ECOWAS Parliament convenes

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By Abdul Malik Bangura

 Action Against Hunger, the world expert on hunger and malnutrition with over 40 years operational experience confirmed during the World Food Day on Friday October 16th 2020, that over 7% of the world’s children under age five – approximately 47 million children in 2019 suffer from acute malnutrition. It further says that world hunger is projected to rise to an additional 132 million people this year as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Population growth and urbanization; climate change and deterioration of environmental conditions; market dynamics and food supply; natural disasters, civil conflicts and food crises; gender inequalities; and most importantly poverty and inequality have all been identified by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations as determinants of food insecurity and malnutrition in particularly the West Africa region.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), hunger and malnutrition are worsening in parts of the West African continent because of the Coronavirus pandemic, especially in low-income communities or those already stricken by continued conflict.

FAO called for robust measures by West Africa states to maintain four pillars such as food availability, access to food, stability and nutrition.

The basis of the robust measures being taken so far by members has led the regional Parliament of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) under the distinguished leadership of its Speaker, His Excellency Sidikie Mohamed Tunis to convey a meeting of joint committees on Agriculture, Environment, Water Resources and Sustainable Development/ Industry and Private Sector/ Health/ Energy and Mines/ Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment to discuss the most vital theme of “ECOWAS food security and agriculture production program and the fight against COVID 19.”

 The general objective of the meeting, which is scheduled to take place from Tuesday 10th to Saturday 14th November 2020, in Bissau, the capital city of Guinea Bissau is to enable the Joint Committee interact with the ECOWAS Commission and assess the status of COVID-19 pandemic, agricultural production and food insecurity in the ECOWAS region.

Also worthy to note is that this meeting of ECOWAS Parliament Members of Parliament (MPs) which is conveyed by the Speaker himself, comes exactly two (2) weeks after His Excellency Sidie Mohamed Tunis served as chair of a high level regional meeting with West and Central Africa parliamentarians on mobilizing parliamentarians and keeping nutrition as a priority during COVID 19. In that meeting, Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament called on regional law makers to prioritize advocacy on the protection of the right to food.

Meanwhile, according to research by the writer, the Right to Food has been accepted as a legally binding obligation by all West African states. According to the ECOWAS Revised Treaty in Article 25 says “Member States shall co-operate in the development of agriculture, forestry, livestock and fisheries in order to: a) ensure food security; b) increase production and productivity in agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry, and improve conditions of work and generate employment opportunities in rural areas; c) enhance agricultural production through processing locally, animal and plant products; and d) protect the prices of export commodities on the international market.”

In addition, this right has been binding obligation on states that are parties to and have ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). It is also binding on ECOWAS states that have ratified human rights instruments relevant to the Right to Food, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which Article 12 recognizes the right of pregnant and lactating women to special protection with regard to nutrition; and Article 14 recognizes the right of rural women’s access to land, water and services. In addition, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Article 25 recognizes the right to health, including nutrition; and Article 27 the right to an adequate standard of living, including nutrition. Also, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 6 recognizes the right to life and Article 7 the right to be free from inhumane and degrading treatment.

In the fight against COVID 19, West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO), observed that there is 92.7% recovery rate of COVID 19 cases in West Africa. However, the measures adopted to curtail the spread of the virus in the region have caused more problems as experts are projecting increased in the rate of hunger and malnutrition in the region. Thus the need for various stakeholders in the region, including the ECOWAS Parliament to take-up measures to protect food security and agriculture production program during the fight against COVID 19.

Orange Money “Shorki Love” Makes 11 Millionaires

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By Feima Sesay

As Orange Money Shoki Love weekly draws continues, Orange Money has last Saturday 7th November 2020 dashed out 69 Million Leones to 11 lucky winners  right across the country on their third edition of their ” orange money Shoki love” promotion at a live TV event hosted by Martha of orange SL and Saio the comedian. The third set of winners comprise of four male and 7 female. The eleven lucky  winners for this third editions  were Kadiatu  from Kenema who won Le3 million, Nora  a business woman from Regent Freetown won Le 5, Mariatu a trader from Moyamba won from Le18 million  from the “Orange moneyskoki love” box, Jatu from Bo won Le 4 million, Khadija Bah a student from Aberdeen won Le 4 million,Fatmata from Wilkinson road won Le1 million, Suliaman from Makeni won Le 5 million, Anthony from Kabala won Le 2 million, Alie a stone miner from Ogoo farm Goderich won Le 5 million, Hawanatu Koroma from Kailahun won Le 5 million whiles Lamin Conteh  the last lucky winner  from Mile 91 won 17 million from the Orange money Shoki love box .

