Three high-profile representatives from the American Institute of Architects – Mr. Joel Mills, Senior Director of the American Institute of Architects; Ms. Erin Simmons, Senior Director of Design Assistance – Center for Communities at the American Institute of Architects; and Mr Wayne Feiden, Director of Planning & Sustainability for the City of Northampton, Massachusetts – have visited FCC to explore opportunities for supporting FCC in planning the city.
During the first two days (22nd & 23rd January)of their weeklong visit, the representatives of AIA met with ward councilors and senior council officials, funding agencies and MDAs, including the Ministry of Lands, the Ministry of Transport & Aviation, and the Monument & Relics Commission.
They also had a site tour of the city before engaging with architects practicing in Sierra Leone to share ideas on place making, creating public spaces and CBD regeneration around the proposed cable car stations which will be the primary focus of their collaboration with FCC.
This visit from the AIA is a preliminary engagement. A larger multidisciplinary AIA team will now be constituted for a longer working visit to Freetown as FCC progresses with the detailed feasibility studies required by funders for the proposed Freetown Cable Car system.
We are grateful for the generous pro-bono support being offered to FCC by the American Institute of Architects and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership.
VP Opens 57th Ahmadiyya Annual Conf.
Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh on Friday 24th January 2020 opened the 57th Ahmadiyya Jalsa Salana annual conference in Bo.
He extended the President’s warmest greetings to the people of Jalsa Salana and the Ahmadiyya mission and the entire Muslim brotherhood in the country.
Addressing the conference, VP Juldeh Jalloh utilized this year’s conference in Bo to expound on the mission’s diverse contributions to government’s aspirations.
Making allusions to the theme of this year’s conference, the VP said the government is cognitive of the role Ahmadiyya plays in this country. He cited this theme to the importance of the first revelation Sura in the Holy Quran, Iqra, to the religion.
Ahmadiyya, VP Jalloh said has done a lot to promote education with over 300 schools, eminent alumni including himself serving in the highest seats of government.
He singled out Ahmadiyya for their role in the Free Quality Education, citing the missions also supports to the health, agriculture, water sectors and facilitating construction of several mosques in the country
THE LIMKOKWING UNIVERSITY SAGA
By Mohamed Juma Jalloh
When asked what the magic bullet they used to transform his country Singapore, the founding father replied three times Education! Education! Education!
In synchronization and confirmation to his response, there is no developed or rather developing country in the world not embarking on an educational revolution to promote national development.
Singapore as the envy of the world in almost every sphere of human endeavour,
has never been an oil producing country but can boast of sophisticated oil refineries that can purify oil that is produced in Nigeria.
The country also played host to Robert Mugabe the former, late President of Zimbabwe in one of its hospitals prior to his demise.
Sierra Leoneans (politicians included) are fond of drawing parallels with Singapore because both countries were former British colonies and attained independence within the same period.
In Sierra Leone, critics of the previous APC government lampoons it for less prioritizing education and presiding over a sector ridden with cheating and all forms of malpractices cutting across the entire educational fiber.
In fairness to the APC regime, it was not all doom and gloom in that tertiary educational institution were heavily subsidized and scholarships were on the offering for female students desiring to pursue courses in sciences.
In recognition of the principle of continuity which is a major characteristic of governance, the New Direction government did not interrupt the female scholarships but instead allowed it to persist.
The inevitable question that follows is, what is responsible for the challenges that has fraught the scholarship issue at the Limkokwing University?
In 2014, the APC government realized the dearth of skills in information and communications technology in the educational sector, as students graduate from universities without an iota of computer skills. Eventually, Limkokwing University as an international institution of higher learning with footprints in over 130 countries was contracted to offer a new kind of human capital initiative
Fully equipped with new technological skills, entrepreneurial mindset and a global outlook to match the future needs of industries.
As the former Minister of Education, Science and technology Dr Minkailu Bah puts it “Limkokwing is a university of innovation and technology. The establishment of this kind of institution in Sierra Leone will change the education of the country. It will move from a traditional education system to a knowledge base education that will empower the youths, an education that will allow the youths to enter the job market unhindered”.
After the end of the Ebola outbreak, the university began operations in 2016.
Entry qualifications for government sponsorships to enroll for a diploma programme is 3 credits of WASSCE or O`LEVELS in not more than 2 sittings.
On the other hand, in order to enroll for a Degree programme one must possess 5 credits of WASSCE or O`levels in more than 2 sittings.
Courses offered at the university are wide ranging including Diploma in architectural technology, Bsc in information technology and Bachelor of Business in international business and entrepreneurship.
As a private university, the institution is run out of internally generated funds from student fees
Private students not on scholarships pay $3000 per annum for a programme of choice.
According to the memorandum of understanding, the same amount must be paid by government on behalf of students who are on scholarship to the university administration.
Upon assumption into governance, the SLPP government raises eyebrows on the agreement citing it as exorbitant and instead opted and promised to pay 50% of the scholarship.
Sources from the university administration have confirmed that despite the commitment of the government, it has so far reneged on disbursing the 50% scholarship reduction fees
. It is reported that since 2018 the university has been pre- financed to undertake it’s day to day work by the President and founder Dr Tan Sri Dato Sri Paduka Limkokwing in the best interest of the students to pursue their courses.
Running a tertiary institution is not a mean exercise, lecturers and administrators has to be emoluments, learning and teaching paraphernalia has to be procured and utility bills such as water, electricity and sanitation services like clean Salone has to be incurred.
