Parliament Ratifies Zoodlabs Agreement

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The Parliament of Sierra Leone has debated and ratified the Zoodlabs agreement for the development of Sierra Leone.

The following agreement was ratified by Parliament:

1. Contract between the Ministry of Information and Communications and Zoodlabs (SL) Ltd. for the Management of the Cable Landing Station.

Presenting the agreement to Parliament, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Solomon Jamiru Esq. said the agreement is geared toward the operation and maintenance of the landing station of the fiber cable; adding that, the process of awarding the contract was in the competitive bidding process and it was a cabinet decision for the unbundling of SALCAB, in order to have  an effective internet connectivity.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Information and Communications, Hon. Boston Munda said the agreement has lot of opportunities for the people of Sierra Leone. He said the liability that was incurred by SALCAB management has been paid by the management of Zoodlabs.

On his part Hon. Latiff Sesay said he is one of the people who were in opposition to the dismantling of SALCAB, but after realizing the bad shape of latter, he concluded that, government had taken the right decision in awarding the contract to Zoodlabs.

 He commended the management of Zoodlabs for improving internet connectivity in the country.

Hon. Joseph William-Lamin spoke on the standard performance of Zoodlabs and applauded their operational activities in the country.

Hon.PC Bai Kurr Kanagbaro Sanka III questioned the operation of Zoodlabs, prior to parliamentary approval of their agreement and went on to decry certain aspects of the agreement.

Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said the idea of the agreement was to improve on the technology of the state and used the opportunity to give a historical background of the landing of the fiber optic cables in Sierra Leone. He commended the Ministry of Information and Communications for providing an alternative that is geared towards the improvement of internet connectivity and noted that, the agreement is “non-controversial”.

Hon.Dr. Mark Momoudu Kalokoh commended the Zoodlabs agreement and referred to the agreement as “a good one”.

Rounding up the debate, the Leader of Opposition Hon. Chernor R.M. Bah said there are no perfect agreements, but reiterated that Zoodlabs agreement is a good one. He encouraged the Minister of Information not to delay agreement of this nature in the future. He said since there are clauses in the agreement that talk about reviewing; he requested the Deputy Minister to inform the House for any future challenges, in order to address them.

In concluding the debate, Leader of Government Business Hon. Mathew Shar Nyuma commended the opposition Party and colleagues MPs for mounting pressure for the laying and approvals of the Zoodlabs agreement, in light of its procedures.

 He accentuated the positive effects of the agreement on the socio-economic development of the state, whilst underscoring a proper oversight on Zoodlabs operations.

Orange SL Donates Food Items to Mosques At Thompson Bay Community

By Feima Sesay

As part of their social corporate responsibility (CSR), leading Mobile Telecoms in Sierra Leone Orange has on Friday, April 29th, 2022 donated food items to four mosques within Calton and Thompson bay community as part of their Ramadan Iftar.

Speaking while handing over the donations, CSR Manager Mr. Kamel Abass, said that this is part of their cooperate social responsibility in giving back to society more so during this month of Ramadan as Muslims are fasting. He went on to state that Orange is a cooperate entity, and they are working with every community that is why they realize that this is the month of Ramadan a time of giving zakat.

He further stated that these items are not too much but it is the heart of giving that is paramount at this time.

He however encouraged the Jamaats to use the food items for the intended purpose during this time of fasting.

 “You are so lucky because we have wrapped up this year’s process but through the call of the Minister of Sports Ibrahim Nyelenkeh today you are among those across the country that have benefited”,Mr. Abass concluded.

In his statements, Chief Pa Alimammy Fofanah the 1st thanked orange Sierra Leone for what they are doing in the country and offers prayers for orange for such timely support towards Thompson bay community.  He said their goodness will not fall, noting that Allah will continue to make more provisions for their institution in whatever they lay their hands on.  He encouraged orange to do more as God will bless them.

Alhaji Aruna Turay Imma, Rahman Mosque Thompson Bay thanked Orange Sierra Leone on behalf of his jamaats. He added that the Quran stated that the hand that is on top is better than the one under which means the giver is always appreciated by Allah. He says that at this time anyone who made a sacrifice God will bless that person and he also offers prayers for the orange mobile company and assures that the others mosques will receive their shear.

