The view of the People
The Paramount Chieftaincy system was introduced
during the colonial era in Sierra Leone, giving
rise to an alternative governance structure to that
of the ‘kings and queens system’, which was in
place prior to colonialism. Before the system of
Paramount Chieftaincy was introduced leadership
was acquired through wisdom, conquest and
the finding of new settlements. As such, those
community leaders were not voted for but were
respected and honoured as kings and queens,
given the right to lead through a social contract
(L-R) Sheku James, Sallieu Kamara and Augustine Kaichakwa Mattia taking
Coordinates at Boli-Bana, Warreh Yama community in Makarie Gbanti Chiefdom, Bombali District
Three staff of the Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD) have completed training in Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) in the northern headquarter of Makeni. The three staff are: Sheku James, Sallieu Kamara and Augustine Mattia.
The three-phase training, which started in January 2013, successfully ended in June 2013 with the awards of Diploma certificates.
The training was organized and facilitated by the Coalition Factory in the Netherlands with funding from Cordaid Netherlands.
The training was part of capacity building events for civil society organizations working around food security, corporate land acquisition and land conservation in Sierra Leone. These organizations, which include the Network Movement for Justice and Development, Green Scenery and Sierra Leone Network on Right to Food, have come together to form a consortium aimed at building synergy for more effective engagement. Other members of the consortium also participated in the training.
The training covered varied topics such as Basic GIS Operating Skills, Advanced GIS Operating Skills such as digitizing and geo-referencing, GPS Operating Skills, Geo Information Management and Desk Study Skills. The training was intensive and involved both theory and field work.
(L-R) Augustine K. Mattia, Sheku James and Rik Lukay (Trainer)
“The training is good for us, particularly so when our organizations are engaged in advocacy. It will help us to do our advocacy based on real facts, rather than anecdotes,” Augustine Mattia said.
Mr Sheku James, who headed NMJD’s team in the training was buoyantly happy that the training has provided him with new knowledge, skills and expertise that will make him carry out his work with more confidence and resilient.
“We were nervous in the beginning because everything was completely new to us and appeared to be difficult. But we were able to cope because of our enthusiasm to acquire new knowledge and the ability of the trainers to make difficult and complex things simple.
“We are grateful to them and to our organizations for providing us the opportunity to participate in the training. We are also thankful to Cordaid Netherlands for providing the funding.
“We look forward to applying what we have learned in our work,” Mr James said.
The Chiefdom Governance Reform Campaign Team consisting of Partners Initiative for Conflict Transformation (PICOT) , Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), Search for Common Ground (SFCG), Christian Aid and IBIS has been working on the reform of Chiefdom governance with a view to ensure that it is participatory and accountable.
The Executive Director
Mr. Abu Brima