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VP Jalloh Engages Media& CSOs on Gov’t Achievements
Paul Mansaray
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VP Jalloh Engages Media& CSOs on Gov’t Achievements

VP Jalloh Engages Media& CSOs on Gov’t Achievements

VP Jalloh Engages Media& CSOs on Gov’t Achievements

By Alimatu Fofanah

Kenema 25th November, 2022: The Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh during the CSO-Media Retreat in Kenema themed “Consolidating Democracy: Our Collective, Shared and Patriotic Responsibility” outlined the ‘New Direction’ Government noteworthy achievements in four years.

Speaking at the annual ceremony which was organized by the Ministry of Information and Communications from the 25th -26th November, 2022, at the Kenema City Council Hall, Kenema, Vice President Juldeh Jalloh said the Government of President Bio has achieved most of its manifesto promises in the areas of Human Capital Development, wherein government investment in the social sector has augmented with enhanced budgetary allocations to education and health.

Dr Jalloh quoted His Excellency President, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada to have said that Human Capital Development is the right path to sustainable development.

In the areas of tourism, fisheries and agriculture sectors, VP said that the ‘New Direction’ Government has made worthwhile impact to the economic growth of the country; reiterating the improvements made in cumulative energy access from a mere 16 % in 2018 to over 30 % and potential expansion in the coming months.

The Hon, Vice President commended the Ministry of Information and Communication for such a laudable ingenuity in bring society and the state together to dialogue and scrutinize government’s activities. This he said is an indication that Sierra Leone is a functional state with a feasible democratic space.

The Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr Francis Kai-kai in his statement outlined his Ministry’s achievements as encapsulated in the Medium Term Development Plan and the Government’s manifesto promises.

Giving the purpose of the retreat, the Minister of Information and Communication, Mohamed Rahman Swaray said the Ministry has organized three (3) successful retreats with support from government and the ministry’s partners.

Minister Swaray said His Excellency’s vision is to run a transparent and accountable government and that the CSOS and Media retreat is in line with His Excellency’s vision and that the engagement is done in line with democratic accountable; adding that as a government they believe in telling their own stories through such engagements.

In his contribution, the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Ahmed SahidNasralla commended the Ministry of Information and Communications for organizing such engagement for the third consecutive year.

The gathering he said is pivotal as it brings the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) and its agencies, CSOs and the media together to track delivery of manifesto promises and provides an opportunity for the media and CSOs to interrogate activities of critical agencies of the GoSL.

The SLAJ president informed the meeting that, over the last three to four years, his Association has been collaborating with the Ministry of Information and Communications to address the challenges facing the media because they believed the GoSL has a sacred responsibility to support the growth of an independent and thriving media to help the country’s democracy to function well.

This collaboration, MrNasralla said should in no way be misconstrued as SLAJ selling out journalism or the GoSL buying out journalism. “We are not selling, and the GoSL is not buying. At no point in the period of this collaboration has anyone in GoSL called us to influence our work or position on national issues that we feel very strongly about.” He emphasized.

As an Association, he said they are happy that the media continues to perform the radical role of scrutinizing this collaboration, and holding the GoSL and its agencies to account on a daily basis. “That one, we (SLAJ) don’t have control over. We don’t determine the editorial policies of the media houses operating in the country nor do we tell them what to report or not report. We absolutely don’t have that power.” He said.

Key points of the retreat were presentations from MDAs about their achievements and challenges followed by questions and answers sessions.

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