Meanwhile as government continues to drag feet on the issue, students are bearing the brunt of the financial procrastination.
The academic progress of students expected to promote on a yearly basis have got stocked and stagnated at the same level.
Students who have completed 4 years degree programme, earnestly hoping to enter the labor market are yet to graduate and gain access to their qualifications.
Those students expected to take their final year exams are held in tenterhooks as of those who are expected to experience a firsthand internship programme.
Unsubstantiated rumors do abound in many circles that the scholarship were awarded not based on meritocracy but on nepotism, tribalism and regionalism grounds
. Alpha Bah a final year student in software engineering with media, noted that even though there were allegations of “sababu” involved in acquiring the scholarships he never stops shuttling between the Ministry of Higher Education and the university campus at Hill station, until he succeeded.
Mr. Bah continued that even though there is a tendency to politicize development in Sierra Leone, the recent scholarships awarded to students to pursue different courses in Morocco were virtually given to south easterners.
By and large it is very difficult for the political argument to hold regarding the disbursement of resources to tertiary educational institutions. Njala University located in the southern part of Sierra Leone overwhelmingly dominated by people hailing from the southeast.
Even though there were some occasional strikes involving the Academic staff association and students that continues up till date, the previous APC government heavily subsidized the Njala University.
Therefore, in the interest of national development it is wise and prudent for the new direction government to continue with the Limkokwing scholarship programme. Around the digitations is driven innovations and the labor structure in Sierra Leone requires the participation of agile young minds to think in new ways that push the boundaries. The university has designed a unique ecosystem that addresses both academic needs as well as talent development. Whenever students are allowed to graduate ,they will leave the university with more than just degrees as thy will be able to discover their inherent talent and passion which will eventually lead them to participate in the new economy of the 21st century be it in Sierra Leone or globally.
Like the internet, network application has made a tremendous impact on industry, commerce, education and society. For a graduate in Information and communications technology will have the opportunity to develop skills in analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of many aspects of network computing using new and establish techniques. In the end students would be equip with the knowledge of setting up, trouble shooting and maintaining a network. The fruitful career opportunities open to the students includes network designer, network administrator ,security analyst, telecommunications engineer, information security engineer, network consultant, project manager, client /server specialist and lead programmer.
Another lucrative career opportunity is interior architecture. Graduate students will enjoy a wide ranging opportunities in exhibition design, event management, public space planning, commercial space planning, set design for entertainment industry, furniture design, residential design, retail design, visual merchandising and information design. The growing emphasis on good quality and outstanding design and the increasing number of housing estates, shopping plazas, theme parks, commercial buildings, government complexes, new airports, trains and other transportation model require the services of interior designers and interior architects.
Moreover in the days of artificial intelligence and cyber security challenges, the Limkokwing university would be a hub for data protection awareness creation and provide capacity building and implementation support for computer emergency response
. It is nice to end with a quote from the president and founder of Limkokwing University of creative technology. “As a university focused on innovation and bringing the worlds latest in creative technology, we will build human capital essential for the transformation of Sierra Leone into an innovative nation.
The enabling power of latest information and communication technologies means that young Sierra Leoneans will effectively drive the process of transformation and to build on the nations hope for the future”.
ASLACAN Boosts Christian Hope School
By Ibrahim Saddam
ASLACAN Foundation Sierra Leone has offered scholarships worth six hundred thousand Leone per pupil, learning materials and relevant text books to the Christian Hope primary and secondary school Cox Street, Kissy
The head of ASLACAN Sierra Leone, Christian Taylor, said pupils constitute the school and not the building noting that the products of an institution determine it quality in terms of performance.
He revealed that during the decade long war in the country together with other Sierra Leonean they migrated to Spain held consultations meetings on what contribution could they offer in Sierra Leone to lift the country to the height peak by soliciting assistance funds for the poor and needy.
“We have donated scholarships and school learning materials worth Million of Leones to the Christian Hope Primary and Secondary schools.” Christian Taylor said.
Mr. Taylor insisted that pupils that were not promoted to the next academic level will not benefit from the scholarship scheme.
He informed parents and community stakeholders that members of his association will be visiting the pupils at their respective homes.
Alfred Junior Brima, the proprietor Christian Hope School extended his gratitude and appreciates the foundation for the donation and awarded of scholarships.
He said Specifically the scholarships is for those children that have lost their parents and called on pupils to take advantage of the opportunity that many deprived pupils are yearning for.
Vice Principal, Ibrahim Koroma lauded the venture by members of ASLACAN Foundation to chose a school that is situated in one among the hard to reach community at Kissy.
He said as a staff of the school they will take good care of the gesture and always ready to delivered knowledge to the pupils.
Chief Pa Alimany Sesay, expressed appreciation to ASLACAN for the donations and scholarships and also pleaded to the Foundation to assist the Television pole community with a health center to prevent community members rushing to hospitals far away from their community.
Hawanatu Mary Kamara, a beneficiary “I thanked the Foundation for considering me and over the years my parent find it difficult to pay my school fees but with this intervention of ASLACAN it’s now a thing of the past”.
She said Television pole community is among the poor and hard to reach community in Kissy and its environs with lack of most basic amenities.
She added that the major occupation of the residents were petty trading, agriculture and cool burning
PRESIDENT BIO DECLARES WAR
President Julius Maada Bio has informed all MDA’s that people are eager for effective and efficient service delivery not just on papers, but real and visible delivery that will change the lives of the ordinary citizens.
