A2Z AFRIC

Sinking Spring, PA 19608, USA | 83 Campbell Street, Freetown
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May 18, 2022by admin0

Women’s Power Hour (WPH), with moves to position women to rise to their high places, is all set to celebrate its 11th year anniversary of building women and girls across the world.

The celebration, with the theme: ‘Breaking barriers for new heights,’ will feature the launching of the book titled: ‘Monitoring for Greatness – M4G Work Book’, on 21st May, 2022 at 1:00pm at the YWCA Institute in Freetown.

Group Pioneer, Regina Peters-Moore said to nurture, groom and build great women for God in this generation and upcoming ones, WPH was started with 8 women in the UK and later transferred its headquarters to Sierra Leone where she noticed women have various challenges.

She said they started with writing strong articles for and about women and second to hosting talk shows on radio stations, talking to women, focusing on educating, encouraging and motivating women to walk in their high places; and helping ordinary women to become extraordinary for God in their nations.

She went on that WPH now do ground work in Sierra Leone, Gambia and Malawi among other countries, reaching out to women through the radio, publication of life changing articles, girls mentoring and coaching, rehab squad, correctional arm, the blessing provokers club supporting women in full time ministry, putting skills and business training in the hands of women and gals.

She said WPH helps to position women to succeed in their homes, their visions, careers and other areas of their lives, adding that they raise people to greatness by mentoring women and girls including tomorrow’s women; taking prostitutes out of the streets; bringing hope to women behind bars; supporting women in ministry and giving skills to women and girls for self-reliance.

Mrs. Peters-Moore went on that WPH started in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2011 with a mandate to build grate women, starting with writing strong articles on online for and about women and to date, it has established 7 centres in Freetown and 2 in Kono and Makeni.

She said it has grown 6 arms:-

The Girls Mentoring and Coaching (GM&C), which features girls between the ages of 9 and 18 years. The girls are prepared for adulthood so that they can reduce teen pregnancy, school dropouts and prepare them for the future.

In the GM&C girls are taught God’s words, handsome skills – breeding, sowing and cake making and every August, training is done for the mentoring.

Mentoring for Greatness (M4G), for women in the age of 18 years to retirement and this features three module courses for women done online and radio and covers woman’s spiritual life, legacy, vision, career and more. It will help singles to prepare for mirage and marriage for good home

She said WPH has trained up to 200 women on Mentoring for Greatness (M4G) since 2018, in USA, Gambia, Nigeria and other international countries.

She said: “We do not only do mentoring, we also have every week Rehab Squad visiting streets to mentor girls off prostitution. I believe we have reached out to over 500 prostitute or they’ve heard the gospel from us from 2016 to date. The Correctional Arm that ministered to women in prison and because it is expensive so we do it yearly. When some of them are released they are sent to us and we fund to a new life.” She said this has helped to reduce re-offending

She also spoke about the Blessing Provokers Club (BPC) which does monthly support to women countywide, look for women in service but have needs and every month WPH supports one woman each in Makeni, Kono and Freetown.

She said the Skills and Business Training (SBT) gives out training of commercial skills to empower women so that apart from their careers, they can also be able to learn other skills.

Giving a rundown on the celebration, Mrs. Peters-Moore said on 27th May, they will have a zoom online programme that will deal with abuse and domestic violence. This she said will discuss and see how WPH will empower and help women who are going through domestic violence but do not know the way out.

She said on 29th May, they will be climaxed with a thanksgiving ceremony at Mersy House off Syke Street in Freetown, while encouraging the public to support the events.


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May 18, 2022by admin0

By PEL Koroma,Embassy of Sierra Leone,Washington DC

At a luncheon hosted at the Embassy of Sierra Leone, 1701 19th Street , NW in Washington DC in honor of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Dr. Memunatu Pratt, Ambassador Sidique Abou-Bakar Wai informed State Officials, as well as top business people that the Tourism Ministry is in the heart of the President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio. He introduced Dr. Memunatu Pratt to the invitees.

