Geoff R. Berridge is Emeritus Professor of International Politics, University of Leicester. He is highly rated as the most prolific contemporary writer on diplomacy. Berridge has authored numerous books on diplomacy, including Diplomacy: Theory And Practice. In the said book, he saw diplomacy as essentially a political activity “well resourced and skilful, a major ingredient of power.” The chief purpose of diplomacy, he argued in this book, “is to enable states to secure the objectives of their foreign policies without resort to force, propaganda, or law.”
Today we are launching a new column called Service to Nation in which we will recognize Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad who have been selflessly serving their country without expecting or receiving anything in return. People who have been working to change things for the better in Sierra Leone purely out of love for their country.
The main objective of the series is to serve as encouragement and inspiration for Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad to find ways to help or give back to their country. It’s almost a cliché to say nobody can truly develop or make Sierra Leone a better place except Sierra Leoneans themselves.
Dr. Jonathan Bonopha Tengbe, one of Sierra Leone’s main opposition SLPP’s aspiring candidates for the presidency at the 2018 elections, took America by storm after landing in New York on Friday, 15th July, 2016, from Qatar where he currently works.
Tengbe was in the USA to meet his supporters and the general membership of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in North America, whom according to his spokesman – “were yearning to meet and interact with the dynamic and astute civil engineer, who wants to lead the SLPP to the 2018 general and presidential elections, if elected as the party’s presidential candidate”.
Sierra Leone has been classed as one of the top 50 most peaceful nations in the world, in the latest Global Peace Index report, with Denmark, Austria, Portugal, and New Zealand topping the list, whilst Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Iraq trail at the bottom for obvious reasons – war and civil conflict.
But with the continuing, deepening culture of violence against women, many in Sierra Leone would be perplexed by the report, ranking Sierra Leone as the 5th most peaceful in Africa and 43rd globally out of 162 countries.
She stood patiently on Beach Road in Aberdeen, in front of The Family Kingdom Resort, West of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown. The Family Kingdom Resort is one of the most popular hotels and resorts located along the beach area in Freetown. It is closer to the Radisson BluMamy Yoko Hotel, Bintumani Hotel and other popular hotels and resorts in the same location.
Kate (not her real name), a commercial sex worker (prostitute) stands for over thirty minutes in the street, ignoring the bright headlights and blaring ofcar horns as she patiently waits for a ‘catch’ ( as they would refer to their clients), apparently her first for the night.She makes signals and moves at any man that walks pass her.
It was on Thursday July 21, 2016 with a fine weather for people in the east and of Freetown, especially those around the vicinity of Bomeh along the Bai- Bureh main motor high way.
There was this news about a 40ft consignment of condemned frozen chicken container from Brazil to be deposited at the Bomeh field site in the east end of Freetown to ensure that consumption did not take place because any consumption would lead to food poisoning.
His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma, in one of his statements with strong terms while desperately campaigning to continue in governance said ‘I will lay down my life for the Youths’ and he used a very symbolic object loved by most of the Youths that were massively distributed as a true manifestation and that was a ‘FOOTBALL’. Despite his Childhood Church baptismal name; was again given new name borrowed from the five (5) times ‘FOOTBALL WORLD BEST WINNER’ (though not to his consent and can even be a crime but thank God it was not so). To put this into action after won the Elections, got the Youth Commission established to initiate and salvage the activities of the Youths, but the million dollar question by the people is how effective and efficient is the Commission? What are the other ways has he laid down his life for the Youths and Young People of this Nation?
It is inevitable that the dynamics of political engagements would mean that there are bound to be winners and losers. The context of losers in politics even at a time when your own party is in power is a bigger blow to absorb than when your party is in opposition. We should all take some learning from what has only just recently happened in the UK. Those who saw themselves as winners immediately after the vote to leave the European Union, quickly became losers because they had to resign their positions as it dawned on them that their campaign strategy and the result of their actions were bad for the UK rather than good, because it exposed some base sentiments that should not have ben aroused.
I have made my opposition to the re-election of Julius Bio as our party’s flagbearer abundantly clear, as far possible as I can. I believe Bio is bad for SLPP unity, progress and election victory.
Today I want to turn my attention to the multiple aspirants and warn them of the dangers of inadvertently helping re-elect Julius Bio.
I am getting fed up with the multiple aspirants who are united by their determination to save the party, yet going their separate ways without any common strategic coherence as to how to defeat Julius Bio, who by common understanding is the major barrier to SLPP’s chances of victory.
With Abdul Fonti writing from Wagner College, Staten Island, New York, U.S.A
US State Department says YES
It never came as a surprise but I cannot deny the fact that it was accompanied with excitement. In my ten years of practice as a journalist coupled with my recent history in child rights activism, I have had unaccountable endorsements of the excellent work I do (thus my motivation to continue to do good), but I must confess that to me, this is the biggest thus far.
