Ministers and Deputy Ministers, who were recently appointed by President Julius Maada Bio to help shore-up his government, following his snap reshuffle of the cabinet, took their oath of office in his presence at State House in Freetown.
The ministers include Brig. Rtd. Kellie Hassan Conteh as Minister of Defence; Dr. David Moinina Sengeh as Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education; Denis Kpawoh Vandi as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry; Philip Karimu Lansana as Minister of Water Resources; Prof. Foday Moriba Jaward as Minister of the Environment; and Ms. Manty Beatrice Tarawalli as Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs.
The following two deputy ministers were also present: Col. Rtd. Muana Brima Massaquoi as Deputy Minister of Defense; and Stephen Syril James Jusu as Deputy Minister of the Environment.
Speaking on behalf of her fellow appointees, the new Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs, Ms. Manty Beatrice Tarawalli, said she is particularly delighted and honored “to be appointed as the first female Cabinet Minister from Koinadugu and Falaba districts and also the first from the Kuranko ethnic group”.
“With boundless gratitude for the confidence placed in us by the President and with an unwavering desire to honour that trust, we have humbly accepted our appointments. We are each aware of the scale and gravity of challenges in our institutions but let me assure you, Your Excellency, that with dedication, leadership and our experiences, we will endeavour to find sustainable solutions that will improve on overall performance and achievements. I assure you of excellence, result, loyalty and professionalism,” she said.
President Bio congratulated the ministers and deputies, and reminded them of the enormity of the task ahead, saying that they have been meticulously chosen to take up the new duties, and that he expects them to give their best in helping the development of the country.
“I have the thought that you are fit to hold these positions and I expect nothing less. I even expect more because the task ahead is enormous. I want to assure you of my full support in the discharge of your duties. Congratulations and I wish you all the best,’’ the president said.
During the ceremony, newly appointed Commissioner of the Public Service Commission, Ahmed Abu Kemokai; and Commissioners of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) – Alhaji Muctar Babatunde Williams, and Christian Sawyer, also subscribed to their oath of office in accordance with Section 151 (8) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone and Section 2(7) of the PPRC Act 2002 respectively.