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It's Africa Day 2019 | Give Her a Break

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Almost six months after Sierra Leone’s first lady launched  “Hands Off Our Girls“ (a spin-off campaign from the Bring Back Our Girls movement), Fatima Bio has taken some flack. 

Fatima (seen standing with former first lady Sia Koroma in an undated photo) hasn't been out of the news since she led a controversial event on April 27, 2019, in a noticeably empty stadium in the capital, Freetown.

A few days later she shared her thoughts on WhatsApp, hoping to silence the critics with revelations about rival factions at State House and Presidential aides who are living the life of Royalty, while poor Sierra Leoneans eke out an existence on $1.20 a day.  

When that social media PR  didn't do the trick, Fatima put out a video to hex her husband's enemies, real or imagined. Needless to say, all bets were off!

Now, every other day there are videos from local comedians, which in all honesty send up some of the first lady's worst pronouncements in the most hilarious way. There are als…

Ponder My Thoughts with Andrew Keili

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Andrew Kelli's syndicated column, "Ponder My Thoughts" returns with the challenge of Sierra Leonean cohesion, the capacity of Sierra Leonean society, and conflict management.

Our leaders were divided on the eve of independence in 1961. Since then, every change in government has been accompanied by accusations by the new government that it inherited a broken country and economy.

President Kabbah accused the NPRC of emptying the country’s coffers. President Koroma levied the same accusation against President Kabbah’s government. Enter President Bio-ditto.

Accusations apart, what has become apparent over the past 11 years has been the division of the country along party lines and the government sharing the spoils to party supporters in a country where parties are roughly aligned along regional and tribal lines. The winning party would kick most heads of institutions out and in some cases, clear out whole institutions of senior staff and install their own supporters. The res…

Confused about the sign on your property in Sierra Leone? Here’s what you need to know

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Excerpt from social media commentary by Chukwuemeka Taylor: 
Dr. Sandy can lawfully through the office of the Director of Surveys and Lands put signs or notices on any land he considers to be unoccupied land. This notice is simply an expression of the Government's intention to repossess land deemed "unoccupied ".

The Minister’s mistake is in the "mongrel wording" of the notices on signs he erects all over the place. The wording on such signs departs from the statutory prescription provided in the Unoccupied Lands Act and the State Lands Act.

There is no statutory authority for the notice to read " repossessed by the State ".

The notice being erected on private lands by Dr. Sandy is my opinion, mischievous and is calculated to mislead. Dr. Sandy Ph.D. ought to know that repossession of any land cannot be fulfilled without an Order of the Court.

It surprises me that the Learned Attorney General & Minister of Justice has not made her knowledge of the corr…

How ECOWAS ranked in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index

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Thanks to a change of government, The Gambia achieved one of the biggest rises in the World Press Freedom Index in 2018. According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF),  which has published the  Index since 2002, the level of press freedom in the smallest country in West Africa has significantly improved, up 30 to 92nd. The RSF is the largest non-governmental organization (NGO) specializing in the defense of media freedom around the world. Here's how member countries in the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) ranked out of 180 countries in 2019.


Ghana 27 Burkina Faso  36 Senegal 49 Niger 66 Cote D'Ivoire 71 Togo 76 Sierra Leone 86 Guinea Bissau 89 Gambia 92  (***Up 30 at 92nd) Liberia 93 Benin 96 Ghana  Guinea 107 Mali 112 Gabon 115 Nigeria 120 Morocco/Western Sahara 135
Source: World Press Freedom Index 2019

Sierra Leoneans concerned about empty seats in the national stadium on Independence Day

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Sierra Leone marks its 58th Independence Anniversary today. The national day celebrated on April 27 commemorates the restoration of  Sierra Leone's sovereignty in 1961 from the Britsh empire. Unfortunately, empty seats photographed on Saturday, April 27 at the national stadium in the capital city of Freetown has raised eyebrows. The stadium has a 36,000 capacity and pulls large crowds during football games.














Nonstop sand mining is destroying Freetown’s eco-tourism

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It's not the first time photos have circulated on social media of what has been described as '24-hour, seven-days-a-week operations to carry hundreds of tonnes of sand from Freetown's beaches and sell it to builders as construction material.'

The Earth Day 2019 photos from intrepid Sierra Leonean photojournalist Issam capture how free-for-all sand mining is destroying Freetown’s eco-tourism opportunities.

For years, local and international reports have shown round-the-clock sand-mining on beaches within a few miles of Sierra Leone’s capital is having a devastating effect on the coastline, and destroying property.

Without permits, hundreds of trucks attack the beaches on a daily basis, hiring local boys as daily laborers to destroy their own communities.

Reports say that not much is being done to control the increasing demand for sand to make concrete blocks.



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…