By Alfred Koroma
The ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) is having its 13th National Delegates Conference at the Bintumani Conference Centre, Freetown.
The two days conference which ends tomorrow is focused on the radical transformation and gains the party has made since it assumed the reins of power in 2018.
The conference is also a platform where members will appreciate achievements the party has made in governance and contribute to the party’s manifesto for the 2023 Elections.
At the conference, President Julius Maada Bio who doubles as SLPP National Leader and its Presidential Candidate for the next elections will speak on progress the party has made under his leadership and ‘affirm food security’ as his second-term priority.
Informing journalists yesterday about the ongoing Conference, SLPP National Secretary General and Deputy Minister of Justice, Umaru Napoleon Koroma said since they came to power as a party their resolve has been to invest in human capital development and build a progressive society that embraces citizens’ aspirations, a priority he said, aligns with the party’s belief in a political party having its foundation to advance a cause that is right and just.
Despite the twin challenges brought by COVID-19 and the Russian-Ukraine war, Napoleon says, the SLPP-led Government is proud of the achievements the President has made amidst the global crises.
He stated that the conference will demonstrate that June 2023 election is about making a choice between ‘a united, progressive and responsible party and fragmented, unprogressive and irresponsible opposition.’
In his statement to the press, SLPP National PRO, Lahai Lawrence Leema said the President has delivered on the party’s 2018 manifesto commitment upon which he was elected, affirming they are prepared again to go into another election and the President is prepared to speak to the people at the ongoing Delegates Conference to give a report on his delivery. After that, he said suggestions will come from the conference that will inform the next manifesto commitment.
“The conference goes a long way to underline the very democratic nature of SLPP and the transparent and accountable nature of the President, Minister of Information and Communication,” Mohamed Rahman Swarray added, saying they will not only hobnob with the people during the conference, but they will also share their report and hear from them as input into the next party manifesto.
Among the several reforms introduced by the SLPP-led Government, the recent signing of the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Act into law is one of the celebrated. As the path-breaking law seeks to enhance women’s rights and representation in public service, including, providing women with 30% quota for elective and appointive public officer positions, equal entitlement to employees training and improvement of their access to finance, establishment of Gender Units within MDAs and extends maternal leave from 12 weeks to 14 weeks.
Speaking to journalists on behalf the party’s women’s, Sierra Leone High Commissioner to Ghana, Francess Virginia Anderson thanked the President for setting the stage for women to actively participate in politics, saying: “We are very happy with the 30 percent.”