Dr Memunatu Pratt started by informing the Embassy guests that Sierra Leone is at the stage of promoting Cultural Diplomacy.

“If countries need to be peaceful, cultural awareness can be a powerful tool for political stability. Working with Foreign Missions is very important to promote Cultural Diplomacy. We are currently marketing Eco-Tourism, Historic Sites, Slave Roots and Culture as a sector for development “.

She further went on to say that the government is determined to use Tourism in rebranding and developing the nation’s resources to create jobs and build infrastructures.

“A lot has changed at the domestic level. Sierra Leoneans are owning businesses in the Tourism sector, extending opportunities to people for economic viability” Dr Prattl said, noting that building and training of young people, exposing them to innovations, transforming the traditional ideas to development approaches are key pillars for growth .

“ People should invest in Youth development , establish Hotels, Eco-Tourism, Health Tourism, Agro Tourism, Wildlife Tourism, apart from the Beach Tourism. Unidentified areas have come forward. Tourism is promoting trade, agriculture, women empowerment, thereby providing security to build peace”.

She impressed on the guests that there is a connection between Tourism, livelihood , and education.

“We have African-American program, receiving people from America whose DNA links to Sierra Leone. New Islands have been established, as well as Monuments and Cultural Sites. Sierra Leone is currently on an expansion project at the Lungi International Airport, doing road networks, improving on electricity supply, developing the capacity of citizens, especially improving skills for women to be able to pay for the opportunities. We have developed the entertainment industry”, Dr. Memunatu Pratt said.

She concluded that the aim of the Tourism Ministry is to bring the youths working in hotels, beaches out of poverty line.

Prominent among the guests at the Luncheon were Jerry Tores, American businessman- politician, Salewa Ladipo, Strategy Analyst, Blueprint Global Consulting Group , Dr. Ky Dele, Blueprint Global Consulting Group , Dr. Kadia Bundu, Anesthesiologist, Emad Shoeb, Chief Operating Officer, Swahili Village Restaurant and Izmira Violet Aitch, Senior Legislative Assistant, United States House of Representatives.


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May 18, 2022by admin0

By Amin Kef Sesay (Ranger)

The indefatigable Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the National Revenue Authority (NRA), Tuma Adama Gento-Kamara, was the proud recipient of an African Excellence in Public Office Award presented to her by the Coalition of Women in Africa for Peace and Development at the Marriot Hotel during the 3rd edition of the African Women Summit held from 12th – 14th May 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda, (The Land of a Thousand Hills). The award was in appreciation for her in the area of women empowerment and her sterling as well as tremendous positive and selfless contributions made by her so far in public affairs.

Prior to her departure to Rwanda, the result-oriented legal luminary was officially and specially invited in her capacity as  Chairperson of the Board of Directors  of the National Revenue Authority of Sierra Leone by the Founder of the Coalition of Women in Africa for Peace and Development (COWAP) , Amb Belema Meshack-Hart, in a letter dated the  14th April, 2022 to deliver a talk.

In her invitation letter, she was intimated that COWAP brings her greetings from her Excellency Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia who is the Co-Chairperson of the Coalition of Women in Africa for Peace and Development (COWAP).

 She was also informed that this year, Kigali, Rwanda (The Land of a Thousand Hills) will host the 3rd edition of the African Women Summit from 12th – 14th May 2022, with the theme, “Examining the Critical Role Women Play as Agents of Peace and Sustainable Development”.

Tuma Adama Gento –Kamara was assigned the task of to speak at the   fireside chat on the topic: “Climbing the Corporate Ladder: Strategies for Standing Out in a Men Dominated World.”

Addressing a well attended summit, the NRA Board Chairperson, Tuma Adama Gento-Kamara conveyed greetings from a beautiful country on the West Coast of Africa, a country known for its historical role in the settlement of free slaves and a land known as the cradle of freedom.

