If someone or an organization should consider you for an award today, what prize can you win? Be honest to yourself! Would you be qualified for the best liar, best unreliable person, best hypocrite or best selfish individual award? Or would you win the best unfaithful spouse award?
If you are a Sierra Leonean, would you be the favourite to win the “best ‘mass mass/mogofei’ (underserved tips) recipient” award? Or would you merit the “best bad heart” or “best brown envelope receiver” award? And if you are a teacher recruited to be an invigilator but was passionately cheating during the recent private West African Senior School Certificate Examination, would you win the “best Spy Johnson or best cheat” award?
Sexual Violence has been an incessant problem affecting Sierra Leone and the rest of the world. It is commonly perceived as any sexual act or attempt to have an intimate act by violence or coercion. It is also considered as an act which traffics a person’s comfort by throwing a direct assault against an individual’s sexuality.
Example of some of these attitudes can be rape, smacking, forced abortion, sexual slavery, forced marriage, unwanted touching of the breast and other parts of an individual.
Undoubtedly, sexual violence has become common today, and it is extensively spreading at a swift pace. Sexual violence is deemed as one of the most excruciating, pervasive, and most common human rights violations.
Evidently, the majority of victims of sexual violence are women, more specifically young girls. There are trends of serious reported cases of sexual violence nationwide, and it is becoming too common every day. Looking into sexual violence cases in Sierra Leone, for example, 2018/19 data portrayed a hike in the number of such cases in every part of the country with Kenema and Kono districts recording the highest according to news reports.
On the 22nd of March 2019, in a remote area in the eastern district of Kono, an unfortunate report mentioned the death of a 12-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped. This news was published both local and international news headlines. Allegedly, police report implicated a 56-year-old man as the perpetrator of such a gruesome act.
Obviously, the aforementioned occurrence has marked serious many questions of the security of our women and girls today. It literally positioned our society as unsafe for women and girls.
Undoubtedly, though the acts of sexual violence have been persistent, yet, the government and non-governmental entities are striving in various ways to combat the “pandemic” that carries so many negative ramifications on our society. The fight was intensified by the launch of the Hands Off Our Girls Campaign by Her Excellency Mrs Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Followed next by Black Tuesday Campaign, actions from Family Support Unit of the Sierra Leone Police In and a declaration of rape as a national emergency by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.
This and many more cases have signified the ill effect of sexual violence, which has been used as a weapon by perpetrators to demean and humiliate women.
As a feminist writer, I strongly condemn the act of sexual violence and seek to promote the rights of women in Sierra Leone and beyond. I encourage everyone to frown at such barbaric acts that have succeeded to barter, demean and cause unending suffering on millions of women and girls nationwide.
Women and girls are strong, intelligent, and adorable partners to national growth. Therefore, women must be cared for with respect and dignity and must be granted a good quality education. Women are the backbone for development and change. I invite all Sierra Leoneans and the world at large to discourage all forms of discriminations and gender inequalities against women to achieve a fair gender-just world where women can be themselves and valued in the scale.
Sequel to my last article, CHEATING: let him who is without sin cast the first stone, I am no longer shocked when I hear news of fraud, cheating, embezzlement, stealing, and so on in both the private and public sectors in Sierra Leone.
While I remain optimistic that things could be better in the land that we claim to love, the truth is that we have a very long way to go to cast out the corruption demon out of our lives and minimize what is fast becoming an evil spirit that controls our way of thinking and doing things in the country.
Education for many especially in developing countries , is a clear route out of the acute poverty they find themselves. It has been a great tool for developing the intellectual capabilities of citizens and countries alike.
However, there has been a considerable rise in the level of dropouts/failures particularly within the secondary and university education system. In the recent West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results for instance, it is estimated that 95 percent of students in Sierra Leone failed to obtain the necessary grades needed to successfully enrol on a university programme.
This has stirred a huge debate among citizens as to the root cause(s) of such a poor performance when compared with other countries within the subregion. One side of the debate blames the students with specific reference to their cheating culture and lackadaisical approach to their studies whilst others blame the staff and institutions.
