Sierra Leone Telegraph: 1 May 2018:
In fulfilling the challenges of establishing an inclusive government, president Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone is today reported by State House to have shown leadership in achieving a regional balance in appointing his second wave of ministers.
Bio’s all new look list of 19 ministerial appointees has attracted favourable response for its regional balance and diversity, though short on gender balance.
According to State House, out of the 19 appointees, there are 6 from the North; 4 from the South; 3 from the Western Area – Freetown; and 6 from the East. They are as follows:
Chief Minister – Professor David J. Francis (East); Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – Dr. Alie Kabba – Photo (East); Minister of Planning and Economic Development – Mrs Nabeela F.Tunis (Née Koromah) (Western Area).
Minister of Technical and Higher Education – Professor Aiah Gbakima (East); Minister of Works and Public Assets – Mr. Raymond Ernest Denison de’Souza George (Western Area); Minister of Trade and Industry – Mr. Peter Bayuku Konteh (North).
Minister of Transport and Aviation – Mr. Kabineh M. Kallon (East); Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources – Dr. Morie Manyeh (East); Minister of Lands, Housing and Environment – Dr. Denis Sandy (South); Minister of Agriculture and Forestry – Mr. Joseph J. Ndanema (South); Minister of Youth Affairs – Mohamed Bangura (North).
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development – Mr. Anthony Y Brewah (South); Minister of Tourism and Culture – Mrs. Memunatu B. Pratt (Western Area); Minister of Political and Public Affairs – Ambassador Foday Yumkella (North); Minister of Sports – Mr. Ibrahim Nyelenkeh (North);
Resident Minister, South – Mr. Mohamed K. Alie (South); Resident Minister, East – Mr. Andrew Fatorma (East); Resident Minister, North – Mr. Abu Abu Koroma (North); Resident Minister, North West – Haja Isata Abdulai-Kamara (North).
Responding to Bio’s announcement today, a fierce critic of the Bio SLPP government – Sylvia Olayinka Blyden said: “Nothing much to condemn in here, but I was hopeful for more women. With these names, I must admit that Maada Bio has just made it much harder for the APC to return to governance in next elections. He has also dealt strong blow to the further growth of NGC in Sierra Leone. But we will see how things go. Never say never in Politics.”
In putting his first wave of cabinet ministers together which was announced over two weeks ago, president Bio was keen to achieve a mixture of experience and novice, whilst ensuring he brings into his government, some of his most trusted and loyal servants, such as Jacob Jusu Saffa, whom he appointed as Minister of Finance.
The other ministers in president bio’s line-up of cabinet are:
Charles Francis Margai – Attorney General and minister of justice; Alpha Timbo – Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; Dr Alpha T. Wurie – Ministry of Health and Sanitation; Kanja Sesay – Minister of Energy; Dr. Jonathan Tengbe – Minister of Water Resources; Yusuf Keketoma –Government Press Secretary; Mohamed Swaray – Minister of Information and Communication; Emma Kowa – Minister of Marine Resources.
Adekunle Joliff Milton King – Minister of Labour and Social Security; Baindu Dassama – Minister of Social, Gender and Children’s Affairs; Edward A. Soluku – Minister of Internal Affairs; Simeon Sheriff – Deputy Defense Minister; and Sahr Lahai Jusu – Financial Secretary.
The first wave of ministers is expected to go before the Parliamentary Appointments Committee this Thursday for approval.
Today’s appointment brings the total number of cabinet ministers announced so far to 33.
Few ministers with compressed ministries will retard progress. Bear in mind that the country needs to move forward, what I think is important now is the mobilisation of resources, so that the national cake will be relatively “equally shared”.
PATRICK M. SAFFA – PUJEHUN.
A small country like Sierra Leone certainly does not need 33 Ministers. What are they going to be ministering for God’s sake? Bigger and well developed countries worldwide have less. It looks like these are campaign promised positions for loyalty not to forget corruption to say the least. Will it ever end? God help us.
What is the change that the people of sierra Leone voted for? l still see big government, a lots of cronies, and marginalization of our female counterparts. A new direction in governance should be dominated by women.
As far as democracy is concerned in Sierra Leone, The SLPP is always in tough. It is not like the APC Where We Saw The Vice President Sacked For Their Own Self Interest.
Please I am also pleading to the new ministers to work in the interest of the country and not for themselves. Thank you God.
Wonderful, 33 ministers is a record for the guiness book of records for such a small country. All the new ministers are eager to get a diplomatic passport to travel to Europe and spend government money in duty-free shops, because they dont need a Schengen visa as diplomat.
As a guy from Holland with a Sierra Leonean wife, I see nothing has changed in Sierra Leone. Selfishness is also with Maada Bio and his team like the previous government.
