Published on September 15, 2010 by Cocorioko News · 2 Comments
One of the most important programs that will be held within the fringes of the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York will be the Open Government Initiative ( OGI ) Town meeting on Saturday September 25 at the Riverside Church where President Ernest Koroma–one of the most democratic Presidents of his time in Africa–will bring the Government to the people of Sierra Leone living in the United States.
In what will help to rebrand the country to the international world, President Koroma will perform a rarity in African politics in New York on September 25 when he will field questions from Siera Leoneans belonging to all different shades of political persuasion and civil society groups about governance and other national matters in Sierra Leone. With the OGI being non-political, members of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) and the People’s Movement For Democratic Change ( PMDC) will be there to pose questions to the President about how they are being governed in Sierra Leone.
The OGI Program is being conducted to help promote transparency and accountability in Sierra Leone. The President is desirous of creating a democratic and transparent political climate in Sierra Leone by bringing the government to the people and the people to the government. It is also a creative way of involving the people in the decision-making process in Sierra Leone.
By bringing the OGI to the U.S, President Koroma will be demonstrating not only to Sierra Leoneans living in America but U.S. Congressmen, mayors, decision-makers, Chambers of Commerce members, the Business community and stakeholders that Sierra Leone has surged ahead in creating the right atmosphere for multi-party democracy and open market reforms to flourish. For those wishing to invest in Sierra Leone, the message to them will be that they are taking their monies and resources to a country where transparency and accountability now prevail in every area of civil and political discourse.
We hope the world will look at these happenings and begin taking off their profiling and stigmatizing sunglasses and start evaluating the government in Sierra Leone more correctly and fairly. Given the democratic elections we have held and the manner that press freedom and freedom of the speech prevail in Sierra Leone today, Britain, the U.S. , other Western nations and members of the International Community should begin giving Sierra Leone the credit due to her. It is the opinion of this newspaper that the world, including some of our development partners, are deliberately blind to the reality of the new Sierra Leone after the war. It is time for them to start putting our nation in its right category as perhaps the most democratic and rapidly advancing nation in West Africa. The next time a Barak Obama or David Cameron touches down in Africa, they should be expected to visit Sierra Leone to see what a determined , resilient and progressive people have achieved since coming out of a devastating war. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said during his visit to Freetown few months ago that Sierra Leone is a model for post-war reconstruction and development in Africa.