Dr. Sheka Bangura Delivers Inaugural Development Lecture

By Matthew Kanu:

The Government of Sierra Leone Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Director of Central Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr. Sheka Bangura has delivered an inaugural lecture on the topic “ Why strongly uphold the sustainable development goals in Sierra Leone”.

The lecture was held at the University of Makeni Abatti Hall on Saturday 1st October 2016 and delivered to the Masters in Sustainable Development class of UNIMAK.

 

Dr Sheka Bangura Delivering the Inaugural Lecture

Dr Sheka Bangura Delivering the Inaugural Lecture

 

In welcoming Dr. Sheka Bangura to the University of Makeni Vice Chancellor Reverend Fr. Professor Joe Turay said he is grateful to Dr. Bangura for honouring the invitation on short notice . Professor Turay said the university introduced the masters in sustainable development to address issues of climate change, the environment and development .

Delivering his lecture Dr.Sheka Bangura said the Sustainable Development Goals are an extension of the Millennium Development Goals introduced in the year 2000. He said the SDGs is a development frame work designed by member countries to address developmental issues particularly in the third world for the next 15 years.

” In this framework the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has conducted nationwide sensitization to create awareness on the new goals across the country. This sensitization target the public sector, CSOs, the private sector, trade unions and universities /colleges across the country “he noted.

Dr . Bangura reiterated that the ministry is addressing critical concerns on the SDGs to prevent under reporting and over reporting of sustainable development issues. Critical concerns among others he emphasized were increase in poverty, national disasters,  diversify economy, exchange rate, bad governance, human trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, climate change and illicit financial flow.” To address these challenges the Sierra Leone Government has introduced a campaign titled Leaving No One Behind he said .

Sierra Leone was among 22 countries whose progress on the SDGs was reviewed by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016. The review took into consideration effort made by the 22 countries in also addressing issues ranging from exclusion from decision making and socio economic participation, food insecurity, disability marginalization,  stigmatization and rural development.

Like most of the masters students that attended the inaugural lecturer Karifala Marrah said he was grateful to Dr. Bangura for his effort in imparting such a valuable knowledge to them.

Marrah further explained that part of what he learned during the lecture is base on the fact that sustainable development is key in all sectors of development that will transform lives and change behaviour.

He emphasized that such a lecture is key in their preparation before graduation in 2017.

UNIMAK Seminar Prepares Students for the Job Market

By Matthew Kanu

The University of Makeni Faculty of Commerce and Management  organized a one day seminar on Saturday 24th September 2016  in order to prepare final year students of the faculty for the job market.

In an interview, a final year student of the faculty Isha Mariam Kabba said she has learned a lot from the experience of faculty lecturers and guest speakers from business institutions in Makeni City : ”I have learned that there are lot of jobs there but there is no job waiting for us until we apply some amount of creativity as job creators and not job seekers” .

She emphasized that there are lot of issues in their communities on health, agriculture, education , business and many more. “We should look around our communities for issues that are very important . We should come together as students and establish organizations that will address these issues” she noted . Miss Kabba stressed that there are many things she learned during the seminar that are really relevant to her survival after leaving the university.

Like Miss Kabba, Henrietta Kargbo said as an out going student of the university the seminar is very useful for her because she is going to face the world and find a way of contributing to nation building . “To meaningfully contribute to nation building we need to network, or partner with individuals and institutions after graduation” she mentioned.

Miss Kargbo noted that integrity, honesty, respect ,courtesy and a strong resume are key factors that will enable them to attract the job market or be job creators.

“We should be bold and believe in ourselves . We can do it with hands together no matter the challenges that lies ahead . We should not relent” she emphasized

 

 Victoria Iheanacho, Dean of Commerce and Management

Victoria Iheanacho, Dean of Commerce and Management

 

This is the first time the faculty of commerce and management has organized a seminar for out going students since the establishment of the university in 2005. The faculty is graduating many students more than other faculties of the university every year and many more are admitted at the beginning of each academic year

Addressing students during the seminar faculty Dean Victoria Iheanacho said the faculty is preparing outgoing students to be useful citizens of Sierra Leone after graduation next February . “ We want to see our students contributing to nation building when they leave the doors of the university . We are preparing them not just as job seekers but as job creators, to be marketable and be competitive in the outside world” she said.

