By Musa Kamara
At the close of 2021, the Ministry of Political and Public Affairs (MPPA) on its continuation to showcase the relevance of the Citizens’ Portal, has engaged stakeholders of Kenema- the headquarter town of the eastern region of Sierra Leone.
It is worth noting that engagement geared on showcasing the relevance of the Citizens’ Portal was a campaign that has been robustly undertaking by MPPA, whereby, members of the media, civil society organizations and MDAs have been thoroughly schooled on the importance of the Citizens’ Portal, especially at this age of misinformation and disinformation of the social media landscape.
Talking to stakeholders at the Kenema City Council, Ambassador Mohamed Foday Yumkella who is Minister of Political and Public Affairs commended the gathering describing them “as the actual people needed to pass on the information about the portal.”
He informed that the Citizens’ Portal is a platform that ensures and assures Sierra Leoneans of first-class information on issues that have to do with the hike in prices of food and other essential commodities, issues of security and governance, amongst others.
He assured that the portal would be operating on 24 hours basis wherein, the public can direct their concerns or questions to all the principal government institutions, for instance, he cited; the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
Giving a brief background of MPPA, James Bonghor Sesay who is the Director of Political and Public Affairs explained that, the Ministry was established to serve as a liaison between the citizens and the government, and to also ensure that there is interaction in the promotion of democracy and good governance.
He went on to say that the Citizens’ Portal is an extension of citizens’ interaction with government. He disclosed that the Citizens’ Portal is a novelty and that; Sierra Leone is only second to South Africa on such innovation in the continent of Africa.
Director Sesay revealed that the Citizens’ Portal Link would be made known to the public when the portal is officially launched and therefore, he called on the people of Kenema and by extension, the people of Sierra Leone to take ownership of the portal- a portal that host facts and inform people on issues of national concern.
He assured that the identities of the users of the portal would not be disclosed and hence the need for all to feel free and discuss issues of national interest.
On an extensive account of the Citizens’ Portal, Momoh Conteh who is Senior Policy Analyst- MPPA described the portal as a one-stop shop wherein, citizens’ can communicate with MDAs on national issues.
He enlightened that the portal has discussion forums that summed up to 8 clusters and he also noted that the portal is web-based with address: portal.moppa.gov.sl. He however disclosed that as time progresses, the portal could be accessed on WhatsApp.
Earlier on, Momoh Conteh lured the attention of the participants to the “National Pledge,” where he urged all to sing it and remain faithful to the promises made in the National Pledge.
Augustine Sannoh- representing CSOs in the eastern region applauded MPPA for such initiative which he said, promotes accurate information rather than people merely relying on social media news- which have been mostly disseminated by bad people to promote hate.
Statements were also made by representatives of the Mayor of Kenema, Inter-Religious Council, and the Paramount Chief of Nongowa Chiefdom.
Some of the participants present at the session were teachers, pupils, civil society activists, journalists, bike (okada) riders, and traders. The session was climaxed with questions, concerns and suggestions from the participants- on the way forward for the Citizens’ Portal.
The regional engagement session was comprehensively carried out across the provincial headquarter towns- where citizens’ embrace the initiative and agreed to do all it takes to ensure that the Citizens’ Portal yield the much expected result bent on promoting democracy and good governance.
SLFA & MOS distribute match tickets to supporters
The Sierra Leone Football Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports (MOS) and the National Sports Authority (NSA), on Friday 14th January, 2022 distributed match tickets to all Leone Stars’ supporters in Douala, Cameroon.
The distribution of match tickets to the supporters ahead of the Sierra Leone vs Ivory Coast match on Sunday 16th January, is to prevent a reoccurrence of the Tuesday incident were tickets arrived very late for the Algeria vs Sierra Leone encounter in the 2021 AFCON Group E opening match at the Japoma Stadium in Douala.
The distributions were done at each of the five hotels in Douala where the team supporters put up.
The successful exercise of the distribution was led by the SLFA General Secretary Mr. Christopher Kamara and cross section of Exco Members of the Sierra Leone Football Association.
The tickets also cover the Algeria vs Equatorial Guinea match in the same Group E on same Sunday.
Speaking to NSA Media after receiving their tickets, some of the supporters expressed their deepest gratitude to the SLFA, MOS and NSA for this great show of leadership.
“As human beings, we must learn from the past, and think of the future. This is exactly what the leadership of the SLFA, MOS and the NSA has demonstrated”, they said