On 18th March 2021, former President of Sierra Leone, H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma, convened a second virtual Round Table meeting under the auspices of the Horasis Community. During the deliberations, the well noted Sierra Leonean statesman re-echoed his calls for an African Engineering Peace Corps (AfPEC).
The high profiled participants including former Nigerian President, Good-luck Jonathan as well as peace and security technocrats deliberated on the way forward for the rolling out of what they described as a commendable initiative. When implemented as proposed AfPEC seeks for African countries to utilise or contribute a percentage of their armed forces to a special engineering outfit that would address Africaâ€™s infrastructural challenges.
In his opening remarks, former President Koroma articulated his vision for sustainable peace and development for Africa which he said requires “innovative and collaborative approaches in order to maximize the continent’s growth potential in ICT, technology and agriculture”. To this end, he said the world should come together to support the AfPEC initiative.
Former President Koroma made a strong case for AfPEC by sharing his personal experience regarding how the army was instrumental in his efforts to consolidate peace during his ten years leadership of Sierra Leone. He also made specific reference of how the military played a phenomenal role in fighting against the devastating Ebola outbreak and in responding to the mudslide disaster both of which killed thousands of Sierra Leoneans.
During the Ebola outbreak, I successfully utilised the services of the army in building treatment centers, enforcing quarantine and in the distribution of food, provision of water and other social assistance. But importantly, the military were also effective in managing some of the holding and treatment centers. And to the amazement and appreciation of the public, treatment centers managed by military medics eventually turned out to be the ones with the highest number of recoveries from Ebola”.
President Koroma emphasized that â€œâ€¦with more engineering and peace building training force Africans youth and military, we shall develop, in alignment with UNSDG, an innovative capacity in the engineering sector and peace-building efforts throughout Africa.
Former President Good-luck Jonathan of Nigeria strongly agrees, saying that the COVID -19 pandemic has exacerbated Africans development challenges and caused increased poverty levels adding; â€œa call for a new African renaissance in multilateralism to promote sustainable peace and economic development is therefore imperative”
On all fronts, the consensus among the participants is that now more than ever, Africa needs to be united in rebuilding all areas and they viewed AfPEC as a strategic mechanism by which to generate the much-needed social infrastructure development outcomes.
The Executive of the Sierra Leone Bar Association is concerned about the Bill titled: THE CYBER CRIME ACT, 2020,Â which is intended to be passed into law. A cursory look at the provisions of the said Bill raises serious concerns which require serious attention. The Bar Association intends to state its position on the current Bill.
Therefore, the Executive is inviting members who are interested to form a committee to look at the provisions therein and make recommendations where necessary. These recommendations will be forwarded to the Government of Sierra Leone for immediate attention.
Those interested should reach out to the President +23279601556 or Secretary General +23276140723 of the Bar by either WhatsApp or SMS with their full details.
It is hoped that the Committee will complete this exercise within the required time for submission to the Government. t