Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Marketing Sierra Leone To The World

A nation that operates on a covert isolationist policy would find it almost impossible to forge ahead in its entirety. For too long, the people of this nation have been effectively suppressed by the spell of poverty and general economic hardship. Even with the introduction and promulgation of democratic principles in this country, about sixteen years ago, the actualization of the positive development of Sierra Leoneans and the country continues to be very hypothetical. The inability or willful negligence on the part of the previous government to strengthen the private sector and attract viable investors to this country adversely affected the development drive and growth of our economy presently. Sierra Leone as a nation was ranked the second to the least developed country in the annual United Nations Human Index Report of 2006.

Candidly, any reasonable man would be able to ascertain that objectively we are last on that report because Niger which was rated last has been suffering from the hazardous consequences of very destructive crop pests.

The failure on the part of the former government to fastidiously promote the economic growth and development of Sierra Leone resulted in their national rejection to rule this country under the new presidential flag bearer put forward in the just concluded elections. Since the verdict of Sierra Leoneans was accepted to be supreme, the election of Ernest Bai Koroma, as the new President of the second republic of Sierra Leone was accepted without any significant reservations.

It becomes clear from the outcome of the August and September, 2007 General Elections that Sierra Leoneans rejected the SLPP led administration because they failed to market the economy and bring the desired development the people desperately needed.

Now that a new leader has been elected by Sierra Leoneans, it should be the national responsibility of the present administration to market our economy and see our nation grow to an enviable height. But the question that should now be answered is; what are the strategies to be implemented in marketing the economy of Sierra Leone? The answers to this question are manifold and must be addressed, as a matter of priority for Sierra Leoneans, if the new leadership should continue to enjoy support from the people. It must be noted at once that many hands make light work and as such, Sierra Leoneans must lend their hands to the new government to be able to achieve our long awaited development goals.

Upon critical reasoning, we have thought it prudent to high-light areas that the government and its new leadership must concentrate on, to promote the development of Sierra Leone. In the first place, President Ernest Bai Koroma and his government must ensure to promote and develop the educational sector of this country. As it stands now, the number of illiterate Sierra Leoneans far outweighed the literates. This ongoing phenomenon has been very detrimental to the development of this nation in attaining the set out Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and moving our nation towards the trend of globalization. We must endeavor to have an enlightened population, this is because the world today has been overcome by modernization and the phenomenon would only become achievable when the citizenry of a state are educated and of sound minds. In this vein, Dr Minkailu Bah, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports must consider it his singular task to advance the educational height of this nation. It is the expectation of the public that the new minister would efficiently utilize his long standing experience in the field of academia to market education in Sierra Leone. An uneducated nation would not attract foreign investors and hence would always remain underdeveloped.

Surely, Sierra Leone would not be developed to the anticipated height of the people and the new government if the power and energy sectors are not resurrected to a lively condition. President Ernest Koroma would not be able to effectively market the economy of Sierra Leone without the provision of an uninterrupted supply of energy and power.

Although we trust the leadership of Haja Hafsatu Kabbah as the Minister of that strategic Ministry, to deliver this much needed power. Madam Minister must be cautioned at once that, she has been given the most sensitive ministry in the new government. And if she is to succeed, she must be very resolved to stamp out the endemic corruption that is eating deep into her ministry. Energy and power, above all other things are both desperate commodities of this country. Without achieving any other thing, providing a constant supply of electricity in this country would add more feathers to the head scarf of Haja Hafsatu Kabbah. The success of this venture would bring in more investors into the country which in turn would create employment and bring development to the people.

In enhancing the much talked about development and security, Hon. Dauda Kamara, Minister of Local Government and Internal Affairs has a pivotal role to play. This ministry is responsible for internal security and to oversee the day to day activities of the inhabitants of the jurisdiction and ensure that anarchy and lawlessness do not prevail. The police force, immigration, prison and the local government authority is under the control of this minister. Presently, the aforementioned institutions seem to have lost control. In actual fact these institutions have an important role to perform in marketing the economy. If we have a lawless city, characterized by frequent perpetration of crimes, it would scare investors and visitors from entering our country. In any country where the immigration is very porous, it would always be exposed to illegal entry of persons and dangerous items. This has been the case in Sierra Leone and Hon. Dauda Kamara must apply a no nonsense approach in changing the status quo.

It is needless to over emphasize the significant role, Zainab Hawa Bangura; Minister of Foreign Affairs needs to perform in marketing the nation of Sierra Leone to the wider-world. The minister and her ministry are at the centre of the proposed marketing of the economy of this nation. Zainab Bangura really needs to put together the experience she had amassed over the years to be able to efficiently convince the rest of the world to give the expected support to Sierra Leone. She is the public relations officer of this country to the rest of the world and her activities can bring honour or shame to this nation and its people. We are however hopeful that she would succeed.

Perhaps importantly, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture which has been very dormant over the years must be bodily lifted in the ongoing drive to market the economy f Sierra Leone. Mr. Hindolo Trye, the proposed Minister has a seemingly daunting task to perform. Over the years this ministry had received a devastating blow that left it dead. But, if our economy must boom again, Mr Hindolo Trye must create the enabling environment for tourism to be an industry again. Sub-regional countries like Gambia and Senegal continue to benefit from the tourist industry. Thus, we see no reason why, with our very beautiful natural beaches, our tourist industry would die an artificial death. You have a very serious task to perform Mr .Trye.

Apparently, the marketing of Sierra Leone should not be left on the shoulders of President Ernest Koroma and his ministers alone, but must be nationally pioneered by peace-loving Sierra Leoneans that overwhelming voted for a positive change.