Climate Change: UK Commits £11.6B

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Prime Minister of England, Boris Johnson has stated at the UN General Assembly that his government is committed to providing £11.6 billion to help the rest of the world tackle climate change. He added that in spite of all the pressures on finances caused by COVID, “we have kept that promise to the letter.”

He went on to explain to a galaxy of world leaders and dignitaries that in the allotted lifespan of a million, humanity has been around for about 200,000.

He further said that “We still cling with part of our minds to the infantile belief that the world was made for our gratification and pleasure and we combine this narcissism with an assumption of our own immortality.We believe that someone else will clear up the mess we make, because that is what someone else has always done.”

He warned that the world is approaching that critical turning point – in less than two months – “when we must show that we are capable of learning, and maturing, and finally taking responsibility for the destruction we are inflicting, not just upon our planet but ourselves.”

He maintained that weekly, “we are doing such irreversible damage that long before a million years are up, we will have made this beautiful planet effectively uninhabitable – not just for us but for many other species.”

He informed his audience that is why the Glasgow COP26 Summit is the turning point for humanity.

The British Prime Minister stated that “We must limit the rise in temperatures – whose appalling effects were visible even this summer – to 1.5 degrees.We must come together in a collective coming of age.We must show we have the maturity and wisdom to act.”

He stated that he is pleased and encouraged by some of the pledges the UN body has at the UNGA, including from Denmark, and “a very substantial commitment from the US that brings us within touching distance of the $100 billion in pledges.”

But we must go further, and we must be clear that government alone will not be able to do enough.

He rounded up by saying that he hopes that COP26 will be a 16th birthday for humanity “in which we choose to grow up, to recognise the scale of the challenge we face, to do what posterity demands we must, and I invite you in November to celebrate what I hope will be a coming of age and to blow out the candles of a world on fire.”

Among 100 Most Influential African Women 2021:

Tanzania President& Merck CEO Recognized

By Winnie Botha from ‘For Africa’ Media

The President of Tanzania, SamiaSuluhu Hassan; Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. RashaKelej; the Prime Minister of Togo, H.E. Victoire Tomegah Dogbe, the Vice President of Uganda, H.E. Jessica Rose EpelAlupo and the Vice President of Benin, H.E. Mariam ChabiTalatahave been recognized amongst 100 Most Influential African Women 2021.

The list of 100 Most Influential African Women 2020, released by Avance Media group as part of ‘Be a Girl’ Initiative to acknowledges their efforts and accomplishments, which continue to inspire young people across the African continent and beyond.

Senator, Dr. RashaKelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother has been featured in the list of 100 Most Influential African Women 2021, released by ‘Be a Girl’ Initiative, for the second consecutive year.

Avance Media, a leading Rating firm, through its girls’ empowerment project,‘Be A Girl’, launches this annual publication to highlight and celebrate the astounding accomplishments of 100 women from Africa dubbed. https://100women.avancemedia.org/2021-honourees/ Merck Foundation CEO, President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother and Member of Egyptian Senate, Senator, Dr. RashaKelej has been recognized for her efforts to transform patient care in Africa, breaking the infertility stigma through her poignant “More Than a Mother’ campaign and to empower girls in education so that they can reach their potential and pursue their dreams through ‘Educating Linda’ program.

This is for the fourth time, Senator, Dr. RashaKelej has made it to the list of 100 Most Influential Africans (women and men). She has also been previously recognized by New African Magazine, UK in 2019 & 2020, for empowering women in general and infertile women in particular through the ‘More Than a Mother’ campaign. Senator, Dr. Rasha is truly a force of nature and one of Africa’s unsung ‘sheroes’ of women empowerment and health advocates. Speaking about this accolade, Senator Dr. RashaKelej emphasized, “I’m truly honoured with the recognition and very happy to be included in the list alongside many prestigious and renowned African Women.

I congratulate each one of them. This is a huge validation of my journey and my efforts to empower women of my continent; it will certainly motivate me to work even harder and more sincerely towards my goal of transforming patient care for the people of my beloved Africa. Senator, Dr. RashaKelej is the brain behind the inspiring ‘More Than A Mother’ campaign – a rallying call against female infertility stigma.

The campaign empowers infertile women through access to information, health, change of mind-set, and economic empowerment. More than 20 African First Ladies appointed as Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More than a Mother”, which is very impressive.

Hailed from Egypt, this versatile lady and a style icon is a trailblazer and influential in changing the perception of how fashion, film, music, and media can be utilized to address sensitive social issues through “More Than A Mother’ Fashion, Films, Songs & Media Awards as she strongly believes in the critical role of these fraternities in creating a culture shift.