In his address to faculty students Seminar Guest speaker and Managing Director of NADECO Abdul Karim Manasaray said one of the things the students have to hold strongly after graduation is networking not parading with academic qualifications.

This implies that after graduation the students should be able to network with various people and organizations and initially volunteering for jobs without pay will help in securing jobs from public or the private sector .

Mr. Mansaray further said that in applying for a job the students have to develop a cover letter with good grammar and the letter must be sent to the right designation of a company or institution .

“Research well about the institution you are applying to , present a very good cover letter. The cover letter must be very attractive with specific qualities , and make sure you talk about your interest and academic qualifications “ he noted

However ,the faculty has set the pace for other faculties of the university to do the same and empower their students for the job market .

Makeni Welcomes the Newly Established UNIMAK Centre Of Sierra Leone Studies.

By Matthew Kanu

Residents of Makeni City in Northern Sierra Leone have expressed optimism over the newly established Centre for Sierra Leone Studies. A trader in Makeni Andrew Kamara said most citizens don’t know the history of Sierra Leone. I personally believe that such a centre will bridge the knowledge gap existing within our society” he said.
Like Andrew, Mariatu Bangura is a teacher of the Saint Francis Secondary School in Makeni. She like most residents of Makeni believed that establishing a Centre for Sierra Leone Studies is a step in the right direction. “I personally believe that this will enable us to move from darkness to light” she noted . She further emphasized that an enlighten society is a society that is well informed, transparent and accountable.

Many students here at the university of Makeni hold the view that the establishment of the centre will enhance or make available more learning material to them. Mass Communication final year student Cecelia Karimu said this will make learning easier. She also reiterated that the centre will promote the right to access information and good governance .

According to the Sierra Leone 2015 housing and population census the population of Sierra Leone is over seven million. The majority of this population lives in rural Sierra Leone. A larger population of rural Sierra Leone is uninformed. Chapter 3 subsection 2 of the1991 Sierra Leone Constitution indicate that : (1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, and for the purpose of this section the said freedom includes the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference, freedom from interference with his correspondence, freedom to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions, and academic freedom in institutions of learning:

Provided that no person other than the Government or any person or body authorised by the President shall own, establish or operate a television or wireless broadcasting station for any purpose whatsoever.

(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in the contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision. Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Right stipulated that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek receive and impart information and ideas though any media and regardless of frontiers.

Speaking in an interview the University of Makeni Vice Chancellor Reverend Father Professor Joe Turay said the centre will be a resource useful not only for students but for Sierra Leoneans and non Sierra Leonean citizens across the globe . He emphasized that the centre will be a research laboratory for various academic disciplines and will be professionally administered. ”In order to commence this ambitious project, we will use all the modern digital tools available to us. We will begin by building both an anthology of materials available in all academic disciplines and providing a detailed bibliography of work stored elsewhere and currently being researched and where this may be viewed and incorporated into the work of scholars studying  and writing on all aspects of Sierra Leone” he mentioned. He further opined that a further source of information will be the respected ‘Journal of Sierra Leone Studies’, which will be based at The Centre and subsequent editions will include both peer-reviewed academic papers and other items of interest and use to those wanting to study and know more about Sierra Leone. ”If anyone has documents, photographs or other items that will be of use to scholars and would like to donate them to us, please send them to the Centre, where they will allow us to build the non-digital section of the materials available to all wanting to study and further their interest in Sierra Leone” he pleaded. Sierra Leone history is widely respected across Africa and beyond. With the establishment of this centre the country’s historical profile will be respected.

Students And Staff Of The Republic Of Guinea King Mo. Roi The Sixth University Visit UNIMAK

By Matthew Kanu

Ten students and two lecturers from the Republic of Guinea King Mo. Roi the Sixth University English Language Department are presently on a 25 days learning tour to the University of Makeni (UNIMAK). The students and lecturers are here to improve on their ability to read and write the English Language and to further strengthen bilateral relationship between UNIMAK and the King Mo. Roi the Sixth University.

