Mrs. Tuma Adama Gento-Kamara has declared her intention to run for the Presidency of the Sierra Leone Bar Association.

If elected to lead this prestigious organisation, she will succeed the outgoing President, Michaela Eddina Swallow.

The Sierra Leone bar association primarily deals with issues affecting the legal profession and furthering the best interest of lawyers.

Mrs. Gento-Kamara brings a wealth of experience to the role, having worked in a variety of senior positions in government and the legal world; coupled with her relentless proven track record of promoting gender equality and advancing the rights of women and girls of all shades of life.

Excerpt of  her declaration speech Reads;

Esteemed Colleagues,

“Today, I stand before you with a heart brimming with hope and unyielding commitment as I declare my candidacy for the position of the President of the Sierra Leone Bar Association. I come before you with a profound sense of duty and a clear vision, committed to elevating standards, empowering legal practitioners and promoting welfare.

As I gaze upon this gathering of esteemed legal professionals, I am filled with admiration for the incredible talents and tireless dedication that abounds within each of you. We are more than just lawyers; we are guardians of justice, champions of truth, and pillars of hope for those who seek solace in the rule of law.

A French philosopher, Montaigne, famously said ‘knowing thyself is still the only worthy philosophical pursuit’. And therefore, in life and leadership, we often encounter three scenarios – the known knowns, known unknowns, unknown unknowns. The known knowns are things we know we know. The known unknowns relate to some things we know we do not know. And the unknown unknowns are the ones we do not know.

For the things we know – the known knowns, the name Tuma Adama Jabbi is certainly one. However, in the context of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, and the law in Sierra Leone, there is so much more known knowns about me. I am a legal practitioner, with the law in my vein, daughter of the renown constitutional lawyer Dr. Bu-Buakei Jabbi. As many of you would know, while, for years, I walked in the shadow of my father, he planted in me the seeds of hard work, perseverance, respect, teamwork, and boundless love for the law. Through his tutelage and many others, I have carved a pathway of a successful legal practice for almost 14 years, imparting knowledge and contributing to regulating both the legal profession and legal education in Sierra Leone.

As I look back, I am proud to have introduced, for the first time, Tax/Revenue Law module in 2014 at the Fourah Bay College which has imparted knowledge in hundreds of students thereby investing in the next generation of legal practitioners. As an elected serving member of the General Legal Counsel, I am humbled to carry the trust and confidence of you my colleagues to continue safeguarding the prestige of our beloved profession. And, I am privileged to represent the Bar Association at the Council of Legal Education where students are transitioned to the Bar.

However, while I may be tempted to exhaustively highlight my professional sojourn, my campaign is not about me. It is about every legal practitioner, every member of the Bar in Sierra Leone. When I speak about my affinity and attachment to the law and the SLBA, it is to demonstrate that I know and understand the needs of the Bar. I also deeply appreciate how the SLBA can best respond to those needs. I aspire and work diligently as a builder of things, raising things from one level to the next. I am ready to Raise the Bar to another level of high standards, empowering legal practitioners, and addressing welfare concerns. In all of these, transformational partnerships will be fundamental. I know this, and knowing what you know is a strength. I therefore submit my candidacy and vision with this strength of the known knows.
Esteemed Colleagues,

There cannot be any leadership without a vision, as George Washington Carver would put it, “where there is no vision, there is no hope”. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision”. A vision that can be articulated clearly and forcefully and not blow an uncertain trumpet.

My vision therefore is to Raise the Bar through Standards, Empowerment and Welfare. The vision I put before you is to take the Bar to where it has not been, but aspires to. With my vision, I put before you, commitments for your esteemed consideration to raise the bar.

There is a nexus between Standards, Empowerment and Welfare (#SEW) and through the concrete plans we will SEW all together for coherence and synergy. Before I get into the details of SEW agenda, let me address one myth – the myth that the Bar will be unable to pursue common justice, constitutionalism, and advance human rights alongside the fulfilment of its obligations towards its members. This cannot be farther from the truth. We can raise standards, empower lawyers, and address our welfare needs; as well as at the same time defend constitutionalism, advance human rights, and seek common justice. The duality of purpose can be true, and I commit to those dual endeavours, and to engage constructively to achieve our collective objectives.

My candidacy is informed by a specific vision to see a thriving legal profession, where ethical standards, welfare and the rule of law are promoted and maintained. Empowering lawyers through opportunities and strategic partnerships to contribute towards the advancement of law in Sierra Leone.
On standards, it is all too clear to see that our profession is growing. Growth in the number of legal practitioners cannot be denied, however, we have the responsibility to safeguard the integrity of our noble profession and cater for the future. I do not only think about ethics, but rather a holistic transformational thinking to raise the bar, elevate legal practice for it to retain its respect. To this I mean, respect for the practice of the law, respect for lawyers, ensuring we have a respectable living and practice ecosystem. My vision and our commitment to raise standards is not a one-way street, but a dual carriage where we create the enabling environment for legal practitioners to thrive and for discipline and ethics to be a routine and be valued. We have to start by catering for our pupils and young practitioners,”