It can be recalled that in May 2020, President Bio dissatisfied with its performance ordered an Administrative Inquiry into the activities of the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration.
In related development, the Anti-Corruption Commission in June this year filed corruption indictment against Paul Sobba Massaquoi, the SLMA Executive Director who replaced Ken Sondai in 2020.
Until President Bio appoints a new Executive Director, the interim leadership, Deputy Director Sama Ansu Gamanga is turning a new page with the realization that Sierra Leone does not have presence in the high seas to track vessels and prevent poachers from clandestine entry into our waters to steal marine resources.
On Wednesday July 14, 2021, SLMA signed a partnership agreement with the Danish company ‘Sternula’ to protect and strengthen the country’s maritime sector.
Sternula’s CEO Lars Moltsen said the agreement will empower Sierra Leone to use the satellite based VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) to effectively monitor its waters for safety and other maritime purposes.
After signing the Letter of Intent, Sama Gamanga noted that this will enable the country monitor communications, track vesels and maintain security in its territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones from threats of poachers.
SLMA is Sierra Leone’s national regulatory body supervised by the Ministry of Transport and Aviation with a primary role in maritime safety & security, protection of the marine environment and maritime search and rescue and is largely self-funded through levies on the commercial shipping industry.
Established by an Act of Parliament in 2000 and by the Merchant Shipping Act of 2003 as an autonomous body responsible for the registration of ships and other vessels, and also to regulates and develops improved standards of performance and practice in the shipping industry in Sierra Leone, including the coastal and inland water transport system and the marine environment.
Its mission is to regulate and develop improved standards of performance, practice and safety in the shipping industry in Sierra Leone, including the inland waterways transportation and protection of the marine environment based on Integrity, Professionalism, Transparency and Accountability.