Moves and Changes in Sierra Leone's Corridors of Power

Soon after Ernest Bai Koroma was inaugurated in 2007, there was a huge outcry over the number of political appointees asked to step down. A decade on a similar crisis is brewing, but nobody seems to know the rules governing political appointees in Sierra Leone.

On April 12th, Julius Maada Bio was declared the winner of the 2018 presidential elections. Five months on, President Bio has made over a hundred political appointments including ministers, deputy ministers, high commissioners and ambassadors, and heads of state-owned enterprises. He has also appointed technocrats, non-elected technical experts for science and technology.

Going by the precedent set since independence, Bio has the power to hire and fire heads and deputies of all Sierra Leone's Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) as well as public boards.

These include the Ports Authority, Maritime Administration, Roads Authority, State Lottery, Housing Corporation, National Social Security Insurance Trust, Revenue …

African Leaders highlight democratic, economic progress at United Nations General Assembly

African leaders underscored their countries’ efforts towards sustainable development at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. UNGA opened on September 18. The first day of the high-level General Debate was Tuesday, September 25, and is scheduled to last for nine working days.

On Thursday, Sept. 27, Julius Maada Bio president of Sierra Leone, said his country’s commitment to the United Nations Charter and the building of a more secure world resonates with the theme of this year’s General Assembly debate.  
“Making the United Nations relevant to all people: global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies.”

Sierra Leone recently demonstrated its commitment to democratic governance with yet another peaceful transfer of power from an incumbent political party to the opposition, he said, thanking the international community for facilitating and monitoring the electoral process.

Since the General Assembly’s 2005 pledge to strengthen the U…

Sierra Leone's new political and tech leaders make their case at second annual ‘Goalkeepers’ Event

In 2015, one hundred and ninety-three countries at the United Nations agreed to 17 goals for a better world by 2030.  Guided by these goals, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted the first annual ‘Goalkeepers’ event last September to help speed progress toward the global goals.

Moinina David Sengeh, now chief innovation officer for the government of Sierra Leone, was one of the 'goalkeepers' who joined co-chairs Bill and Melinda Gates at the inaugural Goalkeepers event in 2017.

This week, Sengeh hosted a one-hour segment at the second annual Goalkeepers Event hosted by Bill and Melinda Gates.

Goalkeepers are continuing the "audacious mission of accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals," Sengeh said. 

In his opening remarks, Gates spoke about what the magic of software could do to change things and make the world better. He also said poverty isn't inevitable.

Since 1990, millions of people have overcome poverty. There has been an &…

How the Civil Service could change Sierra Leone by 2025

By 2007 many Sierra Leoneans were disillusioned with the two-term Ahmad Tejan Kabbah administration and felt that the president had failed to deliver on post-war development promises.

The parliamentary and presidential elections produced a transfer of power from the Sierra Leone People’s Party to a coalition of the All People’s Congress (APC) and the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) party. The APC’s Ernest Bai Koroma headed the new government.
The civil service by the quality of its knowledge and experience of public affairs supports elected government in devising effective state policies and has a responsibility to implement these policies for the nation’s well-being.
In which light, the Sierra Leone Civil Service played various roles in the 2007 transition with varying degrees of success.
During the 2007 transition, critical gaps existed, particularly in the middle, professional and senior management cadres. There were only 995 civil servants in mid-level professional and…

The Latest on Petrol Prices in Sierra Leone

Kimberly Amadeo, president of World Money Watch, thinks oil price changes take six weeks to work their way through the distribution system. In Amadeo's "How Crude Oil Prices Affect Gas Prices" she talks about volatile oil and gas prices in the United States since the global financial crisis of 2007-2008.

Five thousand miles away, a reporter looks at the "causes of price swings" in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. 

In 2016, a fuel price increase saw the pump price for a gallon of gasoline and diesel shoot up from Le 3,750 to Le 6, 000 per liter (the equivalent of about 67 cents to $1.68), which caused the prices of all other goods and services in Sierra Leone to go up.

Defending the increase in 2016, Abdulai Bayraytay, a former presidential spokesman, said removing the fuel subsidy was necessary to address the loss of revenue caused by the Ebola crisis and the fall in the price of iron ore, Sierra Leone's principal export.

The Ernest Koroma government (2…

Opinions: 2 Weeks on Freetown's Streets

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone -The release of the Governance Transition Team (GTT) coincided with the arrest of former Vice President Victor Foh and former minister of mines and mineral resources Minkailu Mansaray---two events that set off some of the most heated debate since the final results of Sierra Leone's 2018 presidential election were announced.

As the verbal confrontation raged between sympathizers of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the All People’s Congress (APC), Sierra Leonean arguments spilled over to rising prices during the first one hundred days of President Julius Maada Bio.

Two weeks ago, Sewa News took to the streets of the capital to undertake a series of interviews. The interviewees cover the spectrum in age, political affiliation, ethnicity, and region.

'Corruption worse than Ebola'

SLPP voter Gabriel Ansumana said the GTT Report focuses on corruption, which is the root cause of Sierra Leone’s decades’ long underdevelopment. The GTT’s purpose he s…

Sierra Leone's asset recovery tsar denies unfair advantage in timber export trade

After a cross-country helicopter flyover, former president Ernest Koroma told officials at a 2008 opening ceremony for customs and border officials that he noticed a huge swathe of Sierra Leone’s forest had disappeared.

During the 2018 presidential campaign, Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) candidate Julius Maada Bio said that there was no accountability in the country’s timber trade. Immediately after he assumed power on April 4th, President Bio issued an executive order suspending the export of timber logs.

Since the resumption of timber exports took effect a few weeks ago, information reaching Sewa News indicates that a major stakeholder is Foday Rado Yokie, a former Member of Parliament who President Bio appointed to head a taskforce responsible for recovering government vehicles.

Yokie, who represented a constituency in Bo district, Sierra Leone's second largest city, is a principal partner in Spring Wood & Furniture Company, the firm given the concession to overse…