Search

 

Cablegate: Ambassador Perry Visits Sierra Leone's Northern

VZCZCXRO4503
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHFN #0274/01 1611252
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091252Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY FREETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1961
INFO RUEHRY/AMEMBASSY CONAKRY 0006
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 FREETOWN 000274

SIPDIS

AF/W FOR OKEDIJI
AID/W FOR NFREEMAN, AFR/SD FOR SMOTEN, USAID GUINEA FOR
CBROWN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL KDEM PGOV SL
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR PERRY VISITS SIERRA LEONE'S NORTHERN
PROVINCE

1. SUMMARY: Ambassador Perry, accompanied by USAID and PAS
staff, visited Port Loko and Bombali Districts in northern
Sierra Leone on May 29, 2008. Included in the Ambassador's
site visits were two Ambassador's Girls' Scholarship
Program (AGSP) schools and meetings with key regional,
local and political leaders. These included a meeting with
officials of the Makeni regional office of the Political
Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) and several local
election women candidates. The visit was a success on all
accounts. END SUMMARY

-----------------------
Port Loko and Bombali: Highlighting the Ambassador Girl's
Scholarship Fund (AGSP)
-----------------------

2. The AGSP was launched in Sierra Leone in the 2004-2005
academic year, supporting approximately 3,000 beneficiaries
throughout Sierra Leone. Since then the program has grown
to support over 4,000 girls and boys in 2007-2008. The AGSP
school visits were worthwhile and the contrasts, striking.
The Church of God of Prophecy Primary School in Magbontoso,
Port Loko District boasts three classroom buildings with a
grade per classroom. In contrast, the Bombali District
Education Committee School in Pate Bana Masimbo is one
structure that accommodates an office and three classrooms,
each housing two grades for a school that caters to pupils
in six grades. The USAID-funded and managed AGSP sponsors a
total of 82 pupils, 62 girls and 20 boys (this academic
year) in the two schools.

3. During her visit to the AGSP schools, Ambassador Perry
addressed the young students, their parents, the school
administration and community members. She emphasized the
important link between education and good leadership. In
each of the schools, the Ambassador made a special donation
to the head teachers of "The Autobiography of Frederick
Douglass" and "Little Women," providing the captivated
audience an overview of the themes of both books - ultimate
leadership and success resulting from individual commitment
to education and hard work. The Ambassador also donated a
box of books for the school libraries through the Embassy's
Public Affairs section. Ambassador Perry listened to first-
hand accounts about the critical value of the AGSP
scholarships, which allow girls (and now some boys) who
would otherwise be unable, to continue their education. She
witnessed testimonies from girls who emotionally spoke
about how this educational opportunity is irreversibly
changing their lives and casting a brighter future with
opportunities and hope. The Ambassador heard pleas from
those present for the continuation and expansion of the
program.

------------------------------------------
Makeni: Civil Society and Government Visit
------------------------------------------
4. The Ambassador's meeting in Makeni with Northern
Province Resident Minister Alie Kamara and other
stakeholders, including representatives of government,
civil society, health, and education, was an insightful
exchange of information and viewpoints. Sierra Leone
President Koroma's mother, Alice Koroma participated, as
did Minister of Works John Saad, key local officials and a
member of parliament. Minister Kamara expressed his
pleasure at the visit of Ambassador Perry and encouraged
her to return soon for longer deliberations. He also cited
the need for further development and support to the North.
He appreciated receiving the photo-journal book "America
24/7" from Ambassador Perry, who explained the book
reflected the wide diversity that makes America unique and
great. The Ambassador also distributed a photo journal on
historical Sierra Leonean Paramount Chiefs to each
attendee.

5. Ambassador Perry visited the Makeni Political Parties
Registration Commission (PPRC) Regional Office, which is
almost fully funded by USAID/Sierra Leone. While there, she
met with the District Parties Code of Conduct Monitoring
Committee and several female candidates running for the
upcoming July 5 local elections. The PPRC monitors
explained their important work to ensure that political
parties operate fairly, peacefully, and within the legal
parameters. A female candidate from Koinadugu gave an
impassioned speech about the difficulties and obstacles she
faces as a woman running for local office in Koinadugu.
Nevertheless, she defiantly exclaimed she would fight all
obstacles and win in July. Her colleagues enthusiastically

FREETOWN 00000274 002 OF 002


approved what she had said.

6. Ambassador Perry's presentations at the meetings with
the Resident Minister and other attendees, and the PPRC
emphasized democracy, good governance, equity, rule of law
and electoral procedures as well as conditions for economic
growth and stability. Her visit highlighted the impressive
work achieved by USG-funded election and human rights
activities. The USAID electoral program and the Democracy
and Human Rights Fund (DHRF) both have supported female
candidates for the local elections, particularly in the
northern province of Koinadugu District, the only district
in Sierra Leone without a female local government
representative for the past four years. The Ambassador
commended the PPRC on the conduct of the 2007 national
elections and encouraged the group to maintain their
fairness and effectiveness during these upcoming local
government elections. She stressed the importance of
including women in the electoral process through outreach
and education. Ambassador Perry observed that all the
candidates seem to be focused on ensuring another
groundbreaking election for Sierra Leone.

7. Attendees at the meeting observed a minute of silence to
honor PPRC Chair, former Supreme Court Justice Warne who,
had passed away the previous week in the U.S., where he was
seeking medical treatment. Justice Warne was a highly
respected and valued counterpart to the USAID team which
worked closely with him while supporting the PPRC during
the past year.

8. Ambassador Perry's visit emphasized her commitment to
promoting gender equity and educational opportunity in
Sierra Leone.

PRATT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: