It was no coincidence that the hand of destiny in September 2007 elevated His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to the exalted position of President of the Republic of Sierra Leone; a post-conflict country that is rising again to meet its destiny of greatness. (HE President Ernest Bai Koroma)
In November 17, 2012, Sierra Leoneans gave him another opportunity to serve them for the second time after restoring the people’s faith in the ability of his administration to deliver on its promises in his first term of office.
In his first term, President Koroma under his ‘Agenda for Change’ restored the confidence of Sierra Leoneans in the ability of his All People’s Congress (APC) Government to build roads, attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investments, increase employment opportunities, provide free healthcare for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Those tremendous achievements whetted the appetite of the people for more development. In his second term, therefore, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has made a solemn promise to work harder to meet these expectations for more development in the nook and cranny of Sierra Leone. So from the ‘Agenda for Change’ to the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’, the President will keep moving and doing more; and will continue doing more and more.
Barely one month to the November 17, 2012 multi-tier elections in Sierra Leone, President Koroma officially presented his party manifesto to the Sierra Leonean electorate titled: ‘Transformation for National Development’ otherwise known as the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’.
Making his solemn pledge to the nation in his inauguration ceremony on his second term in office on February 22, 2013, at the National Stadium in Freetown, the President had this to say:
“But let it be known that for development to happen, it requires the collective efforts of government and the people; all of us must therefore do more. The farmers must do more, the doctors and nurses must do more, the youths must do more, and the teachers must do more, traders must do more and everybody must do more.”
The President also believes that for the Agenda for Prosperity to succeed, we must do more in impacting the laws, we must do more in increasing on productivity, we must do more to help our communities and grow our economy. This is what the Agenda for Prosperity is all about; all of us doing more to bring home the fruits of the achievements made during the Agenda for Change. Now is the time to do more; now is the time to move to the Agenda for Prosperity.
Every well-meaning Sierra Leonean can testify that prior to President Koroma’s assumption to power in 2007, our country as a post-conflict nation had numerous challenges ranging from economic hardship exacerbated by the global financial crunch, poor economic governance and public financial management, tackling of corruption and graft since the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) was a toothless bulldog that lacked prosecutorial power, until 2008 when the 2002 Anti-Corruption Act was amended to give it such power, to bringing the political gap between the Northwest and Southeast of the country.
With much political will, President Koroma successfully turned things around in three years under his ‘Agenda for Change’, which won him much admiration among majority of Sierra Leoneans.
While we face the future with optimism and quest for taking Sierra Leone to another level under the ‘Agenda for Prosperity; President Koroma has called on all of us as citizens to “put our shoulders to the wheel and work diligently to achieve our national objectives”.
By and large, education is relevant to our quest for prosperity and that is why the President Koroma led government is doing more for education so that the country will provide a productive workforce with the required skills to transform our great national resources into wealth. The country therefore needs more engineers, geologists, mines specialists and other expertise to creating wealth for our country and communities.
The youths to whom President Koroma has dedicated his second term, are the mainstay of the country’s hopes and the pillars of the President. While the President has pledged to empower them to be productive and creative, he believes that “with the youths, I will do more; with the youths, we will all do more.”
But to attain such fact, the President has made it very clear that one can only do it through a “disciplined approach through respect for the laws and fidelity to our heritage of learning and freedom.”
For the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ to succeed, frontline workers of the state such as the police, teachers, nurses and traditional chiefs should rededicate themselves to the sacred ethics of service by providing the first contract between citizens and the state, which must be made civil, ethical, and reflective of the founding motto of our nation; “Unity, Freedom and Justice”.
This is predicated on the grounds that for far too long, Sierra Leoneans have allowed indiscipline and lawlessness to gain ascendancy in all facets of our society. But this time around, President Koroma wants Sierra Leoneans not to allow the ‘corrupt and unjust’ to hold this nation to ransom.
According to President Koroma; “Let truth and honesty inform the choices one make so that our actions will promote traditional standards of decency and uprightness that can only spread positive ripples throughout society.”
The President also wants citizens to be very sensitive to the issues affecting our country instead of laying them squarely at the doorsteps of government because what affects Sierra Leone should be of concern to all Sierra Leoneans. He’s very cognizant of the fact that, for a better tomorrow, we must be united, we must display a spirit of enterprise, and we must work together in an immersed manner to satisfy our just expectations.
The objectives of President Koroma, as contained in his ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ is to bring all Sierra Leoneans onboard the development train so that they will re-double their efforts to improve on the achievements made during the ‘Agenda for Change’ all of them must contribute positively to development in their own respective professions so that at the end of the day, Sierra Leone would have succeeded through the collective efforts of its citizenry.
But this could not happen in the midst of indiscipline and lawlessness and that is why the president has frowned on those vices by launching ‘Operation WID” to deal with indiscipline and lawlessness in all facets of society.
The fact, however, remains that President Koroma’s ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ has begun and nothing absolutely can stop it from bringing prosperity to Sierra Leone.