October 12, 2021
By Alhaji Haruna Sani
Former Liberia President and Noble laureate, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last weekend thrilled audience at the Concord Times Good Governance Summit held at the Bintumani International Conference Hall in Freetown on the theme “Fresh Answers: The Citizens, Good Governance and post-COVID-19 Inclusive Recovery.
The erstwhile president, who was in the country to deliver the keynote address at the Concord Times Summit 2021, started off by telling audience that good governance ‘is leaving no one behind’ and that is bridging the power gap between men and women, thereby ensuring more women in parliament, in municipal courts, in business entities, and in high level appointed positions such as the Cabinet.
The octogenarian statewoman, who had exhibited great wisdom and ability in directing the affairs of government in Liberia, commended participating journalists and the Concord Times family, for what she described as ‘taking a break from daily reporting assignments to organizing event whose goal is to stimulate conversations about the direction of national governance, global challenges and the future of the region is a step that is worth emulating by other media institutions.
She said Journalists are key stakeholders in national development, especially setting and implementing the national agenda for peace and prosperity.
The former Liberia president who was cladded in African dress said Good Governance is at its best when there is legitimacy in leadership and that Legitimacy is best achieved through the unhindered and inclusive exercise of the freedom of all qualified citizens to choose their leaders.
She made reference to the Constitution, statutory or policy initiatives such as marginalization and exclusion and thereby bridging gender gaps as well as heal historic tensions and animosities in ethnicity and religion.
On the issue of post-Covid-19 Inclusive Recovery, she said Covid-19 has highlighted the deeply interconnected nature of the world, and the extent at which the security is wholly dependent on the security of others.
The former President quoted the International Monetary Fund to have said that covid is expected to have a staggering $22 trillion impact on the global economy by 2025 which she said would be the biggest shock in three quarters of a century.
She added that inclusive recovery requires more than vaccines and that it requires a robust healthcare system with proper staffing and equipment, thus noting that it required support for those who take the risks and remain the most vulnerable.
“I congratulate the Concord Times Newspaper on its 29th Anniversary, and for a history and reputation for independent reporting focused on development journalism. I urge you to act at all times to jealously guard your reputation and honor the ethical responsibilities of your profession”, she concluded.
Earlier, president of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalist, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla said Concord Times is the architect of modern journalism in Sierra Leone that started desktop publishing and printing colored front pages.
He added that Concord times have produced a lot of potentials who are creating impact in Sierra Leone and beyond.
Welcoming the audience at the Bintumani auditorium, Editor of Concord Times Newspaper, Alusine Sesay, said the initiative of the Summit was launched in 2008 to serve as a catalyst for interactive platform for policymakers, civil society, experts, and academia to engage in discussions and debates on Sierra Leone’s socioeconomic and political development.
Sesay said the 2021 Summit sought to advocate for a sense of solidarity and multi-stakeholder partnerships towards developmental goals, raise awareness on post-COVID-19 development priorities, mobilize non-state actors, including women, the youth, faith-based organisations among others.
He said Concord Times Summit is a conscious effort by one of the most credible print media houses to have a discussion and find solutions to issues bothering on the populace.
Meanwhile, presentations were made by several experts on issues such as sustainable economic growth, youth and women’s empowerment, the rule of law and other issues related to good governance.