President Bio said he was ready to double charge all Ministers and Heads of departments to deliver results for effective management of the state.
He asked the Chief Minister, Professor David Francis who served as Chair for this year’s retreat to be more intrusive and make sure all MDA’s work together and deliver to satisfaction.
Declaring 2020 as a year for delivery, President Bio declares war on MDA’s heads that are not professional, discipline and prompt in taking actions on service delivery matters.
“I have no yellow card in my 2020 service delivery move, we must deliver and on time”. He stated.
President Bio said there is nothing his Government will tell sierra Leoneans if they fail to deliver on their promises. For this, he said he was going to be more intrusive in his 2020 Governance drive.
Political observers and some in high government circles has received the President’s remarks with mix feelings
SLPP Comdems attack
Sunday was a bad day for SLPP SUPORTERS WHO USUALLY hangs out around their office to relax
AT a press conference, the SLPP National Chair Man Dr. Prince Hardin strongly condemns the attack on their party office by some criminals disguising as SLPP members who he noted were from the main opposition the APC.
Dr.Hardin said their party supporters sustained serious wounds and fractured arms giving a total of 27 people injured.
He cited the former President Koroma, now leader and Chairman of the APC, DR. Samura Kamara, and the APC Secretary General Foday Yansanneh as key players behind the riot to mislead the public that the SLPP led government is not cable to Mann a country.
He called on his party members and the nation as a whole to be vigilant and noted that as a peaceful party they were in opposition for over two decades and nothing like such happened to the government in power
The SLPP Chairman assured his membership that the party will do it upmost to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The matter according to the party’s Secretary General, Napoleon Koroma, and the matter has been reported to the police and now awaiting it out come.
He said as ruling party, their focus is on national development and will not be detracted by false rumors and expressed optimism that come 2023 the SLPP will continue to govern .
Ministry Planning & Economic Development Ends 3 Days conference
The Minister planning and Economic Development of, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai has officially closed the 3-day International Conference on Financing Social Protection in Sierra Leone that brought together decision makers and professionals from private sector, academia and government.
The conference was geared towards bringing to the fore the importance of investing in social protection and also learning from other countries with best practices on harmonized or single registry, targeting and payment mechanism.
The Country Representative, UNICEF Dr Suleiman Braimoh highlighted the support of UNICEF together with the World Bank in the social safety net program targeting at the extremely poor population
He noted that since 2013, the program reached about 30,000 households in 9 districts of which 95 percent of the beneficiaries are women.
He said UNiCEF, as a leading global partner on social protection will continue to work with government and partners to translate social protection goals into laws and policies, generate evidence on child poverty and vulnerability, and the impact of social protection programs on children and communities.
The Minister of State, Office of the Vice-President, Mrs. Frances Alghali noted that social protection covers the range of policies and programs needed to reduce the lifelong consequences of poverty and exclusion. She said UNICEF, World Bank and other partners have demonstrated leadership in fighting economic hardship and social exclusion.
The Commissioner of NaCSA, Abu Kokofele, who doubled as the Host, applauded attendants for developing recommendations that will help strengthen social protection laws and policies in the country. Mr Kokofele said that going forward the government will always remain steadfast in addressing components of social protection in Sierra Leone.
Delivering the keynote address, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai recognized all the key players, especially dignitaries from other countries for coming to share valuable experiences in the area of social protection. He said the conference always had a historic touch in bringing together thinkers and policy makers to address inequalities through social protection policies and actions. He confirmed that social protection will be a key issue to be discussed in the cabinet retreat in the coming days.
Minister Kai-Kai emphasized that the Government of President Dr. Julius Maada Bio was strongly committed to promoting community-based, demand-driven and sustainable social and economic activities leading to the alleviation of poverty.
“We have had different development plans, as a country that has over the years contributed to social protection programs. We will continue to operate as a viable and exemplary Government that will facilitate an efficient and effective pro-poor service delivery and good project governance, which ensures meaningful engagements and personalization of benefits of development by citizens especially vulnerable groups, as well as inspire the trust and confidence of other stakeholders in the country’s development endeavors”, Dr. Kai-Kai said.
Launching the three documents, which include: the Social Protection Policy, the Social Transfer Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan; the Fiscal Space Analysis and Business Case for Social Protection, Dr. Kai-Kai ended by recognizing the importance of the recommendations enshrined in the documents; stating its relevance to the socio-economic growth of the country.
UNDP, FISHERIES MINISTRY TO BOOOST FISHING
By Foday Jalloh
The UNDP IN Sierra Leone has trained over twenty youth groups, at the Lakka Hamilton community.
The training which held at the community center lasted for six days and youth were shown how they can contribute to national development especially in the fishing sector for their livelihood
and national revenue generation
, As it is estimatmated that fisheries in Sierra Leone provide 80%of the total animal protein consumed in the country and they roughly contribute 12% of the country GDP.
For community fisheries to be successful the Minister said that there should be a mechanism for restoring the resources.
According to report from the ministry PRO TWO Abdul Raman Rogers heighted that the focus of the ministry is to see all communities especially in the rural district area where fishing business highly engaged, communities and people to benefit.
He point out that the places like the coastal Zone is highly venerable to increase the severity of coastal erosion, that why through the minister and team were trying to empower youth groups to salvage the situation.
- MRS Fatmata Binta Jalloh in her statements before the training commence ,she noted that as ministry they are doing their work that why they move on to implement the Global fund facility through the United Nation .Developments and government of Sierra Leone.
