The Ministry of Information and Communications held its 2nd Annual Media/CSO engagements in Bo Inn, Bo City on the 25th-28th November 2021.
The government of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio sees the media/CSO as partners to national development and therefore it is prudent to engage them on government policies and programs as they are the carriers of information to the people.
Speaking at the opening session, the Chief Minister and keynote speaker Mr. Jacob Jusu Saffa thanked the Ministry of Information and Communications for the brilliant initiative of assembling journalists and civil society activists to educate them on the many achievements of the President Bio led government. He pinpointed the free quality education, the fight against corruption, students loan scheme, road construction, energy and other sectors as huge successes of government which journalists and CSOs should propagate. He then officially declared the retreat open.
In his statement, the Minister of Information and Communications Mr. Mohamed Rahman Swarray expressed delight for a successful media engagement. According to him, it is a vision he initiated when he was working at the Lungi International Airport where the need to connect the Airport's operation to the media and the communities was vital.
Last year, the Minister in his pursuit to promote President Dr. Julius Maada Bio's agenda in operating a transparent and accountable governance system, organised the first retreat in Bo City and that has now been made an annual event.
The Minister informed the gathering of President Dr. Julius Maada Bio's signing of the Global Media Freedom Coalition of which makes Sierra Leone the 5th African nation to join. This shows the government’s commitment to promoting a free media and protect journalists in their work.
The President of Sierra Leone Association of Journalists Ahmed Sahid Nasralla during this year's engagements made mention of the gains that have been made in the industry, and thanked President Bio for keeping to his promise to repeal the criminal libel law. That notwithstanding, he mentioned the many challenges they are facing and called on government to look at them for immediate action.
During the two days session, several MDAs presented policies and programs and achievements in fulfilling manifesto promises. The media/CSOs were given the opportunity to ask questions which were adequately addressed.
The final session was specifically MDAs and the media interacting on government programs and policies.
In drawing down the curtain on the retreat, the Minister of Information and Communications thanked his hard working staff at the ministry, sponsors and invited guests for their support and for gracing the occasion.