President Bio's first meeting with the Commonwealth Heads of Government

Sierra Leone's new president, Julius Maada Bio, is in London for the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Every two years, 53 member countries meet to discuss and shape Commonwealth policies and priorities.

All members have an equal say – regardless of size or economic stature. This ensures even the smallest member countries have a voice in shaping the Commonwealth.

It was all smiles and handshakes on the eve of the opening of the summit.

The cocktail event, hosted by British Prime Minister Theresa May at the Sky Garden, was just the place for African leaders to meet and greet the newly-elected President Bio.

Bio had informal discussions with Rwanda's Paul Kagame, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, and Adama Barrow of The Gambia among others.

During the cocktail reception Sierra Leone's First lady, Mrs. Fatima Bio, also met other African first ladies at the Commonwealth Summit.

Mr. Bio was also accompanied by David Francis…

At last Julius Maada Bio's dream has come along

Sierra Leone's National Electoral Commission (NEC) Chairperson and National Returning Officer finally released the results Wednesday, April 4, of the Presidential election run-off held on 31st March.

"Both the polls and tallying processes were observed by political parties' agents, various national and international observation missions/groups, embassies and the media," the NEC statement said addressing days of speculation and uncertainty with reports of several recounts at precincts around the small West African country.

According to the NEC, the number of valid votes cast for each candidate is as follows:

• Kamara, Samura Matthew Wilson, All Peoples Congress (APC), received 1,227,171 votes (representing 48.19 percent of the valid votes cast)
• Bio, Julius Maada, Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), received 1,319,406 votes (representing 51.81 percent of the valid votes cast)

Julius Maada Bio having polled 1,319,406 of the valid votes cast in the 31st March 2018 Pres…

Is Sierra Leone's Election Over Yet?

Sierra Leone wasn't always known for going to court any given day, but a tense election has seen more lawyers suing the government than ever before. Now the writs have finally settled the run-off date for Saturday, March 31st, one observer thinks the National Election Commission (NEC) may have protested too much.

"This situation is not as complicated as the NEC is trying to let us believe," transportation analyst Victor Mengot said.  
How so?

"There are on average 300 voters per polling station," Mengo explained. "All they need is 4 personnel per Polling Station to complete the process."
By Mengot's calculation, it will take less than twenty minutes for Person A to sort out 300 votes.

Person B will then take no more than 30 minutes to count the votes,
Person C will take another 30 minutes to do verification,
Person D will take only 10 minutes to enter the result in the reconciliation and result form (RFF) to be signed by Polling Agents/Observers.

The people have spoken, but Sierra Leone goes to the polls again on March 27

Sierra Leone's chief electoral commissioner Mohamed N'fah-Alie Conteh has announced the final results of the presidential election. Conteh said the total number of valid votes is 2,537,122. 
Presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Sierra Leone on March 7.

"Since none of the candidates of the parties for the presidential election received 55 percent of the valid votes," Commissioner Conteh said, "there will be a second election (run-off) exclusively between the All People's Congress (APC) presidential candidate Dr. Samura M. Kamara and Sierra Leone People's Party candidate Julius Maada Bio conducted nationwide on Tuesday 27th March 2018."

Sixteen presidential candidates competed in the first round of the presidential election, including one woman Josephine Olufemi Claudius-Cole of the Unity Party. 

Julius Maada Bio, Sierra Leone People's Party, 1,097, 482, 43.3 percent
Samura M.W. Kamara, All People's Congress, 1,082,748, 42.7 pe…

Wednesday, March 7 | Election Day Sierra Leone 2018 in Freetown

It's Sierra Leone's Election 2018 day and voters have been lining up since 4 a.m local time, waiting for polling stations to open between 7 and 7:30 a.m.
People expect long lags in the overall process.

 "Confirmed results aren't expected for another week, although there are signs some results will be announced on Thursday," one observer said.

Sierra Eye, the media organization that hosted televised debates in partnership with democratic governance institutions, has been out and about in Freetown, the nation's capital city. Below are polling station reports and photos. Can you spot the politicians and celebrities? 

 The first five hours of the voting process in the Western Rural/Urban Area have been generally well organized and without major incident. Polling agents and voters alike have expressed general satisfaction with a process that, while not particularly fast, has been steady with a few exceptions.

The slowness of progress has caused voters in some const…

Election Countdown to March 7, 2018

While the election clock counts down to March 7, Sierra Leone's stadium in the nation's capital has become the battleground for quarter-final and semi-final matchups. 
By international standards, the stadium has a permanent and infield seating for about 30,000 people, but local experts say the venue built by the Chinese in the 1970's and refurbished within the last five years, can pack 75,000 people.

No way, say the skeptics. That number is closer to 50,000.

The cynics say 40,000 is a stretch and so the battle of the headcount goes on.

Sierra Leone's crowd counters don't have nine lens cameras with 360-degree views or static cameras that are solar powered 24/7.

But they swear their method of crowd counting, head by head by the head by head, is a more accurate prediction of the outcome than any computer-aided technology.

A Life Cut Short: Adama Sallie Kargbo aka Adama Kai of Aschobi Designs

Young, gifted and black Adama Kai (birth name Adama Sallie) Kargbo was a Sierra Leonean-American fashion designer determined to conquer the world.

Born in New Jersey on March 5, 1983, Adama moved to Sierra Leone aged four with her parents and later lived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Kargbo family returned to the United States when Adama was 10 years old.

After high school, she attended the Parsons School of Design in Paris before moving to New York.

In New York, Adama worked for Flaunt magazine and Magnet Management. She also spent her early career working on fashion campaigns for big brands like Versace and Prada, before striking out on her own. She moved back to Sierra Leone and launched Aschobi Designs.

Since its debut, Aschobi Designs has been featured in stories by Reuters, BBC and CNN, but it was during a recent Paris Fashion Week that Adama experienced her breakthrough fashion achievement by presenting her collection at the Hotel Bristol with influential retailers like Maria Lu…