She has also contributed to the future of hundreds of girls through her ‘Educating Linda’ Program by supporting the education of many of the high performing girls by providing scholarships and grants that can cover school fees, school uniforms, and other essentials including notebooks, pens, and mathematical instruments, so they can reach their potential and pursue their dreams. “Empowering women starts with education, to enable them to be healthier, stronger, and independent”, explains Senator, Dr. Rasha. Moreover, she has been an inspirational pioneer in transforming Patient care in Africa.

More than 1300 doctors from 42 countries are benefiting from Merck Foundation scholarships in critical and underserved fields such as Oncology, Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Acute Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Embryology & Fertility specialty, and many more.

She emphasized, “During Coronavirus pandemic, it has been more important than ever to build capacity and train specialized doctors. In some of these countries, they have never had even one oncologist, for example. They may only have a general practitioner.

We simply made history in these countries such as The Gambia, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Botswana, Namibia, Chad, Niger, Guinea & Liberia, not only in Oncology but in many of critical and underserved speciality Such as Respiratory, Paediatric, Orthopaedic, Psychiatry, Intensive care and more”.

The 2021 list of 100 most Influential African Women has a representation of the most powerful African women from 28 African countries, chosen from various career backgrounds including diplomacy, philanthropy, politics, activism, entrepreneurship, business leadership, and entertainment. It includes many famous names like; H.E. SamiaSuluhu Hassan, The President of Tanzania; H.E. Mariam ChabiTalata, the Vice President of Benin; H.E. VictoireTomegahDogbé, the Prime Minister of Togo and H.E. Jessica Rose EpelAlupo, the Vice President of Uganda, amongst others.

Chief Justice Reassures UNDP

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Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards reassuring UNDP

The Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications, CJ’s Conference room, Freetown, 23rd September 2021: Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards has assured the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Advisory Mission on Elections of the Judiciary’s readiness and firm commitment to promote electoral justice to ensure free, fair and credible elections across the country.

The Honourable Chief Justice said, “We in the judiciary are ready to promote electoral justice as our function is to do justice. We’re here to ensure that we have credible, free and fair elections and we’re here to do that job, we’re not going to relent in doing that.”

According to him, over the years, the judiciary’s willingness to uphold electoral justice has come with added responsibility which requires the support from all key players in ensuring that electoral justice is achieved.

He said when he took up office in 2018, the country’s entire population against the total number of Judges and Magistrates (Judicial officers) indicated that a judicial officer had 143,000 people assigned to him, which in itself was a serious burden on the limited number of judges in the discharge of their duties.

He continued that under his leadership, premium has been placed on increased access to justice with the appointment of more judges and judicial staff in various parts of the country. This move, he said has reduced the number to 98,000 citizens to a judicial officer, stressing that the number is still below the African average of one judicial officer to 33,000 persons. Worldwide, he said, the average is one judicial officer to 5,650 persons.

Notwithstanding the small number of Judges, the Hon. Chief Justice assured that with elections around the corner, his administration is ready and willing to deploy not less than 15 Judges to handle electoral matters across the country.

For the handling of Electoral offences, petitions among others, he used the occasion to call for support to the Judiciary with the setting up of an Independent Electoral Court and Registry at the former ‘dilapidated Special Court building’ in Freetown. He also proposed for Independent Electoral Court Registries in each of the Provincial headquarter towns in the Provinces.

The above-mentioned deployments would require logistics, the Chief Justice continued, to go with same and it was up to UNDP and its partners to see to the provision of such logistics including vehicles for judges, computers, accessories, internet connectivity, motorbikes for bailiffs and other available support for support staff.

He reiterated the need for refresher’s training and capacity building for Judges, as part of what would assist Judges to expeditiously handle election matters.

“The Judicial and Legal Training Institute (JLTI) of the Sierra Leone Judiciary has had an impressive history of multiple effective training of Judges, Administrative staff and paralegals which include; Sexual Offences Model Court, Refresher’s training, Industrial training and a host of others and with its well-endowed faculty members and tutors was ready to handle such training with support from UNDP,” the Chief Justice said.

While noting that the Election Petition Rules 2007 do not serve the purpose for expeditions trials of electoral cases in the country, the Hon. Chief Justice said there was need to revisit the Elections Petition Rules of 2007 for amendment.

“The Elections Petition Rules of 2007 which are the rules by which you bring Parliamentary petitions to the court need amendment, and the Rules of Court Committee is prepared do same with support from UNDP and its partners,” he disclosed.

The Chief Justice requested more copies of the Compendium on Electoral Laws and said that current amendments should be incorporated immediately within the newly printed Compendium.

