Le 1.8B Worth of Scholarship for College & University Students

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Sierra Minerals Holdings Limited (SMHL) has, through its Community Development Committee (CDC), awarded scholarships to 500 university and college students in various fields of studies at the CDC Complex in Lower Banta Chiefdom, Moyamba District.

The scholarships, which were up to the tune of one billion, eight hundred and seventy-one million Leones (Le 1,871,000,000), targeted indigenes of the five chiefdoms (Upper Banta, Lower Banta, Kpanda Kemo, Bumpeh Gao, and Mano Dasse) where SMHL’s mining operations are primarily done, taking into consideration their corporate social responsibility.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of Bo District Council, Mr. Joseph M. Gbindi, started off by thanking SMHL and CDC for setting a very high standard in the area of students’ support, which complements government’s vision on human capital development. He welcomed the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, noting that their presence presupposes government’s belief in a decentralized system of education in the country.

SMHL’s Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Abdul Bangura, assured members of their continued efforts as a mining company in developing the communities within which they operate. He cited their commitment to giving 1% of their proceeds to the communities in a bid to uphold their corporate social responsibility, noting that the award of scholarships is just one of their numerous outputs. According Mr. Bangura, in spite of the challenges posed by the Corona Virus, they have no plans to shut down their mining operations.

In his keynote address, the Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie, expressed delight over the laudable efforts of SMHL and CDC in building students’ capacity, applauding them for supporting government to achieve its educational goals. According to Prof. Wurie, this government prioritizes development of communities from which mining operations are done. He congratulated the awardees for being the lucky ones, encouraging them to take their coursework seriously with an initial drive to in turn serve the communities from which the resources are being given to them as scholarships.   According to the Minister, every district has to grow as a vibrant entity in itself, and that is why government intends to have a higher learning institution in every district of the country, and a university per region.

5 Police Dismissed Over Hastings Murder

By Anthony Vandy

On Thursday 15th April 2021 between the hours of 10:00am to 14:00hours the Complaints, Discipline and Internal Investigations Department (CDIID) at Police Head Quarters received a complaint about personnel attached to the Hastings Police Station that five personal in OSD uniform entered into an alleged disputed piece of land at Hastings village and discharged two (2) bullet on one Alpha Kargbo a.k.a. Wandada which resulted to his death.

Speaking to this medium Superintendent Samuel Williams Head of CDIID said during the course of investigations five (5) police officers were arrested: Alimamy Foday Yillah (PC 9882), Festus Jorboh Sherrington (PC 11873), Abdul Sesay (PC 11788), John Patrick Bangura (PC 15931) and Rebecca Bisodu Douglas (Inspector).

Mr. Conteh said that these police officers committed the offence of Discharging a firearm without just cause; lacking civility and conspiring together with Alimamy Foday Yillah to discharge two bullets on Alpha Kargbo; improper practice; improperly using their positions as members of the force for their own private advantage, and knowing full well that the piece of land in question was under dispute.

He added that they are also to answer for failing to assist any person injured and taking the injured to the hospital and for commuting any act of plunder or wanton destruction of property.

Failing to comply with any standing order issued by the Inspector General of Police-they failed to comply with the force standing order and the police discipline regulations 2001 and any Order Act, Conduct, Disorder or Neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline-The act they exhibited in the course of their duty may likely damage the image of the force.

In concluding the matter Superintendent Samuel Williams said the file was sent to the DPP for legal advice. After the disciplinary hearing of the five personnel they were found guilty for the various offenses and were dismissed from the SLP.

MTCA, NTB Hold Marketing & Branding Workshop

Having concluded the regional marketing and branding consultative workshop in the provinces, the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the National Tourist Board with support from the World Bank Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project have held a consultative Marketing and Branding Workshop with Journey and ACORN consultants at the Family Kingdom Resort in Freetown.

In her statement, the General Manager of the National Tourist Board, Fatmata Kroma, noted that they have been doing a lot of marketing and Branding with special credence to Minister Pratt for putting so much emphasis and aggression in international marketing and promotion, and that as a result, Sierra Leone is now recognized globally in term of tourism.

“Despite having a marketing initiative and tool, there is no marketing strategy for Sierra Leone, but with support from World Bank we will be having a holistic and international marketing strategy with an implementation plan. For the document to have a national character, the consultants have consulted the regions to have their input into same,” She explained.