First of all, some of the ministries have no relevance or could be brought under other ministries. The man who is talking about saving public money has gone further to create new ministries that should not be there at all.
It is all bla bla to say in the end why he could not deliver on promises made. All these ministries are meant to reward themselves for being so loyal to each other.The deputy ministries are yet to be announced making it even worse because the deputy minister has nothing to do but will be paid huge amounts.
We have to learn from western democracies that are trying to make us democratic nations. Belgium of 11 million people has 13 ministries with no deputies. I am sure the mighty US has far less ministries than Salone and we are crying of poverty. If these leaders have no clue on governance and ministries, why don’t they make a research on the topic?
Secondly, the issue of regional and ethnic imbalance has been largely ignored. We have to look at the issues why there is a fierce competition on the presidency and the winner takes all system. I know in Salone when you mention tribes, you will be bashed out but some of us have to dare and say something on that.
I am sure the significant ministries have already been announced because deputy ministers have no relevance and should not be there at all. This cabinet of ministers is the most regionally/ethnically imbalanced.
For obvious reasons, the South-Easterners dominated,but we also saw how the mendes dominated and occupied the most important ministries. According to the last census(2004) that published the tribal composition of the country, the Mendes were 32.5% of the population. Does this reflect on the current ministerial positions? So far, there is 1 Limba and 1 suspected Temne (Mohamed Bangura) occupying an irrelevant ministry(youth).
The Temnes and the Limbas were 40% of the population (2004), so how inclusive is the government? It is all about loyalty and rewards and so far, there is no change in sight. All the elections tension was about the fear of been left out and rightly so, due to the cabinet composition.
Again, I will bring the Belgian and Swiss examples, where the cabinet has to be a representation of ethnicity, because of the tribes/languages spoken. Belgium has 13 ministries of which 7 has to be from Flanders(60% of the population) and 6 from Walonia (40% of the population) to create a level platform for everyone.
Switzerland on the other hand, does the same, since there are 3 languages spoken. Where is the new direction? We are still doing things the same way like other governments before. Kabbah’s government was somewhat inclusive, taking into account the voting pattern of the country, and the same could be said about Koroma, even though they should have had a look at the tribal composition.
The tensions will surely increase in the next elections if things are not addressed. The president has to have advisers when forming a government if he is to be the father of the nation for all.
We have to do all that we can, to avoid the ugly campaign we had last time, in future elections.
The issue of women’s representation was also not considered by the president and this so also very, very bad for Salone in the 21st century.
Thanks for your attention
I’ve been reading posts from this column for a while but never read any article from you concerning the regional disparity of ministerial positions in the former Koroma’s regime.
I am not a member of any political party, but let us Sierra Leoneans stand up for truth & righteousness. This will heal our divide and our nation. I agree with you, Sierra Leone is too small an economy for so many ministerial positions.
Consolidating ministries is a good thing, but the caveat is that concentrating power in the hands of one minister, will cause some issues down the line. I also agree that, we do not need Deputy Ministers, as we will in a few months time have competent permanent secretaries in place. They can play the role.
This is just an observation. Let us give the new government the remaining 4 years to prove themselves, as we did with former government for 10 good years.
Please readers can someone clear my doubt: Is the controversial 2 SIM/dual citizenship still to be considered for the new appointees, such as the Foreign Minister and others?
In my experience with politics in the West and governing for nearly 3 decades, I was expecting SLPP to minimise the appointment of ministers, rather than inventing more positions at this present economic hardship they have inherited.
Besides, there 30 more deputies in waiting. In my opinion, we need more field supervisors/civil servants and decentralisation to indicate inclusiveness.
Sierra Leoneans would be eager to know the remit of the Chief minister as this is a ministerial appointment that they have not heard of in recent times.
The first thing that comes to mind, is that of a minister coordinating the role all other ministers. If that is the thinking behind it then it creates unclear reporting lines.
Another observation is that, the number of ministers, could be smaller, given the size of government operations and the economy as a whole – quality should take precedence.
The UK for instance, has 18 Secretaries of State for a country of 67 million people, and an economy worth 2.619 trillion USD. It makes you wonder why we need so many ministers for a tiny nation like Sierra Leone, and could be part of the problem in not getting things done.
O elected and selected men and women of this nation!! You owe the people of this country. Put the interests of Sierra Leone first and be truthful on what you put on paper.
Stand for the values of our nation and refrain from being disloyal and dishonest, and avoid engaging in diabolic acts that will shame our country-Sierra Leone.
It is time to work for others and NOT time to burst yourselves. Be afraid of God and be dutiful to this country. Work hard…we warn you!
Be ashamed of yourself. Be thankful to God and to Mr. President for choosing you. May Allah’s curse be unto those who shame and undermine The Republic of Sierra Leone. Ameen!