Njala University set to mainstream the cultivation of mushrooms in S/Leone

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The Njala University is set to mainstream the cultivation and processing of mushrooms in Sierra Leone, courtesy of the World Bank/MTHE Le 2.2 billion Skills Development project.

The grant had provided for the training of over two hundred and fifty (250) vulnerable youths across the country and anchored at the Department of Horticulture, School of Natural Resources Management, Njala University.

The Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education supported by the World Bank is shifting the development trajectory of school drop-outs and other vulnerable youths to skills development.

Njala University won the grant together with other sixty-six (66) skills training and private sector-based institutions across the country.

The Le 2.2 billion grant will provide the appropriate infrastructure for the training of these youths in the processing and cultivation of the mushroom value chain by providing a full-fledged mycology laboratory, compost, incubation, and cropping houses and also train over two hundred fifty vulnerable youths selected across the country.

Njala University has commenced the training of these youths in May 2021 first with the introduction to the background in the cultivation of the mushroom value chain, processing, inoculation and sterilizing techniques, spawning, and several others.

The Project-lead for the Skills Development Project, Dr. Peter Musa who also doubles as Head of the Department of Horticulture, School of Natural ResourcesManagement disclosed that the project has provided the requisite infrastructure and equipment that will mainstream the cultivation and processing of mushroom at Njala University and also support teaching, learning and research within the Natural Resources Management School.

The Skills Development Project is also expected according to Dr.Musa to serve as a hub for the provision and quality processing of spawns to potential farmers of mushrooms in the country. He further recounted that the project is getting its initial mushroom spawns from the project consultant based in Ghana.

Dr. Musa further noted that it has been a huge challenge to access mushroom spawns locally and even those that were exported into the country have challenges with quality.

Building Contractor jailed for over Le100 M. theft

By FeimaSesay

Mr.SantigieAbdulaiKanu a 29 Year old building Contractor was on Monday, 16 August, 2021 sent to prison by Magistrate Mark Ngegba of the Pademba Road Court No 2 for allegedly stealing building materials to the sum of One Hundred and Nine Million Two Hundred Thousand Leones from one Ernest George Cole.

The accused made his first appearance during preliminary investigation on one count charge of Larceny contrary to Section 2 of the Larceny Act 1916.

According to the Police, it was alleged that the accused on diverse dates between 1t to 22 July 2021, at Mile 13 off Peninsular Road, Hamilton, Freetown, stole assorted building materials to the sum of One Hundred and Nine Million Two Hundred Thousand Leone (le109,200, 000) property of Ernest George Cole.

When the charge was read and explained to the accused, he pleaded not guilty.

The Prosecutor, Inspector A. T. Bangura informed the court that his witness was absent and therefore could not proceed with the matter.

Lawyer J. M. Jengo, Defense Counsel for the accused  intimated the court that he was ready to proceed but could not because the complainant was absent in court.

Associating with the Prosecutor was Lawyer Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara.

He informed the court that they were of the opinion that the matter will be settled out of court but said since the Defense is ready to proceed, he said on the next adjourned date, he will substitute charge.

Lawyer J.M. Jengo in his application for bail said his client has been in police cell for  far too long, adding that he is the bread winner of his family. Whiles talking on the bail regulation stated that it plays an integral role on the matter before the court and in the circumstance pleaded with the Bench to use his discretion to grant his client bail.

Magistrate Mark Ngegba however denied the accused bail on the basis that he has to listen to the evidence first.

The matter was adjourned to Monday, 23 August, 2021 for further hearing.

The doctor has agreed with the Defense’s positions that the accused is a juvenile and therefore committed the matter to the juvenile court for proper proceedings. By reason of the age assessment which shows that the accused is 17 years old the matter is committed to the juvenile court for further hearing.

S/ Leone to Bounces Back With a Swagger

David Francis

By Mustapha E. Dumbuya

The Minister of Foreign affairs and International Cooperation,Professor David Francis said Sierra Leone will bounce back again with a swagger. He made this statement at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown during the regional capacity building and experience sharing workshop on state resilience to shocks and disasters.

The Minister also said that the workshop is timely because sierra Leone and the rest of the world has faced vulnerability on natural disasters, security threats and climate change and also the country has been prepared massively for the global summit in the UK conferences.