I met Sia Nguaja at the Wellbody birth waiting home in March 2019. Sia was a child, only 13 years old, and she was 8 months pregnant. I was even more shocked to learn that the man responsible for her pregnancy was 34 years old.
Sia’s pregnancy was assessed as high risk. At the birth waiting home she was monitored by a trained midwife and when she went into labor, she was quickly transferred to the Government Hospital where an obstetrician performed a safe cesarean section. Sia and her newborn are now safe and doing well. Sia was lucky that she attended prenatal care and, because of her age, was referred to Wellbody Clinic where she received appropriate care.
The United Bank for Africa on Thursday announced that the services of its Chatbot, Leo is now available for customers on Apple Business Chat, where its users to communicate directly with businesses using the Messages app on iPhone and iPad.
The United Bank for Africa on Thursday announced that the services of its Chatbot, Leo is now available for customers on Apple Business Chat, where its users to communicate directly with businesses using the Messages app on iPhone and iPad.
The news that the Sierra Leone House of Parliament is partaking in next month’s election to elect a Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament is very welcomed news, but the news that two very senior Members of Parliament from Sierra Leone are vying for the same seat as Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament at the same election is very much unwelcomed.
No one will argue the fact that it is the human rights of the two senior honourables to express their interest to occupy the seat, but no one will also welcome the idea of one country, especially a small country like Sierra Leone, sending two contenders for one seat in an election.
The news that two senior sitting Members of Parliament in Sierra Leone’s House of Parliament, Honourable Sidi Mohamed Tunis and Honourable ChernorRamadan Maju Bah (Chericoco) are both contending against each other for the Speaker’s seat of the ECOWAS Parliament has been received with mixed feelings by countrymen and women.
Hon. Tunis was elected Member of Parliament under the political ticket of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) representing Constituency 101 in the Pujehun district whiles Hon. Chericoco was elected Member of Parliament under the political ticket of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party representing Constituency 126 in Freetown.
The fact that the two gentlemen are representing two major rivalry political parties in the country has not been a justification for them to take this rivalry to such an international platform.
We have seen the leadership of the SLPP publicly declaring support for Hon. Tunis and we hope to see same being done for Hon. Chericoco by the leadership of the APC anytime soon.
How sweet and profitable it will be to see the two fine honourables joining forces and allow Sierra Leone to send out one of them to go win the seat and make our country proud. It is Sierra Leone’s turn to occupy the seat, same as other countries have enjoyed the opportunity, but sending two people for one seat will only help to show the world how disunited, greedy, selfish and disorganized our honourable House of Parliament and its membership has become lately.
To many Sierra Leoneans, the name SedyuSadaka may be a distant reality, but for the two hundred and seventy-five boys and girls between age five to fourteen at Oba in Funkia, the Spain-based musician is God sent. Like most parents in the predominantly fishing slum community at Goderich in the outskirts of Freetown, fishing is the source of livelihood. With extreme poverty, and scant opportunities for growth, the likelihood for the kids growing up in the slum area to take over from their parents as fishermen or women and fishmongers was great. Thanks to the Diamond School of Arts and Culture, the kids now have a real shot at life beyond the bay area.
When Mighty Blackpool Football Club in Sierra Leone former footballer, Tombo Juice heard about young JumaJalloh’s football potentials, he immediately got him for trials at the Craig Bellamy Football Academy. Located at Tombo, a small fishing village that is a two-hour drive from the capital, Freetown, Juma instantly made an impact when on his first week at the Academy, he scored a goal for his team. He became an immediate sensation. The coaches asked for his passport-sized photograph for him to be enrolled at the Academy. Unfortunately, it did not happen.The then 15-year-old Juma, like previously, got sick and had to return to his parents in the city.
SIERRA LEONE'S ECONOMIC AWAKENING - A Way Forward! (Part 2)
After the Slave Trade, the shores of Sierra Leone were choicest to abandon free slaves and that ushered in some form of neo-civilisation which fueled certain colonial practices which subjected the superior practices of the fore fathers. The Slave traders came in with sheer brute and labelled our people primitive. For the records, the fore fathers farmed, fed and lived healthy lives, with no records of strange illnesses even though they were not as "sophisticated" as we are today.