Mohamed Hassan a community member joined the elders by thanking orange for the tremendous support that they have been reading to the community and other communities across the country. He reiterated that they will ensure that other mosque will receive their shear. He applauded orange for their relentless support given to Sierra Leoneans. He went on to thank the Minister of Sports Ibrahim Nyelenkeh for facilitating the donation as key stakeholders within the Thompson Bay community.

Lands Minister Addresses UN General Assembly

 By Mohamed Massaquoi

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Lands, Housing, and Country Planning, Dr. Turad Senesie has joined other high-level speakers at the UN Headquarters in New York to submit actions taken so far on a very important global agenda known as the New Urban Agenda (NUA); that was adopted in 2016 at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urbanization (HABITAT III) in Quito, Ecuador.

In his statement to the Plenary of the UN General Assembly on Thursday April 28, Dr. Senesie informed the august body that Sierra Leone is presently focused on the implementation of a sustainable and climate-resilient urban development in line with the mandate of the General Assembly in Resolution 75/224 of December 2020 and in support of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Speaking on the country’s six key policy objectives, the Minister stated  that the country is “promoting an integrated spatial planning and strengthening development control; strengthening the legislative and institutional frameworks for effective land governance and urban planning; enhancing tenure security to protect land and property rights by transitioning from the registration of instruments to biometric title registration; improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness of delivery systems in cadaster, registration, valuation and real estate services to boost productivity and domestic tax revenue; promoting the investment climate to provide affordable housing and slum upgrading; and ensuring environmental sustainability in the implementation of programs and projects,”

The Minister also disclosed that the country has mainstreamed the New Urban Agenda into its Medium-Term National Development Plan and has established a broad-based National Habitat Committee that provides the political support and oversight responsibility at the strategic level for the formulation of the National Urban Policy. He further stated that the country is currently working with partners on various projects; projects that can enhance prosperity for our towns and cities in line with the AU Agenda 2063.

He concluded by restating Sierra Leone’s support for the aspirations of the New Urban Agenda and that the country will continue to demonstrate strong commitment towards its full implementation.

President Bio Confers Citizenship on 59 Afro-Americans

His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has conferred citizenship on 59 Afro-Americans after they subscribed to the oath of allegiance to become citizens of Sierra Leone and encouraged them to be positive ambassadors who will rebrand and promote the country.

“Some of you are in the process of acquiring your very own slice of beautiful Sierra Leone and planning to relocate families. Some of you have immersed yourselves in local communities and cultures of your heritage. Always be positive ambassadors who will rebrand and promote Sierra Leone. Make this, your home, a destination for investment. Promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and invest in areas and at rates, you can afford. They do say life can turn on a dime, and here, there are great opportunities to make dollars out of dimes,” President Bio said and encouraged them to leverage their contacts and skills to support inclusive growth and sustainable development in the country.

Leslie Dotson, who spoke on behalf of his compatriots, expressed great gratitude, appreciation and commitment to Sierra Leone and its people on behalf of everyone accepting the citizenship of the West African nation.

“In this room, we have many talented, educated and well-connected people. Many resourceful relationships that are formed over many, many years are now being bridged here at this time in Sierra Leone to support the country’s cause in the best interest,” he said.

He added that to name a few of the resources that comprised the 59 people in that room alone were people with backgrounds in tourism, education, engineering, human resources, and there were scientists, waste management experts, lawyers, doctors and nurses. He also noted that there were people in the real estate business, people who understood farming, hospitality, finance, project and corporate management and sports professionals.

“Your Excellency, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for what you have done and for giving us the opportunity to be able to serve this beautiful country called Sierra Leone and our new home. We also give special thanks to the African DNA programme and the trip counselors for their time and efforts,” he said.

Investment Company signs 30yrs Agreement in Kailahun

By: Moriba in Kenema

The Lizard Earth Company Limited had signed 30 years leased agreement in three (3) chiefdoms in, Kailahun district.

During the signing agreement the Paramount Chief of Luawa chiefdom Kailahun district Hon. PC Mohamed Sama Banya called on his subjects to be very honest in there dealing with Lizard Earth Company Limited.

He said that what he has got from the people themselves about what is going on between them and Lizard Earth Company is very perfect, and therefore appealed to all parties to upkeep their own side of the 30 years leased agreement.

The paramount chief made this call during a Disclosure meeting of the findings of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment held at Kailahun town Luawa chiefdom Kailahun district

Lizard Earth  company Limited Sierra Leone is a private sector agribusiness has ended a day Public Disclosure meeting of the findings of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of Lizard Earth’s Cocoa Garden Initiative in Baiwala town, Dea Chiefdom Kailahun district.

A similar meeting was held in Daru town, Jawie chiefdom and in Kailahun town, Luawa chiefdom Kailahun district.

The aim of the Public Disclosure meetings is to ensure and open the room for further input and discussion of the findings of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment.

Dr. Sheku A. Kanu, Consultant from the Department of Crop Science Njala University noted that in the past from 2001 to 2020 Kailahun district has lost 127 hectares of tree cover that is twice the size of Gola Rainforest National Park, 32% decrease since 2000 primarily as a result of shifting cultivation, deforestation has come with considerable biodiversity loss.

He said that the population growth, agric. intensification, changing dietary patterns, industrialization and climate change are expected to result in accelerated biodiversity loss and degradation in the future.

“Lizard Earth’s agricultural operations are organic, the proposed agroforestry  system, together with the use of green manure, leguminous cover crops, organic matter and organic fertilizers will maintain soil quality and nutrient levels. Waste disposal may increase slightly due to increase human activity plastic, cigarettes, poly bags among others”. He explained.

He pointed that the Environmental and Social Management plan entail Lizard Earth shall practice sustainable agriculture: No chemicals must be used in Lizard Earth operations, in compliance with the organic production principles of the EU Organic Standard. 30% of the leased land must be designated as High Conservation Value HCV Area.

According to him Logging, hunting, agriculture and commercial gathering activities are prohibited, this aligns well with the goals of the UN Biodiversity Conference (China 2021) of protecting 30% of a Country’s area.

Daniel Scholler head of Lizard Earth Limited disclosed that Lizard Earth Limited is an ethical Cocoa Grower and aggregator from Eastern Sierra Leone.

The Initiative he went on covers an area of 726 hectares across the three chiefdoms of Dea, Jawie and Luawa in Kailahun district.

Mr. Daniel Scholler assured his audience that opportunities for the local Host communities include Job creation, Asset creation, Capacity development, Outgrower Scheme: a farmer Support Service, Access to market, Infrastructure, Farm inputs and Equipment and Profit Sharing Arrangement.

He explained that the 30 year leased agreement period, the asset will be return to the land owing families in the respective communities with sustainable structure to continue for generations yet unborn

He also disclosed that currently Lizard Earth is operating with 2,800 farmers in the three chiefdoms and hopping to reach up to 150,000 farmers in the near future.

“The farmers and land owing families expressed gratitude for the meeting. More other communities in the district are calling on Lizard Earth Company Limited to extend their operations to their communities”. He said.

Dainiel Scholler ended that he former in Dea chiefdom Kailahun district

Let us go ahead and publish, I have already informed them to pay for it.

Philanthropist Donates Cement to Warawara Community

BY: Mustapha Dumbuya

Mustapha K. Kargbo a son of the soil at Warawara Yagala Chiefdom has donated 60 bags of cement which cost (Le7,500,000) seven million five hundred thousand Leones to the people of Waraware Yagala chiefdom for the pavement of one of the death trap roads leading to Kabala town.

During the handing over of the payment receipt to the chiefdom authorities Mr. Kargbo said that he is a son of the soil of the chiefdom and that is not the first time of doing such venture as he has been doing projects of such nature in several areas.

He explained that he is always ready to support the less privileged by awarding scholarships to primary, secondary and universities student as well as fostering development to the district.

According to him, indigenes in that community were seriously challenged in terms of basic amenities such as water, good roads, sanitation facilities and so on.

“I have sponsored an extension of a road project in one of the villages and I had also donated school uniforms and learning materials to over 450 kids in one of the schools in Kayokoh Village”, He explained.

The stakeholders expressed his appreciation and thanked him for such good initiative that will benefit the people in that community.

They continued that he had known Mr. Kargbo for a very long time and people had been struggling to use that road because of its bad and deplorable condition.

They expressed strong commitment and desire to begin the pavement of the road in earnest.

“We will continue to pray for you and your family and this has shown us that indeed you are the true son of the soil”, They stated.

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