Orange Money is one of the reliable offer of Orange Sierra Leone that is aim at putting smile on the faces of their value added customers across the country.

The “Orange Money Shorki Love” promotion is part of the company’s end of year promotion that is offering 3 Billion Leones as prizes including 5 Brand New Cars to be won also by customers.

Orange SL is one of the reliable  telecommunication company in the country that  cares for its subscribers and is very determined to change the lives of it customers in order to give them improved standards of living. “It against such a backdrop that the company decided to launch such a promotion with the strong belief that it will be helpful during these COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Therefore Subscribers are encouraged to grab the opportunity in order to do transactions using Orange Money which will qualify them to win the Le 3 Billion worth of prizes on a weekly basis including 5 cars to be won as a grand prize at the end of the promotion. Therefore in order for subscribers to win these prizes from the weekly draw, they  must be registered with Orange Money and also do transactions using Orange Money by  sending money, cashing in, paying for EDSA or DSTV, buy airtime or data bundles from 15th October to January 2020 which will put them at the advantage positions to get a chance to win those attractive prizes.

Mercury International Donates Le 500 Million to Support Free Quality Education in Sierra Leone

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 The management of Mercury International has presented a cheque of Le 500 million to His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio to support the construction of a multi-storey classroom building for the St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School in Freetown.

Managing Director of the Sports Betting and Lottery Company, Lawyer Martin Michael, said they were working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, MBSSE, to provide 25 percent of the total cost for the construction of the building.

“On behalf of the Board Chairman, Mercury International wishes the ex-pupils of Saint Joseph’s Convent luck in their project. We look forward to the launch of the completed building in the shortest possible time. God bless you all and God bless Sierra Leone,” said Mr. Michael.

President of the St. Joseph’s Secondary School Ex-pupils Association, Mrs. Emerica King, disclosed that history was being made for their school. She thanked the government of President Bio and Mercury International for the eight-classroom multi-storey building that would help eliminate the two shifts system in the school. 

“Your Excellency Sir, the ex-pupils are solidly behind you on your Free Quality Education drive and we are committed to doing all we can to support and move it forward,” she assured.

Minister of MBSSE, DrMoinina David Sengeh, thanked Mercury International for their partnership with the ministry and said that the Basic Education Commission had introduced a shift index in readiness of the school to return to the single shift system.

He noted that the Commission was charged with the responsibility of ensuring quality education for every child in the country and achieving a low rate of illiteracy in the country.

Delivering the keynote address, His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio expressed gratitude to the company for what he said was their continued manifestation of commitment to the education sector. He urged other institutions to emulate the contributions of Mercury International in national development.

“Our commitment to education is genuine. It is intentional and purposeful and the benefit of this intention, and what we are all undertaking, is not going to be felt today. It may not fetch me more votes, because those who are going to benefit are not yet qualified to vote, but I know that I am making a solid foundation for the development of our nation. The land that we love that was once the Athens of West Africa,” he stated.

President Bio further stated that no nation would achieve sustainable development without a sound educational system and, therefore, encouraged parents to support their children in school and at home.

“There is no shortcut to quality education. One has to burn the midnight candle. I want to plead with the citizens of this country to understand that I am only leading a process. The success of education depends on us all. The best investment is in human beings. There is beauty in education,” he emphasized.

Sojefel Construction Company Defies Labours Laws

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By Mustapha E Dumbuya

Sojifel, a Guinean Construction Company has been operating in Sierra Leone since 2017 under the reign of Former president Koroma.

The company was awarded the contract for the rehabilitation and construction of some buildings at the University of Sierra Leone.

 According to our investigations, the company has maltreated several labourers and workers including senior contractors that are on sub-contract.

 Some of the workers include building contractors, demolish contractors, Ark contractors, welders, steal benders, welders so on and so forth.

Our investigations reveal that the company has owed many of those contractors their salaries and end of year benefit after they have completed their contracts.

Most times their request for salaries is accompanied with vague promises of fulfilling their part of the bargain.  Our sources also revealed that Mr. Kakay who doubles as the Human Resources manager and Finance Officer had been soliciting millions of Leones from their payment after the company had request to the general manager to pay five hundred million Leones (5000,000) for a building to each contractor but he will later turn around and pay the three hundred million Leones for a building.

 Mr Kakay has been exhorting money from those contractors for over half a decade’s treating them they way he feel like because he is not a sierra Leonean.

