By John Kay: President Ernest Koroma addressed the nation on Monday in a moving speech acknowledging the devastatio but urging calm after a day of flooding and landslides Here’s atranscript off his speech.

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, our nation has once again been gripped by grief. Many of our compatriots have lost their lives, many more have been gravely injured and billions of Leones worth of property destroyed in the flooding and landslides that swept across some parts of our city.

I am very disturbed by this national tragedy and with a heavy heart, let me extend profound condolences to the bereaved families. This is not a tragedy for you alone; it is a tragedy for every Sierra Leonean because the people who have perished in this disaster are our compatriots. Every single family, every single ethnic group, every single region is either directly or indirectly affected by this disaster.

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, this tragedy of great magnitude has once again challenged us to come together, to stand by each other and to help one another.

We therefore salute the bravery of our police, the Army, our National Fire Services, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Office of National Security who are in the front line of the rescue efforts.

We also applaud the enduring support of the Red Cross, civil society, the media and the selflessness of our youths for the great compassion and patriotism you have all demonstrated during this very trying time.

Let me assure you that my Government is fully engaged on this situation and, in collaboration with our development partners, we have already established an Emergency Response Center at Regent to coordinate our response and to provide relief to the survivors.
We have also established Registration Centers in various locations across the capital where our affected compatriots will be registered.

In the meantime, let me urge everyone to remain calm and to avoid disaster – prone areas while we continue to address this grave emergency. I thank you for your attention. God bless Sierra Leone

By John Kay: Sierra Leone Maids can stay in Kuwait using Work Visa-18.

Following the widely acclaimed & appreciated step of Kuwait banning all Visa-20 for Sierra Leone passport holders, we can further credibly report from online Kuwaiti sources that Maids from Sierra Leone who want to continue to stay in Kuwait after this new Ban on Visa-20 for Sierra Leone passport holders, can ask their Kuwaiti Employers to convert their Domestic Worker Visa-20 into the more humane Work Permit Visa-18. Unlike Visa-20 which has almost slave-like, harsh conditions of residency, the Visa-18 respects all forms of human rights of the holder.

By John Kay: “OPINION” the reason why Sierra Leone Government wants FIFA ban the World want to know?

Sierra Leone’s sports minister Ahmed Khanou has given the local FA (SLFA) until 14 August to hold an ordinary congress and so pave the way for elections.

Congress was supposed to have taken place last month but was postponed indefinitely by Fifa on the grounds of carrying out integrity checks on current and potential SLFA members in a country where betting syndicates  have infiltrated football and now want to take charge of the beautiful game.

However the big question The World wants to know why the government of Sierra Leone wants a FIFA BAN?What are they upto?And how will they benefit?Why is the Minister of Sports reigning abuse upon Fifa for trying to ensure that Integrity Tests are carried out on FA Executives in Sierra Leone?

Does Minister Khanou know that he  will be the one to receive a ban from his office? Sierra Leoneans will not sit back and watch another greedy and unscrupulous government minister destroy and sell his country to foreigners. Its sad that a Young broke Minister whose term of office comes to an end in a few months time and is looking for a pension fund through unscrupulous ways as he works hard to make his betting masters at Mercury happy.

Khanou  couldn’t get it from SLFA FIFA  funds so he looks to  foreigners Rodney and Martin Michaels treacherous plan to ruin Sierra Leone future all because the locals have said no to Mercury’s plan to sell Sierra Leone.Why is the Minister of Sports not focusing his oversized lenses on the villain who claims he wants to be the next Sierra Leone Football President?

Last weekend Sanusi unleashed gangs on the streets of Freetown in the Eastern region of the capital under the guise of celebrating a football trophy for a community match played four months ago.

His  gangs was used to provoke rival communities called mountain city whom Sanusi believes are supporters of current FA President Mrs Johansen.Innocent victims lie in hospital, homes looted, a chilling reminder of Sierra Leone’s civil war.

