Thursday, 30 June 2016

A VIEW FROM MY WINDOW: SIERRA LEONE IN FOCUS -- THE EUPHORIA OF CHANGE

A VIEW FROM MY WINDOW: SIERRA LEONE IN FOCUS -- THE EUPHORIA OF CHANGE

   Business is the most important engine for social change in this country.
                                                                 Lawrence Perlman         (1938 - )
                                                                                 U.S. business executive.
                                         
      Dialogue is the oxygen of change.
                                                                              Jim Maclachlan 
                                                               U.S. business consultant.
                                                                                             Fortune



A certain wind is blowing through Africa. A certain euphoria has gotten us, and here and there, we are engrossed in the search for a singular ephemeral entity that can galvanize our collective dreams into a plausible reality. Perhaps this would come to pass in a little while. Perhaps in a not too distant future sub-Saharan Africa would usher in the next 'industrial revolution.' Perhaps.

However, a nation caught up in too much of an 'emotional quarry' for change -- a nation bereft of the dispassionate calmness of seasoned reasoning is likely to find itself in a deeper emotional quandary and sometimes a life of unpredicted suffering or more. And this is not just confined to the African situation.


But humour me: Nigeria's change is now on a scale. Toothless smiles from harried faces tell a story a year ago unimagined. BREXIT , or REGREXIT ? Britain's experiment is just begun, yet regrets are setting in early. And if Trump trumps Americans come November, the world had better prepare for the worst.




In Sierra Leone, 2018 is waiting just around the turning. Will the dispassionate calmness of seasoned reasoning lure a restless citizenry to the ocean of diligent search, un-hurried debates and calm considerations? Only time will tell.




But while we brood over this and others, think about this: a nation that over a year ago was devastated by the lethal Ebola Virus seems to be turning the corner. The scars still linger and truly, the infighting and squabbles over Ebola funds and assets have simmered down somewhat, but what's striking is that the government has tied up its shoe laces and started the long walk back to progress.

The government of Sierra Leone, on Monday 20th June launched "The President's Recovery Priorities" . The priorities defined by President Ernest Bai Koroma are: Education, Health, Social Protection, Private Sector Development, Energy, Water and Governance. "

The Honourable Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr Abubakarr Fofanah in his paper says the government is "focusing on access and services at the community level, rolling out an enhanced Community Health Worker (CHW) programme that will support pregnant women to access service and deliver essential drugs such as malaria treatment to children and children. This new programme will ensure that no Sierra Leonean will find themselves more than 5km from a health worker . By mid 2017 no health facilities should have stock outs of essential drugs. Twenty-nine facilities to care for pregnant women and newborn babies will be brought up to proper standards including sanitation and hygiene facilities. "

The honourable Minister of Education Dr. Minkailu Bah in his paper says : "...We will focus on three core areas: first, we will enhnce school approval and teacher recruitment policy ; second, we will improve learning environments by adding new classrooms in at least 150 severely overcrowded schools and ensuring all schools affected have adequate water and sanitation facilities and third, we will train at least 40,000 teachers on how to effectively deliver new core content in Maths and English."
Perhaps two areas that will be of interest to the international community are the Anti-corruption Commission and the Ports Authority -- areas which normally impact on foreign businesses in Freetown.

Mr. Ady Macauley, Anti-Corruption Commission says : "We will roll out the 'Pay No Bribe' Campaign, which puts the weapons to beat the evil of corruption in Sierra Leone into the hands of the public . It allows individuals to tell us in confidence when they have been asked to pay a bribe for health, education, water, power and police services. Ministries and Agencies will act on this information to tackle bribery hotspots and will report back to the public on the action they have taken"


The General Manager, Sierra Leone Ports Authority, Mr. Abu Bangura says: "We will drive down the time and costs of doing business through the port at Freetown , simplifying and demystifying clearance and export tariffs/ processes and ensuring crucial medical and agricultural supplies get to where they need to be quickly. "



Each arm of government has its own contribution to this impressive desire of government. Indeed these priorities, goals and aspirations of Sierra Leone's government does sound like music to the ears of Sierra Leoneans, but with effectively just a year remaining on this government's tenure will it be able to deliver on its promises? It's a big question and on this rests the hopes of 7 Million Sierra Leoneans.

But really and truly, I feel that if Sierra Leone's government can anchor these Presidential priorities to the world of commerce and business and keep open its channels of discourse and dialogue it would have engineered a process that even regime transitions cannot change. It would have left a lasting and enduring legacy for the people of Sierra Leone. This would be real CHANGE.




Friday, 24 June 2016

MUSIC AFRICA BEACH SPLASH 2015 HUGE SUCCESS OR GRAND SLAM 4 ?

MUSIC AFRICA BEACH SPLASH 2015 HUGE SUCCESS OR GRAND SLAM 4 ?

MABS 2015 was not only a show case of Nigeria's biggest and brightest stars -- the Malaikas, Victoria Kimanis, Stephanie Ashleys , Shikanes, Kiss Daniels and OritsheFemis of this world, but threw up as well, a cocktail of dynamic rising stars in the mix. No words could capture the atmosphere quite as well as being there yourself.


Sunkanmi :

Voluptuous , lithe, 'Lasgidi born' , and friend of YBNL, Olamide's Music label , Sunkanmi -- Olasunkanmi Rehanat Alonge , rose to the occasion with an electrifying energy. 


The Olabisi Onabanjo Universiity graduate of Geophysics who is also an up-coming act already has 2 singles out "Singale"which is hers in every sense of the word and "For body" which was a team effort between her, Olamide and the YBNL crew.


Her music is enjoying some very good reception by the music loving population. At MABS 2015 Sunkanmi owned the stage.
























SEXY, CRAZY KOGI BORN DEBBIE RISE LIGHTS UP MABS 2015 WITH "Match up and GAGABOO "



Nigerian Idols season 3, 2nd place winner, Oluwarise Deborah Ebun, also known as Debbie Rise dusted up the beach with a thrilling performance of her ''Match Up" track on the day that was her birthday anniversary

                                      "You dey go party,
                                        you nor get lipstick
                                        You get marker for bag--
                                         na to match up "









Immediately after "match up", the irresistible performer hooked the crowd with "GAGABOO"
                          " You dey like to talk anyhow,
                            You be gagaboo.
                             Small matter rise, you dey frown
                             You be gagaboo!!"





Talk about beauty, brains and talent, the 20th December born Debbie, is not only a superb performer, guitarist and instrumentalist but she is also a Computer Science graduate. Although Debbie has been having issues with her record label '800 Records' lately, that conflict however has not in any way diminished her zest for the performance.

MABS 2015 ROCKED WITH SUNKANMI AND DEBBI RISE

Watch Sunkanmi and Debbie Rise perform at MABS2015 here :  WATCH VIDEO HERE
 

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