By Sorie Fofana.
I was appointed as Chairman, Board of Directors, Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB) by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio on 29th August, 2018. A letter spelling out the Terms and Conditions of my appointment was received on 13th September, 2018. I formally took up office on 17th September, 2018.
Since I took up office, I have held meetings with the Managing Director, Ishmael Kabbay and his Management team. I have to say that I am very impressed with the professionalism of the Management and Staff of SALCAB.
Visit To CLS
I have been on a conducted tour of the CLS (Cable Landing Station) at Aberdeen on at least two occasions.
The Chief Technical Officer, Mr. Dennis Vandy who supervises operations at the CLS is very professional. He is on top of his brief.
Mr. David Kpakima and Mr. Yusuf Ibrahim are also very competent and professional in their dealings.
The Managing Director, Ishmael Kabbay is an extreme workaholic and he is very much on top of his brief.
I have been with the SALCAB Management team for only one week. It has been quite an experience working with a new and dynamic team of young people.
I have called on the Management and Staff at SALCAB to work as a team. I have come to the logical conclusion that team work provides positive results in any institution.
Learning To Chair
I have intense enthusiasm for my new role as Board Chairman. Many of my younger friends have come to admire me for my self-deprecating disposition and modesty.
For the past one week that I have been in office as Board Chairman of SALCAB, I have exhibited self-control and modesty. For me, it is time to learn new things. I have great passion for telecoms. And I have renewed zeal to learn new tools used in the telecoms industry.
I have met with several people who had held similar position before. Some of them are very much familiar with Boardroom politics. They have been very helpful and cooperative.
I find Patrick Dume’s book, “Running Board Meetings… how to get the most from them” quite informative and very relevant. It is a practical guide to the key steps to running a successful Board.
During my first visit to the Cable Landing Station, I got confused with jaw-breaking jargons like BGP (Border Gateway Protocol), DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing), IP (Internet Protocol), NFB (National Fibre Backbone), MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) and WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access). My new teacher is Mr. David Vandy. I have begged him to break down some of these words for me so that I can understand them better. He has been very helpful!
In order to provide access to fast speed and reliable internet services, the Management of SALCAB and I, will this morning embark on a week-long assessment and survey of WiMAX across the country. At the end of the trip, we should be able to identify ways and means to improve the network and its operation and maintenance.
Currently, there is 34KM of damaged cable across the country. We need to restore these cables to expand our coverage around the country.
The current internet penetration stands at 13% of the overall country’s population. This is totally unacceptable! We shall be working closely with NATCOM, to ensure that MNOS (Mobile Network Operators) expand their coverage areas in order to make their services accessible to our people.
I intend to ensure that SALCAB (which is a 100% Government owned company) becomes accountable to the People of Sierra Leone. We shall be engaging the mass media to enable us articulate our activities for the information of the People of Sierra Leone.
In this age of internet revolution, one cannot afford to operate in secrecy. SALCAB is owned by the Government and People of Sierra Leone. Therefore, they have the right to know what we are doing and what we intend to do.
As long as I continue to be the Chairman of SALCAB Board, we will continue to be transparent and accountable to the Government and People of Sierra Leone. Rest assured!