She revealed that as early as 1957, a young Lady by the name of Ella Koblo Gulama became the first female Paramount Chief and the first female Member of Parliament in Sierra Leone, in an era when politics and traditional leadership was a male dominated affair.

According to her she is present to talk about the role women play as agents of peace and sustainable development. She said from what she understands Peace is a state of tranquility or quiet such as freedom from external and internal disturbances, a state of security or order within and without in the lives of individuals and communitiesas provided for by law.

Madam Gento-Kamara furthered that our recent history has proven that we are constant victims of war maintaining that across the human race, the African woman is clothed with a unique characteristic which she thinks must be celebrated. She added that at the moment she celebrates the ‘Africaness’ of our womanhood.

Quoting a proverb, “Frailty, thy name is woman”, which she said is generally attributed to women in the world is one that is also saying women are weak, less tough as compared to men.

However, Madam Gento-Kamara maintained that such  is not the case for the African woman because when one talks about the African woman, one must keep in mind that one is dealing with an extraordinary creation with an unusual finesse that goes beyond accepted projections.

“The African woman is fashionable, spiritual, family oriented, humorous, ecstatic, sexy, and sensual,”she proudly asserted.

She gave a brief example of her upbringing which she said was at first rosy but went soar when war break out in the country and her influential father was imprisoned leading her to go through struggles.

Generalizing her experience, she said that is the story of an African Woman in search of greener pastures informing all that today she is educated, a mother to many, happily married, and professionally accomplished.

Posing the questions : “Where do one go after achieving these things?”, “What can we really do?”, “What can we do when about 40% of global average pregnancies are teenage pregnancies and 50% of them end up in abortion, 38% result in birthsbut are not adequately catered for?”

Those questions were followed by: “What can we do……?”, “What can we do when it is clear to all in this room that women receive lower medical care than men?”

The NRA Chairperson pointed out that according to an international reputable source over one billion women hardly have legal protection against domestic sexual violence or economic violence.

She then asked: “What can we do?”

Madam Gento-Kamara told the august gathering that in many countries, there’s a lack of legal protection against harassment in the workplace, in schools and in public.

She intimated how she read somewhere that all national Parliaments at the beginning of 2019 only have 24.3% of seats filled by women also stating that as of June 2019, 11 Heads of State were women.

According to her , despite progress in that area over the years, women are still grossly underrepresented in Government and the political process maintaining that such means that certain issues that female politicians tend to bring up are often neglected.

She underscored that over and above the meetings, the communiqué and the advocacies she reckons the emergence of an awakening in the hearts and minds of women everywhere on those issues.

She informed how Sierra Leone has played key roles in enacting laws that protect and seek the interest of women referencing the Devolution of Estate Act 2007, the Domestic Violence Act 2007, the Child Right Act 2007 and currently the Gender Bill is being tabled for enactment.

According to her, those laws, from all intent and purpose, have helped to protect women and girls from all forms of discrimination in inheritance right, violence of every nature, seeking the welfare of the child, and above all when ultimately the Gender Bill is enacted, women shall have at least 30% representation in the public sector.

She said despite differences all women they all have one thing in common that confronts them as budding and established African Woman on the Continent.

“We are confronted with a menace that has refused to bow to the dictates of contemporary phenomenon and as we push further, like elastic, the gap is becoming wider and wider,” she informed adding how the 2021 global gender gap published by the world economic forum is a testament to that maintaining that the global gender gap index benchmarks the evolution of gender-based gaps among four key dimensions which are Economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival plus political attainment.

She said in that report, the World Economic Forum tracks progress towards closing those gaps overtime stating that such will indeed take time.

The Board Chairperson furthered that functioning as Agents of peace could be a result of putting adequate structures within societies for women to thrive.