- She Noted that areas like Laka and Hamilton were major spots for Sand mining and such human activities has caused serve damages around the costal line which is now very visible in the communities A good number of youths she said consider such as their livelihood and, noted that the land scape is getting smaller ., With time she said the beautiful beaches will be destroy, as many fish breeding sites have been destroyed due to the robust movement.
Findings by the ministry and agencies stated that due to sand mining community’s residents around the costal line will relocates and even proper landing site for artisanal fishing boats are no longer there.
The objective of the training is to get voluntary youth groups at Laka and Hamilton to handle boats and nets repairs. for sustainable fishing practice.
UNDP BOOOSTS FISHING SECTOR
By Foday Jalloh
The UNDP IN Sierra Leone has trained over twenty youth groups, at the Laka Hamilton communities.
The training held at one of the community centers, lasted for six days
The Youth were shown how they can contribute to national development especially in the fishing sector in which they are engaged in for their livelihood and for national revenue generation.
It estimated that fisheries in Sierra Leone provide 80./of the total animal protein consumed in the country and roughly contribute 12\ of the country GDP.
For community fisheries to be successful there should be some mechanisms for restoring the resource
According to reports from the ministry they hinted that their focus is to see all communities e in the rural district area to benefit from the fishing business.
MRS Fatmata Binta Jalloh in her statement noted that the as a ministry were doing their work to move on to implement the Global fund facility through the United nation developments and government of Sierra Leone.
She said that Laka and Hamilton were major spots for Sand mining and such human activities has caused serve damages around the costal line which is now very visible.
These communities, with a good number of youths take fishing as their livelihood.
She noted out that the landscape is getting smalle , with time and the beautiful beaches will be destroyed
and that many fish breeding sites have been destroyed due to the robust movement of the waves,
Adding that the sand that should have trnququilized the sea wave movement has been removed.
Findings by the ministry and their agencies noted . Due to the sand mainlining she said communities have caused to relocates. and that even proper landing site for artisanal fishing boats are no more.
The objective for sand purpose for this training was to get voluntary youths groups at Laka and Hamilton to handle boats and nets repairs. for a sustainable fishing practice.
Stakeholders at Laka and Hamilton who were also part of the training, assured that they will try to admonished their communities so that there will be proper waste management and fish handling within Hamilton and Laka
The training imparted knowledge in boat Building net building and sea safety to the participants
The trainees were supplied many fishing equipment, suits Diving slippers mask tanks communication sets, diving watch gloves and fishing Jackets .
Civil Right Activist Testifies in Ibrahim Samura’s Murder
By FEIMA SESAY
Suliaman Tarawally former reporter of the SLBC and now a Civil Right Activist has on Tuesday 28 January 2020 before Magistrate Mark Ngegba of court No2 testifies in the murder Trial of Ibrahim Samura involving Abu Bakarr Daramy and Herbert George Williams.
The witness in further testimony said the deceased Ibrahim Samura was his friend and had known him for a very long time before he died.
He also recognized the accused persons and further recalled the 1st April 2018, adding that on the aforementioned date he was presenting a program on the SLBC Call “High way’’ and that during the program, he called the deceased as a guest in respect of the allegation of an assault on him during the 31st March 2018 general election.
Tarawally said the deceased later came to the station and confirm the allegation to be true, stating further that, he was physically assaulted by some APC Members and that the group was led by former President Ernest Koroma daughter Dankay Koroma, former Deputy Minister of Trade Ibrahim Washiga Mansaray and Sanusi Bruiski along the Lumley round about.
He said the deceased further told him during the Radio program that, he was taken pictures with his phone when they rushed at him and started beating him with dog chains but they were later intercepted by former Media One Superintendent Ibrahim Samura who took him to the Lumley police station and obtained statement from him.
The witness further disclosed that, the interview he had with the deceased was recorded and place in his achieve, adding that when he later heard that, the deceased had died he played the interview again in another edition of his program for the public to hear and he was later called by the police at CID where he handed over the recordings.
He also told the court that, he has copies of the said recordings.
At this juncture, the state prosecuting counsel Lawyer Adrian Fisher requested for an adjournment for the said copy of the audio recordings to the brought to court and transcribes. His application was not objected to by the defense counsels.
Magistrate Ngegba however granted his application and adjourned the matter to the 5th February 2020 and the accused where remanded in prison.
It could be recalled that the accused Abu Bakarr Daramy and Herbert George Williams were brought to court on two counts charges of Murder and Causing Grievous bodily harm contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
According to the indictments, the police alleged that, the accused on Saturday 31st March 2018, along Lumley Round about Freetown murder the deceased Ibrahim Samura.
Port Authority Changes Face
The Port of Freetown, the principal commercial port in Sierra Leone, is the most important entry gate for trade and commerce to the country. The Freetown Port (Queen Elizabeth II Quay) is located within the busy and congested eastern end of the city. It serves as the major logistics hub for Sierra Leone’s imports and exports. As an essential component of the country’s economic prosperity, this land is valuable in terms of its limited area and the need to maximize its efficiency.
Freetown Port has one of the finest natural harbours on the West African Coast, with a well-protected anchorage, a draft at berth of 7-10 meters, a length of quay of 1,067 meters consisting of 6 berths, and sizable and fenced land area allocated for the port.