Led by the man who says he will save Sierra Leone’s Football together with Vice President Rodney Mercury Michael. The Minister of Sports overlooks all of this, but focuses on bringing down a football system that has been resisting corrupt politicians and corrupt so called football stakeholders and die-hard gamblers like Lebanese and foreign intruders in Sierra Leone but the world is watching and watching very closely.

I hope the international Olympic committee’s Minister Khanou belongs to are watching how this juvenile petty politician is making a deadly mockery of Sports ( athletics, boxing, cycling, basketball , now football )and abusing his office to ruin the future of this vulnerable country’s generation.

Rodney sends private messages hailing Sanusi ‘buski’  Kargbo as one of the countries richest young men? Really Rodney Michael? and how did he make his money? surely Mr Sanusi cannot be scared of an integrity test. Can he? What kind of government contracts has he obtained and  how?What is his educational and career background?What has been his football achievements apart from succeeding in getting the club he was handed the position of being chairman  of, ( east end lions) a CAF ban and the club is still under a BAN.

SLFA President Isha Johansen has single-handedly put her  foot down and fought against Mercury having anything to do with Sierra Leone Football. Even when the FA was in dire need of funds she  would rather go without at home to support the FA than turn to Mercury for funding. Unfortunately the country has sold her soul to Mercury so SLFA will just have to pray for a miracle to happen to get this mafia syndication banned from football related activities in Sierra Leone FA.

Minister Khanou  has crossed the line saying that he is acting under instructions by the president to order SLFA to go to congress within weeks time or else he will be left with no alternative than to take matters into his own hands A statement he will regret.Threads from his conversation yesterday where he openly brags about receiving sponsorship from MERCURY GAMBLING and will continue to enjoy the gambling syndications support have been received.

By John Kay: Kuwait stops issuing visa to Sierra Leoneans

The Kuwaiti government has ceased issuing entry visas to Sierra Leone nationals in line with a request by the Sierra Leone government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Freetown announced on Tuesday.The move, according to the ministry, is intended to end years of debate over allegations of abuse of Sierra Leoneans, mostly women, who are locally recruited and sent to Kuwait to serve as domestic workers.

The statement dated August 8, said the government was putting modalities in place to repatriate all of its nationals currently involved in domestic labour in the Gulf State.

“Following concerns raised by the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation over the issuance of entry visas under Article 20 (Domestic Labour of Kuwait) to Sierra Leone nationals to work as house maids in the State of Kuwait, which has led to an influx of our nationals into Kuwait, thus creating serious problems and embarrassment to the government; the State of Kuwait through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior have taken a decision to stop the issuance of Entry Visas to Sierra Leoneans under Article 20,” the statement reads in part.

The government has come under sustained criticism for its apparent failure to do something about the issue which has been fuelled by clandestine recruitment agencies, which are said to be working in connivance with foreign ministry employees.

In this regard, the statement on Tuesday warned against any recruitment of potential employees to be sent to Kuwait.

The government said its Embassy in Kuwait, in collaboration with the State of Kuwait Immigration Department, was currently processing Emergency Travel Certificates for those house maids, who have already gone through security checks to be taken to a repatriation centre, where they would go through the due process before repatriation home.

It added that it was soliciting the intervention of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to help in the repatriation process.

“The general public is also advised to report any person or persons suspected to be involved in such practice of trafficking our young girls and women to Kuwait to the nearest police station or local authority,” it said.


By John Kay: Sierra Leone selects 24 Home-Base stars in preparation for Nigeria Super Eagles

Sierra Leone have named a 24-man provisional squad nationwide for training ahead of the West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations to be played in Ghana next month.

The national home-based coach, Abu Bakarr Tostao Kamara will be hoping his side fare well against Nigeria, winners of the tournament in 2010 and runners-up in 2011.

The Local Stars will battle it out with Super Eagles of Nigeria on the 10th September in Takoradi, Ghana this year.

The winner of this contest will be in the tournament group stage.

In his first two international outings, Coach Tostao’s team were beaten 3-1 and eliminated 4-2 on aggregate by Senegal in Dakar at the Alassane Djigo Stadium in Pikine (outskirts of Dakar) last month, in the preliminary qualifiers of the African Nations Championship – CHAN.