The Deputy Chairman for the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Tourism, Hon. Saidu Conteh said he is excited to be part of the meeting noting that they will always give their support to the Ministry and the Board. He on behalf of their committee in parliament welcomed journey and ACORN consultants for supporting the tourism sector.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Andrew Sorie, maintained that the workshop demonstrates what they want for the sector as the consultants will help lure more visitors to Sierra Leone, adding that the Ministry was excited about the activity and that they are hoping for positive results for Sierra Leone to compete in the highest level in world tourism.

In their presentation on the situation analysis, marketing opportunities and challenges during the regional workshops, the Lead Consultant, Mike Fabricius, said they had a wonderful experience and they felt energized.

He explained that the objective is to develop a national tourism marketing strategy and branding that is implementable which can resonates with tourism markets and embraces the importance of sustainability in order to kick-start implementation of rebranding the destinations, social media marketing strategy and production of key collateral and marketing training.

He furthered that the strategy would guide the marketing of tourism for the next ten years and that it includes a three – year action plan with corresponding activities, tactics, targets and budgets. Adding that It will be realistic and in line with the GoSL budgets and capacities and will focus more on digital marketing.

The workshop was climaxed by interactive group sessions where participants discussed the basis on which Sierra Leone can be differentiated from other competitors in terms of the type of travellers to be targeted, the packaging and presentation of product to travellers and the vision for Sierra Leone’s tourism in 2035.

The presentation further showcased  the slogan that summarises Sierra Leone’s brand promise, how to visualise the brand promise in a brand identity and what expression should be given to Sierra Leone in terms of sound, aroma, taste, texture and visually were all discussed by participants.

S/Leone Ambassador to Kuwait Plans Construction of 6 Tec-Vocs in S/Leone

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, Her Excellency Haja Ishata Thomas, has submitted the Bill of Quantity (BOQ), Architectural Drawings, and copies of the site plan to Direct Aid Headquarters for the construction of the six technical/vocational institutes in Sierra Leone.

The documents were submitted following a request made by Dr. Abdullah Abdulrahman Al-Sumait during his engagement with Ambassador Haja Ishata Thomas earlier this year.

Receiving the documents, Direct Aid’s Senior Consultant of Higher Education, Prof Maged Al-Sherbiny, noted that the identification of the pieces of land in the respective districts was key, adding that after completion, Direct Aid would work with the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Kuwait, to ensure that operational cost for the six technical/vocational institutes is sustained.

The construction of the six technical/vocational institutes is part of His Excellency, Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s desire to develop the country’s human capital by establishing polytechnic institutions, fully equipped with modern tools for vocational education and training in various district headquarter towns.

Areas identified by the President for the construction of the six Technical/vocational Institutions were Fabala, Karene, Makeni, Port Loko, Mattru Jong, and Koindu.

SLRA Engages Stakeholders in the South and East

PWD Junction, Kissy Dockyard, Freetown. Wednesday, June 23, 2021- The Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) has extended its public engagements on the operations of the Authority and the clearing of the Right-of-Way to the Southern and Eastern regions of the country.

The engagements were held at the Bo District Council on Friday, June 18 and at the Kenema District Council on Saturday, June 19, 2021. The engagements brought together key stakeholders, including the Resident Minister – East, Paramount Chiefs, Local Council authorities, Civil Society, the Security Sector, Traders’ Council representatives and the media.

During his presentation on the structure and operations of the SLRA the Director of Operations Management at the SLRA Ing. Alfred Jalil Momodu educated the participants on the scope and nature of the SLRA, national road network classification, status on-going road projects, short and long term planned road projects, proposed financing strategies, national plan for feeder roads, road maintenance issues, challenges and the way forward.

Ing. Momodu told stakeholders that government was very concerned about the improvement of the national road network for socio-economic development and that the Southern and Eastern regions are among the beneficiaries for the major road projects in the country.

There are a total of 26 major on-going road projects across the country. Eight among them are donor funded with counterpart funding from the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) while 18 of them are solely funded by GoSL. 

Among the major road projects, the Government of Sierra Leone has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with several contractors for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of various roads in the Southern and Eastern Regions, including the MRU Rehabilitation of Bo – Bandajuma Road [46 km], Rehabilitation / Reconstruction of Bandajuma – MRU Bridge Roads and Bridges Project [105 km plus three major Bridges], Rehabilitation / Reconstruction of Moyamba – Moyamba Junction Road (36 km  plus four Major Bridges], Rehabilitation / Reconstruction of Pendembu – Kailahun Road [28 km], Rehabilitation / Reconstruction of Roads in Moyamba, Pujehun, Mattru Jong and completion of Bonthe Township Roads and the Sea Face Protection [23km], Rehabilitation of Blama, Hangha and Dama Roads and Kefrey Bridge Kenema City, Rehabilitation of Bo – Mattru Road [Segment 1: Bo – Tikonko (10 km)], Completion of Bandajuma – Pujehun Road, Completion of Taiama – Njala Road and some lots among the Major and Minor Regravelling of Trunk Roads Nationwide (1828 km).

