Sierra Leone has been on the threshold of a new era since President Ernest Bai Koroma came to power in 2007 via democratic elections. Cognisant of the fact that the country has vast potentials for socio-economic and political development , President Koroma purposed in his mind that he will utilize the country’s resources and foreign participation in national development to create a new Sierra Leone.
President Koroma launched the ambitious Agenda For Change program, which has become a huge blessing to the country . According to President Koroma , ”The Agenda For Change reflects our people’s belief that the government they elected in a free and fair election will work in partnership with them to improve their social and economic conditions”.This explains the reason that Sierra Leone has been a beneficiary of people-centred development projects during the reign of President Koroma. Improvement of the social and economic conditions of the people was really the focus.
TRACTORIZATION OF FARMING IS BOOSTING RICE AND CROP PRODUCTION
Unlike many African nations, President Koroma has not engaged in any development projects that could be deemed WHITE ELEPHANTS. A white elephant is a massive structure , for instance, that imbues no direct benefit to the poor people and appeals more to the satiation of the ego of the President or the ruling class. As Africans vividly recollect, past African leaders have been vigorously condemned for development projects that had no bearing on their lives. In Sierra Leone, it has been a different story. Every project undertaken by the President is designed to improve the quality of the people’s lives. Alleviating the quality of life of the people is behind every development project by President Koroma.
THE NEW BUSES IMPORTED ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO HAVE FACILITATED TRAVELLING TO THE PROVINCES
Thanks to neglect by previous governments and the 11-year war that destroyed the country’s infrastructure, life for Sierra Leoneans was nasty, brutish and short. Our people lived in stone -age conditions. President Koroma realized that there was no way that anybody would talk of transforming Sierra Leone without transforming the lives of the people. The government has therefore spent its first term revolutionizing the lives of the Sierra Leonean people. Electricity , water supply and road construction and infrastructural development — indispensable ingredients of development and living a better life–were made priorities by the government.
LIGHT ILLUMINATES BO TOWN AT NIGHT
KAILAHUN STREET LIGHTS
BO STREET LIGHTS
President Koroma ensured that he restored electricity supply in Sierra Leone through the employment of thermal plants and the completion of the Bumbuna Hydroelectricity dam. The government has not stopped at that . Cities and towns in Sierra Leone have been illuminated through street lights powered by solar energy. This is the first time in the history of Sierra Leone that every city and town in the country is enjoying not only electricity and water supply, but bright lights all over their streets and alleys. President Koroma’s people-oriented development has made a dramatic difference in the lives of Sierra Leoneans and foreign residents. This urban and rural electrification program comes at the same time as the government is transforming the movement of people, goods and services through the construction of modern highways throughout the length and breadth of the country. Now, even Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora who visit the country, return to sing praises about the excellent developments taking place back home.
BOJON STREET IN BO IS NOW A TWO-LANE ROAD WITH STREET LIGHTS
The President and his government also revived mining activities with the result that mining companies have provided thousands of jobs for the people, apart from the revenue they are bringing into the country’s economy. Farming was also prioritized and the goal of President Koroma is to make Sierra Leone self-sufficient in food production. The President also took a monumental step to improve health care delivery with the refurbishment of existing facilities, building of new health centres and clinics and launching of the free health care scheme for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under 5. Another priority was quality education and the government set up the Gbamanja Commission of Inquiry , whose recommendations have provided the government and policymakers the road map needed to revamp and uplift our educational system .
THE FREE HEALTH CARE HAS BROUGHT SMILES EVEN ON THE FACES OF INFANTS
Now, the government has launched THE AGENDA FOR PROSPERITY, another bold plan , this time designed to put more money into the coffers of the country and the people. We now have electricity, water supply, good roads, improved health care delivery and a good educational system. Now , it is time for resource mobilization and utilization , specifically designed to make the country and her people benefit from her abundant mineral and natural resources.
WITH THIS, I WILL START A SERIES ON THE AGENDA FOR PROSPERITY THIS WEEK