According to her, gender equality is the frame from which every other issue on women’sempowerment should have their bearing. She strongly argued that the status of women across societies in Africa is a reflection of unequal relationship sustained by patriarchy, built on male superiority and female inferiority, and supported by stereotype roles.

Madam Gento-Kamara also firmly maintained that the expectation of economic, social and political predominance of men and dependency of women is rife.

The audience applauded her when she stated that women are key to achieving sustainable peace and development solutions adding that whether it is peacebuilding, peacekeeping or conflict and crisis response, calls should be made on the international community to invest more in the meaningful inclusion of women at all stages from participation to prevention, protection to resolution and recovery.

She also strongly affirmed that evidence shows that women’s involvement in peace negotiations contributes to the quality and durability of peace agreements, as well as a higher number of provisions aimed at political reform and higher implementation rates.

“Women and their empowerment are crucial to advancing the culture of peace in all its sectors — education, sustainable economic and social development, human rights and equality, democratic participation, advocacy based on true knowledge but also wisdom, tolerance and understanding at all levels — in the family, community, country, region and globally,” she averred.

Madam Tuma Adama Gento-Kamara said women must not only be protected from war and the violence unleashed but they must be seen as agents of conflict prevention, of peacemaking and as reconcilers in peacebuilding in post-conflict situations.

Pointing out that much of the conflicts today are between States with specific reference to the Russia/ Ukraine war, she argued, that the consequence of that war makes it even more urgent for the international community to support women’s role and agency and leadership to rein in the forces of terror and violence, in protecting themselves and the community, bringing their sons and daughters to the peace table, and being there to hold them to the purpose of peace, to rebuild peaceful and sustainable societies and economies.

Quoting one time UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon,  “Through education, we teach children not to hate. Through education, we raise leaders who act with wisdom and compassion. Through education, we establish a true, lasting culture of peace,”  she pointed out that mothers, grandmothers and other family members, often being the first teachers of children, women can play a vital role in educating young people to value peace and not war.

Again referencing Jane Addams who once said: “Peace is not merely an absence of war, it’s a nurture of human life and, in time, this nurture will do away with war as a natural process,”, the sagacious NRA Board Chairperson rhetorically asked the question of who can be better at that than women who are natural nurturers, who are better disposed to find solutions through dialogue, who are sensitive to human needs and rights and inter-generational perspectives?

She pointed out that though societies and situations have a way of misdirecting women’s true nature but said, however, they are natural carriers of life, peace and destiny.

According to her, the role of women as agents of peace has also been affirmed in various normative instruments of the United Nations revealing that perhaps most importantly it is in the landmark Security Council resolution 1325 on peace and security. She stated that the Security Council adopted Resolution 2122, which reaffirmed the role of women in peace and security also mentioning gender equality as necessary to ensure sustainable peace.   

“In Liberia, women devised the peace hut mechanism in which local women leaders mediate and resolve local and domestic conflicts before they escalate into violence,” she said adding that in the peace huts, now numbering 17 in rural Liberia, women leaders are also referring survivors to services, liaising with local police through a mobile phone hotline, and engaging in local peacebuilding efforts.

Making reference also to South Sudan, she said  International Women Organizations have supported in select communities women’s empowerment centers where sexual and gender-based violence-prevention activities and referrals take place.

Based on her address, in Liberia, Timor-Leste, Uganda and Haiti, women are supported by local organizations to build referral services and networks for survivors, such as reproductive health care, access to justice, livelihood support and psychosocial counselling.

She energized that women must continue to break those stereotypes and beliefs that undermine the role of women in peace and security.

“We must focus on improving the access to education of girls and all young people, providing a secure environment for them to learn, breaking down gender stereotypes in school curricula and teacher training programmes, advancing understanding, tolerance, and solidarity, and ultimately spreading a culture of gender equality which will lead to a culture of peace,” she suggested.

She expressed the hope that Governments will come together to agree on a vision for the future adding how gender equality is crucial to the success of that future agenda.