Born in Magburaka, Tonkolili district and an alumnus of the Government Secondary School for Boys, Magburaka (MSSB), Dr. Allhassan Fouard-Kanu is presumably the first home-based Sierra Leonean to become a doctor of public health (DrPH), awarded by the Walden University, in the U.S.A. The DrPH is a professional degree that improves knowledge and analytical skills in leadership, policy, program management, and professional communication. The DrPH program situates public health practitioners to become effective leaders advocating for policy and change.
THE CRITICAL ROLE OF SALARIES/WAGES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
Your Excellency Sir/Madam,
I am greatly delighted to continue with this piece, as my passionate advocacy role to the Pan-African dream. Incontrovertibly, it would be noted with extreme disdain that massive, heartless and reckless corruption with gross impunity, is the perennial Herculean monster that keeps pervading our African society, and continues to artificially impoverish, rather naturally rich countries and peoples. It has led to the death of countless masses, through gruesome civil wars, dangerous escapes through North Africa and the Mediterranean, which was only trumpeted through the international media, last year. Most of these grotesque scenarios could have been easily avoided had our national leaders and public servants not callously mortgaged the prosperity of their nations on their sinister altars of greed and reckless abandon.
Corruption is a deadly systematic, devilish “cold war” mechanism that has claimed the lives of many brutally and more especially, in the silence of guns and false security. And until African leaders and the general populace decisively face this monster head-on, no matter how much local and international resources are lavished upon this continent, our story would not record significant changes. Therefore, corruption must be fought with all ruthless and democratic constructiveness that would have it expunged, and not pitied or compromised with, regardless of who are said to be the dastardly predators of the African masses.
As a matter of fact, Africa needs to see many and any of their former corrupt presidents and public officials effectively locked behind bars, as in South America and other parts of the world – along with other very stringent penalties; depending on the magnitude of their corruption, as would be determined by impartial, competent, robust and exclusive “fast-track courts.” Arguably, corruption has killed more people in Africa, than our civil wars.
In most of Africa, (especially Sub-Saharan Africa,) the salaries and wages of most of our civil servants/public workers are extremely ludicrous, to the point that even a 1000% increment would not match up to be a “start-up living wage scale;” excepting for a handful of top civil servants/public officials, who receive exorbitant benefits to feed their extravagant lifestyles, at the expense of the bulk of the masses. As a result, I would observe that most of our dysfunctional African systems create loopholes to perpetrate, what I would refer to as, “unavoidable corruption.” I call it “unavoidable corruption,” because, if you pay people, for instance, U. S. $ 100 per month, when their actual basic expenditure is U. S. $ 500, how do you expect them to be at work every day and take care of their basic needs? Realistically, (though not justified,) they would have to explore corrupt means to comfortably exist, or at least subsist with their families and extended dependants. That is why corruption has been invisibly institutionalized in most of our public service across the continent.
That is also why our governments have to decisively muster the unflinching political will to slash away all “wastages” and arrest all “leakages” within our public revenue collection and expenditure.
“Wastages” are the excess and frivolous expenditures that our budgetary allotments legitimately allocate to the very few functionaries, such as U. S. $ 150, 000.00 (one hundred and fifty thousand dollars) for presidential entertainment for the year, aside other unnecessary allotments of extra presidential projects, discretionarily identified by him/her. What about giving each law makers/ministers and some top government functionaries U. S. $ 100 per month as gas slip; when the average worker has no transport allowance, in spite of earning very low salaries, that could only realistically serve as round trip cost of transportation to work? In which case, the worker is made to work for virtually nothing in remuneration.What a heartless exploitative system!!! So, he/she would reasonably have to look for other alternative means of income to support his/her family – and in such a system, he/she is made to willingly or willy-nilly be compromised to corruption by the system, not necessarily by sinister choice.
