The Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (EC-SL) yesterday, 22nd September 2022 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Africa Young Voices (AYV) Media Empire, securing the latter’s professional services in giving coverages to the 2023 electoral process.
The signing of the MoU was done by the Chief Electoral Commissioner and Chairman of the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone, Mohamed Kenewui Konneh, and the General Manager of AYV, Madam Tucker in the conference room of the EC-SL.
Chief Electoral Commissioner and Chairman of the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone, Mohamed Kenewui Konneh said:
“The Partnership is in respect of the belief that all Sierra Leoneans should be part of the country’s electoral process. AYV is just like any other partner working with EC-SL on its mandates”.
AYV is one of the institutions of a good example of the fact that Sierra Leoneans can initiate good projects and those projects become locally and internationally recognised projects”.
Chairman Konneh recounted his good experience with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AYV, Ambassador Anthony Navo Jr., which he said spans as far back as 2011.
He said for AYV to have reached such a successful level with a partnership with the BBC, DSTv, and countrywide, EC-SL is confident that the Partnership is a very good platform for the Commission to reach out not only to its Sierra Leonean audience but also audience across the world in marketing its electoral activities and also get people to involve in the process.
He said the initiative can be beneficial and will add value to EC-SL’s processes, adding that the amount EC-SL is paying to the AYV in respect of the Partnership is a pittance for the services the EC-SL stands to gain.
“With the Partnership, whenever we have an event at EC-SL, our audience will not only be Sierra Leoneans at home but globally. The Commission will always be open to AYV on all elections-related issues and we look forward to more interactions and programs that will continue to let the Commission reach its audience targeted”. Chairman Konneh stated.
Director of Communications at AYV, Samuel Wise Bangura said the Partnership is by no mistake as the AYV also partnered with the National Electoral Commission back then in 2018.
He said AYV professionally handled the 2018 presidential debate alongside other partners and also gave credible, factual, and balanced reportage on the entire electoral process.
Mr. Bangura recalled that in 2018, local and international elections observers recognised the AYV as the most credible media institution that gave equal opportunities to every political party in this country.
He assured that now, AYV can only do better with its ultra-modern equipment to give the EC-SL and the people of Sierra Leone seamless broadcast with guiding professional ethics and principles.
He reemphasised that the Partnership will see the AYV partnering with EC-SL and not to bed with the Commission in the sense that the AYV will not be serving as EC-SL’s mouthpiece but has the mandate to complement all EC-SL’s efforts geared towards credibility, fairness, and impartiality.
“We will help to create transparency which we always stand for at AYV. We are the only media house in Sierra Leone with 3 television channels, a radio frequency, and a daily newspaper with nationwide coverage and online services. We pride ourselves as the nation’s most trusted news sources, simply because we have guided and guarded ourselves in ways that put us as a home of all things credible, factual, and all-time balanced news.” Mr. Wise stated.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AYV, Ambassador Anthony Navo Jr., through an online message at the event, said:
“AYV is always ready to ensure that the right thing is done. And the right thing is, ‘putting Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans first’. The Partnership is in no way going to stifle the professional stands of AYV but will unfold what AYV has always stood for and done”.
Also in attendance at the signing ceremony were NEC’s Commissioners for South and East and other senior staff of the EC-SL. AYV’s General Manager, Office of the CEO, Directorates of the News and Current Affairs Department, and Communications, Marketing, and Digital among other senior management staff of AYV.