Coherently and emphatically she maintained that there can be no human rights, peace or sustainable development without gender equality and the realization of women and girls’ rights further stressing the need to put policy into practice.

She told the august gathering that it was Eleanor Roosevelt, another great female peacemaker, who once said: “For it isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”

She enthused that there is no question that one must both believe in and work at the nexus between gender equality and women’s empowerment and peace, telling all to take their talks and advocacies beyond the hall to make sure women’s value and contributions to peace are integrated in peace strategy processes and outcomes.

“We must all work to increase investment in building the capacity of women’s organizations and local civil society networks working in conflict and post-conflict settings, in line with Security Council resolution 2122,” she also inspired stressing that there is no question that a culture of peace requires the participation of women, especially young women.

“So, I ask women and youth of the world to unite to make sure that half of humanity is liberated from violence and discrimination, has the power of decision-making in all spheres, and has the economic muscle to nurture a culture of peace and rollback the tides of conflict,” she called for action..

Tuma Adama Gento-Kamara  also called on the international community and the culture for peace constituency to continue to play its leading role in fostering an international environment which recognizes and promotes women and girls’ rights by engaging women as well as men, girls as well as boys, in their quest for peaceful and non-violent societies.

She concluded by saying that, “from Freetown to Nairobi, from Kigali to Johannesburg, our journey from survival to dignity and empowerment demands that we all should come together to tackle these issues first at the community level, then at the national, regional, and global level” followed by a deafening round of applause that lasted over five minutes.


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May 18, 2022by admin0

By:Memuna Konteh

The Make Sierra Leone Famous podcast returns for a second season of engaging and uplifting conversations with some of the country’s brightest minds.

The podcast began in 2020 as a platform for celebrating Sierra Leone and its natives while reclaiming stories from the white gaze inherent in the post-war development narratives. We’re currently experiencing a golden age––a global cultural renaissance led by Africans. Vickie’s mission with the Make Sierra Leone Famous podcast is to ensure that Sierra Leoneans take their rightful place in this global black creative explosion.

The podcast is not the only medium Vickie uses to further that mission. She has several adjacent projects, including her children’s books, Adama Loves Akara and A Print for Ami. These are narratives for early-stage readers centering on Sierra Leone’s cultural food and fashion heritage. Vickie also founded the Swit Salone blog, which curates and reports on Sierra Leonean current events in a format that makes the country’s cultural and political happenings accessible to all, and receives over one million hits a year. Outside of those endeavours, the multi-faceted presenter and writer runs a marketing company that helps African businesses and organisations promote themselves in exciting and authentic ways.

Vickie pivoted from TV to the podcast due to the constraints brought on by the pandemic. Originally a series on her eponymous TV show, Make Sierra Leone Famous allows Vickie to further the emerging cultural resurgence amongst millennial Sierra Leoneans. Podcasting  enables her to broach a broader range of topics in a more in-depth format and reach a wider audience.

As well as being available on all major podcast streaming platforms, this season of Make Sierra Leone Famous is being broadcast every Wednesday on Radio Democracy 98.1FM. Season 2 represents a slight shift in direction as Vickie interviews rising Sierra Leonean stars, from business pioneers to musical mavericks. Across the season’s 14 episodes, Vickie exposes listeners to various Sierra Leonean talents. The season launched on Independence Day, featuring storyteller and educator, Usifu Jalloh. Last season the podcast lived solely online and was focused on unearthing forgotten gems of Sierra Leonean history. Episodes include exploring Freetown’s oldest church built by Jamaicans, how the Mende language spread amongst Gola communities, and ‘the untold story of Mandingos who became Temne Chiefs.’