Some may however argue that once a person is disciplined he/she would still remain incorruptible, regardless. And whereas I may agree, in exceptional cases, but generally, I think a system as depicted above would inadvertently make “corrupt devils out of saints” as it were. This is because, one cannot keep sacrificing for too long without being forced to compromise, when it is glaring that a few people are living in extreme opulence and extravaganza, while relegating you into subsistence living or rather still, extreme and callous deprivation, because of their heartless greed.
“Leakages” occur where our mineral and other extractive and vital resources are either siphoned to personal accounts and/or smuggled out unaccounted for, by certain unscrupulous persons; or also when deliberate syndicates of diverting tax revenues and shady deals are done by some public functionaries, in contrivance with some businessmen or concessionaries - like some huge fisheries and maritime resources that are said to have been unaccounted for in the West African coastal lines – in the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, through “black deals” done on the high seas; as flagged by some credible global maritime researchers, about two years ago. And in this light, I do proffer that our coastal and border surveillance mechanisms be greatly beefed up and made very robust to curb such revenue loses. As our maritime resources in coastal Africa, could be a very lucrative revenue base.
It would be noteworthy too that many aid funds and humanitarian donations given by both local and international actors, during health, natural and other disasters, unfortunately, have proven to fall casualty to corruption, by some of our heartless functionaries. I think, these and all other corruption predators and their contrivers should be brought to book; and all such funds and assets refunded or confiscated without disparity, whether from local or international investments and establishments; from the presidency to the least culprit of such treasonous acts - in addition to any jail and/or other legal penalties they may be made to serve.
All of such funds retrieved would be used to augment salaries and wages of public servants to reflect actual living wages that would increase people’s standard of living and generally boost our local revenue bases and economies. When we have sorted out these gross salary/wage inadequacies and disparities, then we can realistically face this dreadful “Herculean monster” of corruption ruthlessly, until it is extensively expunged from our African societies. Otherwise, no meaningful rapid national development can be carried on that would alleviate poverty and set our nations on the pedestal of sound, sustainable economic growth, industrialization and general prosperity.
My fervent continual prayer is that our African leaders do not only end with espousing populist political clichés, but will effect systematic and strategic plan of actions that would rapidly and effectively transform their countries and peoples, into the realistic glorious expectations and aspirations of the masses.
Readers must forgive me for opening today’s column by acknowledging the compliment paid to me last Friday by no less a person than my nephew who has become a legendary columnist not simply in his own right, but among the best, in his style, humour, and his play with the Queen’s language in his very popular and educative regular “Ponder my Thoughts” column. Yes, Andrew Keilie, also fondly referred to by his middle name of Karmor, is an acknowledged literary gem among his peers; no, compared with the majority of his peers in the journalism profession (it’s a misnomer when applied to him because he is by profession a distinguished engineer of some repute rather than a journalist.) Andrew is a member of the very successful Sierra Leonean Engineering enterprise CEMATS. There is very often in the best of us a “BUT” and my nephew is no exception as on one occasion when I and many others thought that he went a little too far. He had reached up for my jugular in 2016. I had in a public statement advised the SLPP family to unite behind the then Presidential aspirant Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, our current “Talk and Do” President. Poor Andrew, he was attacked from every angle. That was then; thank you Kamor for your lavish compliment. No one can now rightly accuse you of family bias for your expressed opinion.
Koroma, Salia, Sierra Leonean accordionist and singer; Segbwema, Sierra Leone, 1903
Salia Koroma was born in Segbwema although his parents had come from Kpa-Mende country. As a young man, Salia's father left Salia Koroma him in the care of his mother while he went to seek his fortune elsewhere. Salia was anxious to go to school but his uncles, who were responsible for him in the absence of his father, did not feel disposed to send him to school. Rather, they sent their own children.
8th August 2019••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••The current state of SL's economy is in a mare’s nest. The US dollar and UK pound sterling are increasing at an increasing rate against the Leone, thus; having a negative multiplier effect on the purchasing power of the ordinary local citizen: both in the cities and villages.SL's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the end of Quarter 3 (Q3) is estimated to be about 4.5 billion US dollars, which accounts for 0.01 percent of the world’s economy (World Bank, 2018).
