Showing posts from 2015

Making A Positive Contribution to Your Community

Alhaji Saccoh, a Sierra Leonean born firefighter who lives in Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, went to Freetown, Sierra Leone, this Christmas to donate gear to a force in dire need of firefighting tools. But little did he know he would be using those fire axes, helmets, flashlights, gloves, boots, PPE, tools, and equipment on his vacation. 
Early this week, Saccoh launched a fundraiser to help 8 firemen severely injured in a Christmas day inferno at a Shell filling station. Today he was doing more than passive fundraising.
Saccoh served as  a volunteer with the capital city's fire department in an incredibly rewarding way. He put himself in extremely dangerous situations, going into a burning building.  See some of the eyewitness pictures below:

APA reports that The headquarters of Sierra Leone`s Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) caught fire early on Tuesday morning.

The building, which is located in the central part of the capital, Freetown, just a stone's throw…

Red Lion Bakery: Something old, something new

Red Lion Bakery has been around for some 70 years and is one of the most successful family businesses in Sierra Leone. Recently, the bakery announced that it has revamped its original line of artisan bread and introduced a new style of Red Lion bread produced by an automated system.

According to news reports, the bakery spent over US$300,000 to buy new machines, including a mixer, cutter and dryer. 

Management of the bread business has been passed through Ashwood family hands since 1944. Now it is being managed by Cyril Grant and Michelle Jones, grandchildren of the founding baker, who took up the business as co-owners of the bakery in 2015.

Red Lion Bakery has also improved on their services with the opening of a website so as to interact with customers, distributors and others.

Here's a history of the Red Lion Bakery.

Born out of the need to feed a family during the rationing period of the Second World War, Red Lion Bakery has been a family‐ owned and operated business since 1944.

Black Africa on the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index

According to this year’s ranking, South Africa is the most entrepreneurial country in Black Africa with a score of 38.5, though the country ranked 52nd in the world.

Botswana placed second (33.1), Namibia came third (31.3) and Nigeria was the fourth with a score of 28.1. This is followed by Gabon (27.8), Swaziland (25.8), Ghana (24.5), Zambia  (22.8) and Kenya (21.1). 

52 South Africa
66 Botswana
73 Namibia
85 Nigeria
86 Gabon

95 Swaziland
99 Ghana
102 Zambia
104 Kenya
106 Senegal

112 Angola
113 Rwanda
114 Ethiopia
115 Cameroon
116 Mozambique
118 Gambia, The
119 Liberia
120 Cote d'Ivoire
121 Tanzania
122 Mali

123 Uganda
124 Benin
126 Burkina Faso
127 Madagascar
128 Sierra Leone
129 Mauritania
130 Malawi
131 Burundi
132 Chad

The Global Entrepreneurship Index is an annual index that measures the health of the entrepreneurship ecosystems in 132 countries. It then ranks the performance of these against each other. This provides a picture of how each country performs in both the domest…

Sierra Leone Gears Up for Census 2015

More than 13,000 enumerators for Sierra Leone’s Population and Housing Census begin a week’s training Monday, November 23rd, Statistics Sierra Leone has announced.

The army of temporary workers across Sierra Leone will be trained on the use of census instruments like the household questionnaire, manuals, GIS, and digitization. Each enumerator is assigned to one enumeration area of about 100 households to complete in two weeks.

Deployment will start shortly after training for the head count of all Sierra Leoneans, which will run December 5th to 18th, according to a statement from the Census Bureau.

In the districts, training will be done at chiefdom level whilst centers in various zones within the Western Area will be used for the same purpose.

The provinces of Sierra Leone are divided into 14 districts. The Western Area is divided into two districts. Sierra Leone's capital Freetown is located in the Western Area of the country and it makes up the Western Area Urban District.


WHO declares end of Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Saturday, Nov. 7 that Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone. It's been 42 days – two Ebola virus incubation cycles – since the last person confirmed to have the disease had a second negative blood test,.

The WHO has pledged continued support towards the recovery of essential health systems.

"Since Sierra Leone recorded the first Ebola case in May 2014, a total number of 8,704 people were infected and 3,589 have died, 221 of them healthcare workers, all of whom we remember on this day” said Dr. Anders Nordström, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone.

The country now enters a 90-day period of enhanced surveillance which will run until 5 February 2016, and WHO will continue to support Sierra Leone during this period. This new phase is critical for ensuring early detection of any possible new cases of Ebola virus disease.

Commending the Government of Sierra Leone and its people on achieving this significant milestone i…

U.K.'s Department for International Development kick-starts a solar revolution across Africa

Sierra Leone's Minister of Energy Henry O. Macauley signed a fast-track agreement for delivery of solar projects, as part of the wider Energy Africa Campaign launched by the British government at the Facebook Headquarters in London this week.

