Titus Boye-Thompson, Communications Consultant
The All Peoples Congress does not like to talk about change when what many mean by change is either unworkable or are fixtures of their imaginations, calling up programs out of the air without any realistic means of supporting their assertions. When the APC engages on a particular concept, it makes sure that it can achieve the objectives of that particular issue and that the main objective is that the benefit of the people is the supreme goal. So when we say that the APC does not like to talk about change, it means that for the moment, the APC sees no reason to change what is already a pragmatic trajectory for this country’s development.
In the past thirty years, Sierra Leone has had to come through 11 years of civil war and yet it was only the last ten that economic development has resulted in good roads, electricity to homes and industry, widened options for education, free health care for pregnant women and lactating mothers and children under five years old, better health facilities and more accessible health clinics and peripheral health units, better pay and conditions for civil servants and even better terms of operations for Police and other forces’ personnel, access to justice and a visibly enhanced democracy with greater press freedoms and the protection of human rights and civil liberties. With these attributes, the demonstration of change in stability is even more focused than in the previous ten years and more when Sierra Leone was one of the most backward countries in the World, persistently scoring at the tail end of the Human Development Indices and its capital city, Freetown, renamed the darkest city in the World.
While the APC would count off the roads, bridges and electricity generating plants built across the country, the SLPP with two successive Prime Ministers and a leader who hailed from the United Nations with the vainglory of a networked international system behind him, Bangbatoke, a prime city in the South with mineral deposits of Bauxite and Rutile close by, cannot boast of a single tarred road, and Kailahun, the epicentre of cocoa and coffee, the main cash crops of this country is still inaccessible by petrol bowsers and articulated trucks.
In the face of such aversion to the concept of change many will ask about the intended prospect for a better Sierra Leone. In response to any such enquiry, Dr Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara has offered the simple answer of “upscaling.” In his words, “ having been involved at a strategic level from the inception of the development programmes of this government, I cannot at any time contemplate changing direction but “to upscale” on the main pillars of growth so that the Agendas we have started can be sustainably achieved.” These are the words of a man in full grasp of the macroeconomic indices that need to form the benchmarks for development of this country. Incidentally, Dr Samura Kamara’s career path has led him from a discursive treatment of monetary policy in West Africa to the strategic role as Foreign Minister and head of the diplomatic missions of this country. His experience and knowledge of our situation has touched every political dispensation in the past thirty years. His appointment to serve as Bank Governor in this APC Government was his first direct employment in Sierra Leone, his other positions having been sponsored by in sequence by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the World Bank and the IMF.
Overall, change is not an alien concept to Dr Samura Kamara but the present situation rightly calls for consolidation of the gains, a review of priorities and the implementation of programmes that would raise the standard of living for the most vulnerable in our country. Dr Samura Kamara is the only one amongst those now clamouring for change who has been involved in changing the development prospect for Sierra Leone as architect of the Agenda for Change, the answer to the failed SLPP’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper II. The focus for now is to upscale our development outputs through better management of social systems and integrative frameworks that secures out plurality and tolerance. Build on the aspects of community life that makes us a better nation so that we take charge of how we conduct ourselves in this place we call Sierra Leone and inevitably make Sierra Leone our responsibility, together!