Any society which neglects its culture is bound to fail. African societies were founded on the principles of society cohesion, where the left hand knew what the right was doing.
With kingdoms, Chieftains, fiefdoms and clans, historians would have you believe that African societies had well established forms of governments well before the term “democracy” was invented by the white man.
Less than 12% of households in Sierra Leone have access to electricity supply, and even less so among the country’s rural poor.
But this week’s announcement by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID – also known as ‘UK Aid’) to help 500,000 people in rural communities get powered up, could be a possible light at the end of a dark tunnel, after decade of unfulfilled promises by the government of Sierra Leone.
If successfully delivered, the Ministry of Energy’s Rural Renewable Energy Project, funded by UK Aid, will harness the power of solar energy to tackle energy poverty in rural communities across the country.
Some people refer to politics as a game. If this is the case, then we have to decide the rules and also to confirm whether we should allow it to be a contact or non-contact sport. Those who believe that politics is a game would do well to assist on such characterisation. There are others who would rather see politics as a serious business of rationalisation, a process by which those who have been chosen to govern have to conduct themselves with the rigours of office, taking in all the difficult and hard decisions that need to be made to ensure that our society does not collapse. If you think it is a game, then you would be apt to view politics as a matter of timing, today for me and tomorrow for you. That totally detracts from the fundamental principle of governance, which is that you should earn the trust of those you wish to govern otherwise you are not going to be in there. In the USA, one thing the President elect succeeded to demonstrate is that if you cannot earn the trust of all the people, make so much noise about your own incompetency and you can buy the trust of the remainder.
Fuel subsidies are not a novelty in Sierra Leone. The government has been subsidizing fuel for decades at a huge financial cost to the nation. To complicate the situation, the country has no effective mechanism to monitor the pollution status of used vehicle imports or stop neighboring countries from exploiting Sierra Leone’s seemingly liberal fuel subsidies program.
Thus the recent announcement to terminate the subsidies has yielded mixed reactions from the public. Perhaps, with careful planning and cost benefit evaluations, its potential negative effects on the nation can be minimized. In fact, Brazil, South Africa and Turkey went through the same process successfully. However, when Nigeria attempted to eliminate fuel subsidies, it faced widespread protests from the public including the destruction of property and deaths. Most of the protesters comprised poor folks, religious groups, and trade union members who pleaded for the government to search elsewhere if, indeed, it required additional money to run the country.