By Pasco Temple :
I read with curiosity an article titled “Sierra Leone Government Fails Benchmark for Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)” in one of the online newspapers by a faceless author, whose analogy failed the soundness of logic.
According to the story, “Sierra Leone has failed to meet the benchmarks for the Millennium Challenge Cooperation [MCC], hence causing the West African country to miss out on vital funding, which has now been deferred.” Sierra Leone failed some of the benchmarks set by the MCC but more importantly passed majority of the other criteria.
“The MCC sets specific standards for qualification of any country for funding. Among the benchmarks, Sierra Leone passed those of inflation, regulatory quality, trade policy, access to credit and business start-up, girls’ primary education completion rate, political rights, civil liberties, freedom of information and the rule of law.
On the flip side, the country failed on fiscal policy, land rights and access, health and primary education and expenditures, natural resources protection, immunization rates and child health. The issue of government ineffectiveness was also counted among the failings of the Sierra Leonean government.” Said the author.
Take it as it is, Sierra Leone has a pass in eleven out of twenty bench marks, is that what the faceless author described a failure? Where did he get his facts from? Which formula/e did he or she used to measure the gains and short comings of the Government?
If one divides One hundred by five, the answer is twenty. If twenty is further divided by two, the answer is ten or average.
A grade two child in Sierra Leone who can eloquently recite five times table will within the split of a second give the answer, if asked, eleven multiply by five: the child will simply respond – it is equal to fifty five (55). Honestly if fifty five percent is considered a failure, I would wish for the author to please make public the principle or mathematical theory applied that actually resulted to that answer. If not: I would suggest that there is need for a rethink.
The author also insinuated that “the country failed on fiscal policy.” Again, I think it is prudent for the author to be passing judgments based on facts and principles.
People should not be heedlessly using the media to contaminate the minds of sober minded people and set confusion with the use of the English language.
I think the English language has been a subject of blatant misuse by some unscrupulous elements, because it is free. They use it without rules and respect.
According to Wikipedia, The IMF is mandated to oversee the international monetary and financial system and monitor the economic and financial policies of its 188 member countries.
This activity is known as surveillance and facilitates international co-operation. “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionality is a set of policies or conditions that the IMF requires in exchange for financial resources. “The concept of conditionality was introduced in an Executive Board decision in 1952 and later incorporated in the Articles of Agreement.” Said Wikipedia. Adding,
“The IMF does not require collateral from countries for loans but rather requires the government seeking assistance to correct its macroeconomic imbalances in the form of policy reform, which the President Ernest Bai Koroma led government has effectively done- and continues to do, because we are living in a dynamic world.
According to Wikipedia, “If the conditions are not met, the funds are withheld.” For your information, Sierra Leone is not a victim of funds withheld by the IMF.
For your benefit, “Some of the conditions for structural adjustment can include: Cutting expenditures, also known as austerity, Focusing economic output on direct export and resource extraction, Devaluation of currencies, Trade liberalization, or lifting import and export restrictions, Increasing the stability of investment (by supplementing foreign direct investment with the opening of domestic stock markets), Balancing budgets and not overspending, .
It is important to note that the government has fulfilled a significant part of these conditions that is why, the government is receiving frequent and un-interrupted commendations from not only the Bretton Woods institutions, but also from other parts of the world.
In addition, the most internationally accredited and competently known for fiscal policy approval and ratings, The World bank Group, DFID, ADB,IDB have on several diverse occasions, praised the fiscal policy of the President Ernest Bai Koroma led government. It has even described the West African Country’s economy as one of the fastest growing. So, where did you get your formula to do your analysis? How were you able to work out the mathematical formula? Which is why I think there is conflict within the concept that was used to the analyses.
For your information, Sierra Leone topped many other Countries including all the countries of the Mano River Union, nothing will be said about it.
It reminds me of a story in the bible, wherein two women made a claim to a living baby, and made their cases to King Solomon (Muluku Suleiman). After a deliberation, a suggestion was made to split and forfeit the baby.
The wrongful claimant preferred the suggestion to forfeit the baby, while rightful owner who gave birth to the baby preferred the baby be given to the other. Then, King Solomon (Muluku Suleiman) decided to hand the baby to her rightful owner.
Similarly, there are failed politicians and pseudo political activists and opportunists who surfaced in recent years to feast at the backbones of hard working and dedicated Sierra Leoneans, albeit knowingly they are opportunists and self – seeking people, because they fail to have their way, they are against anything positive about the All People’s Congress led government.