The main port for International trade is located in the city of Freetown in Sierra Leone. Freetown has many small ports for boats (Queen Elizabeth II Quay, Cline Town Government Warf, Kissy Ferry Terminal, Kissy Oil Terminal and Tagrin Ferry Terminal), Oil Tankers, Fishing Vessels and Ferries. A concession agreement was entered into on 25 November 2010 between the Sierra Leone Port Authority, the Government, and the National Commission for Privatization, Bolloré Ports, and the Freetown Terminal Limited. This agreement was in relation to the concession of the Container Terminal (berth 3-6) which came into effect as of March 2011, to use, manage, operate and maintain berths 3-6 and all surrounding areas along with the fixed assets. In September 2015 Nectar Sierra Leone Bulk Terminal concluded agreements for berths 1 & 2.
BIG BOOST TO SIERRA LEONE PORTS AUTHORITY
BEARLY TWELVE MONTHS IN COINTROL OF THE MANAGEMENT AND AFFAIRS OF THE SIERRA LEONE PORTS AUHORITY HAS EXPERIENCED MASIVE CHANGES AND PROGRESS UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF DR ABDULAI FOFANA AND HIS DEPUTY YANKUBA ASKIA BIO.
Dr Abdulai Fofana and Mr Yankuba Askia Bio were appointed as General Manager(GM) and Deputy General Manager(DGM) of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority respectively in September 2018.
Their appointments were part of President Bio’s call for a functional and structural transformation of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority particularly the Freetown Port.
Since their appointments, the new management team has flagged several structural reforms geared towards perfecting the operations of the port to a cadre of excellence in the sub-region.
Inundated with exemplary leadership aptitude and character, the pace of institutional discipline, compliance to work ethics, enhancing trust with business partners and improving staff welfare has improved significantly since they took up office.
As the clock tick towards twelve months of their leadership in office, the GM and DGM have consented to reflect and review their service to the nation through the Sierra Leone Port Authority, one of Sierra Leone’s fastest-growing and transforming institution in tandem with the vision of His Excellency, The President, Rtd., Brigadier Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction Philosophy.
In this regard, the cardinal areas of the review have focused on:
- Corporate Image, Infrastructure and face-lifting
- Security & Safety
- fiscal discipline & Revenue Mobilization
- stakeholders’ engagement
- staff welfare and Training
On the 26th September 2018, the new Management held its maiden meeting with staff and resolved to address among other things, the renowned financial leakages characterized by the Authority over the years. Dr Fofana and his deputy Mr Bio entreated staff members to take advantage of their open-door policy and cooperate with their administration to positively change service delivery within and outside the Authority.
Consequent to the current fiscal regime instituted by the Fofana and Bio led administration, on the 14th November, 2018 – Management established a Fuel Management System (FMS) to control fuel allocation for the running of its generators and vehicles. This development dramatically decreased management’s expenditure on fuel by 50%Part of the solution was to replace the old-fashioned fuel pump to a modern NP pump in compliance with environmental requirement.
In addition to the ongoing reforms, the Authority has been in touch with Bolloré to take advantage of a new 6MHZ Plant to connect to the grid which will cut down on Electricity charges and a consensus has been reached by the two partners; the project is ongoing.
The General Manager notes with weighty concern that when they took office; the Authority was in a “financial crisis” reflecting the general economic situation in the country. Almost twelve months down the road, the Authority has revived its financial position substantially considering the fiscal discipline measures implemented so far.
Notwithstanding this position, the Authority continues to call on the Presidency to look into its requests for part concession fee to be paid to the Authority to assist the Authority to undertake and implement investments programs and repairs.
Corporate Image and Face-lifting
Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) commonly called ‘Water Quay’ over the years serves as the depot for excessive and unwanted labour and branded as the oxford for corrupt practices in the country. This image is a common place in the minds of Sierra Leoneans, thus, a major source to amass unexplained wealth.
This has been the brand and model of doing business in the Authority for several decades, an essential factor that led to it being privatized shifting its traditional functions from a service port to a landlord port.
Despite the chronic damming image of the Authority, doing business in the Sierra Leone Ports Authority today gives one the pleasure for a second time. The management is cascading the locking of leakages at a pace that has improved services in the Authority significantly, and is perpetually looking out for means to improve the ease of doing business in the Authority. This is one hallmark of the Fofana and Bio led administration of the Authority.
12th November, 2018. Upon assumption of office, Management saw the need to facelift the Authority. In this regard it embarked on a prodigious facelift of the Administrative building which has starved for maintenance and renovation for years. The Administrative building has been rebranded and postulates as a fine eye view structure.
16th November 2018. Repairs conducted by Management at the Kissy and Targrin terminals have changed the outlook of the two terminals significantly making business safe for pedestrians and other users.
17th November, 2018. The ‘Exit Road’ leading to Cline Town was paved by Management due to perpetual constrains faced by transporters and the risk of goods. This accomplishment has restored confidence and trust in business people, eliminating fear for the loss of goods. The main gate was also restored and the fallen fence repaired and secured with barb wire.
November 23rd, 2018– the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio officially commissioned the Seaport Terminal Expansion project at Queen Elizabeth II Quay. President Bio acknowledged the work of Bolloré Group of Companies in scaling up the volume of operations at the port and also meeting their cooperate social responsibility to surrounding communities within their concession area. The president emphasized that his government will continue to support trade, investment and mutual relations that would benefit Sierra Leone.