Having stated the purpose of the meeting which looked at existing structures to ensure electoral justice were well in place and in preparedness for electoral cycle, 2020-2024, the Governance and Peacebuilding Coordinator for UNDP in Africa, Dr. Roselyn Akombe, said she was impressed with the level of readiness shown by the Judiciary, it being one of the key players in upholding democratic governance.

She assured the Chief Justice of UNDP’s continued support to the Judiciary and further commended the current administration on their firm commitment and readiness to put the necessary structures in place geared towards ensuring expeditious trials of electoral cases.

On his part, Court of Appeal Judge, Hon. Justice MonfredSesay JA, re-emphasised the need for support to the Judiciary especially with vehicles for Judges.

He described those needs as ‘necessities in fostering effective service delivery’ on their part.

He added that it is not only risky but very dangerous for Judges to be without a vehicle which will always put their lives on the line after delivering a Judgment or to slam an Injunction that is not favourable to the other party.

Also present at the meeting were the UNDP’s Sierra Leone Governance Specialist, Josephine Scott-Manga; UNDP Electoral Systems Support Brussels, SareKnoope, Court of Appeal Judges; Justices KombaKamanda and AlhajiMomoh-Jah Stevens, Master and Registrar, the Deputy Master, Court Operations Manager, Principal Accountant and the Confidential Secretary to the Chief Justice.

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Chinese Embassy Hosts First Information Salon

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The Chinese Embassyin Sierra Leone on 24th September, 2021 hosted the first online Information Salon, which was initiated to strengthen communications and to promote understanding between the two countries China-Sierra Leone.

The salon was attended by H.E. Chinese Ambassador Hu Zhangliang and diplomats of the Embassy, Hon. Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Mr. Solomon Jamiru, Political Adviser to President Dr. BrimaKapuwa, President of SLAJ Mr. Ahmed Nasralla, editors, station managers and journalists from various media institutions as well as representatives from Sierra Leone-China friendship organizations.

Ambassador Hu said that the salon is set to serve as a platform that would close the information gap, provide real information and enable the media friends to have a regular catch-up on the latest important developments of China and China-Sierra Leone cooperation.

Hon. Jamiru and Dr. Kapuwa highly commended Sierra Leone-China friendship and expressed the Sierra Leonean government’s commitment to further deepen the bilateral relationship with China.

Spokesperson of the Embassy, Mr. Hu Aimin briefed on China’s development at the salon, and the Embassy diplomats answered questions related to training, scholarships program, visa and China-Sierra Leone cooperation. Participants of the salon kindly shared their thoughts on China-Sierra Leone relations.

Accused Person Wants Pres. Bio’s Head

By FeimaSesay

Magistrate SahrKekura of Pademba Road Court No.1 on Monday 27th September 2021 remanded one Mohamed Massaqoui at the Male Correctional Center for allegedly declaring for the head of the President Julius Maada Bio.

Massaqoui was arraigned before him on two counts charges of carrying an offensive weapon and disorderly behaviour contrary to section 12 of the Public Order Act No. 46 of 1965 as replaced and repealed by section 12(a) of Act No. 25 of 2973.

It was alleged on the charge sheet that on Wednesday 22nd September 2021 at State Avenue he was found carrying an offensive weapon to wit matchet and demanding for the head of the President.

On count two, the accused was found behaving in a disorderly manner.

Defended by lawyer ISY Kamara, the accused pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Taking the witness stand the first prosecution witness  police Constable 367783  Mohamed Osman Kamara attached at the Law Court building recognized the accused person in the dock.

He said on Wednesday 22nd September 2021, he was on duty at the main gate of Law Court building  and around nine thirty in the morning when the accused dressed in Muslim attire surfaced towards state avenue, holding a matchet with tasbir saying Alhauwakbarr.

He was interrogated by some police officers and in their presence he asked between president Bio and Allah who they believe but no one responded.

The witness further stated that he is a king that was sent to liberate the country and he is going the state house to kill the president.

Testifying further, the witness said the accused continue reciting Alhauwakbarr. He said two military officer approached and advised him to go back, but he refused saying he did not came to them. He said the accused threatened to chop anyone who may confronted him.

“I went towards him and requested for him to hand over the matchet but he refused”, the witness said.

Explaining further, he said the accused was move and he succeeded in taking the matchet, fettered him and take him to the Criminal Investigation Department for interrogation.

At the end of the witness testimony, defense counsel ISY Kamara applied for bail for his client citing section 79 of the Criminal procedure Act of 1965.

The prosecutor was un able to respond to the application because there was no affidavit in position to bail. The accused was refused bail and the Matter was adjourned to the 5th of October 2021 for the prosecution to open its case

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