Sources also disclosed that Mr. KaKay has been soliciting millions of Leones from some Sierra Leonean staff that the company agreed to pay the sum of one million five hundred thousand Leones (1500,000) as months salaries  and he is paying five hundred thousand Leones which is far below the government minimum wage.

Some of those workers had suffered at the hands of Kakay and Sogefel Company for not paying them at the right time. Sources say one of the contractors brought him to court for not paying his money that sum up to Five Million Leones (Le5,000,000) after he had done his job and the court orders him to pay the money with immediate effect which he did.

Public review contacted Mr. kakay several times but all proved futile and he later replied in a text message that he is not in town.

USA Elects Joe Biden as 46TH President

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My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken.

They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory.

A victory for “We the People.”

We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation — 74 million.

I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me.

I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify.

Who doesn’t see Red and Blue states, but a United States.

And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.

For that is what America is about: The people.

And that is what our Administration will be about.

I sought this office to restore the soul of America.

To rebuild the backbone of the nation — the middle class.

To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home.

It is the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for this vision.

And now the work of making this vision real is the task of our time.

As I said many times before, I’m Jill’s husband.

I would not be here without the love and tireless support of Jill, Hunter, Ashley, all of our grandchildren and their spouses, and all our family.

They are my heart.

Jill’s a mom — a military mom — and an educator.

She has dedicated her life to education, but teaching isn’t just what she does — it’s who she is. For America’s educators, this is a great day: You’re going to have one of your own in the White House, and Jill is going to make a great First Lady.

And I will be honored to be serving with a fantastic vice president — Kamala Harris — who will make history as the first woman, first Black woman, first woman of South Asian descent, and first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in this country.

It’s long overdue, and we’re reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. But once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.

Kamala, Doug — like it or not — you’re family. You’ve become honorary Bidens and there’s no way out.

To all those who volunteered, worked the polls in the middle of this pandemic, local election officials — you deserve a special thanks from this nation.

To my campaign team, and all the volunteers, to all those who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible, I owe you everything.

And to all those who supported us: I am proud of the campaign we built and ran. I am proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse in history.

Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

Progressives, moderates and conservatives.

Young and old.

Urban, suburban and rural.

Gay, straight, transgender.

White. Latino. Asian. Native American.

And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest — the African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours.

I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that. Now that’s what I want the administration to look like.

And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight.

I’ve lost a couple of elections myself.

But now, let’s give each other a chance.

It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric.

To lower the temperature.

To see each other again.

To listen to each other again.

To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy.

We are not enemies. We are Americans.

The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season — a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal.

This is the time to heal in America.

Now that the campaign is over — what is the people’s will? What is our mandate?

I believe it is this: Americans have called on us to marshal the forces of decency and the forces of fairness. To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.

The battle to control the virus.

The battle to build prosperity.

The battle to secure your family’s health care.

The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.

The battle to save the climate.

The battle to restore decency, defend democracy, and give everybody in this country a fair shot.

Our work begins with getting COVID under control.

We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments — hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us — until we get this virus under control.

On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as Transition Advisors to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20th, 2021.

That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern.

I will spare no effort — or commitment — to turn this pandemic around.

I ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me — as those who did.

Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end — here and now.

The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control.

It’s a decision. It’s a choice we make.

And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that this is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate.

That’s the choice I’ll make. And I call on the Congress — Democrats and Republicans alike — to make that choice with me.

The American story is about the slow, yet steady widening of opportunity.

Make no mistake: Too many dreams have been deferred for too long.

We must make the promise of the country real for everybody — no matter their race, their ethnicity, their faith, their identity, or their disability.

America has always been shaped by inflection points — by moments in time where we’ve made hard decisions about who we are and what we want to be.

Lincoln in 1860 — coming to save the Union.

FDR in 1932 — promising a beleaguered country a New Deal.

JFK in 1960 — pledging a New Frontier.

And twelve years ago — when Barack Obama made history — and told us, “Yes, we can.”

We stand again at an inflection point.

We have the opportunity to defeat despair and to build a nation of prosperity and purpose.

We can do it. I know we can.

I’ve long talked about the battle for the soul of America.

We must restore the soul of America.

Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses.

It is time for our better angels to prevail.

Tonight, the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe.

And we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.

I’ve always believed we can define America in one word: Possibilities.

That in America everyone should be given the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them.

You see, I believe in the possibility of this country.

We’re always looking ahead.

