One of the oldest broadcasting houses in the sub-region of West Africa, the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) has received a brand new studio and two other studios which were refurbished for the management of the SLBC by the BBC Media Action through a project titled, “Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development” (PRIMED).
Speaking at the handing ceremony which was held at the forecourt of the SLBC compound at Jomo Kenyatta Road, New England in Freetown, the Country Director of BBC Media Action, Dr. Mahmoud Tarawallie said they partnered with SLBC in April 2022, under a project called PRIMED which seeks to build the professional capacity of the broadcaster, strengthen its administrative practices and calibrate transmission through the refurbishment of studios and provision of equipment.
The ceremony was graced by various distinguished personalities from the media, SLBC Board members, and staff of the corporation.
Mr. Tarawallie spoke highly about the leadership of the SLBC, especially the two heads of the broadcasting studio in the persons of the Director General and the Deputy DG.
He stressed the need to invest in the media in Sierra Leone, adding that the Government of Sierra Leone has competing interests for the merged resources and cannot adequately invest in the media.
The DG of SLBC, Joseph E. Kapuwa Esq recounted the daunting nature of the production amid limited equipment and inadequate infrastructure. He however said he is confident that with the refurbished studios a lot of issues will be addressed and minimized. He described the event as remarkable, memorable, and historic.
He said the event continues to satisfy their ambition of lifting the corporation to a height enviable to all, including the people of Sierra Leone and the staff of SLBC.
The Chairperson Board of Trustees SLBC, Madam Gina Banda- Thomas expressed her satisfaction over the gesture, noting that the goodwill gesture by BBC Media Action can now enable staff to work in a more relatively conducive environment.
In his statement, the Deputy Minister of Information, Solomon Jamiru Esq lauded the financiers of the project. He said the government is not only concerned about media freedom but freedom about mediality.
Mr. Jamiru considered that media investment in Sierra Leone is poised to face serious challenges in the functionalities of the sector if only they do not get the necessary support.
He said government appreciates the importance of the media in terms of stimulating our democratization process, but also for promoting peace and national cohesion.
This government is not only concerned about protecting media freedom but ensuring that the media landscape is pluralistic and the media is safe.