Dr. Abdulai Fofana, on the other hand, assured President Bio that SLPA will continue to ensure that the private Port operators provide satisfactory service to customers and efficiently manage and operate the port facilities and fulfill their contractual obligations in the best interest of the country. This is a major project for Sierra Leone as it contributes to enhance the potential of the natural bay and maximize its business opportunities. Details of the project include the construction of a quay extension of 270 meters to a depth of 13 meters, in addition to the existing 707 meters, creating a median of 3.5 hectares, and the establishment of a power plant dedicated to the terminal. Two gantry cranes are installed to operate in the port thereby significantly improving productivity of the Port of Freetown.
The new and ultramodern dock accommodates larger vessels up to 6,000 TEU, capacity space to accommodate up to 750,000 TEUs compared to pre-construction operations which only delivered 90,000 TEUs.
In spite of the development highlighted above, a multipurpose building has been constructed at the Kissy Ferry Terminal which accommodates a car park and offices.
December 2018– Repair works on the fallen handrails at the Kissy and Targrin terminals has been completed. The handrails were faced with neglect in rehabilitation works and hence some portion of them had fallen off, rendering some portion of the jetty unsafe for vehicles and pedestrians. The new management has carried out work on erecting and painting of the fallen handrails.
Security and Safety
February 21, 2019– the general workforce of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority and its operators engaged in a simulation muster drilling at Queen Elizabeth II Quay in Freetown. This periodic exercise is for security preparedness at the Port and to be able to respond to threats and other security emergencies contributing to the Ports performance and ranking of the ISPS.
March 13, 2019 – Management on Wednesday 13thMarch hosted a team of military personnel from the United States of America and Canada Coast Guards and Navy at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay on Obangame Express 2019 training on security and safety. Sixty security personnel were trained and certified as security experts for the port. This capacity has increased security inspection at the port and decreased security threat for goods and port users.
The Military personnel lead; Kyle Krieger commended the security personnel trained and re-echoed that the trained men and women will curb security threats in the port and ensure safety for business and investors and locals around the precincts of the Port.
March 20, 2019 – the usual Simulation Muster Drilling at Queen Elizabeth II attracted Military personnel from the United States of America and Canadian Navy and Coast Guards.
The US and Canadian Military Personnel Team were facilitating training of the country’s security sector including port security and safety.
The Port Management is prioritizing safety and security and it has reviewed all its instruments to meet the international benchmarks on Port safety and security.
The simulation muster drill is a component of the International Port Security and safety best practices which is mandatory to all seaports in the world.
April 2, 2019– The United States of America Coast Guards engaged the Sierra Leone Ports Authority on International Safety and Port Security (ISPS) code compliance at various facilities at the Freetown port.
SLPA management has placed premium on safety and security to march up with international port security and safety standards by reinforcing security personnel review safety and security protocols currently operational.
Given the preceding, the Ministry of Transport and Aviation commended the management of the Authority and the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration following an impressive report from the United States Coast Guards on the security level at Queen Elizabeth II Quay. The Ministry maintained that SLPA under its supervision would continue to comply with all the international instruments on security and safety. Specifically, the areas improved include: construction of perimeter fence, security screening and searching, personnel strength and a host of others.
25th October 2018. The Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Transport and Aviation made familiarization tour to the management of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority. The management of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority outlined series of challenges faced by the administration including the absence of a legal framework to recognize the port as a landlord, inadequate funds to run management, land encroachment on SLPA properties.
30th November, 2018. The Management of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority hosted a team of personnel from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on maritime and port security compliance. The team’s mission in Sierra Leone is to audit the IMO instructions on port and maritime security and safety signed by the government of Sierra Leone which the Authority is in full compliance.
5th October, 2018.The effort to sanitize the working environment led Management to declare 5thOctober 2018 as a general cleaning day for the Authority and its environs. Management emphasized the importance of a cleaned port community for safe and secured operations. They also commended the youth for supporting the cleaning exercise and President Bio’s agenda to transform the country to a safe business environment.
19th September, 2018. In terms of strengthening sector coordination with other MDA’s, Management hosted the new Managing Director of the Sierra Leone National Shipping Company held a strategic partnership meeting at the SLPA Conference room to create synergies and identify areas for further collaboration.
Following the above, management held their maiden meeting with operators and agreed on clear working terms and processes to effect reforms in the operations of the Port.
February 1, 2019– the Management of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority hosted a contingent of military officers from the Horton Military Academy at Queen Elizabeth II Quay on a security study visit. Impressed with the port transformation and the hospitality accorded to them, a plaque was given to the SLPA Deputy General Manager in appreciation of the Authority’s effort in transforming and rebranding public perception about doing business at the Port.
In March 27, 2019– The Management signed an agreement with the Ministry of Labour and Industrial Relations and other key stakeholders including the Sierra Leone Labour Congress, the National Commission for Privatization, the Sierra Leone Ports Authority Senior Staff Association and the Sierra Leone Dock Workers Union to settle all outstanding payment due former and current SLPA employees inherited from the past administration.
The outstanding payment has been a historic matter spanning from 2011 when the past administration redundant workers without due process of redundancy, the Chairman of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority.
Just six months upon taking the management of the Authority, the new management pledged to settle all outstanding unpaid severance and termination benefits inherited from the past management former staff and current staff of the Authority.
SLPA General Manager on behalf of the institution remarked: “Upon assuming office few months ago the issue of staff outstanding redundancy payment was presented to the management. Being a consultative management who values its staff, we engaged stakeholders to look at the merit and demerit of the matter. We concluded that there were procedural errors in the whole exercise. The workers’ claim was genuine. We have agreed to settle the matter once and for all.”
The new management has restored staff confidence as one that is poised to better the lives, and the livelihood of workers and the general staff in return expressed their determination to provide the necessary support to management.