According to the 2018 UNDP report on SL, 70% of SL's youthful population (aged between 15-35) are either unemployed or underemployed, with about 800,000 youths actively seeking employment (UNDP, 2018).
Worse still, approximately 60 percent of Sierra Leoneans currently live below $1.25 a day. SL is ranked among the lowest in terms of Human Development Index (HDI).
Interestingly, SL's economy, like many other developing countries, have been facing similar challenges for the past 50 years on. Thus, this phenomenon is not purely a SLPP or APC issue, though critics on both side of the aisle will tend to squarely blame each other for the country's status quo.
However, clobbering both political parties who have alternatively steered our economy since independence is not the intention of this piece. Rather, this specific piece is centred on the author’s viewpoint on what can be done to improve the economic status for not only the current generation but for generation yet unborn.
The author believes that complains, especially those that do not offer concrete solutions to what is being complained about is nothing but a waste of time. It is, therefore, the aim of this piece to proffer possible and pragmatic solutions that may be useful to help our current policy makers to fast track our country’s human and economic development.
The rest of the piece will present a brief comparative analysis of Sierra Leone and Singapore and lay down possible solutions to help kickstart and sustain our economic growth.
You may ask: Why do a comparative analysis between Sierra Leone and Singapore, who are miles apart and located in different continents of the world?
It will interest you to know that both countries were once ruled by the same colonial masters, thus by default adopting the same economic, legal, educational and political policies.
Both countries secured independence about the same time; Sierra Leone in 1961 and Singapore in 1965. Also, as at the time of independence, both countries had about the same Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Per Capita Income and about the same unemployment and economic challenges.
Further, both countries had about the same population; Sierra Leone had 2.2 million and Singapore 1.6 million and their major trading partner was their colonial master - the United Kingdom.
Fast forward, 50 plus years on, Singapore is currently ranked among the world’s developed and competitive economies whilst Sierra Leone is still facing the challenges that have been hitherto explained. The per capita income (average income per person) in Singapore is approximately US$54,530 whilst Sierra Leone is about US$480; a whopping difference of USD$54,050 or 114 times multiples.
In the current World Bank Human Capital Index, Singapore is ranked among the best countries in the world.
This implies that a Singaporean born today will be 88% as productive when he or she grows up (World Bank, 2019).
Singapore is the world's 4th largest financial hub and the only country in Asia to be given a AAA credit rating from Standard and Poor's, Moody's and Fitch Rating. With a population of about 5.5 million people, Singapore reportedly has the highest number of US$ millionaires per capita in the Asia region.
You should ask:
1. How did Singapore with much lesser resources than Sierra Leone catapult itself to the list of developed countries?
2. What did Singapore do and is still doing that SL can learn from and adapt within our context?
The answer lies in the secret force that the leader of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew found: the powerful force of ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
For centuries, countries have been searching for answers on how to create the wealth of nations. In other words, political leaders as well as economists have been constantly searching for what key ingredients lead to the creation of a nation’s wealth.
The physiocrats who were a group of French economists hugely believed that the wealth of every nation can be created by primarily developing its lands and/or value of its agricultural products. On the other hand, the classical and neoclassical economic theorists led by proponents such as David Ricardo, Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall et al. believed that the productive capacity of any nation is hugely dependent on the combination of three (3) key factors: land, labour and capital.
In this context, land refers to the minerals (diamonds, gold, bauxite etc.), soil and the climate used in the production of products whereas labour refers to all human efforts (skilled and unskilled) used to produce goods and services.
Capital on the other hand, refers to the goods produced by labour (human effort) that are in turn used to produce other goods and services e.g. machinery, buildings etc. The neoclassical theorists’ further divide capital into three broad categories: fixed (machinery, equipment, building, technology etc), working (inventories), and financial (money).
Meanwhile, neo-classical theorists like J. B Clark et al. added a fourth factor of production: ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
Entrepreneurs are responsible for taking the risk to effectively co-ordinate the other factors of production (land, labour and capital). Every car or ship needs someone to steer it to its designed destination. The entrepreneur is that person who takes that responsibility to do so with all the associated risks that goes with it. He or she decides how the other three factors of production are apportioned towards the full production capacity of a nation.
