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Facts about Sierra Leone: A Progress Report by Nanette Thomas

28 September 2016 at 02:28 | 3101 views

By Sanpha Sesay, Texas.

The Minister of Political and Public Affairs (MPPA), Honourable Nanette Thomas (photo) on Saturday September 24 gave a detailed account of events back home in Sierra Leone to the Sierra Leone community in Texas. She spoke on economic growth, political affairs, the social well-being of the people and the efficiency of public service delivery.

The Minister was unofficially invited as a Guest of Honour by the president of the All People’s Congress, APC-USA Dallas chapter, Sheik Daboh at the community’s annual fundraising event in the city of Dallas.

Daboh, full of confidence and goodwill, invited the Minister to be present at this year’s annual fundraising event to re-energize the group. Daboh believed Nanette Thomas will be an eminent person to speak on issues pertaining to our country. He also has faith in the truth that Nanette Thomas has the artist’s sensitivity to people and situations.

Minister Thomas subsequently declined to attend other events prior to this APC event in which she was purposely invited to Texas so that she can be well prepared to highlight important issues and inform the community about the significant progress the Sierra Leone government under president Ernest Koroma is making since its inception in 2007.

Left to right: Mrs. Adama Sesay, wife of journalist Sanpha Sesay, Sanpha Sesay, alias Texas Chief and Minister Nanette Thomas.

In a powerful speech at Pastor Simpson’s Church, Minister Thomas kept the audience enthralled as they listened intently to her message about the country which demolished many social media fallacies and propaganda against the government.

Sheik Daboh, introducing the Minister.

In a step by step analysis, Honourable Thomas enumerated the various ministries’ achievements and effectiveness starting with the energy ministry, health, transport, education, the justice, agriculture, mining, fisheries, and infrastructural development.

An award from the Mandingo Descendants Union to Minister Nanette Thomas.

The MPPA said Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, was ranked as the darkest city in the world before President Koroma’s administration took over in 2007. But this government, she said, has made infrastructural planning that has enhanced the capital city of Freetown and the provincial headquarters of Bo, Kenema and Makeni, thereby boosting their capability to meet the people’s energy and electricity needs.

Honourable Thomas also informed the Sierra Leone community about the psycho-social effects of the Ebola outbreak on individuals, communities, and the economy in our country.

She said after the country had gone through a horrific civil war that took more than 50,000 lives, the Ebola virus epidemic struck to take thousands of lives again and vandalized every facet of life.

This common enemy”, as she described the Ebola virus, attacked Sierra Leone at a time when Sierra Leone was on top of economic development and evaluated by the United Nations as the fastest growing economy in the world. As a result of the two grave issues, our country’s economic growth was shattered; the healthcare situation worsened while president Koroma was striving to enhance economic performance, Nanette explained.

However, the government of Sierra Leone under the dynamic leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and its development partners are gradually rebuilding the economy to regain the blessings of 2013 and absolute trust of the Sierra Leone people, the Minister said.

The free healthcare service for under-5 children, pregnant women and lactating mothers is a progressive endeavor, she added. The infant mortality rate is now falling down drastically as a result of the free healthcare. The Ebola epidemic however directly inflicted disruptive and destructive effects on our nation’s economy as well as our healthcare system, the minister emphasized.

Nanette Thomas, who used to live in Texas before returning home, went on to explain to the audience her duties and responsibilities as the first female Minister of the Ministry of Political and Public Affairs (MPPA).

She said her ministry is charged with the statutory mandate to develop policies and programs geared towards promoting democracy and good governance in Sierra Leone through the public and stakeholders’ participation in governance activities.

"When I assumed office in April this year, I made decentralization a priority as one of the prerequisites for delivering the Agenda for Prosperity," she said.

She believes that decentralization improves collaboration between government, the people and the international community.

In a very short time since she took over the MPPA, Honourable Nanette Thomas made it possible to distribute administrative power to the provincial headquarters of Makeni, Bo, and Kenema with the intention that her Ministry could deliver the messages and manage crises whenever they arise.

" I am very pivotal in coordinating capacity building of the local communities, and advocacy for gender equality," the minister confidently asserted.

Nanette Thomas, who is one of the most pivotal Cabinet Ministers in the administration of President Koroma, advised the Sierra Leonean community in Texas to adhere to the value of Sierra Leone’s National anthem when it is announced to be sung.

She said Sierra Leoneans need to follow the proper etiquette of the Sierra Leone National Anthem, adding that doing such demonstrates patriotism and is morally justifiable. The two national anthems of Sierra Leone and America were sung before the Minister started speaking. It is a common tradition in the community to sing both national anthems before a minister or the Ambassador to the U.S. speaks. The two national anthems are also sung on the celebration of Independence Day.

After the Minister’s keynote address, Sierra Leoneans in the city now have a clearer understanding of the extent to which the government is exploiting the available resources directed at its target goal, Sheik Daboha said.

Many of the allegations been made against the government have now been removed from many people’s mind after the MPPA Minister had spoken, he added.

The event attracted many of the community’s different organizations. Most notably were the opposition SLPP headed by Jestina Momoh, the Mandingo Association headed by Dr. Foday Christian Sesay, the great Tegloma Queen, Elizabeth Mammy Bockarie and the newly established Mandingo Descendants Union headed by Sorie Tejan.

Sorie Tejan, after careful consideration of the good deeds of Minister Nanette Thomas when she was in the States, influenced his Mandingo Descendants Union to confer an award on the Minister to express their gratitude.

The Honourable Minister has returned home and is expected to resume office later this week.