Ahead to an America that’s freer and more just.

Ahead to an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect.

Ahead to an America that cures disease — like cancer and Alzheimers.

Ahead to an America that never leaves anyone behind.

Ahead to an America that never gives up, never gives in.

This is a great nation.

And we are a good people.

This is the United States of America.

And there has never been anything we haven’t been able to do when we’ve done it together.

In the last days of the campaign, I’ve been thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and to my family, particularly my deceased son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me and which I believe sustains America.

And I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the more than 230,000 families who have lost a loved one to this terrible virus this year. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. Hopefully this hymn gives you solace as well.

“And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,

Bear you on the breath of dawn,

Make you to shine like the sun,

And hold you in the palm of His Hand.”

And now, together — on eagle’s wings — we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do.

With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country — and a thirst for justice — let us be the nation that we know we can be.

A nation united.

A nation strengthened.

A nation healed.

The United States of America.

God bless you.

And may God protect our troops.

Parliamentary Committee Inspects Water Facilities in Freetown

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The Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources last Friday (6th November) inspected water facilities of the Guma Valley Water Company in Freetown to get firsthand information about the company’s operations, water quality and supply to the Western Area and its environs. The committee visited Guma facilities at Tower Hill, Kissy Pipe Yard, Babadorie (Regent) and Mile 13.

Chairman of the Water Resources Committee, Hon. Lahai Marrah underscored the importance of the visit, noting that the role of the Committee is to provide oversight on MDAs activities in the Water Sector. “We either ask you to come to Parliament or we visit your facilities to know what is happening. Guma has been doing a lot recently in terms of improving water supply to Freetown, we know there are challenges and that is why the Committee has moved to get firsthand information about the company’s operation”, Hon. Lahai Marrah asserted.

Hon. Lahai called on the government to preserve and protect the water catchment areas around the water sources for sustainable and quality water supply to Freetown  as encroachment and deforestation are the two main challenges cited by the management of Guma Valley Water Company.

At the Guma Tower Hill Reservoir, the Committee members were briefed by the Managing Director Ing. Maada Kpenge about the ongoing fencing project to keep Squatters and Loiterers out and ensure that the facility is well protected.

The second facility on the itinerary of the Committee was the Kissy Pipe Yard where they shown over 150 containers containing pipes, fittings and Braithwaite tanks materials. The Guma MD informed the Committee that the materials were bought under the Freetown Water Supply Rehabilitation Project funded by the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (formerly DFID).

Ing. Kpenge said the DFID project is currently on hold due to the Covid 19 but that Guma has however taken possession of the pipes so that it can work on laying submains in various communities across Freetown to replace the numerous spaghetti pipes thereby reducing the many leakages in the city.

At the Babadorie Regent facility, the Parliamentarians were briefed by the Chief Engineer, Prince Moore-Sourie who informed them about the ongoing fencing project of the facility and the Freetown Emergency Recovery Project (FERP) funded by the World Bank.

Ing. Moore-Sourie stated that under the FERP, the Babadorie Treatment Plant will be rehabilitated by replacing Pumps, Filters, Generators and construction of a new Sand Washing Bay by Pavi Fort and that pipe laying works of 2.4 kilometers will be done by HDF to improve on water supply in the Mortomeh, Kaningo and Hill Station communities.

The Chief Engineer also highlighted the encroachment and deforestation of the Sugar Loaf and Kongo catchments which he said poses a threat for water supply to Regent, Gloucester, Leicester and surrounding communities.

The Water Resources Committee visit ended at the Guma Dam at Mile 13; where they were briefed on the operations of the Dam by the Director of Water and Technical Services, Raymond Awoonor-Williams.

Ing. Awoonor-Williams told the Committee that the Dam which supplies 95% of Freetown’s water supply was commissioned in 1967 and that it collects water from seven rivers during the rain season. He told the Parliamentarians that the Dam’s capacity is 22 million cubic litres and that it’s height was last raised in by 1.5 meters in 2002 to capture more water. He said the height of the dam cannot be raised further and that funds needs to be sourced for one or two more new dams to be built.

Ing. Awoonor-Williams said because the Dam’s capacity is limited, Guma now rations water supply throughout the year on a 6-8 hours basis.

On water supply to the Western Area Rural, Ing. Awoonor-Williams said several smaller sources in the area will be developed under ongoing and upcoming projects to serve the community.

Making his final remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Lahai Marrah assured the Guma management of the Committee’s support at all times in the execution of the company’s mandate.

The visit was climaxed by a question and answer session.

