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Lara Taylor-Pearce: An Independent Auditor

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Lara Taylor-Pearce, Sierra Leone's auditor general, was on Radio Democracy 98.1 FM this week to dispute the missing $1 Billion said to have been stolen under the Ernest Bai Koroma administration. The fantastic amount quoted by Finance Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa and Financial Secretary Sahr Jusu was announced to create a false impression, one newspaper said.

Almost two weeks ago, Bloomberg's Silas Gbandia reported finance minister J.J.Saffa said on Star Television that  Sierra Leone Public Finance Audit Shows $1 Billion Missing. According to Gbandia, Saffa pledged that the government will recover the funds by June, without specifying how it plans to do so.

The report also said that President Julius Maada Bio commissioned the audit into public spending from 2015 to 2018 after his election last year. Sierra Leone's economy measured $3.7 billion in 2017.

Numerous news outlets including Sierra Express Media and Cocorioko have reported on the radio interview given by Sierra Leon…

Fragile States Index 2019: How did Sierra Leone rank?

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'Who's Up? Who's down?' No doubt, the most secure places in the world are rich, western nations. They include Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Sweden, where life is generally stable. You don't need data and an index to know the most fragile countries are wracked by conflict: Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Central African Republic, Sudan, and Chad.

In the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), many of the 15 members dominate the subset of most fragile states, according to the index. Yet there is a glimmer of hope.

Ghana, Benin, and Senegal are where others in the region would like to be. For context, Ghana is the most secure place in West Africa, while Guinea, Sierra Leone's neighbor, is one of the most fragile. Here's how ECOWAS, with all its resource riches, stacked up. Or down.

Guinea 11
Nigeria 14
Niger 18
Guinea Bissau 19
Mali 21
Cote d'Ivoire 29
Liberia 30
Togo 38
Sierra Leone 39
Burkina F…

Violence: the New Normal for Fourah Bay College Clubs, Fraternities and Sororities

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Alhassan Jalloh, a former student at Fourah Bay College (FBC), graduated in the 1990s. Comparing the level of violence on campus now to his time at FBC, he said it is a "totally new phenomenon." Club initiations were "a bit physical but not in this kind of way,” he said. Alhassan, whose cousin fell victim to (violent hazing) said that when visited his old club during a trip from the United States, he found things were different from the way it used to be. He blamed the present scenario on post-war mentality.

Dr. Edward Nahim, the only Sierra Leonean psychiatrist for years, defined violence as: “infliction of physical or psychological harm on an individual for him or her to feel severe pain or discomfort.”

He said that though student violence is not new, the war and (mind-altering) drugs have accelerated the rates of violence among students. He pointed out that the main reason for students embarking on violence is drug abuse.

“I spoke a lot about drug abuse at the unive…

World Happiness Report: Sierra Leone ranks 129th

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This week the United Nations published findings of its survey examining world happiness. This is the 7th World Happiness Report. The first was released in April 2012. Almost all the top-ranked countries from 2016-2018 were oil-rich states and countries in Western Europe, North America, and East Asia. There were also countries in  Central America and the Caribbean. 

The survey shows that African countries are struggling with happiness. Here's how member states in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ranked in descending order:

Nigeria 85
Ghana 98
Ivory Coast 99
Benin 102
Senegal 111
Niger 114
Burkina Faso 115
Guinea 118
Gambia 120
Mali 128
Sierra Leone 129
Togo  139
Liberia 141

***The World Happiness Report is a survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. This year’s World Happiness Report focuses on happiness and the community: how happiness has evolved over the past dozen years, with a focu…

Sierra Leone's Energy Situation, with John Baimba Sesay

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Energy experts say most parts of Sierra Leone still have no access to a grid. Distribution lines were destroyed during the civil war, and old equipment still in place need to be replaced. With poor energy efficiency, the existing network is considered "very old" and there are immense power losses in the generation, transmission, and distribution. Many companies are forced to rely on diesel generators.
New commentary by John Baimba Sesay, a former press officer in the Ernest Koroma administration, provides new insights for this timeline of Sierra Leone's energy situation as it unfolded 2007-2018.


2007

"Freetown was a dark city, with electricity supply to the city being at 5MW. But then, the government engaged the services of an independent power provider, as a short term emergency measure, to provide electricity to Freetown...There also was the rehabilitation of the Bo/Kenema Power Station thermal plants eventually expanding power generation from 2 to 5 MW. The coun…

British Court finds African Minerals Ltd not liable for Sierra Leone Police Brutality

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"African Minerals Ltd (AML), created the infrastructure to mine and transport iron ore in Sierra Leone, leading to significant local unrest," writes Stephanie Hawes in Lexology's "Mining company not liable for acts of police," published March 5. However, "the court held AML was not liable to the claimant local residents for the acts of brutality towards them by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) who were attempting to restore law and order."

Hawes, a lawyer at Allen & Overy, says the Kadie K. vs. African Minerals Ltd & others case is "an interesting case for companies, in the extractive industry sector, concerned about their exposure to human-rights-related risk including in relation to the acts of security forces."  Read on.  

This case deals with several key tortious principles relating to acts of third parties and will be of particular interest to companies in the extractive industries monitoring their exposure to human-rights-related ri…

Archive: Beoku-Betts Commission of Inquiry (later the Percy Davies Commission) 1967

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Report of the Beoku-Betts Commission of Inquiry (later the Percy Davies Commission) into the Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Board from 1st January 1961 to March 1967: the price maintenance fund

Author:Ronald William Beoku-Betts; Percy R Davies; Sierra Leone. Commission of Inquiry into the Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Board.
Publisher:[Freetown]: Govt. Printer, [1968]
Edition/Format:   Print book: English

Sierra Leone. -- Price Marketing Board. Agriculture and state -- Sierra Leone.