October 16, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Sierra Leone’s leading GSM operator, Africell Mobile Company, has announced a partnership with the United Nations Women to support efforts in ending violence of all forms against women and girls in the country.
The two institutions yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Joe Abass Bangura, stated that the core areas of corporation will be advocacy action on ending violence against women and girls, as well as institutional capacity strengthening on gender equality and the empowerment of women within the company.
He said Africell will establish a national toll-free line to report sexual and gender based violence cases and hoisting up of billboards carrying ‘End violence against women and girls’ messages.
“There is no argument that Africell is a leading sponsor of all things pertaining to women in the country. At a time like this, the entire world is in agreement with the need to end all forms of abuse and violence against women,” he said.
Bangura pledged the company’s commitment to support initiatives to get women more involved in national development and more engaged in promoting social justice, economic growth and security, as well as leveraging their unique talents by making them strong partners in unlocking and building potentials across the country.
“To further underscore our commitment to women’s empowerment, all most 1/3 of our permanent staff are women. We will continue to work on increasing this number,” he noted.
He commended UN Women for the continued strive for global gender equality and women’s empowerment.
In her response, Country Representative of UN Women, Dr. Mary Okumu welcomed the partnership with Africell to help in ending violence and advancing the course of women in the country.
She said the partnership will help in addressing the national priority of end rape against women and girls, which is a presidential initiative.
“The hotline that will be established by Africell across the country is going to increase accountability and reporting of sexual and gender based violence cases. I cannot thank Africell enough in joining this advocacy campaign,” she said.
She added that they are instituting accountability so that the impunity through which sexual violence is happening in the society can be checked.