The WAFU tournament, which features all 16 regional nations, also pitches defending champions Ghana against Gambia in their opening Zone A knockout match.

The Black Stars and Sierra Leone set to meet in the group stage if they advance past the first round, a rehearsal of the Cameron 2019 qualifiers next year.

The tournament will be staged in the cities of Sekondi-Takoradi and Cape Coast between the 9th and 24th of September.

Below are the list of players who have been invited into the squad as they begin preparations for next month’s tournament:

1. Isaac Caulker- FC Kallon 2. Prince Barrie- FC Kallon 3. Mohamed Fofanah- FC Kallon 4. Mohamed Rogers- East End Tigers 5. Unisa Koroma (Pepe)- East End Lions 6. Tamba Marrah (Paco)- East End Tigers 7. Kempson Fofanah- East End Lions 8. Abu Suma- FC Johansen 9. Yeami Dunia- FC Johansen 10. George Matta- FC Johansen 11. Morie Allie- Bo Rangers 12. Abu Diaby- Central Parade 13. Alfred Sakilla- Central Parade 14. Nathaniel Tongo Vulla- Ports Authority 15. Mohamed L. Bangura (Auwa)- Ports Authority 16. Donald Wellington- Ports Authority 17. Ibrahim Fatoma- Old Edwardians 18. Mohamed K. Sesay (Kofi)- Wusum Stars 19. Amadu Barrie (Pa Barrie)- Wusum Stars 20. Brima Jalloh- Wusum Stars 21. Mohamed Z. Bangura (Zidane)- Real Mark 22. David Kamara (Rooney)- Mighty Blackpool 23. Kabbah Tucker- Anti Drugs FC 24. Mohamed Kamara- Kenema.



Althoughh FIFA have backed the current Sierra Leone Football Association’s executive committee, chairman of aggrieved members of the SLFA, Idrissa Tarawalley has decided otherwise.

It is reported that Tarawalley refuses to accept the current executive, saying the current leadership’s mandate has expired.

Reports from Sierra Leone suggest that FIFA has recognised the existing Sierra Leone Football Association’s administration, despite its mandate having ended on 3 August.
“We totally reject Fifa’s decision because five out of the nine executive members – including Johansen – have lost legitimacy because their mandate has expired,” Tarawalley told BBC Sport.

“The mandates of the other four members remain valid because they were elected as chairmen by their regions in the country to represent them in the executive committee.

“Sierra Leone is a sovereign state and the SLFA is an autonomous body. Our laws supersede that of FIFA.

“We hereby request the National Sports Council [NSC] and security forces to facilitate the smooth take-over of the official activities of the SLFA by the four regional chairmen and the Fifa appointed moral guarantor or his representatives.” 

Led by Isha Johansen, the SLFA committee will be in power until checks are carried out on current and potential SLFA members in order to allow elections for a new executive committee to be held. 

By John Kay: Joule Africa has signed a 25 year Power Purchase deal (PPA) with the Government of Sierra Leone.

Under the agreement, Joule Africa and its local partner Energy Services Company {ESCO}, through joint ownership of newly formed Seli Hydropower, will build an extension to the existing 50MW hydro station, Bumbuna I, situated in the north east of the country, adding a further 143MW of power capacity. Construction on the extension, Bumbuna II, is anticipated to start by mid-2018 with operations forecast to start four years later. Seli Hydropower will be responsible for building, owning and operating Bumbuna II.

We are pleased to have reached this important milestone and thank the Government of Sierra Leone for their continued support, commented Patrick Beckley, Executive Chairman of Seli Hydropower Limited and Chairman of ESCO. The development of Bumbuna II has always been a key part of the country’s energy strategy and we look forward to being able to deliver a value-for-money solution for Sierra Leone’s electricity distribution and supply authority, EDSA, and affordable, all-year round power for the consumers of Sierra Leone.