Working alongside Vickie is a home-grown production team headed by Frankvin Bob McEwen, a self-taught engineer. He met Vickie through the free blogging tutorials that she provided in 2019. The podcast’s sponsors for this season are a mixture of local and diaspora-run Sierra Leonean businesses, encompassing a theme central to all of Vickie’s work, which is a desire to bridge the gap between ‘home base’ Sierra Leoneans and the growing diaspora. If you’re interested in supporting Salone’s rise to fame, listen to interviews with the likes of Drizilik, chef Renata Kamara and author Namina Forna via radio or wherever you get your podcasts (Apple, Spotify, etc.).


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May 18, 2022by admin0

More than 70 representatives from border law enforcement, security, and civil aviation agencies from 17 West African countries met this week in Freetown for the First Meeting of the West Africa Regional Informal Working Group (IWG) under the framework of the Countering Terrorist Travel Programme,” a release from the agencies states.

This meeting is an opportunity to raise awareness about the spread of terrorism through the movement of Foreign Terrorist Fighters,” stated Jacob Jusu Saffa, Chief Minister of Sierra Leone. 

 As global travel resumes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of terrorist groups and other transnational organised crime groups will continue to take advantage of existing pressures on air, land and maritime borders across the globe, exploiting the increasing connectivity offered by airlines in all regions of the world.

The collection and processing of Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Records (PNR), are therefore an essential tool to combat transnational crimes, through the identification, detection, and interception of terrorist, including Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs), and other serious criminals. 

In 2019, the United Nations Countering Terrorist Travel (‘CT Travel’) Programme was launched to support Member States respond to this growing threat. The CT Travel Programme is a global initiative that aims to build Member States capacities to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute terrorist offences and other serious crimes, including their related travel, by collecting and analyzing passenger data, both API and PNR, in line with United Nations Security Council resolutions, international standards and best practices and human rights principles. 

Implemented through an “All-of-UN” approach, the CT Travel Programme is led by the United Nations Office on Counter Terrorism (UNOCT) and implemented in close partnership with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) (through the Airport Communication Programme, AIRCOP, and the Terrorism Prevention Branch), the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

AIRCOP through its recognized specific operational experience and support to inter-agency unit working on air passenger data (the AIRCOP Joint Airport Interdiction Task Forces), oversees Pillar 2 on the operationalization of the PIUs.

Within the framework of the CT Travel Programme, the West Africa IWG was launched to foster the sharing of best practices, lessons learned and enable the widest possible cooperation and exchange of information between Passenger Information Units in the region. West Africa has the highest concentration of CT Travel programme beneficiary Member States and AIRCOP is implemented in 15 airports within the region. 

Jointly organized by UNOCT and UNODC, and hosted by the Government of Sierra Leone, the inaugural meeting of the West Africa IWG took place from 12 to 13 May in Freetown. The event allowed participants to gain a better understanding of the efforts being made by Member States in the region, thanks to a regional situational analysis of API and PNR systems shared by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). International databases, API and PNR collection in various cross-border transportation modalities, legal frameworks, and real-time communication channels were key points of discussion. 

Dr Amado Philip de Andrés, UNODC Regional Director for West and Central Africa, noted “It is by analysing all travel modalities at the national and international levels and by adopting a common approach among all countries in the region that we will be more proactive in our fight”. Also “Passenger Name Record data processing will be a major undertaking for your countries in the coming years and will require the implementation of efficient infrastructures”.

Flagging the importance of the international framework for countering terrorist travel using passenger data, Ms Christine Bradley, UNOCT Chief of Countering Terrorist Travel Section, pointed to the event ‘’as an essential step towards implementing the ‘relevant UN Security Council resolutions, namely 2178, 2396 and 2482 which oblige all UN Member States to collect both API and PNR data for the purposes of countering terrorism and serious crime‘’.

To facilitate initial technical discussions among the IWG States, participants were divided into small groups to conduct brainstorming sessions on specific technical issues. Each small group was moderated by the newly appointed thematic sub-group leaders, that will also propose a schedule of thematic meetings for the rest of 2022.