The Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, yesterday at the Presidential Media Cocktail event, spoke with full pride, the accomplishments of President Bio to proffessionalize the Media Sector of the country.

The Presidential Media Cocktail is an event where the President, members of the Fourth Estate and other Stakeholders meet to collectively celebrate the gains made in the information Sector.

Speaking at the said event, Minister Swaray recalled the President’s passion for a professional media sector in Sierra, which he talked of a presentation meeting at State House, in the presence of the Hon Vice President and senior management staff of his Ministry.

He referred a quote the president talked about journalism being a weapon to a change in Sierra Leone. It stated: “I still believe that if our aim is to change Sierra Leone, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.”

Minister Swaray boasted of the fact that journalism has indeed been a critical tool in the transformative development undertakings of His Excellency’s administration, adding that Indeed, the media has been a partner in the implementation of the New Direction Agenda and the Medium-Term National Development Plan (2019-2023).

He stated that President Bio has championed press freedom and remained a powerful influence in the promotion of public access to government information.

Speaking on his accomplishments in the media sector since he took power, Minister Swaray acknowledged President Bio’s kind gesture to repeal the Criminal Libel Law, ending the draconian 55-year-old seditious section of the Public Order Act that criminalized free speech, which earned him the Golden Jubilee Press Freedom Award from SLAJ.

“You have requested that we provide pertinent information to the media for onward transmission to Sierra Leoneans. You believe this is not because we want to do our people a favour, but because it is their entitlement, because government is there to serve the people.

You signed the Global Pledge on Media Freedom on behalf of Sierra Leone, the 5th country in Africa to commit to the principles and values of the Media Freedom Coalition.

In April this year, the Ministry of Information actualized Your Excellency’s commitment made on 28 October 2020, following your assent to the Public Order (Amendment) Act 2020, to host a National Media Viability and Investment Conference.” Acknowledged Minister Swaray.

He continued with a good news that this government is not about to rest on its laurels, as the IMC Act 2020, including a reviewed Media Code that will attract investment opportunities and provide a social security scheme for media practitioners, is expected to be enacted soon.

He added that the electoral regulation is at an advanced stage to be tabled in Parliament.

He concluded on the accomplishment topic by speaking of the positive indicators which he said are on an upswing, giving an example of the 2022 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) which ranked Sierra Leone 46th out of 180 countries.