Salone News

June 9 Webinar was a Huge Success

3 July 2007 at 22:54 | 294 views

Press Release.

On the 9th of June, 2007, the Voter Education Committee of the Sierra Leone Network (SLN), held a historic Internet Symposium, dubbed the Voter Education Webinar. For the first time in the history of our nation, we were able to create and successfully execute on a global level, a voter education/awareness initiative that included the three major parties (APC, SLPP and PMDC) in conjunction with members of civil society that spanned a broad background of the Sierra Leonean community, at home and abroad.

Some of the key statistics included the following:

An unprecedented 200 people-plus registered for the event
During the event 50 people were logged on via the internet (viewing and listening to presentations)
Several others without Internet access called in from countries such as Sierra Leone, US, UK, Netherlands, Canada, Bermuda, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mozambique, Kenya, etc
There were 20 presenters / Subject Matter Experts (SME) during the 8 hour conference that covered a broad spectrum of topics such as:

The SL Voter Historical Perspective - Dr. Ismail Rashid
Electoral Process -John Musa
Dual Citizenship - Oluniyi Robin-Coker
Accountability at all Times - Amara Omar Kuyateh
Education Outlook - Dr Bidemi Carrol
Housing in Sierra Leone - Dr. Jonathan Peters
Towns and Villages Basic Services - Sheikh Tunis
Water Supply and Demand in SL - Sammy Atere-Roberts
Youth Involvement in SL - Akindele Decker
Press Role and Responsibility - Gibril Koroma
Beyond Remittances to Involvement - Mohamed Bah
Presidential Debate Result - Dr Michel Sawyer
Infrastructure Outlook - Adrian Q.Labor
Revenue Generation - Jonathan Rose

Emmerson Bockarie, Sierra Leone’s leading voice for the people and Lady Felecia called in to emphasize the importance of including the youth and showing their support for these types of national events

Commentary from three of the major parties (APC - Ms. Arabella Foray, SLPP - Dr. Augustine Smith, and the PMDC - Mr. Tejan Savage)

Under the leadership of the Voter Education Webinar and Portal Team, of Adrian Labor, Gail Carew-Edwards, and Akindele Decker, we were able to moderate a symposium, demonstrating a slew of technology and people skills and coordination, and most of all a willingness and desire of cooperation among ordinary Sierra Leoneans to help bring back Sierra Leone to where most of us believe it should be, commensurate to the vast natural, mineral and human resources the country is blessed with.

The Sierra Leone Network’s strategy is simple: Disseminate information collected from activities such as these, analyze, organize and present the information without bias, to our constituency, the citizenry of Sierra Leone (in both the Diaspora and especially at home where it matters most). The Sierra Leone Network will be partnering with several local organizations, such as youth groups and other community based groups to carry out an extensive voter education drive, which will take place in the form of radio programs, dissemination of voter education informational packets, and other platforms.

While we are proud of this accomplishment, it is really just the beginning of what we believe is our duty as citizens of Sierra Leone to be involved in the democratic process as key stakeholders, in the affairs of governance across all categories of our country’s development. Sierra Leoneans whether back home or in the Diaspora, with relevant skills in several areas that our country needs can contribute meaningfully, without getting directly involved in party politics.

We are appealing to all Sierra Leoneans to help support a successful information dissemination strategy so that our brothers and sisters back home, who are a lot more cognizant of issues-driven support (than they were 5 or 10 years ago) can vote based on additional informed assessments by a neutral and vibrant civil society. The SLN believes we are part of this energetic civil group and are appealing to other well-meaning Sierra Leoneans to please get involved in not only this affair, but also other initiatives committed to the development of Sierra Leone and to do so in the best interest of our dearly loved country.

Salone Nah Wi Ohl Yone!

For more on the Voter Education Strategy please go the VE Portal on http://sierraleoneportal.net/voteredu. Or if you have any questions please mail to: voteredu@sierraleoneportal.net

For more on the Sierra Leone Network, please go to our website on www.sierraleonenetwork.org.

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