April 242019– The Board of Directors of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority visited the three concession facilities at the Freetown Port namely; the Freetown Terminal Limited Container area, Nectar Break-bulk Sierra Leone Terminal area, and the Holland Shipyards -Sierra Leone vessel maintenance yard on a familiarization mission on their operations. The visit opened a platform for dialogue between concessions and the Board of Directors, which has strengthened the working relationship.
April 30, 2019 – SLPA management hosted students of the Sierra Leone Peacekeeping and Law Enforcement Academy. SLPA Deputy General Manager Mr Yankuba Bio introduced the status of the port to the visitors as being a landlord port with its operations privatized to Bolloré and Nectar.
The visiting students are the first set of students who pursued and a diploma in Security and Safety discipline at the Sierra Leone Peacekeeping and Law Enforcement Academy at Hasting. The visit was concluded with a tour to the facilities and installations at the port by the Operations and Monitoring Manager, Foday Manso Koroma.
August, 2019 –The General Manager of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority Dr. Abdulai Fofana engaged IALA Technical Mission to the discuss the growing business in the Ports of Sierra Leone and plans for a regional hub in the country taking into consideration its strategic location.
According to discussions between the two partners, Sierra Leone stands a better chance to benefit from a technical needs assessment that will determine the status of Aton Service provision within the country’s waters with a report detailing conclusions and recommendations.
In June, 2019- Dr Fofana, General manager SLPA led a delegation to the 40th Council meeting and conference of the Port Management Association of West & Central Africa (PMAWCA) in Togo Port, Lome.
The 40th Council Meeting assembled c-level executives of all member ports of PMAWCA, port operators and industry experts to discuss the topical subject of “The role of the State in port and maritime economy- Experiences of PMAWCA ports compared to Global practices.”
Participating ports had the opportunity to interface with approximately 24 Ports under one roof, meet over 300 delegates Port Authorities and decision makers, Showcase products and services to potential buyers using hands-on demonstrations, position your company as a thought leader in the market, generate lucrative business initiatives, share best practices, develop and strengthen port brands.
June, 2019-The Deputy General Manager of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority led a delegation comprising the Minister of Transport and Aviation, the Minister and Deputy Ministers of Trade and Industry, the Chairman, National Commission for Privatization and representatives of the Sonoco Flour Mill Company on a sight visit at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay Freetown Port on a needs assessment to invest on flour Mill production in Sierra Leone.
The delegations identified an ideal location for the construction of a state of art flour Mill at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay for exporting flour across the sub-region.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry inter alia reported that Sonoco Flour Mill signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Government of Sierra Leone and plans were underway for the establishment of their company’s branch in Freetown. The commencement of its operations in Sierra Leone will boost the country’s economy and reduce the unemployment burden.
In May 22, 2019 -The League of African Development Students (LEADS) described the General Manager of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority, Dr Abdulai Fofana as a patriotic technocrat whose contributions in the world of academia and proficiency in public service delivery are ineffaceable. LEADS made this statement during the official awarding ceremony of Dr. Fofana as a recipient of the League of Africa Development Students Patriotic Personality Award 2019. The award, according to the team based in Nigeria, is an acknowledgment of Dr Fofana scholarly contributions and proficiency in public service.
Dr Fofana is a seasoned technocrat, with innovative and contemporary skills to match emerging administrative and business needs, a leader with exemplary character, humbled and selfless. The team further submitted that the recipient has made dozens of scholarly contributions in his quest to contribute to knowledge and his proficiency in public service is unmatched.
Dr Abdulai Fofana is Sierra Leonean Resource Economist of International repute. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, and Master’s Degree in Resource Economics with specialty in macroeconomics and Policy management and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Industrial Economics from the University of Portsmouth.
Under his hegemony, the Sierra Leone Ports Authority has witnessed structural and functional transformations in tandem with the vision of his Excellency the President, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio to position the port as a transshipment hub in the sub-region.
Staff welfare & Training
Pursuant to strengthening the Security and safety of doing business in the Authority, in March 5, 2019- Thirty three (33) newly appointed security personnel of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority underwent intensive training on Port security and safety measures using international standards on security and safety for maritime operations as benchmark.
The training was to prepare the new security personnel to face the numerous security challenges at the Port. Dr. Abdulai Fofana underscored the importance of the security sector at the port, observing that “Security at the port should be impermeable. The Port security is an essential aspect of the operations of the port, considering the strategic importance of the port to the country’s economy.”
March 27, 2019-The Management signed an agreement with the Ministry of Labour and Industrial Relations and other key stakeholders including the Sierra Leone Labour Congress, The National Commission for Privatization, the Sierra Leone Ports Authority Senior Staff Association and the Sierra Leone Dock Workers Union to settle all outstanding payment due former and current SLPA employees inherited from the past administration. The outstanding payment was a historic matter dating from 2011 when the past administration redundant workers without due process of redundancy.
July 16, 2019-The Executives of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress and other stakeholders including the Sierra Leone Ports Authority Senior Staff Association and the Dock Workers Union commended the Management of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority as the first phase of payment of ex- employees of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority commenced.
The Vice President of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress, Alhaji Muctarr Williams, congratulated the Authority for effecting the first phase of payment which has revived the hopes of ex-employees whose payment will be effected soon. Alhaji Williams adorned ex-SLPA employees for their patient.
