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Showing posts from 2020

While the world is busy getting through the pandemic, this happened in Freetown

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The world is seeing unprecedented events during the global pandemic, as the hunt for COVID-19 treatment and vaccines continues. While Sierra Leone, which was adversely affected by the Ebola epidemic in 2014, now struggles to protect people and prevent the coronavirus from spreading, there's fear and anxiety regarding personal security. Read today's blog written by Tracey Marke.
We were told that this new direction with the lands ministry would be a force for good— make things better. But instead, it appears that the lands ministry is a law unto themselves, seizing and molesting, disadvantaging and dispossessing and downright stealing lands from communities who have legal title to private land.


Time and time again we have watched as people with legal long-held title have been targeted, bullied and harassed and yet we have seen no change or halt to the lands department's modus operandi of pouncing on people’s legally held land.  In November I became one such a target. 

I decid…

Sunday, March 8, 2020 | International Women's Day

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On Women's Day, enjoy this archive photo of Haja Zainab Hawa Bangura and a group of women as you celebrate the day. Currently, Zainab is the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. She was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in December 2018.

Bangura became a social activist when Sierra Leone was ruled by a military junta. She began with consciousness-raising efforts among urban market women, reminding her followers that her own mother was a market woman.

In 2007, Bangura became Sierra Leone's foreign minister. She was the second woman to serve in that post, following Shirley Gbujama who held that position from 1996 to 1997. She served as Minister of Health and Sanitation from 2010 to 2012.

The daughter of an imam, Zainab Hawa Bangura was born "Zainab Hawa Sesay" in Yonibana, Tonkolili District in the Northern Province of British Sierra Leone. She attended secondary school on a scholarship that was awarded to her by t…

Freetown's Historic Cotton Tree Goes Up in Flames

One shocked witness filmed the burning Cotton Tree on their mobile phones Thursday evening and uploaded to WhatsApp. A famous landmark in the city center, the tree is Freetown's historic symbol.

Nobody is sure how old the tree is, but it is known to have existed in 1787 when the first European settlers arrived. According to some sources, the Cotton Tree is 500 years old.

500-year-old tree catches fire in Freetown

One shocked witness filmed the burning Cotton Tree on their mobile phones Thursday evening and uploaded to WhatsApp. A famous landmark in the city center, the tree is Freetown's historic symbol.

Nobody is sure how old the tree is, but it is known to have existed in 1787 when the first European settlers arrived. According to some sources, the Cotton Tree is 500 years old. 

Weird News: Making Tea from Plastics

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There is white tea, black tea, green tea, red tea—all kinds of herbal teas. And then there's a tea made from boiling disposable diapers. Yup. You read that right.

Some people in Freetown, Sierra Leone are boiling nappies to make tea. The trend has raised alarm bells and prompted one Sierra Leonean chemist to put out a press release on WhatsApp to warn people about the dangers.  

The press release below is from Sierra Leonean chemist Alhaji S.K Bangura.

Dangers Surrounding the boiling of Pampers for the making of Tea*

A diaper is underwear that allows the wearer (mostly children) to urinate or defecate without the use of a toilet, by absorbing or containing waste products to prevent the soiling of the outer clothing or the external environment. When the diaper becomes wet they require changing.

However, for the diaper to performs its role, some chemicals such as Volatile Organic Compounds VOC (Toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and dipentene) are added. Other added chemicals are sodium …

What's the direction of the Sierra Leone mining industry?

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Mining Review Africa,  a magazine platform in the African mining industry, said Monday that Sierra Leone's Minister of Mineral Resources, Foday Rado Yokie, is confirmed to attend the Investing in African Mining Indaba.

Billed as the world's largest mining investment event, the show will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, February 3-6, 2020.

Mr. Yokie was appointed Sierra Leone Minister of Mines on May 9, 2019, and is popular among his supporters for wearing expensive, ostentatious clothing and jewelry or bling.

Sierra Leone has large reserves of diamonds, iron ore and bauxite. The country possesses one of the largest rutile reserves in the world. Whilst mining contributes about 20% to the national GDP, it is said to account for around three-quarters of the country’s exports.

In 2019, Sierra Leone's GNI per capita was $1,348. Gross national income or GNI is the total income received by the country, during an accounting year. GDP is used as an indicator of a country'…

The 5 Fastest Growing Economies In Africa

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Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Burkina Faso are among the fastest-growing economies in Africa for 2020. According to Quartz Africa's Yinka Adeogoke,  African countries are set to win this year. Using data from the IMF and the World Bank, Adegoke says top performers include Rwanda (8.1%), Cote d'Ivoire (7.3%), Ethiopia (7.2%), Senegal (6.8%), and Benin (6.7%).

Adegoke adds that the average economic growth forecasts until 2024 predict Senegal, Rwanda, Niger, Uganda, and Mozambique as the five fastest-growing over that period.
"Brookings analysts say there's a $16 billion opportunity if African countries fully implement the African Continental Free Trade Agreement," Adegoke said. 
 Source "African economies will outperform global growth in 2020"
In Sierra Leone, the 2019 African Economic Outlook (AEO) report said the current account deficit worsened to an estimated 16.9% of GDP in 2018 from 13% in 2017, due to increased imports of consumption goods and wea…

West Africa's New Currency in 2020: 'Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose'

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When the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) launches the Eco in 2020, will anything change but the name?  What will it mean for the 'Financial Community of Africa'?

More than 75 years ago, a legendary French military officer turned politician created West Africa’s CFA franc. CFA stands for the “Communaute Financiere Africaine” (African Financial Community).

In 2017, Kemi Seba, a financial activist from Benin burnt a 5,000 CFA banknote (around 7.6 euros or $9.10) in Dakar, the headquarters of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

The franc of the African financial community, or CFA Franc, is issued by BCEAO. The West African Monetary Union (WAMU) currently comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte-d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

Seba's actions reignited an old debate over the region's currency, DW said. After he was acquitted in court, Seba was reportedly expelled by the Senegalese government and is now living in France.