The government of Singapore understanding the powerful effect of entrepreneurship on other factors of production helped to provide one of the world’s most business-friendly regulatory environment for their indigenous entrepreneurs and ultimately foreign investors.
The ease of doing business in Singapore including registering a business, paying taxes, getting loans, obtaining a construction permit, trading across borders is easier and more formalised than in Sierra Leone. This sort of ease and formalise structure of doing business has attracted not only indigenous entrepreneurs to start Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) but has also been a major factor for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.
The Solution: Operation One Million Local Entrepreneurs
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••The author strongly believes that for Sierra Leone to grow and sustain its economy as well compete with others, it will need to do the following captured in the author’s STAR (SMEs, Teams, Action and Result) framework:
1. Establish/Develop one Million Viable SMEs (S)
The government needs to proactively identify and develop 1 million Local Entrepreneurs with innovative ideas across the country within 5 years; an estimate of 200,000 entrepreneurs per year. This can be done through a dedicated department whose sole responsibility is to oversee the personal and business growth of these entrepreneurs. The approximate cost of producing each entrepreneur (including training, seed capital etc) is US$5000 over five years. This amount is expected to be covered by key players like the banks and other financial institutions (in the form of loans to each start-up), government (in the form of subsidies and the creation of shared office spaces), Non-governmental agencies (in the form of expert trainings and access to technology) etc.
The creation of one million entrepreneurs will automatically lead to the creation of one million jobs and if those entrepreneurs go on to employ one person each, the unemployment figure would have been reduced by 2 million. The collective productive capacity of these young entrepreneurs coupled with the right ecosystem will help our local entrepreneurs to effectively produce goods and services which can be exported to neighbouring countries within the Mano River Union, thereby increasing the value of our currency and Gross Domestic Product. The OECD (2019) estimates that “in emerging economies, SMEs contribute up to 45% of total employment and 33% of GDP”. Thus, it is estimated that the total contribution from the 1 million start-ups will range between 10 to 30% over the first five years and rising up to 50% in subsequent years.
Also, the constant economic activities that will be undertaken by these entrepreneurs through their ventures will help attract foreign investors who will invest in some of the fast-growing ones.
It is important to note that entrepreneurs especially those who run Small Medium Enterprises are the backbone of every major economy. In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries for instance “SMEs are the predominant form of enterprise, accounting for approximately 99% of all firms. They provide the main source of employment, accounting for about 70% of jobs on average, and are major contributors to value creation, generating between 50% and 60% of value added on average” (OECD, 2019) and as stated earlier, in emerging economies, SMEs contribute up to 45% of total employment and 33% of GDP.
2. Creation of Teams (T)
There is a need to mobilise the selected entrepreneurs into core teams/clusters. This can be done by regions or towns and by using the Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB) which helps to segregate the macroeconomy into industrial clusters i.e. education, agriculture, health, fashion, food and beverage etc.
In a nutshell, the Regional Teams or clusters should have a strong flavour of Specialisation like in the US: Silicon Valley (Tech); Las Vegas (Entertainment); Dallas, Beverly Hills; Hollywood etc.
Similarly, we could have Bo (Agriculture), Freetown (Technology and Tourism), Kono (natural resources), Makeni (Farming), Bonthe (Fisheries)etc. This kind of structuring will not only help those regions to specialise in key economic activities but could also help to decentralise our already currently centralised economic system.
The essence of teamwork is to enable the effective sharing of information and experiences. In addition, the dedicated department can work alongside the universities and private institutions to develop incubator hubs across the country where these young entrepreneurs can constantly learn from one another as well as from practitioners and experts (both foreign and local) on how to both develop and market their ideas locally and across borders.
Universities should align their trainings to feed into each relevant sector/team/cluster; to contribute ideas and innovation efficiently. Such trainings should primarily focus on changing the attitudes and mindsets of the selected entrepreneurs towards risking taking, constant innovative practices, proactiveness, opportunity spotting, networking, resilience, self-confidence etc. The universities can liaise with the key actors in the informal sector for instance to help impact these core entrepreneurial traits.
