Showing posts from November, 2017

Tollgate users feel pride and pinch of development

The new toll facilities in Sierra Leone were built by a Chinese company in partnership with the government. Road travelers are expected to pay for passing through the highway over the next 25 years. There are three toll gates along this main highway linking Freetown to the Provinces. One at Hastings, 15 miles east of Freetown, another at Songo, and the last at Masiaka, which is 40 miles (65 km) from Freetown. So if a bus, a truck, or a poda poda is traveling from Freetown to the provinces, they have to go through all three gates, and when they return, they will pass all the toll facilities again. Truck drivers, taxi drivers, motorcycle riders, private vehicles all have to pay tolls. Cars pay Le2,000, poda podas, Le4,000; trucks, Le200,000; Okada motorcycles, Le1,000; taxis, Le2,000; and buses pay Le20,000. If a truck is traveling to Bo city, to and fro, it will cost the driver Le1,200,000. On radio and television programs, the government is encouraging every Sierra Leonean to pay th

Why Sierra Leone needs Change | Yusuf Bangura

In just over a 100 days, Sierra Leoneans will go to the polls to elect the President, Parliament and local councils. The three major candidates in the 2018 presidential election are foreign minister Samura Kamara, who is the All People's Congress (APC) presidential candidate; retired Brig. Maada Bio, presidential candidate of the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP); and Kandeh Yumkella, a former director-general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, who is the candidate of the newly formed National Grand Coalition (NGC). Yusuf Bangura, a political scientist who has taught in universities in Nigeria and Canada and worked as a visiting researcher in Sweden, makes a case for change in 2018. A s we approach the elections of March 2018, politicians are busy again on the campaign trail making lofty promises. These elections may mark a turning point in our political trajectory. The tenure of Ernest Koroma’s All People’s Congress (APC) will end, and the

Solomon Berewa: the Sage | by Lans Gberie

Archive AFP photo of former Vice President Solomon Berewa On my last day in Freetown recently, I visited Solomon Berewa, Sierra Leone’s former Vice President and unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2007, at his Goderich home. He is now very old and retired, but his schedule seemed busy. When I called a week earlier, he was on his way to Bo; and he had attended the Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party (SLPP) national convention two days before that.  I was interested in his views on that. But I was more interested in his recollections relating to the Sierra Leone government’s negotiations with the Revolution United Front, which he had led both at Abidjan and at  Lomé (the conversations relating to that are not published here).   A day before I met him, he was interviewed by the AYV for its early morning political programme [broadcast]. Mr. Berewa’s house, like all the houses in its vicinity, is in a gated compound, which is large and a bit grassy. It is a two-story building, and