“I am delighted that we have reached this significant milestone in the development of this most important of national and regional energy project,” added Andrew Cavaghan, Founder and Executive Chairman of Joule Africa and Director of Seli Hydropower. “Joule Africa has been operating in Sierra Leone since 2010 and has built up some very strong relationships in-country during that time. 

Seli Hydropower is now in the process of appointing an experienced contractor and finalising the funding, both of which are well underway, the company said in a statement.

Commenting on the agreement announced, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, said: “The Government of Sierra Leone is prioritising power generation and seeks to increase accessibility by the population to electricity as part of its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As part of this, Sierra Leone has set itself a target of increasing the proportion of households with access to electricity, via the national grid, from 13.5% at the end of 2015 to 30% by the end 2030. The successful construction and operation of both Phase I and II of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Power Project form a critical part of the Government of Sierra Leone’s long-term energy strategy.


By John Kay: Interview with Sierra Leone Ambassador to Germany Mr. Jongopie Siaka Stevens- 

Seit dem 27. April 1961 ist Ihr Land ein unabhängiger Staat. Was ist das Staatsmotto von Sierra Leone? Was bedeuten die Farben Ihrer Staatsflagge?

Since April 27, 1961 your country is an independent state. What is the state motto of Sierra Leone? What is the meaning of the colors of the state flag of Sierra Leone?

The national motto of Sierra Leone which is displayed on a ribbon below the coat of arms is Peace Freedom and Justice. Our national flag was officially adopted on April 27, 1961 bearing the colours green white and blue. The green is symbolic of the agricultural and natural resources of the country, the white represents justice and the blue is symbolic of Freetown’s harbour.

Seit dem Ende des Bürgerkriegs 2002 und dem Friedensabkommen, hat Sierra Leone einen stabilen Frieden und eine funktionierende Demokratie. Mittlerweile zählt Sierra Leone zu den sichersten Ländern Afrikas. Worauf führen Sie das zurück?

Since the end of the Civil War in 2002 and the peace agreement, Sierra Leone has had a stable peace and a functioning democracy. Sierra Leone is one of the safest countries in Africa. What do you attribute to this positive development?

Sierra Leone has made much progress since the civil war ended in 2002. This could be attributed to so many factors relating to, among other things, efforts to consolidate the post-conflict system through institutional reforms to capacitate the performance of basic state functions such as the legislative process, democratic measures and strengthening the security sector to enhance peace and democratic governance in the country.

Wieviel Parteien gibt es im Parlament von Sierra Leone?

How many parties are there in the parliament of Sierra Leone?

We have two political parties represented in the Sierra Leone House of Parliament. The ruling All people’s Congress (APC) with 67 parliamentary seats and the Sierra Leone’s People’s Party (SLPP), which is the opposition with 42 seats in Parliament. Twelve seats are allocated for Paramount Chiefs from across the districts of the country while three parliamentary seats remain vacant.

Wie oft wird das Parlament gewählt? Wann findet die nächste Wahl statt?

How often is Parliament elected? When will the next election take place?

We conduct presidential and parliamentary elections every five years. The last elections were held in 2012 and a new date has been announced for the next general elections, scheduled to take place on May 7 2017.

In Sierra Leone leben ca. 6 Mio Menschen. Stimmt es, dass es in Ihrem Land keine Glaubenskonflikte gibt?

In Sierra Leone, approximately 6 million people live. Is it true that there are no religious conflicts in your country?

Sierra Leone is one of the countries that enjoy absolute religious tolerance. There has not been any reported case of religious conflict in the history of our country and I sincerely hope that we will continue to enjoy such a peaceful and friendly atmosphere.

Was sind die bedeutendsten Wirtschaftsfaktoren in ihrem Land? Was sind die Hauptausfuhrprodukte?

What are the most important economic factors in your country? What are the main export products?

Sierra Leone’s economy is predominantly agriculture, with about half of its workers engaged in subsistence farming. The principal food crops are rice, cassava, corn, millet, and peanuts and the leading cash crops most of which are exported are coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, and palm oil. The fishing industry is also important. In terms of minerals, the top exports of Sierra Leone are diamonds, iron ore, titanium and aluminium.