In the informal business sector, the Lebanese, Fulas and Nigerians remain the key dominant players. The government can use tax incentives and a Honour’s List to get them to work with the selected universities to help mentor these young entrepreneurs.
3. Action (A)
The government needs to take series of actionable steps around the creation of a viable entrepreneurial ecosystem which makes it easier for anyone anywhere with little or no resources to start and effectively run their own business. The government can specifically take the following actions: levy a lower tax rate or give tax holidays to start-ups, create an online platform that makes it easier to pay for and register a business within 24 hours, negotiate business partnership deals with neighbouring countries to make it easier for our businesses to trade and promote the concept of entrepreneurship as a primary not secondary source of our development.
4. Result (R)
On a regularly basis, each team/hub/region will be required to develop and present a performance-based report, carefully highlighting the key gains and challenges which will inform the next government action (s). This report should be made readily available to investors and the public at large via a dedicated government website or intranet.
In summary, the government of any nation including Sierra Leone cannot feasibly create all jobs it needs. In fact the Government should not be in the business of creating jobs but should rather focus on facilitating the smooth running of businesses by creating a thriving ecosystem that includes a higher HDI, less crime, easy access to seed capital, good technological infrastructure, lower taxes and other specific policies that will help to promote businesses especially SMEs.
It is important to note that the major creators of jobs in any economy are entrepreneurs especially those that run SMEs. We, therefore, need to redirect our efforts towards creating the right environment for our local entrepreneurs to thrive and compete with their counterparts around the world; only then can we grow and sustain the SL’s Economy.
Dr Alfred Mbeteh is a Researcher, Entrepreneur, Author and Lecturer (REAL). He currently resides in the UK, lectures at Roehampton University, University of West London and Nelson College London. He is also the founder and CEO of De VICTORS; a UK based success company which helps to Discover, Develop and Deploy (3D) the talents of our youths. He has worked with the UK National Citizen Service (NCS) as a Youth Programme Leader facilitating the personal development of the youths in the UK.
Fear and hatred of the naked posture of some deviants of morality and conduct in our society renders one timorous and unwilling to keep quiet no matter the urge to do so.The recent hue and cry raised over the so-called disrespect rendered the former head of state, Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma, at the Lungi International Airport vividly comes to mind.
Mr. Koroma reportedly arrived at the Lungi International Airport just from the blues with no prior knowledge as far as government and the public were concerned, about where he came from. All the deviants of morality and conduct under the spell of the ex-president’s magic wand could tell the public was that he arrived at the airport and was denied the pomp and pageantry befitting a former head of state. He was denied the facility at the presidential lounge and other sinecure treatments that he deserves by the airport authorities, they claimed.
A male acquaintance called me. He told me he had a business deal to discuss with me. He came and we spoke about the deal which had to do with liquidating assets for a client. He is a lawyer.
Somewhere in the middle of that conversation he said that thing (pointing in the direction of my crotch) it must have been a long time since someone hit that. He said it was unfair. That he was waiting for the day that I would call him and ask him to come have sex with me.
We continued on talking about the business deal he had called me about. He said he would get back to me on specifics. I never called to follow up. He did not either. That conversation showed me that even though he always says he respects me, he doesn’t. In his eyes, I am but an object for sex. I didn’t tell him the extent to which that talk repulsed me but it did.
Special Assistant to the SG Envoy on South South Cooperation and Director of UNOSSC at United Nations.
The untold story of how dedicated people from private sector, the United Nations, the EU, space agencies, and the Government and Military of Sierra Leone worked together to respond to the 2017 landslides
In all the official reporting I have seen from the Sierra Leone landslides of 2017, I found that there were some stories — like the one I am about to tell — that seem to have gotten lost. During the response itself, there was no time for reflection and patting each other on the back. Afterwards, some of those involved had already left and others were working on their next projects. I have told this story to friends and colleagues, as one example of the importance of dedicated, forward-thinking individuals, but I also feel it deserves being shared more widely, before it is forgotten. These are my personal recollections and do not reflect those of the organizations I have worked for: