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NP (SL) Limited Embarks on Thorough Face Lift of its Kissy Terminal

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

NP-Sierra Leone Limited has embarked on a thorough face-lifting of its main Terminal situated alongside, one the coastal areas of Kissy, a growing community that is located in the East End of Freetown. The ongoing face lift includes positioning   one of the newly calibrated digitized storage tanks with maximum safe filing capacity.

From what this medium learnt, it is the conviction of Management of the company that customer satisfaction could be enhanced to an optimum level through digitalization of storage facilities and Gantries.

Indeed, this latest move on the part of the company is just another confirmation of the importance that Management of the company places on the giving utmost satisfaction to its numerous customers across the country , ensuring that it explores possible avenues through which petroleum products could be secured with the main aim of averting any form of scarcity that will negatively impinge other walks of life or activities that may lead to panic buying and the disruption of normalcy.

Incontestably, NP-Sierra Leone Limited is currently one of the most reliable sources of inspiration for intending entrepreneurs or investors aspiring to establish business entities that they wish to see grow exponentially and become a towering entity in Sierra Leone.

There are many valuable lessons that could be derived from the Company in order to realize a very successfully independent business entity. To start with, the success story of the NP (SL) Ltd could inspire new entrepreneurs and definitely serve as a roadmap to navigate the business landscape in order to actualize business dreams into tangible realities independently.

The Company was founded way back in 1977 when British Petroleum acquired the shares of AGIP and operated until June 1984 and the then Government of Sierra Leone acquired 60% shares from British Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited. Towards the end of 1984, British Petroleum Sierra Leone Ltd. divested its remaining 40% equity to the Precious Mineral and Mining Company.

In 1996, the company was privatized in which Government sold 55% of its 60% equity to Leone Oil with the remaining 5% to its staff.

In February 2011, in efforts to rejuvenate and reinvigorate the company, the Sierra Leone National Company was rebranded and therefore changed its name to NP (SL) Limited.

Ever since, the Company has been a privately owned indigenous business entity; no Government, past or present has hands or influence in its operations.

Further, NP (SL) Ltd ensures that lucrative business initiatives are well implemented to the letter leading to the realization of fruitful outputs. With up to 133 regional dealer distribution outlets, the Company operates on a firm drive anchored on result oriented initiatives intended to achieve positive business outcomes.

Also, with the devoted objective of providing optimum satisfaction, the Company’s belief is centered on excellent service delivery geared towards accomplishing customer satisfaction through customer care, and from all indications, NP (SL) Ltd has incredibly excelled in this drive. Management teams have exhibited this so well to an extent that the Company has succeeded in broadening its customer base. As far as NP (SL) Ltd is concerned, the interest of customers is absolutely paramount.

In due regard, Management and Stakeholders have made prudent efforts like, introducing Ultra-modern calibrated pumping machines capable of dispensing the right quantity of fuel that a buyer requests while displaying the price, also the NP Smart Card which allows cashless fuel purchase with ease avoiding the hassle of having to rush to the banks to withdraw monies for fuel purchase purposes, and the  NP Gas which comes in different cylinder sizes with comfort, environmentally friendly and in very affordable prices. NP Gas has been certified as good for cooking purposes and the gas that is used to refill it could be secured at NP Filling Stations.

Encompassed with all these attractive offers and more and championed solely by exclusively 100% Sierra Leoneans, NP (SL) Ltd has secured its enviable position in the Oil industry in Sierra Leone and in the Wes African sub-region by not only ensuring endless supply of petroleum products, but also providing valuable lessons that are worth emulating by aspiring entrepreneurs and potential investors.

 

New Securitized Passports for President Bio & Vice while 109 African Diasporians Become Citizens

President Julius Maada Bio and Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh on the 5th December, 2022 received the first copies of the new securitized national passports from the Chief Immigration Officer, Andrew Jaiah Kaikai and confer Sierra Leonean citizenship on 109 African Diasporans.

The new national passport is an upgraded electronic version of the previous one with special security features to avert potential forgery and cloning of the country’s passport.

Minister of Internal Affairs, David Panda-Noah, told the President, “I feel elated to be here as part of the continuation of the process leading to the provision of affordable securitized passports for the citizens of Sierra Leone. This passport merit International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recognition”.

He added that as part of the President’s directives to transform the immigration system, they had engaged the E-passport contractor to upgrade the existing passport to include special securitized features.

“I am proud to inform you that the new national passport meets all ICAO and other international standards. The chip embedded in the passport makes it electronically readable and could be used at any E-gate,” he noted.

While conferring the citizenships status, President Julius Maada Bio congratulated them as they subscribed to the oath of allegiance and described the event as one that had been the climax of a historic journey after months and years of searching for their ancestral roots.

“As a people, we have always opened our hands and offered smiles to our brothers and sisters making this momentous journey back home, whether from the forced migration of slavery or a voluntary movement that we collectively call the Africa Diaspora.

“Sadly, the history of slavery has always been etched on our minds because our brothers and sisters were captured and sold from the early 16th century to the late 18th century. Our country was at the heart of that history too. In 1675, Bunce Island Slave Fortress, a major enslavement and exportation hub in the Sierra Leone Rivers, was used for the transportation of enslaved Africans in their thousands. In 1787, the colony of Freetown was declared a settlement for freed slaves. Hence, the first set of free men and women, referred to as the black poor, were sent to Freetown,” the President informed.

The President stated that he believes the future of Sierra Leone could not be defined by the agonizing history of slavery, adding that that was why his Government was implementing the most audacious human capital development programme that could support over two million children with free quality education nationwide.

“We have abolished the 55-year-old criminal libel law and now guaranteed journalists the freedom to hold the Government accountable. We abolished the death penalty and enacted the historic Gender Equality and Empowerment Act, among others.

“This is the new Sierra Leone. We want to build a progressive, educated, and investor-friendly nation, but as we continue this new journey, we also know that our nation’s sustained development needs the genuine collaboration of her Diasporians. Therefore, over the years, we have been heartened by the homecoming of hundreds from the Sierra Leonean African Diaspora. Some have not just subscribed to the oath, collected passports, and returned, but they are already making a difference in many communities”.

He closed by encouraging them to be good ambassadors in rebranding and promoting Sierra Leone, urging them to optimize the Sierra Leone diaspora resources for the benefit of the nation by exploring trade and investment opportunities, bringing their experience and knowledge to bear on the development trajectory of the country and make Sierra Leone a sustainable travel destination for the African Diaspora.

 

 

Sierra Leone Signs $25 Billion Gas Pipeline Project between Nigeria-Morocco

Sierra Leone is set to benefit from a gas pipeline project worth over $25 billion, which when completed, will allow the country to enjoy gas supplies at a cheaper cost. The $25 billion project, which will be constructed over six phases over the next 25 years, will connect Nigeria’s immense gas supply to Europe through over six countries along Africa’s West Coast.

This is expected to reduce the high cost of gas, alleviate poverty in the region, promote socio-economic development, and mitigate desertification through sustainable and reliable gas supply and a reduction in carbon emissions.

The $25 billion worth project took another step forward in Rabat with the signing of agreements with five countries, including Sierra Leone through whose waters the line would be installed.

The ultimate aim of the 7,000-kilometre-Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project will send gas from Nigeria – whose resources stand at about 200 trillion cubic feet – to Europe in order to make up for a shortfall in the Russian supplies.

This agreement came at a crucial time when the global deficiency in the supply of oil and gas, especially to African nations, due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, leaving many countries, including the West handicap for want of much-needed petroleum products.

Sierra Leone was represented by the Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, H.E. Atumanni Dainkeh and a senior management team from Sierra Leone consisting of the Director of Finance, Zainu Deen Karim, and Senior Legal Counsel, Michelle Eddinia Swallow. The delegation signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Monday 5th December 2022 in Rabat Morocco, on the gas pipeline project linking Nigeria to Morocco, which will supply gas to West Africa and Europe.

This MOU shows President Julius Maada Bio’s willingness and commitment to salvaging the scarce and high cost of petroleum products in the world and to also contribute to the success of this project.

The $25 billion African gas pipeline scheme would provide energy to approximately 340 million people, while reducing gas burning.

According to the head of Nigeria’s NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari, Europe and African countries along the pipeline route stands to gain alot from the project, reaffirming that other benefits includes the creation of wealth and improvement in the standard of living of their citizenry, increased cooperation between the respective countries, while mitigating desertification and other benefits to be derived from reduction in carbon emissions.

The pipeline’s capacity is expected to be about 3 billion cubic feet per day.

 

 

Legal Aid Board Represents 152 accused persons in Special Sessions in seven Locations

In the November Criminal Sessions and Special Criminal Sessions of the High Court in seven locations across the country: Pujehun in Pujehun District; Magburaka in Tonkolili District; Mafanta Correctional Center in Tonkolili District; Mongo in Falaba District; Mattru Jong in Bonthe District; Kambia in Kambia District and Freetown in the Western Urban District, the Legal Aid Board provided representation to 152 of the 177 accused persons arraigned.

Among the 177 accused persons whose matters were called at the sessions, seventeen were absent and eight were represented in the Freetown Sessions by private counsels.

The accused persons were arraigned on multiple charges ranging from conspiracy to defraud to murder, larceny in a dwelling house, wounding with intent, robbery, robbery with aggravation, assault with intent to rob, shop breaking and larceny, larceny from a person, fraudulent conversion and sexual penetration.

Among the 152 accused persons represented by the Legal Aid Counsels, 65 were tried in Freetown; 18 in Pujehun; 22 in Magburaka; 21 in Mafanta; 4 in Mongo; 16 in Mattru Jong and 6 in Kambia. 31 of the 152 accused persons/inmates were released at the sessions: 27 were discharged, 2 were acquitted and discharged and 2 were cautioned and discharged. Apart from those freed, the Board also secured bail for seven – five in the Freetown sessions and two in Mongo. All the accused persons in the provinces were represented by Legal Aid Counsels.

Nine of the 31 accused persons were released following an application for a judicial review of 21 matters by Honourable Justice Monfred Sesay. Others released include 14 in the Magburaka sessions; 3 in Pujehun, 2 in Mattru Jong, 2 in Kambia and 1 in Freetown. Memunatu Kamara was discharged on murder charges for want of prosecution in the Kambia Sessions.

Those released from the Mafanta Correctional Center sessions were given clothing and fare by the Legal Aid Board in response to an on appeal from the judge.

The Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles thanked the Government for providing the funds for the sessions. She also thanked His Lordship the Chief Justice, Honourable Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, the Justices who presided over the various Sessions and Legal Aid Counsels for the hard work.

Ms. Carlton-Hanciles warned those released “not to take the magnanimity of the court for granted”, adding that “they must not involve into anything that will undermine the peace”.

Ms. Carlton-Hanciles warned those released “not to misuse the free legal representation by Legal Aid Counsels and reoffend”, adding that “they must not involve into anything that will undermine the peace”. She noted that the “Board is challenged with limited staff especially lawyers and will be constrained to provide representation to repeated offenders.”

The accused persons arraigned in Freetown were represented by Legal Aid Counsels: Cecilia Tucker; Morrison Karimu; Ibrahim Bangura; Randy .S Bangura; Ibrahim Samba; Harold Momoh; Cyril Taylor-Younge and Fatmata June-Mackery.

Those in the provinces were represented by Legal Aid Counsels: Mohamed Korie; Ibrahim Samba; John Jack Harris; Osman B. Kamara and A.K Jawara.

New National Minerals Agency Act Comes into Effect

Parliament on the 6th of December 2022, enacted with some amendments, the Bill entitled: “The National Minerals Agency Act, 2022” into law for the development and enhancement of the mines and minerals sector of the State.

The Bill sought to provide for the continuation of the National Minerals Agency, to provide for the more efficient and effective administration of the agency and regulation of the minerals sector as provided for in the Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2022, and to provide for other related matters.

The Bill went through several consultations, and it was earlier debated extensively before passage into law.

The Report of the Legislative Committee presented by its Chairman, Hon. Abdul Sulaiman Marray-Conteh to the Committee of the Whole House formed part of the legislative processes before enactment into law.

The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Kabbah piloted the Bill before passage into law.

 

 

 

Ambassador Wurie Institute of Management & Technology Holds Its First Matriculation Ceremony

By Alpha Sesay

On Saturday 3rd December, 2022, the Ambassador Wurie Institute of Management and Technology (AWIMAT) held its first Matriculation Ceremony at the institute’s premises situated on 150 Upper Philip Street, Wellington, Freetown.

The Acting Principal of the institute, Amadou Ibrahim Funna, welcomed the 300 students that have successfully gained admission into the institution, and also welcomed parents and invitees that graced the occasion.

He mentioned how the Matriculation Ceremony is very important to the students as it marks the official entry of every student into any higher institution of learning. It’s also significant because it’s a statutory gathering to formally welcome deserving and qualified candidates who were very fortunate to be offered admissions into the institution.

Mr. Funna further extended his profound thanks and appreciation to the students for choosing the AWIMAT College as first choice out of the numerous colleges and universities saying it is a clear confirmation of the confidence both the parents and students repose in them.

He continued that as Acting Principal he would like to assure the students, parents and the public that he will uphold, protect and guaranteed the peaceful stay of all students in the institution.

He also maintained that the primary objective of the matriculation programme is to acquaint students with the fundamental principles, norms, processes and culture of the institution.

“It’s these core values that will project the image of the institution as a refining centre and also a centre for acquiring knowledge,” Mr. Funna disclosed.

He continued by admonishing students of the importance of Registration stressing that students are obliged to register as it’s the first step for one to actualize his/her admission into the institution.

He maintained that one will only become a bonafide student of the institution when one has completed his/her registration process within the stipulated time frame going further to encourage students that may face challenges in the course of their registration to seek assistance from the Registration Officer or the Office of the Head of Department.

He concluded by encouraging the first batch of 300 enrolled students to abide by all the rules and regulations of the institution, participate in all activities of the institution and be fully committed to their studies in order to justify their selection to gain admission in the institution.

The Proprietor, Saidu M. Kamara, welcomed the students and parents to the matriculation ceremony. He reiterated his vision and need for the establishment of such a higher learning institution in the East-End of the capital city and also in one of the most deprived communities for that matter. He said the institution is here to primarily serve as a mechanism to train, refine and prepare students on the behaviours and soft skills needed in the corporate world.

He called on school leavers, parents and residents of the Philip Street Community and other communities to tap into this unique opportunity in sending their children to the AWIMAT College as the institution has trained and qualified lecturers drawn from various universities across the country.

He maintained that the institution is accredited by the Ministry of Tertiary Education, National Council For Technical and Other Academic  Award (N.C.T.V.A) and the Tertiary Education Commission (T.E.C) to operate with undergraduate courses.

The institution is offering Certificate and Diploma  courses like : Project Management, Purchasing and Supply Management, Tourism and Hotel Management,  Public Health , Building Technology, Electrical and Electronics , Performance Management,  Rural Sociology, Peace and Development,  Human Resource Management, Entrepreneurship, Computer Studies, Mass Communications and many more.

 

 

 

 

Choithram Awards Scholarship to 267 Pupils

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

Choithram International Foundation has on Wednesday 7th December, 2022 donated One Hundred and Ninety Thousand, New Leones (NLE190, 000) to the Choithram Scholarship Fund in order to award 267 scholarships to school going pupils across the country. The handing over ceremony took place at Choithram Office on Wilberforce Street in Freetown.

In his address, the Financial Comptroller of Choithram International Foundation, Harish Agnani, said the donation is a regular gesture from Choithram International Foundation set up by Late Mr. T. Choithram Pagarani. He pointed out that every year funds are allocated to assist needy school going children in line with the vision of the of the late Mr. T. Choithram Pagarani in order to improve the education & health sectors in Sierra Leone.

He said this year Choithram International Foundation allocated 190,000 New Leones to the Scholarship Fund and a total of 267 children will benefit from the gesture.

Harish Agnani said that Choithram International Foundation has been regularly funding the Choithram Scholarship Fund since its inception.

He said that Choithram Int’l Foundation also provides funds not only for the day to day running of the Choithram Memorial Hospital but also to procure modern medical equipment to upgrade the facilities at the hospital to international standards, adding that there has been recent development within the Choithram Hospital.

Harish Agnani said that currently the hospital has constructed a Dialysis Unit and installed 4 bedded Fresenius Medical Care (4008 S) Dialysis Machines which he described as a lifesaving support for so many Sierra Leoneans. He used the opportunity to inform all that in the next few months the hospital will have a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machine (MRI) Machine.

Harish Agnani noted that apart from these gestures Choithram Charity Trust also donates foodstuffs to Old Peoples Home and Children’s home every month all of which is considered as part of their Social Corporate Responsibility by the Choithram group.

He expressed appreciation on behalf of Choithram Int’l Foundation to the members of the Choithram Scholarship Fund Committee for their relentlessly efforts over the years to ensure that their venture is a success.

Commenting after receiving the Cheque, Chairman of the Choithram Scholarship Trust Fund Committee Eastline Palmer expressed appreciation to the Choithram International Foundation for the support the Foundation has been giving them all these years in order to undertake the exercise.

She said that with the said donation it will alleviate the sufferings of the less privileged in the country.

Eastline Palmer said that the NLE190,000  that had been allocated to the Scholarship Fund  will benefit a total of 267children, adding that the scholarship caters for all Sierra Leoneans regardless of tribe, region but as long as the individual meets the scholarship criteria it will be awarded.

She said they targeted 88 pupils from different Primary schools and 179 pupils from secondary and senior schools across the country for this year’s scholarship.

The Chairman assured the Choithram International Foundation that they will make good use of the Fund and the scholarship will be awarded to the right beneficiaries.

Parents of pupils who benefited from the Scholarship commended Choithram International Foundation the support. They assured them of making good use of the monies given to them in order to support their children’s  schooling.

Choithram Hospital Offers Free Orthopaedic & Cardiology Screening & Treatment

Choithram Hospital

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

Providing qualitative medical treatment for people from all walks of life in the country, since its establishment, has been the vision of Choithram Memorial Hospital.

The hospital from time to time has been bringing specialized medical personnel from Germany and India to render professional medical services to people of Sierra Leone.

Against this backdrop, the Choithram Memorial Hospital will be organizing a camp of  2 days Orthopaedic and Cardiology examination and treatment commencing on the 16th  and ending on the 17th December, 2022 at the hospital premises on Hill Station in Freetown.

It must be noted that Consultation, investigations and medical opinion shall be free of cost.

This medium was reliably informed that renowned doctors and specialists in the persons of Dr. Akshay Kumar Saxena, Senior Consultant Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement from Max Smart Super Specialty Hospital, Saket New Delhi (India), and Dr. Manjeet. The attending Consultant Cardiologist from Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket New Delhi (India) will examine and suggest treatment for all potential Orthopaedic and Cardiology cases.

It must be noted that Max Healthcare, one of the leading healthcare networks in North India, is now closer to Sierra Leoneans even during challenging times of pandemics. They understand that not all Sierra Leoneans can plan to visit India for medical treatment, but they’ve got them covered through the 2 days free expert consultation on Orthopaedic and Cardiology related issues.

Interested persons must note that prior registration is mandatory and they must book an appointment at Choithram Memorial Hospital on or before the 15th December, 2022 as only limited spaces will be available.

To book individuals must call +232-76-541-331 or send booking to www.cmhfreetown.com

 

 

 

China’s Steady Economy Growth Brings Broad Prospects for Sino-Salone Cooperation 

By: Du Zijun (Economic and Commercial Counsellor Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone)

With the complicated international situation, the world economic growth has significantly slowed down since the beginning of 2022. Meanwhile, China’s economy remains resilient with a strong material base accumulated over the years and the advantage of a large market size. Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, China has effectively coordinated epidemic prevention and control, economic and social development, and made new achievements in economic and social development. In the first three quarters, China’s economy achieved positive growth, with a GDP of 87,026.9 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 3% at constant prices. The commodity price was generally stable, and the employment situation continued to improve. China’s efforts to attract investment continued to increase, and foreign trade registered overall growth.

As the changes of the times and the epidemic of the century have superimposed each other, the development gap between developed and developing countries continues to widen. As the largest developing country in the world, China has similar historical circumstances to the vast number of African countries, including Sierra Leone. China understands the aspirations of developing countries for peace and development and is ready to join hands with them to meet the global challenges. H.E. President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative (GDI), which aims to promote the international community to form a joint force, focus on development, contribute Chinese solutions and Chinese wisdom to solve development problems and realize the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as scheduled, and also calibrate the direction for building a community with a shared future for mankind. The GDI advocates development in a prominent position in the global macro policy framework, strengthening policy coordination among major economies, building a more equal and balanced global partnership for development. The GDI supports developing countries, especially vulnerable countries, through debt relief, development assistance, and other means. Over the past 50 years, China has implemented thousands of programs for more than 160 developing countries, carried out tens of thousands of capacity-building projects, and provided more than 400,000 personnel training, contributing to global development.

China welcomes all countries in the world to make full use of its development dividend, through continuous expansion of mutual opening and cooperation in various fields such as trade, investment, and industry. China will promote high-quality construction of the “Belt and Road” to promote the recovery of the world economy.

Sierra Leone has a superior geographical location and rich minerals, fishery, tourism and other resources. In recent years, Sierra Leone has shaken off the haze of civil war, overcome the impact of the Ebola and COVID-19 epidemic, and is working hard to seek economic and social development. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 51 years ago, China and Sierra Leone have always been sincere and friendly, treating each other as equals, cooperating for mutual benefit, and the two sides have become reliable friends and partners. The cooperation between the two countries in human resources development, education, agriculture, public health, energy, communications, infrastructure construction and other areas has achieved numerous results. Since 2018, China has completed nearly 20 aid projects for Sierra Leone, and more than 10 other projects are either going on or are in discussion. Over the years, under the Chinese Government Scholarship Program, more than 1000 Sierra Leonean students have been funded to study in China, and over 5100 Sierra Leoneans from all walks of life have been invited to China for short-term training or exchange programs. China has donated 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine and eight rounds anti-pandemic material assistance to Sierra Leone.

Against the troubled times, the fundamentals of China’s strong economic resilience, great potential and long-term improvement remain unchanged. China’s comprehensive strength has been continuously enhanced, with huge development potential and strong innovation and upgrading capabilities. China will deepen high-level opening up and adhere to free trade and fair trade so as to provide a strong driving force for the recovery of the world economy. China will continue to work closely with Sierra Leone and other African countries, adhere to genuine multilateralism, maintain the UN-centered international system, and safeguard the common interests of developing countries. China will, as always, uphold the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith while working with Sierra Leone. China will talk and do instead of making empty promises. China will respect the situation of Sierra Leone instead of interfering with its internal affairs.

To sum up, China’s steady economic growth will bring broad prospects for Sino-Salone cooperation. As we are embracing the new era, we have full confidence of building a closer and stronger partnership between China and Sierra Leone.

 

 

 

MRCG Engages Editors & Station Managers on Sustaining Stories on Transitional Justice

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

The Media Reform Coordinating Group- Sierra Leone (MRCG-SL) on the 8th December, 2022 engaged Editors and Station Managers at the SLAJ Building on Campbell Street in a meeting that was geared towards changing the narrative of transitional justice issues in Sierra Leone.

Present were the National Coordinator of MRCG-SL, Dr Francis Sowa and other members of Staff, the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, the  SLAJ Vice President, Head of Independent Media Network, Ransford Wright, some members of SLAJ and a cross section of journalists drawn from both the Print and Electronic Media in Sierra Leone.

Dr. Sowa welcomed all and wished the outcome of a fruitful meeting that was scheduled to deliberates issues bordering on Transitional Justice further thanking all those present for attending and thanking them for supporting the work of the MRCG at specific points in time. He pointed out that the gathering is not a workshop or a presentation but will take the form of discussions on how to sustain the work of the MRCG around the area of reporting stories on transitional justice.

He made reference to a handbook titled, “Reporting Transitional Justice: A Handbook for Media Practitioners in West Africa” which, he said, was made possible through  the Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF).

Dr Sowa also extended thanks to the mentors saying he is impressed that currently about 28 stories bordering around transitional justice have been submitted saying that is indeed impressive and impactful.

He expressed profound thanks and appreciation to, Theo Harding, for holding the fort too long in mentoring journalists on how to put together stories on transitional justice. “What you are doing now is imparting knowledge in the next generation of professional journalists which is highly commendable,” he stated adding that the specific purpose of the gathering is how to sustain or continue stories around transitional justice.

Dr Sowa said that at the end of the day the aim is to come out with good recommendations which could feed in to the next phase on how the MRCG’s enormous work on transitional justice must be sustained and made positively impactful.

He said that the knowledge that is being gained on transitional justice could be applied in other areas adding that from the look of the stories submitted it could be seen that they far surpass some stories that have won awards saying that there has been a massive progress of late in reportage.

Dr Sowa also commended, Kemo Cham, a seasoned journalist for the positive trainings he has  so far conducted in the past on transitional justice further praising him for the instrumental roles he has playing in raising awareness on some thorny issues stating how he has been doing a very fantastic job in supporting the media to develop in the country.

On his part, the President of SLAJ, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla said that youth unemployment is the order of the day coupled with a lot of other societal ills which if not serious addressed will have negative repercussions in certain communities.

He pointed out the importance of journalists pointing out the frailties in societal living, what should be the rights individuals must exercise and how those rights could be safely guarded from abuse and infringements.

It was Ransford Wright, Head of the Independent Media Network in the country, who raised the alarm of what should fill the void when the project’s life phases out reaches asking whether that would mark the end of reportage on stories of Transitional Justice.

After fruitful discussions it was finally recommended that the submission of stories on transitional justice should be filtered in to or made part of the Editorial Policies of media outlets, that  in the next SLAJ Awards Ceremony a category on Transitional Justice Stories must be catered for as a way to motivate individuals to do more stories in the area. Another brilliant recommendation is to get some of the mentors extend their mentoring to benefit journalists in the provinces on the related area under discussion. Also, that the TRC Report should the reference point for stories related to transitional justice, that the stipends must be maintained to provide motivation but is not an alternative to monthly emoluments and  that in situations where Editors are not too au fait with transitional justice stories then they should be trained to know the contents that must be present.

It must be noted that the key priorities of MRCG’s work within the country, since it started operations in the country,  include improving  ethnics of the media through regulatory or self-regulatory mechanisms, ensure sustainable and independent public service broadcasting serving all the people of the country, ensure sustainable.

 

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