He further stated that Sierra Leone was chosen in Africa  to  host the APRM  for the targeted  review which was successfully conductedin November and December 2020and targets on health governance and Covid-19 response in the country.

He described as aresilience country in Africa through  APRMSpecial Representative and a shining example for Covid-19 preparedness  and response which made the country a leading member of the APRM.

Professor Francis also stated that SierraLeone is a shining example for other countries in Africa and the rest of the world, pointing out that as Foreign Minister his responsibility is to share such ideas in Africa and the rest of the world.

He observed that even though the Covid-19 and Ebolapandemic have hit greatly on Sierra Leone’s economy but yet still the country will bounce back again with a swagger.

Dr.Ambrose Talusina  from the World Health Organization (WHO) said he is currently supporting African countries to build Covid-19 resilience and capacity building but that he is quiet aware that sierra Leone was a country that was mostly affected by the Ebola and now Covid-19.

Doctor Talusinafurther stated that many countries are stressed in terms of building capacity on ICU capacity, oxygen capacity and other issues. He noted that WHO has put all structures in place to respond in all countries that has faced high level vulnerability.

He explained that setting up emergency health responsecapacities, the independent panel resilience capacity and infrastructures such as human resource, ICU bed, oxygen plantsand many more must be focused.

He concluded that in setting up all of this, there must be a collaboration, community involvement, adequate domestic revenue and transparency and accountability must be involved in the process.

He applauded Sierra Leone for taking the leading venture in hosting the regional capacity building and experience sharing workshop on state resilience to shocks and disasters.

Stats SL Commences CAPI Experts Training For the 2021 Mid-Term Census

Stats SL has commenced a Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) Experts Training for the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census, at the Fourah Bay College Multi-Purpose Hall at Mount Aureol in Freetown.

The training which will last for twelve (12) days is aimed at capacitating seventeen Stats SL staff to have high level skills on CSPro, the software for the CAPI application support.

In his welcome address, the Project Coordinator for the harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa Project (HISWA), Mr. Albert Bangura-Will said that participants were carefully selected in order to get a positive outcome and an excellent performance.

Giving an insight into the purpose and significance of the training, the Director of Data Science Division at Stats SL, Mr. TheophilusBlaudfaust said that the main objective of the training was to enhance the capacity of staff and their skills in the CAPI and CSPro applications for the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census which, he said would help them understand the rudiments of CAPI. He furthered stated that trainees would have the opportunity to get the specifics of the project and the resources needed to build on the capacity of each participant.

Giving an update on progress made so far on the overall census activities, the National Census Coordinator and Director of Censuses and Geographic Information Systems at Stats SL, AbdulaiBrima, noted that since the inception of the Mid-Term Census Plan, Stats SL had achieved key milestones: developing the project document; receipt of adequate financial and technical support from the Government of Sierra Leone and development partners like The World Bank, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNECA, and several others. He intimated all present that the Cartographic Mapping which was 100% digital was a major milestone and an enormous success for the institution and the country as a whole. This work was climaxed by the mapping in July of the State Lodge Residence of the First Family, with President Julius Maada Bio and First Lady Fatima Bio present.

In his key note address, the Deputy Statistician General, Andrew  Bob Johnny, pointed out that the training was critical for the Census. He noted that the trainees would be  the trainers of the census enumerators. Mr Johnny continued that this crop of trainees would champion subsequent CAPI trainings and instructions for all technical undertakings of the Mid-Term Population and Housing Census. ” You should consider this training very important and be experts yourselves; it will prevent us from scouting around for international consultants all the time,” concluded DSG Johnny. He then  formally declared the training open.

Climaxing the formal opening ceremony, ClementinaAkran who is head of Open Data and Data Revolution at Stats SL, expressed delight and appreciation to the coordinators, partners,  participants and the media for their efforts in making the opening ceremony a success.

Also present at the ceremony were the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Africa’s CAPI consultant, Kwamena from Ghana Statistical Service in Accra who is leading the training, DrBarisUcar, the UNFPA Population Census Coordination specialist assigned to Stats SL and the Stats SL Director of Communication and Public Relations, Mr. Samuel Ansumana.

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