Mansa Ngegba lectures press freedom in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom/Northern Ireland has said his country’s President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is one of the most tolerant leaders in Africa in terms of press freedom.
“Journalists in Sierra Leone have relative freedom and can write anything as long as it is professional. I am extending an invitation to you now to go to Sierra Leone and prove it yourself,” Tamba Mansa Ngegba said at the Fourth Press Freedom Forum organised by the Exiled Journalists Network.
Ngegba said journalists in Sierra Leone are operating freely without government’s interference adding that unlike previous regimes, the government of President Koroma has maintained a clean sheet in terms of arresting and detention of journalists in Sierra Leone since they came into power.
The Deputy High Commissioner disclosed that there are about 50 newspapers in Sierra Leone and that the government has established the Independent Media Commission to regulate their operations.
“Our government acknowledges the important role played by the media in sustaining democracy and development in Sierra Leone; we are therefore doing everything possible to ensure that we maintain that good relationship,” the Diplomat said.
Ngegba also told the gathering of mostly highly experienced media practitioners and university students that Sierra Leone has arguably the toughest anti-corruption act in Africa.
Dr. Abel Ugba Chairman of the Exiled Journalists Network gave a brief background of his organisation which he said was formed in 2005 by a group of exiled journalists based in the United Kingdom.
He said press freedom is one of the many things and do – and that each year they focus on specific countries on press freedom in their respective countries.
Panellists at the ceremony include Francesca Silvani of Article 19, Mike Jempson of Media Wise Trust and Founding Patron on EJN, Amani Soleman, an Egyptian Expert and Journalist and Sierra Leonean-born Dr. Ibrahim Searga Shaw.
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