Showing posts from September, 2018

Moves and Changes in Sierra Leone's Corridors of Power

Soon after Ernest Bai Koroma was inaugurated in 2007, there was a huge outcry over the number of political appointees asked to step down. A decade on a similar crisis is brewing, but nobody seems to know the rules governing political appointees in Sierra Leone. On April 12th, Julius Maada Bio was declared the winner of the 2018 presidential elections. Five months on, President Bio has made over a hundred political appointments including ministers, deputy ministers, high commissioners and ambassadors, and heads of state-owned enterprises. He has also appointed technocrats, non-elected technical experts for science and technology. Going by the precedent set since independence, Bio has the power to hire and fire heads and deputies of all Sierra Leone's Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) as well as public boards. These include the Ports Authority, Maritime Administration, Roads Authority, State Lottery, Housing Corporation, National Social Security Insurance Trust, Re

African Leaders highlight democratic, economic progress at United Nations General Assembly

African leaders underscored their countries’ efforts towards sustainable development at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. UNGA opened on September 18. The first day of the high-level General Debate was Tuesday, September 25, and is scheduled to last for nine working days. On Thursday, Sept. 27, Julius Maada Bio president of Sierra Leone, said his country’s commitment to the United Nations Charter and the building of a more secure world resonates with the theme of this year’s General Assembly debate.   “Making the United Nations relevant to all people: global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies.” Sierra Leone recently demonstrated its commitment to democratic governance with yet another peaceful transfer of power from an incumbent political party to the opposition, he said, thanking the international community for facilitating and monitoring the electoral process. Since the General Assembly’s 2005 pledge to stren

Sierra Leone's new political and tech leaders make their case at second annual ‘Goalkeepers’ Event

In 2015, one hundred and ninety-three countries at the United Nations agreed to 17 goals for a better world by 2030.  Guided by these goals, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted the first annual ‘Goalkeepers’ event last September to help speed progress toward the global goals. Moinina David Sengeh, now chief innovation officer for the government of Sierra Leone, was one of the 'goalkeepers' who joined co-chairs Bill and Melinda Gates at the inaugural Goalkeepers event in 2017. This week, Sengeh hosted a one-hour segment at the second annual Goalkeepers Event hosted by Bill and Melinda Gates. Goalkeepers are continuing the "audacious mission of accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals," Sengeh said.  In his opening remarks, Gates spoke about what the magic of software could do to change things and make the world better. He also said poverty isn't inevitable. Since 1990, millions of people have overcome poverty. There ha

How the Civil Service could change Sierra Leone by 2025

By 2007 many Sierra Leoneans were disillusioned with the two-term Ahmad Tejan Kabbah administration and felt that the president had failed to deliver on post-war development promises. The parliamentary and presidential elections produced a transfer of power from the Sierra Leone People’s Party to a coalition of the All People’s Congress (APC) and the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) party. The APC’s Ernest Bai Koroma headed the new government. The civil service by the quality of its knowledge and experience of public affairs supports elected government in devising effective state policies and has a responsibility to implement these policies for the nation’s well-being. In which light, the Sierra Leone Civil Service played various roles in the 2007 transition with varying degrees of success. During the 2007 transition, critical gaps existed, particularly in the middle, professional and senior management cadres. There were only 995 civil servants in