By Matthew Kanu
On 7th November 2018 UNIMAK‘s Department of Political Science and International Relations officially launched the University of Makeni Centre for Political Formation .
Fulbright Scholar Dr.Gloria Braxton spent weeks putting together a new curriculum for the Department, which is a new Department under the Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities, and worked tirelessly with staff of the Department to put together details relating to the Centre before the launching ceremony. Addressing her audience Dr. Braxton said the Centre will add value into the political development of Sierra Leone. “It is about promoting democracy and good governance” she said. Dr. Gloria Braxton was contacted by the United States Embassy in Sierra Leone after the department forwarded a request for assistance to the Embassy. The launching attracted hundreds of students, academic and administrative Staff, and invited guest from Government and the private sector.
UNIMAK Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Turay expressed gratitude to the Department for such a laudable initiative to have a new Centre in the University. “The Centre will prepare future politicians, uphold the tenet of democracy and social inclusion” said Professor Turay.
Speaking to local reporters after the launch Political Science and International Relations Head of Department Foday Augustine Bangura said the Centre would work with all Sierra Leone 7 million people and beyond to work towards a political transformation in the country. “The presence of the Centre will enable Sierra Leone to move from been a fragile state to a peaceful state” said Mr. Bangura.
The University of Makeni was established in 2009 to address issues that caused the decade long civil conflict and promote tertiary education in Sierra Leone. Before reaching university status in 2009 it was known as the Fatima Institute, established in 2005. This is the first private University in the History of Tertiary Education in Sierra Leone.
The Chairman of all Local Councils in Sierra Leone Joseph Bindi appreciated the effort of the University of Makeni towards decentralization in Sierra Leone. “Councils will work closely with the Centre for Political Transformation for long and short term trainings for councilors and Council staff in the area of democratic governance and decentralization” Mr. Bindi said.
Officially launching the Centre ,the Government of Sierra Leone Minister of Technical and Higher Education Aiah Gbakima said the decision to launch the Centre is a step in the right direction for the opening of democratic space and political tolerance in Sierra Leone .