kuwait headed by H.E Ambassador Bakarr Kamara would like to make the following clarifications for the records:
Sierra Leonean housemaids working in Kuwait were recruited by agents approved by the Ministry of Labour of Sierra Leone with absolutely no knowledge of their presence by the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Kuwait.
Upon their arrival at the airport in Kuwait, they were received by the counterpart local recruiting agents and taken to their respective offices that would get them distributed to interested employers without a reference to this Embassy. Once taken to their employers, they become incommunicado where they will have to permanently stay within the confines of their new workplaces.
As the budget was safely debated and concluded, many members of parliament championed the debate very well in order to acknowledge the achievement and challenges of the government.
The budget for 2016 spelled out what the government intended to do for MDA's activities and that of smooth running of government activities for the fiscal year 2016.
In line of this backdrop, the Member of Parliament representing Constituency 029 Bombali District, Hon. Salieu Osman Sesay, commonly called SOS, as referred to the budget as a"transitional budget" that will transform Sierra Leone's economy from the ashes of Ebola to the agenda for prosperity.Transforming the economy, he said, through capital, labour, and infrastructure development.
The Directorate of Complaints, Investigations and Legal Services (DCILS) in the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) today Wednesday 25th November, 2015 held collaborative meeting with its referral partners in the Conference room of HRCSL.
DCILS receives various types of complaints relating to every sector in the country but that some of these complaints do not fall within the Commission’s mandate. In most cases, they can be most appropriately handled by the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). DCILS frequently refers matters to these MDAs who can better provide the appropriate remedies for complainants who have matters that either do not fall within the mandate of the Commission or not necessarily human rights violation.
HRCSL collaborates with various MDAs when carrying out its day-to-day activities. This collaboration sometimes takes the form of referring complaints to the relevant MDAs that are most suited to address certain complaints brought to the Commission.
In order to ratify the Pan African Protocol, Members of Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone who doubles as Members of the Pan-African Parliament, on Wednesday 25 November 2015 led a delegation to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Justice in Freetown.
The mission of the delegates is to create a platform for MDAs and other citizens to be sensitized about the importance of the Pan African Reserve Protocol and why its needs an urgent ratification.
The ratification process is being serially conducted in other countries across Africa with wider advocacy and consultation, targeting 28 countries to ratify it by the end of 2016.
The purpose of the ratification is to transform the Pan African Parliament from an Advisory Body to a Legislative body.
Speaking at a courtesy visit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon Dr. Bernadette Lahai, who doubles as Vice President of the Pan-African Parliament said it was timely for the document to be ratified.