District Agricultural Officer Commends Vietnam Seedlings

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Madam Jane FeaKabbaSeiSillah, Agricultural Officer, Chinese team observe symbolic harvesting

District Agricultural Officer Western Rural and Urban districts, Jane FeaKabba Sei Sillah has unveiled that the farm multiplication of OM and GBS-9 rice with support from Vietnam, extremely exhibited a dividend to farmers in Ogoo Farm community.

Madam Jane explained to this medium that, farmers were so passionate about the new seedlings input given to them, improved variety rice that rendered a better yield which farmers cultivated 50 Hectares land in Ogoo Farm.

She defined ample cultivation.

The Agricultural Officer also mentioned areas where this new rice farming are ongoing like Kerry town, Tombo, Campbell town, Small Country, SongoLoko and a new site where the COVID Rice for farming to over 150 acre are presently harvesting in Urban and Rural districts respectively.

She unfolds such farmers’ success that, when COVID-19 struck, she charged farmers that “there was a fire coming from the stream side,” meaning, China that uses to give agricultural support to Sierra Leone has now been experiencing global pandemic (COVID-19) which could limit their supports in the country.

Yet, farmers should double-speed their working capacity by intensifying their working sites which could capacitate them in recovering gaps that they encountered in COVID-19.

The two districts also benefited from the emergency supply from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with Cotton Tree Foundation to service five hundred (500) farmers in the Western Rural District, madam Jane adduced.

Qian Wenwu, Interpreter for the 13th Phase Agricultural Technology Assistance Project in Sierra Leone said they are always in close collaboration with districts in offering technical assistance to local farmers on how to grow rice, maize among other crops; supporting farmers with seedling variety rice which to improve on their yields.

He outlined that local farmers’ need investment, the facility of Ogooju farm is not very much good and he urged government, partners to support these farmers with fertilizer.

the Vietnam seedlings rice of having high tendency for providing multiple harvests for farmers, regardless of the farmer languor, and the more farmers apply painstaking to it, the more they will acquire

DR. WILLIETTE PRINCESS RANSOLINA OLUWAKEMI JAMES—JUDGE NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION CREATIVE COMPETITION 2020

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Dr. Williette Princess Ransolina Oluwakemi James is a Sierra Leonean journalist, lecturer and Gender advocate. Since 2010, she has interspersed her journalistic work with gender advocacy in the media. Williette has practiced as a journalist for twenty years.  She got part of her training in journalism at the Sky High Magazine in Walthamstow, London, and has benefitted from several other media and gender trainings nationally and internationally.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree (First Class) in Mass communication, a Master of Arts in Gender Studies, a Master of Philosophy in Mass Communication and a Ph.D in Communication and Media Studies (specializing in Media and Gender) all from Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone (USL).

Williette has practised as a journalist in almost all forms of media. She held the position of News and Current Affairs Manager at the ABC Television Africa, Sierra Leone, She also served as Managing Editor of Salone Times Newspaper, Consultant Editor of the Premier News Newspaper and News Watch Magazine, Executive Producer of the Voice of Children UNICEF Project on Radio Mount Aureol, and Consultant Editor of the Audit Service Sierra Leone where she edited the Auditor General’s Report and other Performance Audit Reports.

She has written and published several articles and won the Sierra Leone Independent Media Awards in 2005 for Best Television Programme Night Line and Best Gender Reporting (2007 & 2008) for the stories (Secret Pains of a Village Mother 1 and 2) published in Salone Times Newspaper. In 2018, Williette published a story titled The EBK Effect. That article won the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists Award for Best Political Story, making her the first female journalist to win that category in Sierra Leone.

Williette James has been lecturing full-time at the Mass Communication Department, FBC. USL, since 2006 and she is now the Head of Department. She is also the first Female President of the Academic Staff Association of Fourah Bay College University of Sierra Leone and first President of the Academic Staff Association of the three constituent colleges of the University of Sierra Leone  (FBC, IPAM and COMAHS).

At the University, she has established the Women Leaders Initiative; a forum that provides training for female university students to pursue their leadership initiatives and take up leadership roles in society.

Williette is married to Brian James, with three boys.

Female to Contest Paramount Chief Election in Sumbuya Lugbo Chiefdom

By Mary Nallo

Following the candidature of Madam Nancy Nallo to contest for the Paramount Chieftaincy election of Sumbuya Lugbu Chiefdom – Bo District, it is apparent that even though President Bio is agitating for more female participation in the governance of this country, certain machinations are taking place behind the scenes to squash President Bio’s aspirations and even that of the First Lady, Fatima Bio, to have more women taking part in governance issues.

