The Parliament of Sierra Leone with support from the European Union (EU) Governance Sector in Sierra Leone on Wednesday 31st September 2022 engaged members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery and a cross-section of staff of Parliament in Committee Room One, Parliament Building.

The purpose of the engagement forum was to train participants to understand the Communication Strategy of Parliament, Parliament Strategic Plan 2021-2025, and other related media ethics on Parliamentary Reporting.

Declaring the purpose of the two-day engagement forum, Mr. Edward Massaquio who doubles as Principal at the Department of programs Research and Partnership, Parliament of Sierra Leone said the engagement is to educate the media on the roles and functions of Parliament, relative to understanding the Communication Strategy and the Parliament Strategic Plan 2021-2025.

The Chairman of the program, Sheku Lamin Turay who also doubles as the Director of the Parliamentary and Public Relations Department, outlined the role of the media in promoting governance issues in the country and underscored the functions of Parliament, relative to lawmaking, oversight, and representation.
He said the media are partners in the development and also highlighted the role and functions of the Parliament in the capacity building of the press gallery.

In his Statement, the Interim President of the Press Gallery, Rev. Vincent Jabbie Momoh said the Press Gallery reporting is a specialized field of activities. He said within the course of the Fifth Parliament, the press gallery had received training from UNDP and the Parliament of Sierra Leone through capacity-building training. He expressed appreciation for the work and collaboration between the gallery and Parliament; relative to training with support from international partners. He used the opportunity to outline press gallery strategic plans in light of development.

He commended Parliament and the EU for supporting the Press Gallery to understand the activities of Parliament and other related matters. The Interim President used the opportunity to encourage members of the press to take the media engagement forum very seriously.

In her statement, Madam Finda Fraser, Director General of the Parliament of Sierra Leone said for Parliament to be opened and accessible, the media need to play a pivotal role and underscored the role and functions of the Parliament of Sierra Leone.
She reflected on the past Parliament Open Day in making Parliament effective and accessible and open to the general public. She highlighted the working relationship between Parliament and the press gallery towards the promotion of good governance and democracy.

She recognized the important role of the Press Gallery in reporting Parliamentary activities and commended them for their good job in educating the general public on the happenings of Parliament.

In her statement, Team Leader Governance and Civil Society EU Delegation, Serana Bertaina, while speaking on behalf of the EU Ambassador to Sierra Leone welcomed participants and commended the Leadership of Parliament for establishing a sound communication Strategy and Parliament Strategic Plan 2021 -2025. She said the training of the press is timely and promised to collaboratively engage and support Parliament and the media. She said the engagement indicated that Parliament is seeking to be transparent and accountable to the People of Sierra Leone. She advised the media to be accountable, neutral, and impartial in their reporting and wishes them well in the training process.

Mr. Adams Fusheini Key Expert European Union Governance Programm to the Parliament of Sierra Leone outlined what would be expected of the two-day working program relative to; understanding the Parliament Strategic Plan 2021-2025, the Communication Strategy of Parliament in the areas of (legislative functions, representation, and oversight functions), Maintaining the balance in Parliamentary Communication, vis-a-vis Journalism and Public Relations in Parliament and ethics in Parliamentary Reporting.