Sierra Leone president, Mr Ernest Koroma and Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair have emerged nominees for excellence awards according to a report emerging in London.
African Children and Youth Centre (ACYC) – a London based non-governmental Charity organisation have put forward the name of both men as recipients of two prestigious awards at the award ceremony which has been scheduled to take place at the Royal National Hotel, Russell Square, Central London on May 2 this year.
The nomination has attested to President Koroma’s recent effort at taking Sierra Leone to the high level of development and international recognition in the aftermath of a long war the effect of which has devastated the country for long.
President Koroma has been nominated for Life time Achievement Award in recognition of his ceaseless efforts at elevating the standard of life of all citizens of sierra Leone.
Reports of President Koroma’s positive move at improving the standard of the Sierra leone’s health sector splashedt in the newspapers late last year when a major health scheme was launched in London, United kingdom.
It was the largest concentration of many world stake holders last year when in mid-November a radical £20 health scheme was launched after the President appealed to the international community to help fund a major health programme for children and pregnant women in Sierra Leone.
A key note address by President Koroma had hoped the scheme would bring public health which had been at a low ebb out of its state of emergency.
Among those who lauded the efforts of the President were Beverly Collins,a health policy adviser at the International Medical Aid Organisation Medecins San Frontieres (MSF) who hailed the President’s ‘extreme iMportant development’.
“It id hugely encouraging and quite brave that the President has taken this step because the country is just pulling herself out of quite horrific circumstances”
Also there had been reports of improved power supply in many major cities of Sierra Leone contrary to the old situation which desperate appeal had been made to international communities for assistance in various ways to bring the nation back to balance. Some volunteers if about 130 personal left Nigeria last year to help in many capacities as the Nigerian government lend their hands in community help
“It is not our decision to pick a candidate for awards because we are not political., it is the decision of the award committee which comprise of Sierra Leoneans, Tanzanians, Nigerians Britons and many other representatives across the world”, claimed Mrs Aminata Conteh, ACYC Proprietor while responding to questions from EMNnews.com.
“We have seen great improvement in power supply in a country once classed as the darkest city on earth, now transforming into a city of light; we have seen the infrastructural development in the country; we have also seen the government’s commitment in the fight against corruption and above all we are impressed with the President’s sincerity and commitment in trying to transform the lives of his people,” Aminata said
“Within a period of two years since taking over government in Sierra Leone, President Koroma has made considerable progress in his country,” said another executive member of African Children and youth Centre.
The award ceremony has been scheduled to take place at the Royal National Hotel, Russell Square, Central London on 2 May 2010.
“The nomination and award of President Koroma was overwhelming both by Sierra Leoneans and our panel of judges”, the organisers confirmed.
Sudan Sasay, Sierra Leone Embassy Information Attache confirming the news said the award attests to the fact that the nation has been moving forward in recent times. He said the International community is realistically awaken to the realities for the need for a major change to the life of Sierra Leoneans in the aftermath of the war.
ACYC Chairperson Aminata Sesay described President Koroma’s award as ‘most appropriate’ decision by her organisation because what he has done in Sierra Leone within two years, no other leader has ever done that within that period of time.
Fyna Dowe, a British Consultant with the organisation said the awards are not politically influenced but based on merit.
There are other prominent personalities earmarked for the Excellence award on that same day – among them is the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who will be awarded as Friend Of Sierra Leone.
ACYC believes Blair has played and continues to play significant roles towards rebuilding Sierra Leone.
He was a major supporting figure last year when the health scheme was launched.
Awards will also be given to Sports Personality Of The Year Businessman Of The Year, Journalists as well as recognition awards in other categories like education, health and development.
Last year, Sierra Leone’s First Lady Sia Koroma was awarded as Mother of Sierra Leone for championing the cause and plight of children.
Other receipients include Mohamed Kallon, Jimmy Bangura, Manchester City’s Craig Bellamy, to mention but a few.
Sia Koroma had spent the last two years working on the cause of Sierra Leonean children both locally and internationally attracting financial and material support on their behalf.
The London Excellence award programme is geared towards recognising prominent Sierra Leoneans, sympathisers and friends of Sierra Leone whose works have had positive impact towards the development of Sierra Leone.