By Ibrahim Yousuf Sillah :
FEBRUARY 4, 2013
In its Friday 1st February, 2013 edition, the US –based Sierra Leone online newspaper, COCORIOKO, wrote thus: “The Press Attaché to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Jalloh , yesterday paid a courtesy call at the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations . During his visit, Alhaji Jalloh held talks with the Minister Plenipotentiary, Mr. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu centred on the continuation of the promotion of the achievements of the Sierra Leone Government under the inspiring leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma.”
The paper went further to quote Alhaji Jalloh as saying : “We discussed matters of national interest, the successes of the Government, the President’s “Agenda for Prosperity”, new plans to improve on the Government’s media outreach to the International world, among many other issues.”
What gratified me the most was not only the meeting of these two media giants, which is a normal occurrence, but the topic of Media Outreach to the International World they discussed was the most significant event of the meeting this time around; most significant in the sense that it is vitally important to continually update the world media on the great and unprecedented achievements that President Koroma and his Government were able to realize in his first term of office which saw the firm institution of his popular “ Agenda for Change”.
To build on the glowing success of the “Agenda for Change, President Koroma’s new “Agenda for Prosperity” is now the most important focus of his second term. Undoubtedly, the President is determined to leave a legacy of prosperity, development, stability, and democratic governance that he would be gleefully remembered for by Sierra Leoneans the time he would have completed the five years of his second term in 2017.
Indeed, given the unprecedented international and local popularity and support Ernest Koroma is enjoying, he has all the opportunities to accomplish his Agenda for Prosperity without the least hurdles.
The fact that we live in an unprecedented world of media era, it is crucially important for the Sierra Leone media to ensure that the President’s achievements are highlighted and imparted to the international community as they unfold. And this will be only achieved, if media practitioners put patriotism ahead of politics.
On the other hand, members of the fourth estate in Sierra Leone should get themselves involved, in the interest of the country, in carving out strategies and effective mechanisms that would ensure that President Koroma’s “ Agenda for Prosperity” is given the media coverage that it deserves. I think close follow-up should be made to every single achievement and developmental stride done by the Government so that Sierra Leonean nationals and the international community would be fully and continually abreast of the latest about the President’s Agenda for Prosperity.
It is worthy to note the great contribution the Minister Plenipotentiary to the UN , Rev. Kabs-Kanu, who also doubles as the Coordinator of the Sierra Leone government media in North (Also the CEO of Cocorioko ) is making in media world. His journalistic and professional analysis in his most widely read COCORIOKO had a great deal of impact on his readers the world over. His artistic presentation of issues boosted a lot the just concluded presidential and parliamentary elections which unequivocally culminated in the resounding re-election of President Koroma. Our media practitioners should emulate the professional footsteps of Kabs-Kanu. He is one that is invariably committed to the promotion of our national cause. Thus, there is no wonder as to why COCORIOKO has become one of the most widely read online papers in the Diaspora.
Alhaji Jalloh, on the other hand, is one of the most efficient press attaches appointed by President Koroma to rebrand Sierra Leone to the international world. Stationed in Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Jalloh has helped to rebrand the country’s image in the hitherto unexplored world of the Arab states, which have enormous potentials of investment in Sierra Leone. Thanks to Alhaji Jalloh, the negative perceptions held in the Arab world about Sierra Leone has changed.
When you consider the fact that before the coming to power of President Koroma, Sierra Leone was most poorly covered by the international media and the country was only famous for her blood diamonds and the bloody civil war they spurred, the wisdom of having the nation rebranded to the outside world requires urgent attention. What President Koroma has achieved in Sierra Leone during his first term of governance must not go unnoticed in the world.
Having said all the above, I think it is high time that every well-meaning Sierra Leonean rally behind President Ernest Bai Koroma and diligently support his rebranding and development efforts so that the fruits and gains of his Agenda of Prosperity will be maximized through the involvement of massive investments from abroad. It is time to stop painting a negative image of our country to the international world in the national interest . And that should be the main concern of Sierra Leonean today and tomorrow.