From The Editor’s Desk
It has been close to a year since the new administration of President Julius Maada Bio was elected into office. There were commitments to translate the campaign promises articulated in the New Direction Manifesto to concrete policy actions. In this edition, we examine the successes and challenges in a number of sectors.
We also discuss the progress, or lack of it in the decentralization process since the reintroduction of local councils some fifteen years ago. The whole concept of devolution was fairly new and hailed across the country. However, in the last couple of years the local councils have had a multitude of trials. An ostensible foot-dragging approach was adopted by most policy makers within a number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies which undermined the progress of decentralization.
In this edition, we also look at the Office of the Administrator and Registrar-General which is mandated to ensure an efficient and effective administration of and registration of entities such as business registration, land transactions, industrial property, marriages and administration of the estates of deceased persons as mandated by law. The creation of a one-stop-shop, bringing together the National Revenue Authority and Freetown City Council under one umbrella has been a major reform within the office that has contributed to the ease of doing business. We talk to the new Administrator and Registrar-General about the challenges she inherited and about the crucial role of women in leadership and in government.
Readers may recall the 1977 student uprising and how it changed student politics. In this edition, we take a look at student activism today and the violence associated with it and its impact and links with national politics.
In recent months, the justice sector has been under the spotlight, not always for the right reasons. In an exclusive in-depth one-on-one interview, Dr. Abdulai Osman Conteh, a jurist with decades of experience in both law and politics, provides an insight into a number of issues including how we can guarantee the independence of the judiciary. He also offers his thoughts on the ongoing Commissions of Inquiry.
In the October-December 2018 edition, SierraEye covered the First Lady’s drive to raise awareness about child prostitution. As a sequel, we report on the recent declaration by the president of rape and sexual penetration of minors as a public emergency. His declaration of a mandatory life jail sentence for offenders without an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act has drawn concerns from some quarters, not least from the Bar Association.
Music is a major business across the world. Across the continent, this industry has evolved over time. We review the music of Sierra Leone and discuss the factors inhibiting the progress of the industry in the country compared to other nations in the sub region. We also focused on the revival of football in Sierra Leone.
John Baimba Sesay