Amidst the many strides made to improve the road sector, Ing. Momodu lamented that the inadequate funding for the implementation of projects, low capacity of the local road construction industry, damage to road pavement due to excess axle load, misuse of the road structure by commuters, lack of adequate space or parcels of land for the creation of off-street and designated lorry parks and massive encroachment on the Right-of-Way are some of the key challenges delaying the work of SLRA.

The Chief Engineer, Road Reserve Division at SLRA, Ing. Edmond Tommy, educated the participants on the concept of the Right-of-Way, the legal instruments which empowers SLRA to be in charge of the Right-of-Way, the demarcations of the Right-of-Way, showed pictorial evidences of some of the encroachments and hazardous practices of some individuals and communities on the Right-of-Way and the nature of the clearing process.

Most of the stakeholders in both regions, including the Resident Minister – East, Mr. Andrew Ansu Fatorma, applauded the efforts of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority and committed to help protect the Right-of-Way. 

Mr. Fatorma expressed his dissatisfaction on the disorganized and illegal erection of stalls along the Kenema City roads and the indiscriminate sales of land without regards for proper city planning. “Even if the government constructed all roads in Kenema, the city will not be beautiful because of the illegal erection of makeshift structures, and we cannot let few people to discomfort and delay the progress of the general citizenry because of their selfishness,” he lamented.

The Resident Minister appealed to all to comply with SLRA on the clearance of the Right-of-Way and warned that he would not tolerate defaulters to seek his assistance to evade the due processes.

The clearance of the Right-of-Way will resume in the Western Area on Friday, 25 June 2021 and continues in other regions of the

Parliament Validates Curriculum for research and parliamentary studies

The Parliament of Sierra Leone including MPs and Staff and the Consultant for the maiden curriculum development for Parliamentary Studies has today 23rd June 2021 met at the New Brookfields Hotel to discuss and make meaningful inputs aimed at validating the curriculum.

The process at this stage is driven and supported by UNDP to strengthen democracy in Sierra Leone through capacity building.

Welcoming participants, Deputy Director of Centre for Research and Parliamentary Studies, Gilbert N’habay wished everyone a fruitful deliberation tied with meaningful inputs so as to do justice to the validation process. He also said that the curriculum development is being supported by UNDP to improve and strengthen service delivery in and out of Parliament through professional courses.

Director of Centre for Research and Parliamentary Studies, Mohamed Alpha Jalloh thanked participants and informed them about the merger between Research and Parliamentary Studies, following a decision by the Parliamentary Service Commission in Port Loko District to enhance the capacity of MPs, Staff and MDAs of Government. He said, the Centre for Research and Parliamentary Studies in light of capacity building is aimed at integrating and institutionalizing professional courses by affiliating with Universities in Sierra Leone for the award of Certificate and Diploma.

He also said that the training model is pegged on delivery, partnership and the public and that Directors are to serve as potential facilitators. Speaking on course overview, objectives and learning outcomes, he said that the training methodology would be laced with lecture, case studies, group assignments, brainstorming and presentations. He stated that MPs, Staff and others would pay for courses that would be offered by the Centre for Research and Parliamentary Studies.

Speaking on behalf of the Clerk of Parliament, Cyril F. King, Deputy Clerk II thanked participants for being part of the journey relating to the validation of the curriculum in order to professionalize and expose the workings and operations of Parliament.

He craved the indulgence of participants to make good inputs aimed at enriching the curriculum. He likened representative democracy to Muammar Gaddafi’s “jamarihiya”, saying the people are central in a democracy, thus the need for continuous education of the people. He spoke on the utilization of former and current MPs and Staff of Parliament to enhance and institutionalize parliamentary learning. He also called for additional topics and courses to enrich the curriculum. He called on government to allocate land to Parliament for the construction of a learning centre for the promotion of professional learning aimed at a sustainable democratic development and advancement in Sierra Leone.

Professor Mohamed Yamba Bangura is the consultant contracted by UNDP for the curriculum development for the Centre for Research and Parliamentary Studies. He took participants through the process of the curriculum development and called on them to make stakeholders inputs regarding the validation of the curriculum.

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