As President Julius Maada Bio continues to make inroads to ensuring that the Sierra Leone media is not only free to practice but equally capacitated to sustain its operations, the Minister of Information and Communications, Hon. Mohamed Rahman Swarray has informed journalists that the Sierra Leone Media fraternity is among seventeen other international media institutions that are to benefit from the International Fund for Public Interest Media.
He made this statement during a question and answer session at the weekly press conference hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communications, Youyi Building in Freetown on Thursday 12th May, 2022.
Earlier, however, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Solomon Jamiru Esq. took time to outline, clarify and highlight some important points in President Bio’s speech at the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday 10th May, 2022.
He mentioned among other important issues that the Bio-led administration has massively improved the educational system by ensuring that more than 2.6 million children are now beneficiaries of the president’s Free Quality Education (FQE) programme. He spoke about the increased pace this government has put on infrastructural development that has resulted to the construction and commissioning of several vital bridges in various areas across the country which are now boosting travel and trade between and among the various agricultural and economic zones scattered across the country.
He further spoke of the current expansion of the Freetown International Airport at Lungi, and the completion of the 163 kilometer long Magbele Bridge which will be commissioned by President Julius Maada Bio this weekend, among several other notable infrastructural developments.
Responding to questions from members of the media, the Information and Communications Minister, Hon. Mohamed Rahman Swarray noted that President Bio has Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans at heart, the reason why he is not leaving any stone unturned in his mission and vision to make Sierra Leone a great country that would be the envy of its neighbours. He said the government had received $50M grant from the World Bank to upscale ICT systems in the country that would evolve into e-parliament, e-legislature, and e-commerce among several other digitalised systems currently being explored by Sierra Leone’s neighbors and countries abroad.
He informed journalists that while representing Sierra Leone at the Uruguay conference on the media on World Press Freedom Day, Sierra Leone was top of the agenda because the country’s leadership had expunged the criminal libel law and activated other activities including the first-ever media viability and investment conference which have now taken Sierra Leone to international recognition. He maintained that several other countries’ media representatives in attendance had the opportunity to learn from Sierra Leone. He used the opportunity to urge media owners in Sierra Leone to take advantage of this facility and write proposals for this fund to be provided to them for developmental purposes.
He also stated that President Julius Maada Bio is committed to improving the capacity and status of the media despite the fact that, he has unarguably gone down in the history of this country as the most vilified, caricatured, ridiculed and castigated leader. He added that the current administration is looking forward to journalists thinking beyond politics and rhetoric and deciding on what is good for them in the coming years based on what they have so far realized and acquired as an association from the Bio-led administration.

By Bah

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