NAME: James N.F. Weima TEL: 076 – 665 - 379
ADDRESS: C/O Macmillan Publishers, 36 Rawdon Street Freetown
THEME: My Vision of Sierra Leone.
In part II of “The story of civilization” historian will Durant describes the collapse of the family ancient Greece. He then continues “The essential cause of the Roman Conquest of Greece was the disintegration of Greek civilization form within “ He then goes on to show that the strength of Rome was the family, but when the family arrangement broke down because of immorality the empire went into decline.
One night begin to wonder why the foreign historical statement concerning the family need be allowed to in a discussion of the world book encyclopedia (1973) says will help us see the connection between the success or failure of any given society and the strength or weakness of individual families making up that society. The encyclopedia states concerning the imperative nature of the family. “Family is the oldest human institution. In many ways it is the most important it is societies most basic unit entire civilization have survival or disappeared, depending on whether family life was strong or weak”
2. An objective look at family life in Sierra Leone reveals that most families have been established on a shaky foundation, resulting in broken homes or polygamous homes where sexual immorality if life, children born in such repeat the cycle of bad precedence. With more responsibility undertaken than could possibly be handled, the result is an engagement in immoral practices notably corruption at all levels. In this way our society since independence has suffered a severed blow leading to our being classified as the most underdeveloped country in the world up till this moment.
The future of our country need not be bleak however. With the level of awareness of the average Sierra Leonean having been raised, there is hope of a bright future; one formidable area in which awareness has been raised is the need for the people to select who should lead them.
3. So far this game has been fairly played, and there are hopes that more refinements will come in the future so that masses be replace at the end of his/her term of Office so as to regain a appointment for another term or to have his/her name go down in the good books of history with such refinement in the political arena having been achieved, there shall be no more need to stage coups order to overthrow existing regimes the fully of corrupt practices has already begun to be exposed with the setting up to the Anti – Corruption Commission (A.CC) some have already borne the brunt of their selfish suit. Cravings in his regard, and other are to follow suit, the action already taken by the ACC and the judiciary shall serve as a deterrent to anyone intent to disappointment or embezzling funds meant for the development of the Nation.
When the ACC and the judiciary shall have step up their efforts in bringing to book perpetrators of corrupt practice in the future, corruption will be brought to its lowest ebb. At that time all the funds occurred from our abundant mineral resources.
Agricultural products and marine resources coupled with development funds from donor agencies will indeed contribute immeasurably to lifting us out of the present deplorable state of affair’s, envising the situation at that time, I can say without restraint that our nation will make rapid progress in all areas of development process, Shifting us from being the most backward country in the world to being one of the promising developing countries.
4. With the completion of the Bunbuna Hydro – Electric power scheduled to take place in 2005, the supply of electricity shall be available to most parts of the northern regions and the western region. The falls in the Kenema District are already supplying Parts of the eastern and southern regions but the available power will be extended to cover other areas in those regions. Then there is another fall in the Western parts of Kailahun District which when utilized would give an output of about five megawatts. This power can then be extended for use to both the Kono District in the northeast and the far East of the Kailahun District where the country border with Guinea and Liberia. When all of this is achieved has already planned by government, then there will be hardly any part in the country where current Electricity is not available. This will speed up the process of decentralization, and other utilities such as pipe – borne water telephone, fax and email services will eventually follow the availability of current electricity.
The provision of electricity in most parts of the country will indeed be a great stride in the development process. This is because in addition to the above mentioned advantages and benefits, foreign investors will also be attracted to invest in the country by setting up business organizations and companies even well meaning Sierra Leonean abroad who have made a fortune would be eager to come and invest.
5. Jobs will be made available for a cross section of youths particularly in the urban areas and this in turn will lower the level of such social problems as crimes and prostitution. School leavers who cannot further their education shall thus find work to do in order to earn a living even those who were never fortunate to school but who can do manual work will then be able to find jobs.
Another sector where development shall take place rapidly is that of agriculture, already the soil and climate of this country favor the production of a variety of arable and cash crops. With the development of the economy, the government will be able to buy machinery and set up large farms particularly for the production of food crops such rice, the country’s staple such farms shall create further employment opportunities for those not absorbed by the factories and companies of foreign and local investors. When the production of food crops particularly rice increases, then the need to import the country’s staple will be reduced thereby driving down the price of imported rice, In addition the pressure for extra foreign exchange to import rice will be lowered, and this will contribute in part to the appreciation of our local currency. The incumbent leader of this nation is quite aware of the fact that agriculture is the backbone of the development of any nation.