Welche Bedeutung spielt Deutschland als Abnehmerland?

What is the role of Germany as a buyer country?

Sierra Leone main export partners are Belgium, Netherlands, China and United States. Germany is not actually playing a major role in that direction.

Was wünschen Sie sich von Deutschland hinsichtlich der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung Ihres Landes?

What do you want from Germany about the economic development of your country?

Sierra Leone and Germany established bilateral relations immediately we attained Independence on April 27 1961. Since that time, the two countries have been working closely in terms of development cooperation and youth empowerment in Sierra Leone. Therefore, we are looking forward to further strengthen our bilateral relations through development cooperation and youth empowerment.

Sierra Leone liegt nur 6 Stunden Flugzeit von Europa entfernt. Was hat ihr Land den Besuchern zu bieten?

Sierra Leone is only 6 hours away from Europe. What does your country have to offer visitors?

Sierra Leone offers an exciting and inspiring adventure to remember. We have the world’s most beautiful pristine, white and unspoilt beaches.

The northern province, which is approximately two hours north of Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone, is a paradise for eco-tourism and adventure. Its vast mountains ranges, hills, valleys and wet-lands are home to many unique and endangered spices of flora and fauna.

Sierra Leone setzt verstärkt auf den Tourismus. Welches Potential sehen sie in der Entwicklung des Tourismus? Was sind die Schwerpunkte im Tourismus?

Sierra Leone is increasingly focused on tourism. What potential do you see in the development of tourism? What are the main points of tourism?

Sierra Leone offers huge untapped touristic potentials, with high-end ecotourism experiences, added to the hundreds of kilometres of prime beaches. It thus has unique landscape, scenery and cultural heritage unexplored. The sector could, when fully exploited, account for substantial proportion of employment and revenue generation.

Wann ist die beste Reisezeit für Sierra Leone?

When is the best travel time for Sierra Leone?

There are two distinct seasons: the dry season, from November to April, and the rainy season, over the rest of the year, with the heaviest precipitation in July, August, and September. Therefore, the best time to explore the beauty and charm of this undiscovered paradise in Sierra Leone is during the dry season.

Können Sie uns einen Tipp geben, was unbedingt besuchenswert ist. Ich hörte der Strand-Tourismus ist der Beste in West Afrika?

Can you give us a tip, which is absolutely worth a visit. I heard, Beach tourism is the best in West Africa.

I want to believe so because most countries in the West Coast of Africa including Sierra Leone are seductive destinations, with its palm- fringed beaches, breathtaking mountains, tropical rainforest and vibrant culture.

Ihre Botschaft liegt im Südwesten Berlins. Welche Beziehungen haben Sie zum Bezirk Steglitz-Zehlendorf?

The embassy building is located in the south-west of Berlin. What are your relationships with the Steglitz-Zehlendorf district?

Our relation with inhabitants of Steglitz-Zehlendorf has so far been very cordial. For example, every year during our country’s independence anniversary, we invite our neighbours to a barbecue grill at our Chancery building on Herwarthstr. And I must say that we, as an Embassy, are enjoying such a friendly atmosphere with the people living around us.

Was gefällt Ihnen hier im Berliner Südwesten besonders?

What you like especially in the south-west of Berlin?

I like the green scenery of southwest Berlin and especially the way people interact with each other. To be honest the people around south-west Berlin are very receptive and so far I have enjoyed working in such vicinity.

Fühlen Sie sich wohl in Berlin? Wie sehen Sie die Entwicklung der Stadt?

Do you feel comfortable in Berlin? How do you see the development of the city?

Berlin is a wonderful city I must say. It’s quite international and getting populated on a daily basis. But the fact is it is a beautiful city and quite accommodative.

Welche Hobbies haben Sie?What hobbies do you have?

 I do sport specifically gulf and tennis. I also listen to music, read books and like adventure as well.

Was ist Ihre Lieblingsspeise in Deutschland, welche in Ihrem Heimatland?

What is your favorite food in Germany and in your favorite food in your home country??