The Energy Africa Initiative seeks to bring rapid home solar power to millions of homes in rural Africa. 

Department for International Development Minister Grant Shapps said the “best of British expertise and ingenuity will be applied” to the Energy Africa campaign. 

“This fits squarely with President Koroma's Agenda for Prosperity and his wish to have electricity everywhere, in all regions and chiefdoms, as quickly as possible,” Sierra Leone’s energy minister said at the London event. 

Other highlights of the event included an exhibition of solar equipment and statements of commitment from private investors and financial houses. 

"This takes Sierra Leone into the big league for solar energy for rural electrification," the Ministry …

Heavy Rains Drench Freetown, leaving Deadly Trail

Torrential rains in Freetown have killed at least four people and left hundreds injured and homeless. According to Sierra Leone's State House, continuous heavy rain during the past couple of days has resulted in severe flooding in  the city's coastal areas. 
 The nation's Disaster Management announced that Sierra Leone has been identified as one of the countries in West Africa that will experience heavy Monsoon rains over the next week. People living on hilltops and coastal areas have been advised to move to safe areas.
Below are photos taken in Kroo Bay, Krootown Road, Brook Street, Samba Gutter, Falconbridge, Gray Bush, Spur loop, Spur Road, Lumley, Malama, Wilkinson, Doherty, Cottage Hospital, Culvert, Peacock Farm, Mouiba, Wilkinson Road, Moa Wharf, Magazine Cut, Old Wharf and Bai Bureh Road communities.

Young Professional's New Life and Career in Sierra Leone Cut Short

Two years ago, Sewa News interviewed Ibrahim Ahmad Kargbo. Our headline ran "Ibrahim Ahmad Kargbo begins Career as Public Policy Expert"

Sadly, that promising start was over all too soon.

A 30-something Sierra Leonean, Kargbo (center) who earned a public policy graduate degree at Murdoch University in Perth with an Australia Awards Scholarship, returned home to serve as regional manager of Sierra Leone's Anti-Corruption Commission in the northern city of Makeni.

AusAID scholarships provide partner countries like Sierra Leone an opportunity to strengthen their human resource capacity through scholarships to individuals in key institutions, to undertake studies in areas relevant to the development needs of the country.

Last week, Kargbo aka On Line Salone passed away after a brief illness, according to a chat message. The cause of death has not been announced. He was laid to rest today.

Below are excerpts from tributes posted to the On Line Salone Facebook group that he h…

The Body on Lumley Beach

You’ve seen the horrific photos and the headlines and you’re shocked, saddened and angry. You should be.

Sheriff Mahmud Ismail explains that until 2013, the dead woman on the beach we now know was 17-year-old Hannah Bockarie was living with her grandfather, retired sergeant major Joseph Foray Bockari, at the 7th Battalion Military Barracks, outside Freetown.

When he was transferred to Pujehun, in Sierra Leone's Southern Province, the young girl moved to her aunts at Goderich, in the west of Freetown.

Yesterday, Awareness Times published an interview with the mother of the rape and murder victim. Mariama Bockari spoke exclusively with the paper at her home in Eastern Freetown in the evening of August 18. (Mother of Rape & Murder Victim Breaks Silence, AT)

“I want to thank the government of His Excellency President Koroma, the Sierra Leone Police and the various pressure groups for the strong efforts being made to uncover who killed my daughter. 

“Please let them keep the pres…

Sierra Leonean politician's home invaded in apparent attack

Former Sierra Leone People's Party chairman John Oponjo Benjamin escaped an armed attack on his home Saturday. According to reports, at least two people were injured at the opposition leader's home in the westend of Freetown.

Benjamin told Awareness Times Publisher Sylvia Blyden how he was woken up in the early hours of Saturday morning by loud sounds.

He looked out of the window to see about a dozen men armed with cutlasses, machetes, broken bottles with jagged edges, and knives.

One of Benjamin's neighbors attempted to chase the men after they were repelled. He was stabbed in the stomach and on his head. Another resident got a stab wound on his forehead, Blyden said.

Blyden also said the police have taken statements from Benjamin, his family members and neighbors and investigations continue.

A suspect, who is linked to Benjamin's compound in Lumley, is being interrogated. Lumley is known for one of the busiest beaches on the Freetown peninsula.

Benjamin is an economi…

Richmond Garrick | Artist on Sewa News

Richmond Garrick is an award-winning artist. He works in all mediums, but mostly in oils and ball point pen. His ballpoint pen produces portraits of iconic Americans inspired by his daughters’ elementary school project on Civil rights leaders.

His paintings reflect issues dealing with human conditions and socio- political matters. They address the struggles and oppression of humanity, especially the dialogue on some of the paintings about the ten years of civil war in Sierra Leone.

