January 12, 2021
By Alhaji Haruna Sani
There were events that will linger in our hearts and minds that contributed toward ensuring 2021 left us with memories that will linger in the minds of Sierra Leoneans both home and abroad. Concord Times has taken a look at some of those events and people that helped shape the country by making headlines that hit the nook and cranny of the nation.
We hope and pray that 2022 will bring more good memories and time of bliss for all Sierra Leoneans.
Leone Stars Qualification to Afcon 2021
On Tuesday June 15, 2021 Sierra Leone won a one nil victory against Benin. After the team was awarded a penalty, the Leone star striker Kei Kamara wasted no chance to nail the ball into the net and ‘it was goal’. This remarkable event took the Country to the African Nation’s cup after 26 years without qualifying for the league. The event was unarguably one that shapes the nations.
Sierra Leone qualified for the AFCON football completion amidst a lot of patriotic flavor. Football became a rallying point for national unity. The government, realizing this has markedly increased its support for football. May we qualify for more tournaments!
Fuel Tanker Explosion
On 5 November, a fuel tanker collided with a truck at Wellington in Freetown. This collision resulted in a massive explosion that claimed the lives of hundreds. Over 100 of our compatriots died in the fuel explosion and an equal number received serious burns. This incident again shaped the nations at large and highlighted the need to take disaster preparedness and management more seriously.
The Cybercrime Law
After three consecutive days of racking debates at House of Parliament, from Monday 21st to 23rd June 2021, the members of Parliament unanimously reach an agreed point and moved the motion to pass the Bill titled “The Cyber Security and Crime Act 2021” into law.
The Cybersecurity and Crime Act of 2021 was tabled, by the then Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, ten years after Sierra Leone signed the ECOWAS Directives for member state to legislate laws to combat cyber related crimes.
This is one among the most progressive modern legislations that will promote security and stability in Sierra Leone’s cyberspace and provide effective cyber security legal framework to protect Sierra Leoneans from the increasing global cyber threats and cyber-attacks.
New Educational Curriculum
Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) introduced a new curriculum for senior secondary schools in the country. The new curriculum replaced the conventional three streams system (Commercial, Art, and Science) with 5 new streams which range from Science and Technology, Language and Literature; Social and Cultural Studies; Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship, and Mathematics and Numeracy. The aim for the introduction of the new is to ensure pupils are exposed to different educational choices. It also focuses on preparing learners for the new job market.
Sierra Leone Qualified for MCC Compact
The $55 Million grant from the People’s Republic of China to construct a fish harbor and its ancillary structures became the subject of considerable criticism for its potential adverse environmental effects. A lot of MDAs have not come out of the debacle smelling of roses. Community groupings and environmental groups are still up in arms.
In 2021 the World Bank also withdrawn its support from the ongoing population and housing census in Sierra Leone just days before it was due to begin, according to a letter from the Bank addressed to Sierra Leone’s finance minister. World Bank’s country director, Pierre Laporte, said the government had failed to meet the necessary conditions for the funds to be disbursed.
President Julius Maada Bio had earlier announced that the national statistics office would launch a two-week mid-term census on Dec. 10 to correct “anomalies” from the last count in 2015, which the previous administration used to justify creating additional districts in its strongholds.
The former ruling party and current opposition boycotted the exercise, calling it a political gimmick by Bio’s government to increase their own constituency count ahead of the 2023 presidential election.