There is new political will within the newly elected government of President Koroma (right). The task of undoing the failures of past regimes therefore lies with his government and with those international agencies willing to support him in the task of national renewal. (Photo: STR / AFP-Getty Images)
In many ways, the post-independence era has not been one of Sierra Leone's better periods. Except for the relatively stable early 1960's, Sierra Leone has moved from the flamboyant era of Albert Margai to Siaka Stevens' era of widespread institutionalized corruption, from Joseph Momoh's failed regime to the trendy regime of Valentine Strasser's National Provisional Ruling Council, and on to the Tejan Kabbah era itself, during which Sierra Leoneans paid a heavy price for the survival of President Kabbah's sly and corrupt government. Not many observers are interested in developing theories about management strategies during this period. Answers are not seriously sought about the question of whether a presidential leadership style that succeeds is when good governance policies are successfully implemented and development programs are efficiently managed.
A case, however, could be made that these are not the best of times in Sierra Leone's history. At the same time, this period in history has seen the efforts of international development agencies and movements by civil society aimed at making development work for Sierra Leone. Much of the commitment to advancing humane development programs has come from international development agencies such as the United Nations Development Program, Britain's Department for International Development, the United States Agency for International Development, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and Transparency International, and perhaps that commitment is also found in local civil society organizations.
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