Madam Nancy Nallo is a grassroots woman and the last in the line of her grandfather and father, who were also Paramount Chiefs in that part of the country.

She is a business-oriented person who loves her people and is ready to support President Bio and his New Direction Government achieve their objectives of moving Sierra Leone and its people forward.

Madam Nancy Nallo is determined, like First Lady Fatima Bio, to enhance the welfare of young girls and women and if given the opportunity, she will demonstrate that she has the clout, education, strategy and experience to improve the lives of the people of Sumbuya Lugbu Chiefdom – Bo District.

She and her supporters are therefore calling on President Bio, First Lady Fatima Bio, Chief Minister, David Francis and all others in the New Direction Government to assist her in achieving her dream of becoming the first female Paramount chief of that chiefdom, as it seems apparent that much is afoot behind the scenes to cast her aside; something which her supporters say they will contend.

She is also calling on all women and men’s groups to come on board as well as civil society members, Paramount Chiefs, Members of Parliament, Ministers and deputy ministers and all other interested persons to come on board and ensure that Madam Nancy Nallo becomes the first female Paramount Chief for this area, as she will bring positive development to that part of the country.

French Lawmaker Pays Courtesy Call on President Bio

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Member of Parliament, M’jid El Guerrab, serving in the National Assembly for French people living in the Maghreb and part of West Africa, has paid a courtesy call on His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio.

While introducing the delegation to the President, Speaker of Parliament, Honourable Dr Abass Chernor Bundu, said that the visit by the French Lawmaker was to follow-up on President Bio’s visit to Paris in 2019 and to build on the existing relationship between the two countries.

He added that MrGuerrab had already met his counterparts at the Sierra Leone Parliament, laying a solid foundation for the relationship between the two houses. He added that France had already established what he referred to as a Franco–Sierra Leone friendship.

“We have, this afternoon, agreed to reciprocate by establishing the principle of similar friendship in our parliament. It is our fervent hope that in the coming weeks we will be able to formulate an MOU, leading to the formation of the Inter-Parliamentary Relationship between the two countries,” he said.

The visiting Parliamentarian, M’jid El Guerrab, thanked President Bio for his audience and for the warm welcome he received in Sierra Leone, adding that his visit was to strengthen the close ties between the two countries and to create a special relationship with the Sierra Leone Parliament.

In his remarks, President Bio thanked the visiting team and welcome its members to the West African nation, noting that the two countries had come a long way in their friendship, which his government hoped to benefit from.

“We have a long history with France. In the New Direction, we want to maintain this relationship for the mutual benefit of our two countries. We are eager and want to intensify our activities in the various areas of cooperation,” he said, noting that his last visit to France and meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron was to heighten that level of cooperation by establishing a permanent embassy in Paris.

“We want to rekindle this relationship at a very high level. We want to have in Freetown a resident ambassador. These are all meant to strengthen our relationships. We hope that you will find Sierra Leone as a tourist destination for those French citizens who used to come and never stopped coming,” he noted.

 Taking Banking to the Community…

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Due to growing and military-sensitive banking demands, the Management of Sierra Leone Commercial Bank Limited today Wednesday 4th, November, 2020 opened a new branch at the 34 Military Hospital in Wilberforce Barracks to the general public.

SLCB Management stated that the extension of service to the public is based on high customer demands for the bank’s services blending military, public and health service billing needs.

The branch is opened to the public to receive deposits, pay withdrawals, do online banking and Bank to Orange and Africell and vice versa money transfers.

This is not the first time SLCB is taking banking to the doorsteps of communities. As the bank with the highest number of branches in the country, and a commanding customer base, it has deepened financial inclusiveness to an enviable height.

Over the past two years, in the Western Area, SLCB had saved customers the hassle of driving to a downtown bustle by opening banking kiosks at Adonkia, Goderich, Wilberforce-Bottom Mango and Jui Junction.

This has been offering customers safe, speedy, secure banking services. The bank additionally offers customers countrywide a catalogue of easily accessible, user friendly financial inclusion platforms such as: MiYone Online banking, MiYone mobile app, MiYone online direct, MiYone Teller, MiYone Kiosk, Swift money transfer, Small World Money Transfer, Western Union, Money Gram, etc.

The newly established branch will adorn majestic prestige to the 34 Military hospital as well as ease military personnel the indignities of blending with the general public at other branches.

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