Honestly I cherish my Sierra Leone food mostly cassava leaves, potato leaves and peanut soup. In Germany, I like grilled potatoes and steak.

Wer ist der bekannteste Sportler in Sierra Leone?

Who is the most famous sportsman in Sierra Leone?

Mohamed Kallon, a former football star.

Welche Musik lieben sie am meisten?

What kind of music do you love the most?

Soka, gospel Jazz and traditional songs from Sierra Leone.

Wofür sind sie im Besonderen dankbar, Herr Botschafter?

What are you grateful for, Mr. Ambassador?

First of all I am grateful to the Lord Almighty for giving me the strength to work for my country as Ambassador in the Federal Republic of Germany. I am also grateful to my President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma who reposed confidence in me to represent him here in Germany. Also of note is my dear wife, Mrs. Georgian Stevens, who has been with me through thick and thin to ensure that I enjoy every moment of our time. She has also been extremely instrumental towards the success of my job.

Wann haben sie das letzte Mal herzhaft gelacht?

When did you last laugh heartily?

Besides laughing when having fun with my family and friends, I sometimes smile and feel happy when I realised that I am doing something good for my country.

© Mit Peter Hahn- with Peter Hahn.

By John Kay: S/Leone- Johansen holds on to power as stakeholders and FIFA line up against her

August 3 – After years of bitter feuding and infighting, the war of words between Sierra Leone football chief Isha Johansen and her opponents has been stepped up – if that were possible – just as her highly controversial four-year term of office was due to expire today.

With her federation dogged by political interference and internal splits, Johansen, who has striven to eliminate what she alleges is football corruption and match-fixing in Sierra Leone, has not yet made any official announcement about her future but instead issued a hard-hitting statement lambasting those who had questioned her presidency and who, she claims, had constantly tried to undermine her reputation.

Last month the annual congress of Sierra Leone’s FA paving the way for new elections was suspended by FIFA because of unresolved issues relating to a dispute between the current FA executive led by its campaigning female leader and her opponents.

FIFA said a Memorandum of Understanding calling for integrity checks and signed by its general secretary Fatma Samoura, Sierra Leone’s minister of sport Ahmed Khanou and Johansen “had not been adhered to and as a result the same problems appear to remain unresolved.”

Khanou has since been quoted as making a number of disparaging remarks about Johansen who has now reacted by going to the media with a hard-hitting response and a passionate defence of her conduct.

In what smacked of a final stand of emotional defiance against her male-dominated federation, Johansen told reporters how tough it had been working as the only female FA President in the African continent and one of only two in the world saying she had often had to “bravely soldier on despite the often turbulent, even precarious” situation facing her.

“My mission and vision has not altered. “PUT SIERRA LEONE FIRST” is what I said I would do four years ago, and will continue to say.”

In comments directed specifically at the ministry of sports, Johansen blasted Khanou for making “misleading and inciteful statements about the SLFA and pronouncements questioning my ethics, coupled with his Deputy Hon Al-Sankoh’s vitriolic and defamatory statements.”

Further denouncing what she called “a barrage of insults” designed to “smear to my character” Johansen accused Khanou of breaching the FIFA-initiated MoU which was designed to mark, she said, “the first steps towards sustaining peace, sanity and sanitizing the football family.”

“I have, at all times tried to be respectful and understanding (but)  have had to endure incidents of humiliation, deception and unethical practices,” she added.

Shortly after Johansen’s statement, however,  with no election date for her successor currently fixed, a faction of her opponents called for emergency measures to be put in place.

The so-called Football Stakeholders insisted Johansen must hand over to a committee comprising heads of the four regional representatives in the SLFA executive.

“The Stakeholders agree that the Executive’s mandate expires on 3rd August, 2017 after which she is expected, along with the two Vice Presidents and the two Ex Officio members, to hand over the reigns to the four Regional Executive members, whose mandate continues to be valid,” the statement said.

“The Stakeholders blame the current constitutional crisis wholly on Mrs. Johansen, the Executive and an inefficient Secretariat and advise that under such a complex scenario, emergency measures must be taken.”