For the State Department of the United States of America to endorse me as an emerging young leader in the African continent is just too good to be true.
You know something? It appears that we are in for a ride again, as the clock ticks towards the next election. Why? Because, too many of us are smirking when we should be raging.
We are behaving like a cat with arthritis, hobbling along the carriages of a train at the edge of a cliff, hoping that someone builds a bridge before we hit the gorge. We are now a people yet to come to terms with certain modern realities, caught between nostalgia and the future.
You might argue that the word Flag Bearer is not in the dictionary. True. But it is also true that the usage is accepted in Sierra Leone as the person in a political party who guns for the presidency against those of other parties. Over the years the dynamics around the Flag Bearer has been anything but smooth sailing. Even with a Ruling party the appointment to that position is very critical to the party’s winning or losing the presidential election. Yes you can say that in Sierra Leone since most people vote for the Party color, it does not matter who actually is the Flag Bearer. What seems to have added a critical angle to the whole flag Bearer issue is the very unprecedented critical decision of the presidency to remove his Vice, partly because the latter was expelled by their party. Definitely the constitution Review committee will clear this once and for all as from their interim report summary they have considered people’s views on the matter. What has come out clearly is that rightly enough the Presidency includes the Vice President, call them Siamese twins. Every political party trying to come into power tries to attempt at some kind of balance. There is this pattern that a Flag Bearer of Northern Stock will have a southern, eastern, or western origin person as Flag Bearer. Late President Stevens, after appointing three or four Vice Presidents from the North, he appointed Late Francis Minah from the South. Those days of two Vice presidents proved to be disastrous.
WILL SLPP BENJAMIN AND ADP KAMARAINBA TELL THE NATION AND THE WORLD WHAT GOOD DEVELOPMENT THEY HAVE DONE IN KAILAHUN ?
Sometimes even one does not want to say anything in connection with certain issues, especially social and political issues in the country because of personal and family commitment. But sometimes because of the love for my country, Sierra Leone particularly for its peace, security, progress and development, I have to step in. I have to come in to make my present felt, because certain people in the country always think and feel that there is nobody like them.
Mr. President, this is a unique and momentous occasion in the history of our country, as it is the first time that a constitutionally elected government is handing over authority to a constitutionally elected successor. I would like at the outset to congratulate you on behalf of my outgoing government and on my own personal behalf on your election to the highest office of the land and wish you every success in your tenure of office as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
President of the Gambella Regional State; President of the Gambella Child Parliament; HE Zenebu Tadesse, Minister of Women and Children of the Federal Government of Ethiopia; Representatives of UN Agencies; Representatives of INGOS Distinguished guests Let me first bring to you the warm greetings of H.E. Dr Nkosazana DlaminiZuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. She congratulates the Chairperson of the African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child for organizing this commemoration of the Day of the African Child in Gambella – and in places where children are more in need of our attention.
When your clothes are made of cassava leaves, you don’t take a goat as a friend. We seem to be thinking of ourselves and our assumed enclaves only, rather than our country. We seem to have become the land of the timid and the Hollow Balls?
It appears that the sense of siege which many of us have developed to national issues, courtesy of our low level development, seems to colour our reaction, even the otherwise intelligent people.
Sierra Leone has a long way to go before it can guarantee the full enjoyment of the rights of the child. There are still many challenges that require timely attention, from both state and non-state actors, for children to enjoy their rights in this country.
This is the moment for reflection on progresses made in the child protection arena, and taking balances of our journey so far, especially where we came from, where we are today, and where we are heading to.
It is disheartening and a crying shame to read that; president Koroma of Sierra Leone is still determined to have his new prestigious international airport, built by the Chinese at a cost of $400 million, only to serve as his legacy, despite the country’s rising debt and poverty.
This is what the government’s newspaper Cocorioko reported yesterday: “The State House Communications Unit wrote also that; ‘….during a stopover meeting with traditional leaders at Masiaka, Port Loko district, President Koroma assured the nation that the Mamamah International Airport project is not dead as being perceived by detractors, but is still very much alive and will soon be transformed into reality’.”
Some six months after cabinet approved the national land policy, there are fears that its ground-breaking provisions may not see the light of day, soon or at all. This year, the government allocated the sum of Le 3.1 billion (about US$ 492,000) in its annual budget to the Ministry of Lands to “support land planning and management and the “execution of the national land policy”. Five months into the year, the ministry has not received any money from this allocation for land policy implementation. Over the years, many government institutions have consistently complained that budget allocations do not translate into actual monies received, as they routinely are able to access only a fraction of allocated public funds, often belatedly. This practice can throw even the best laid plans into disarray.