King Mo. Roi the Sixth University second year student David Lamah expressed optimism in improving his speaking and writing skills at the end of the 25 days. He said UNIMAK is a wonderful place to be . “The hospitality is so wonderful . The lecturers we met are so wonderful. We hope to learn good English at the end of the 25 days in Sierra Leone” he mentioned .

First year student of the same university Mamadou Saliau Sow said he is very happy to come to Sierra Leone to learn how to speak better English . “Speaking English is my dream but learning English in a French country is very challenging” he noted. Sow is determine to learn a lot and improve on basic speaking and writing skills.

The King Mo. Roi the Sixth University was established in 2007. The present student population is four thousand with two campuses. The university is presently affiliated to universities in France, Morocco and Turkey. UNIMAK is the first university they have visited in the West African sub region.

UNIMAK Deputy Director of Finance and Administration Victoria Iheanacho holds the view that reaching out to institutions within and outside Sierra Leone is very important for the growth of UNIMAK . “The King Mo. Roi the Sixth is one of the universities within the Mano River Union that is presently seeking for partnership with UNIMAK in Sierra Leone” she said. Madam Iheanacho reiterated that the two universities are all within the Geographical location of the Mano River Union which placed them on a better footing for long term partnership.

Speaking in an interview King Mo. Roi the Sixth University English Language Department lecturer Mamadou Bhoye Diallo noted that they are trying to create an inter co operational relationship with UNIMAK. Diallo said within the 25 days period the ten students will take classes from UNIMAK lecturers on public speaking and writing skills that will to help them to be eloquent and be perfect English Language speakers . “We are looking forward to gaining education, knowledge and perfection from UNIMAK that we will take home” he emphasized .

He further stressed that they are thinking of establishing a long term partnership for the common good of the Mano River Union and the African continent in general .

Speaking to journalists in Makeni City ,English Language Head of Department Kamara Mussa said teaching English in a French country is very challenging but to overcome these challenges it is very important for us as lecturers and students from Guinea to learn and share ideas from lecturers and students from UNIMAK who can speak good English. “Teaching English in a French speaking country is very challenging because after classes the students will continue speaking French in the community instead of speaking English but you can speak better English when you are in an English speaking country” he stressed . Kamara said they will jointly implement some project that will not only enable UNIMAK students to learn French or King Mo. Roi the Sixth university students to learn English but one that will address issues of national and international development .

 

Delegation From The Ministry Of Information And Communication Visits UNIMAK

By Matthew Kanu

A visiting delegation from the Government of Sierra Leone Ministry of Information and Communication has paid a courtesy call to staff and students of the University of Makeni on Friday 26th August 20116.

Addressing staff and students inside the UNIMAK staff room the Ministry of Information and Communication Information Officer Dan Perkinson said they are there to inspect a resource centre provided by the ministry in 2012 .He said part of the visit is to know whether the students are benefiting from the resource centre , resource centre equipment are in proper use and to further strengthen the partnership between UNIMAK and the Ministry of Information and Communication.

UNIMAK Director of Administration Reverend Father Benjamin Sesay informed the delegation that UNIMAK is grateful to the Government of Sierra Leone for supporting it establishment and providing the enabling environment for private public partnership . He said the ministry installed a satellite dish and only supply one motor bike instead of two motor bikes from the ministry in 2012. He further emphasized that no one from the ministry never attempted to come and do some follow up on the project. “We are happy that you are here to follow up on the project and to strengthen our private public partnership. We also want people to know that UNIMAK was established to meaningfully contribute to the human resource development of Sierra Leone ” he noted.

Head of Delegation and Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Collinious Devoux said the ministry was recently informed of the 2012 Ministry of Information and Communication internet connectivity project for UNIMAK. He said the ministry is geared towards developing a public private partnership and UNIMAK is a major partner in the development of Sierra Leone .He also said the ministry will fix the gaps in implementing the project

Minister Devoux further emphasized that the ministry in partnership with the world bank is rolling out a broadband internet connectivity project to promote affordable internet connectivity for ten higher institution across Sierra . “The University of Makeni is a beneficiary of this project . One thousand computers will be available for the project .About fifty or one hundred computers will be given to each institution benefiting from the project” he mentioned. The delegation was taken to a conducted tour of all computer laboratories and the old satellite dish installed by the ministry in 2012