Independence Day April 27th 2017 was an unforgettable day for the people of Fuunkunya in Tambakha Chiefdom, Bombali district.
Thousands of people of Tambakha Chiefdom were in a joyful mood as the chiefdom joined the nation’s telecommunications network. Narrating how they used to communicate with the rest of the country and the world before AFRICELL intervened, the people of Fuunkunya said they used to trek three miles to climb a mountain in order to make or receive a call. Babsy witnesses the scene and now reports.
At a well attended ceremony formally launching the AFRICELL network in the chiefdom, the largest in Bombali district, the chairman of the program, Ambassador Osman Foday Yansaneh, Secretary General of the ruling All Peoples Congress party thanked President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for helping the chiefdom get the network. He thanked AFRICELL for going the extra mile to install their technology in this remote chiefdom which is a route to Guinea, Mali and Ivory Coast.
Paramount Chief Kandeh Sorie like his people was in a very excited mood as they celebrated the day. He said a lot of development has taken place in the chiefdom since the APC came to power in 2007. He praised President Koroma and APC for all their good work in the chiefdom.
Youth Leader Lansana Sesay aka LS thanked AFRICELL and the APC government for the development, noting that the day was the first that Tambakha had been smoothly connected to the rest of the country and the world.
He said the only way that the people of Tambakha can reward the APC for this great development in their chiefdom is to vote for them in the March 7th 2018 national elections.
He urges his colleagues to vote for APC because of the development.
Also, Chairlady Ya Alimamy Bintu Kamara after welcoming the guests said that the APC government has worked tremendously in the chiefdom. She appealed for the government to provide women in the chiefdom with micro credit to help push them forward.
Paramount Chief Kasanga II from Bombali district disclosed that all paramount chiefs have benefitted from the APC government and the mobile companies.
AFRICELL Managing Director, Shadi Gerjawi said he had two major things to say. Firstly, he said for AFRICELL to make its presence in Tambakha Chiefdom, government needed to create the enabling environment which it did through Momoh Konte and NATCOM.
He added that since Momoh Konte took over NATCOM, the nation’s telecommunications industry has experienced a lot of development and changes.
He stated that NATCOM and UDAF gave them a deadline of April 27 to deliver the network to Tambakha which with the cooperation of President Koroma and NATCOM they did.
The AFRICELL MD spoke next of the power of communicEation in enhancing connection between people and development as it gives the opportunity to make video calls, send AFRICELL money and help in security.
The people exploded into a deafening applause when the AFRICELL MD announced that the people will enjoy one month of free AFRICELL to AFRICELL calls.
He furthered that right now AFRICELL is working to improve its network. He thanked and appealed to everyone to use the AFRICELL network.
The Resident Minister-North said he was very glad for the huge turnout. He applauded AFRICELL for doing a tremendous job and urged the people to patronize AFRICELL.
Giving the keynote address, the indefatigable dynamic Chairman of NATCOM, Momoh Konte, said he was overwhelmed by the huge turnout adding that he had delivered on what he promised the people. He confided that before Tambakha got connected, the government used a lot of resources to ensure their connectivity.
He heaped praises on President Koroma for giving him the support to run NATCOM. The Tambakha job he said was the first Universal Access project in the country.
Momoh Konte spoke about 7, 800 fake calls that NATCOM was aware of, 612 fake SIM cards and SIM card fraud. He said when the contract with SUBA becomes operational; these fraudulent activities will be terminated. He also informed the audience that very soon, mobile companies will delete duplicated mobile telephone numbers.
Momoh Konte went further to state that the duty of NATCOM is to protect consumers and to regulate telecommunications companies in order for them to do the right things.
He said as Chairman of NATCOM, he will do all in his power to make communications accessible nationwide.
The ceremony was crowned with cultural performances.