6. His having cultivated a 165 acre piece of land of the country’s staple this year is a good procedure which if emulated by his cabinet ministries and members of Parliaments as well as by succeeding regimes will go a long way toward ensuring food security in this nation in the near future this shall certainly be the case as the benefits of such a venture gradually come to light.
A sector of agriculture that shall also receive serious attention is livestock and cash crop production. The increase in livestock production will lower the price of meat to meet the regular demand of the average Sierra Leonean. The need for having imported meat will also diminished and so will the need for foreign exchange to import foreign meat, in relation to cash crops these have played a significant role in the development of this country in past decades prior to the rebel war. Future governments will definitely resuscitate and expand the production of these (cocoa, coffee, piassava, oil palm, cotton etc.) to ensure that earning from exportation outweigh expenditure on importation this shall earn us a favorable balance of trade thereby raising the value of the Leone. I personally envisage that by 2012, the Leone to US Dollar ratio shall be 800:1.
7. with subsequent expansion in cash crop production, local industries will be set up to produce finished goods from our surplus raw materials thus additional employment shall be make available through this means also and the need to import certain essential items shall also diminish. The slogan “Education for all” is already common not only among members of the ruling party but also among the general public. If the face of economic hardship, the existing government is trying to lend substantial supports to education by paying external examination fees for pupils at all levels by providing primary text books free of cost, by exempting payment of school fees in primary schools, by providing subsidies on terminal basis to each primary school and by selling secondary and some tertiary text books at 40% discount of the cost price surely the situation shall drastically improve as economic development takes place in all the aforementioned areas. The middle – level man power will also be developed to accommodate all not able to pressure higher education, at such a time, the 6-3-3-3-4 system of education shall make more sense to each and every individual there will be no drop – out who will not have the opportunity to develop career in life. There shall be complete respect for hard work in all aspects of the development process.
Over 50% of the road network throughout the country is in current need of rehabilitation However, great improvements in this area will also subsequently take place. The increase in foreign exchange earnings from agricultural mineral and marine resources will make possible the rehabilitation of all major roads.
8. and some prominent feeder roads to facilitate faster movement of people within the country and easy transportation of local produce for sale in urban centers. This will also lower the cost of transportation. The long awaited dream of constructing a bridge to connect the Lungi International Airport to the city shall also eventually be realized the rehabilitation of all streets in the city and the construction of extra routes in the outskirts of the city and long the sea shall also considerably reduce traffic jam.
The vital role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Helping people Air their grievances, or express sorrow for their wrongdoings shall facilitate the complete return of peace. A documentary of the TRC’s work shall serve as a reminder to all that warfare is senseless,. In addition, the Special Court’s penalty levied on those that bear the greatest responsibility for our decade – long rebel war shall also serve as a deterrent to anyone who may want to engage in such vicious acts in future. Such penalty will also help to console innocents victims. All such actions now taken shall promote lasting Peace in our country.
One of the serious blows to promiscuous living nowadays is the threat of HIV/AIDS. This will eventually bring people to their senses and cause majority to have only one sex partner with whom they will decide to have say a maximum of four children.
9. In this way sizeable households which can easily be managed will result leading to a control in population growth and an improvement in the standard of living. Furthermore, families will be very much united, and this will promote in the home and prevent family breakup. It will also promote community development and hence national development.
As the Leone appreciates in value, the need to increase the salaries of workers will be minimized; workers will then be able to live within their earning and to save some of their earning for the rainy day. The increase in food production and availability will also contribute to an improvement in the health status of the average Sierra Leonean hence the need for importing more drugs will be minimized.
Now that the national constitution is available to a cross – section of the population, greater transparency would eventually be enhanced there will also be greater freedom of the press as our democracy increases in retirement Nepotism shall also be fought until it is completely eradicated . The recently discovered oil in some parts of the country will also be mined. This coupled with increased income generated by the National Revenue Authority (NRA) shall further increase the income generating capacity of the nation.
My being optimistic of a bright future for our country as expressed in this article or easy is no wishful dream of thinking rather it is based on the potential that exist for progress if all the mechanism put in place at this initial stage are fully implemented such implementation will certainly take place by well meaning Sierra Leonean who shall not sit back to see our nation experience further deterioration.