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…

Sierra Leone’s Unregulated Export Timber Trade

Sierra Leone’s rapidly disappearing tropical forests are home to soft and hard wood, including herbs and plants and many common and exotic flora and fauna.

Significantly, most biodiversity hot spots in Sierra Leone are contained in what are supposed to be  protected areas: forest reserves; community forests, national parks; game sanctuaries and other proposed protection areas.

Alarmingly, because of lax government and community controls, these areas are being devastated at a rapid pace by widespread illegal logging.

Unknown to the majority of its citizens, Sierra Leone has for decades exported timber that provides material for logs, panels, boards, doors, windows, furniture, decking, plywood, sawn timber, planed wood and timber, laminated wood, flooring, packing and pallet wood, and soft and hardwood veneers.

 With Sierra Leone’s forests and woodlands being a significant source of construction wood, timber and furniture, Chinese timber merchants have increasingly targeted the countr…

Freetown's Mayor given Key to City's Heart after the attack

Freetown loves her mayor and there's no doubt she loves the hometown that has elected her to build a better city. On Friday evening, Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr announced on Facebook that she's "back on her feet," buoyed by the "support and good wishes from Freetonians, family, and friends."

In the photo are Umaru Koroma, national secretary general of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) (left) and the newly-appointed Minister of Political and Public Affairs Foday Yumkella, brother of the 2018 National Grand Coalition presidential nominee, Kandeh Yumkella.

Aki-Sawyerr, who was verbally and physically assaulted outside SLPP's headquarters this week, also said on her Facebook page that witnesses have identified the suspect and the information has been passed on to the police.

Responding to the global outrage one day after the attack, the national secretariat of the SLPP issued a statement condemning the assault on the "Mayor of the City of Freeto…

New mayor of Sierra Leone's capital city attacked

Freetown's new mayor, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, said in a statement posted on Facebook Thursday that she  was "verbally and physically assaulted yesterday by a few people who perhaps do not understand that I am the Mayor of all Freetonians and not some Freetonians."

Aki-Sawyerr, seen in the above photo with Dr. Samura Kamara, the All People's Congress (APC) 2018 presidential nominee,  condemned all acts of violence. The mayor reportedly returned to work Thursday.

Police have not released comments on the attack, but the mayor thanked the internal affairs ministry for their "support and interventions," adding she was "certain that necessary steps will be taken to ensure my personal safety and that of all Freetonians." 

Read the full statement below:

Dear Freetonians,
I would like to once again thank God and thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as the Mayor of Freetown. I am passionate about our city and committed to working with the central gov…

Black British Musician and Sierra Leonean Legend Mamadi Kamara Has Died

Black British drummer Mamadi Kamara has died, according to reports on social media from the city's Sierra Leonean community. The cause of death is unknown.

Born in Sierra Leone, the artist was active through the 70's and 2000s, notable for his drumming and percussion days with Super Combo, one of the first local bands to gain international success.

Residing in the United Kingdom since the 1970s, Mamadi has been in demand among musical groups of all styles because of his distinctive percussive voice, which ranges from high-energy rhythmic drama to free-flowing conceptual artistry.

Constantly extending his horizons, he has emerged as one of the most influential percussionists on the British/African jazz scene, working with artists such as Louis Moholo and Lester Bowie, Mervyn Africa, Harry Beckett, Andy Hamilton, Cameroon Pierre, Courtney Pine and Andy Sheppard. He also played and recorded with African, reggae, soul and R&B bands. 

Mr. Kamara was reportedly 70 years old.