Richmond has exhibited his paintings and drawings at the Noyes Museum, Hunterdon Art Museum, African American Heritage Museum, and PPOW Gallery.

He has won numerous awards for his art and for using his work to create awareness. They include the “Sierra Leone @50 Culture Award” during the celebration of the 50 years of independence of Sierra Leone, “14th Paul Aiken Encore Award” from South Jersey Cultural Alliance, “Culture Award” from United Artist of Sierra Leone in Britain, “SLAAM Award” from Sierra Leon…

Why Sierra Leone needs a Women’s Entrepreneurship Center of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for Economic Empowerment

Africa’s women and girls offer untapped potential to drive African development. Reductions in the gender gap in education, health, and economic inclusion will result in an increase in the continent’s economic competitiveness.

This week, the United States Department of State announced that its African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program will open the third new Women’s Entrepreneurship Centers of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for Economic Empowerment (WECREATE), in Mali this year, in addition to the centers already open in Zambia and Kenya.

The centers are expected to create 7,194 new jobs and 630 certified female mentors by October 2016.

In Africa, women are the backbone of communities and the continent’s greatest potential to unlocking economic growth. 

Sheriff Mahmud Ismail reports from Sierra Leone, where nearly half the population is under the age of 18. 

In a recent UN Population Fund (UNFPA) report focused on motherhood in childhood and adolescent pregnancy, we saw some st…

Bunny Mack, music icon and Sierra Leonean star, dies

Bunny Mack, the Sierra Leonean music legend who memorably sang 'Let Me Love You' died Saturday, July 11, in London. Mack is survived by his wife Violet, daughters Cecilia and Tracey, and his son - Capital Radio presenter Kris MacCormack.

UPDATE ****The late Bunny Mack will be buried in London on Wednesday, August 5. Below is an obituary from his son Kevin G. (Kris) MacCormack.

Sierra Leonean born singer and entertainer Bunny Mack passed away in the early hours of Saturday 11th July 2015 in London, aged 69.

Forever etched in the memories of many a Sierra Leonean, the late (and pioneering) recording artist was known for songs such as "Silver Spoon" "I Really Love You" "Angel In Disguise" and the all-time classic "Let Me Love You" - a song whose success spilled over into the UK mainstream and still remains a floor filler to this day.

Born Cecil Bunting MacCormack in Freetown, developing musical abilities from the age of six, he then dabble…

Sierra Leone at the UN International Ebola Recovery Conference

President Koroma made a passionate call Friday at the United Nation's International Ebola Recovery Conference in New York, which will seek to raise $3.2 billion over the next two years so that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone can fully rebound from the crisis.

According to Sylvia Blyden, a Sierra Leonean reporter covering the event on social media, Justine Greening, United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development,  pledged $400 Million to Ebola Recovery efforts.

On the eve of the high-level segment of the Conference, taking place at UN Headquarters, Dr. David Nabarro, the Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Ebola, told reporters about “remarkable progress [that] has been made through the outstanding efforts of the people and governments of the affected countries.”

“Most of the affected region is now free of Ebola,” Dr. Nabarro said of the epidemic that began last year and has affected some 27,600 people, including more than 11,000 deaths, mostly in West Afric…

New buses for Sierra Leone Road Transport riders

President Koroma commissioned 100 diesel-engine buses in Freetown, Tuesday. Fifty of them will serve the densely populated city, where more than a million people rely on public transport to get to work and to school. For every destination in-city, Leones 1,000 will be the fare.

Sheriff Mahmud Ismail reports from Freetown.

''This is good news,'' said Mrs. Baindu Brima, a mother of three.

“For those of us who do not have enough to pay the extra, our kids suffer a lot -- waiting and running around for the few vehicles that would take them. These buses are going to be a huge relief for both parents and kids,'' she declared.

Seventeen of the 20-, 39-, and 46-seaters have been earmarked as school buses.

But critics say the problem of public transport is not just the shortage of vehicles.

''There are other attendant factors which the buses will not address. Those are structural problems and the transportation network,” said a staunch opponent of the APC governm…

Facebook opens first African office in Johannesburg

Facebook’s newest business office will be headed by Nunu Ntshingila, the company’s new Head of Africa. Based in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, Facebook’s first office in Africa has been set up to further the company’s commitment to help businesses connect with people and grow locally and regionally.

According to the social network, Facebook’s active user population in Africa has grown 20 percent to 120 million in June 2015 from 100 million in September 2014. More than 80 percent of these people access Facebook from their mobile phones.

“Mobile is not a trend; it’s the fastest development in communications we’ve ever seen. This couldn’t be more true in Africa – where so many people are mobile-only. This new office is a significant milestone for Facebook and our teams want to partner with businesses across the continent,” says Nicola Mendelsohn, vice-president of Facebook across Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia.

 “We are inspired by the incredible way…