President for the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, yesterday revealed that as a government and a party, they are fully in support of the call for a freedom of information law in Sierra Leone.
The president was speaking to a cross section of Executive members of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists and the Society for Democratic Initiatives, a key partner to SLAJ on the freedom of information campaign in Sierra Leone.
According to President Koroma, his government has made a commitment to supporting the freedom of information law in Sierra Leone and that when they took up office, the Minister of Information and Communication was invited to America where he stated government’s position on the issue. In his words, “I must say that as a government and a party we have made our commitment to supporting access to information … and we are interested in passing the bill into law…”
President Koroma said, when they were in opposition, they made a promise of strengthening the Anti Corruption Act and this, he said, they have done as a government. As such the promise of enacting the freedom of information bill will be made to become a reality.
The Bill was formally presented to the president by the Executive Director for the Society for Democratic Initiatives, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai. Formally receiving the Bill, the President said, they will look at the bill and then support it.
Speaking further, President Koroma called on journalists to join in the move of rebranding Sierra Leone and that we, as a country have the potential to move towards development. He said, his government looks forward to working with SLAJ as partners in development.
Earlier the President of SLAJ, Umaru Fofana, stated that they are ready to partner with government in ensuring development for the country. He appealed to government to give support to SLAJ especially in securing land for them, and in meeting government’s commitment towards its annual subventions to SLAJ.
He stated that Sierra Leone is enjoying freedom, which, he said is enshrined in the constitution but however appealed that the president should give his full support to the call for access to information.
Forming part of the delegation were SLAJ Executive members, the Director for SDI and the Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Karbgo.