President of the Ports Authority Senior Staff Association and the President of
the Dock Workers Union Idrissa Margo Tarawalie and Alpha Bundu expressed
similar sentiments on SLPA management and other stakeholders including the
former Chairman of the National Commission for Privatization (NCP), the
Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Transport and Aviation.
The Management of SLPA under the leadership of Dr Fofana and Mr. Bio through with supervision from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, the National Commission for Privatization (NCP) and SLPA Board of Directors will continue to work towards the improvement of service for port stakeholders and its numerous customers to ensure a sound business environment for our international and national investors.
The Authority’s on-going reforms will focus on among others:
- Promote sound and sustainable Financial Discipline Measures–Management has braced up to cut down cost and seal financial leakages
- Ensure a clean and health hazard free environment –management is working to ensure a clean and hygienic port environment that befits a sound business environment.
- Efficient Customer Service – ensure that the private Port operators provide satisfactory service to customers, efficiently manage and operate the port facilities and fulfill their contractual obligations in the best interest of the country.
- As part of improving communications in the Authority, the daily operations of the Authority has moved from paper based to electronic based system.
In addition, management is currently negotiating for the introduction of a Ports Management System that will centralize operations of the Ports and its finances.
- ICT Service – the new management in collaboration with Bolloré has agreed as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to improve on the ICT Services at SLPA.
LAND RIGHTS BILL FOR PARLIAMENT
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) on Tuesday January 28th is part of other members of the Technical Working Group on the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Governance of Tenure of Land Fisheries and Forests (VGGT) in the country that began a series of regional consultations on the two draft Bills on Customary Land Rights and the Lands Commission.
The exercise started on Tuesday 28th, January in Kenema, in the east and will continue to the other regions of Bo in the South on 30th January, Makeni in the North on 4th February and Port Loko in the North west on 7th February.
The purpose of these consultative engagements is to get the views and approval of the people on these two draft Bills before submission to Government for final enactment into law.
The HRCSL is represented by the Deputy Director in the Directorate of Monitoring and Research and in charge of Business and Human Rights, Abdulai Yolla Bangura. The role of the HRCSL is to ensure that the entire exercise is human rights based particularly so when looking at land governance in a business context and to apply business and Human Rights standards in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPS) and other relevant international and regional human rights standards.
The participants in these consultations include local and traditional authorities, landowners, youth groups, women’s groups, civil society organizations, the Press the forces, tribal leaders, representatives of districts and city councils, etc.
The Minister of Lands and Country Planning, Dr. Denis Sandy serves as keynote speaker whilst the legal consultants present both Bills to the people.
The exercise is coordinated by the VGGT Secretariat at the Ministry of Lands and with support from FAO.
Mercury Reveals Plans
Marketing Manager, Mercury International, Samuel
Cross-section Marketing team on field work
Marketing Manager, Mercury International Sports Betting & Lottery Company, Samuel Horton has on Monday, said they will continue to embark on the promotions for their virtual games amongst several other plans this year, and will also ensure that their products are friendly and attractive to the less fortunate or less privileged.
According to Mr Horton, as part of their early plans this year, they have already finished the mapping out process of the Company’s Retailers and their various locations across the country.
He said: “So far we have almost finished the mapping out process of our retailers and the various locations to which they are situated and at the same time pushing the online product and virtual games simultaneously. We will be running promotions for the virtual games soon, and lots of attractive prizes would be up for grabs.”
Also, as part of their work plan, the Marketing Manager further revealed that they are also working on having a proper grasp of every retailer’s location to avoid constant migration.
He said: “We are also working to reach our customers swiftly with new products for them to have a proper insight into how these games are played, and to also enable our customers to make swift complaints whenever they are not satisfied with the attitude of our retailers.”
IMF’s Position on S/Leone
A high-level powered delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Deputy Managing Director, Dr David Lipton, has had fruitful meeting with President Julius Maada Bio where he commended his efforts on human capital development.
Finance Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa, said he was pleased that the New Direction Government was able to win back the confidence of the Fund after it suspended its programmes with the previous government
He added that the country was excited with the renewed partnership with the IMF, especially in the area of its technical advice.
President Bio welcomed the visiting team noting that Sierra Leone deserved the visit because they had worked very hard as a government to establish a very strong relationship with the IMF.
He described the Fund as one of their strongest development partners and that despite inheriting a very challenging economic system; they were able to institute reforms that would be of benefit for the people.
He said his government had chosen Human Capital Development, which included providing free quality education, health service and agriculture, as the thrust of its development process.
The President reveals that as part of its development agenda, the government had worked extremely hard to fight corruption, which was one of the main obstacles to development.
“The main thrust of our economic management has actually been fiscal consolidation – to make sure that we mobilize enough revenue and also manage our expenditure and we have experienced some growth. We chose Human Capital – access to food, education, and health as the main pillars to support our development. ’
Responding,, Dr Lipton expressed appreciation to the government for the hospitality accorded him and his delegation, adding that they had a shared perspective with the government on the situation in the country
He said his meeting with school pupils in the country showed their eagerness to learn, adding that it was an indication of Sierra Leones tremendous potentials.
He disclosed that they were in the country to help offer advice and guidance and to also help the government in its fiscal consolidation as part of their partnership
He also noted that they were ready to work with Sierra Leone to be a helpful and responsive partner.
He added that they were impressed with the government’s focus on human capacity building.
Dr David Lipton has been the First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF since 2011
Prior to joining the IMF, he was Special Assistant to President Barrack Obama and served as Senior Director for International Economic Affairs at the National Economic Council and the National Security Council at the White House.