Difficult Tasks Await the New Government

20 September 2007 at 00:36 | 568 views

By Donald Georgestone, California, USA.

As a Sierra Leonean in the United States , I felt proud that my countrymen and women
back home have made their voices heard in the last general election.

I say thank you to President Kabbah , Ernest Koroma and Solomon Berewa
for doing the best they could to avoid any more suffering and agony for our people.

I say thank you to Dr Christiana Thorpe ; she is a woman of courage , honesty
and integrity .

She believes in doing the right thing , and may God give her wisdom
and guidance in all her undertakings.

I extend a special thank you to Charles Margai. He is a true Sierra Leonean,
a man of courage and destiny. He is a role model for young politicians . He
went across ethnic groups and party lines and did what he felt was best for the

As this is a reconciliation period for Sierra Leone , I urged
historians to give this man a special place in the history books of Sierra Leone.

I also urged each Sierra Leoneans , expecially the young ones, to pray for this
man , ask God to give him long life , strength and courage to pursue his vision
for Sierra Leone , which will result in a better tomorrow for you , me and those
yet unborn.

I want to caution every one not to expect a garden of roses as soon as the
new government takes office. There is no magic wand when it comes to
government bureaucracy.

Generally , government is slow , because they are not
market institutions , there are no profits or shareholders.

Sometimes , it is
difficult to determine how effectively government bureaucracies are operating
because there are no profit and loss statements but budgets. A lot of red tape
is involved in the process .

As a people , we would like our welfare to guide all decision making by the
government , but it does not necessarily go that way all the time. Government
decisions are fundamentally based on regulations and red tape and because
of the conflict , decisions are usually slow.

As a result , I am appealing to
every one to exercise patience with the new government , be pariotic and let
us all work hand in hand with the new government .

As a people , we can help the government to govern fairly and properly , if
we change our attitude. Corruption and bribery have to stop.

If you are a
government employee , you are there to render services to the public and your
services should not be based on bribery.

’ Put fo mi " should not be part of
our daily vocabulary . I urge the government to put zero tolerance on bribery
and corruption in government offices. I also urge the government to make sure
that the tax payers’ money is not spent lavishly to avoid any backlash.

The continuning exodus of Sierra Leone’s skilled and educated workers to work abroad is of great concern to all , and it is creating a major problem in the development
of Sierra Leone.

Certain professions , such as medicine , engineering , Internet Technology , agriculture , finnance, communication are affected the most.

The exodus causes a shrinkage in the middle class , which is needed to build the nation. The exodus also causes mismatch in the private sector of the economy.

People are put in areas of responsibility with no expertise in those areas and as
a result , that leads to low productivity , mismanagement of resources , high death
rate , etc .

Now that the election is over , the new government should encourage Sierra Leonean skilled and educated workers abroad to return home and participate in rebuilding the country.

To acheive these goals , government should come up with measures to create
opportunities for such workers when they return.

Government should pay decent
salaries , so that people can live comfortably.

There should be an opportunity for career advancement with some type of
compensation such as a couple of days off , certificate of acheivement , pay increase or promotion etc.

Any nation that wants stability needs to create jobs for its citizens . Only a fraction of
the jobs are in the public sector , most of the jobs are created in the private sector
sector of the economy .

Unlike the previous government , this government should
be inclusive and job friendly , to be able to create jobs . The government has to stimulate the private sector with various government packages . The physical infrasrructure and the business environment has to be improved to prepare the financial market for small - scale lending and to ensure a flexible labour market.

We should try to regain the confidence of the international community , if we need any assistance from the Mulitilateral Developement Organizations or the Foreign Investment Corporations . Once the physical infrastructure is in proper condition , private investors will come in and create jobs . The availability of jobs will then improve the standard of living of our people , because they will have the earning power to provide the basic human needs , which are food , shelter and clothing.

I should emphasize that those who are unemployed , do not have to sit down
and wait for the government to create jobs for them . You can create your own
jobs . It can be a one man buisness , a partnership , or a company.

All you
need to do is , conduct a little research , find out what goods and services are
needed in the community. Together , with your friends or relatives you can
put some money together , or you can investigate if you are qualify to get a small loan from the bank to start your own buisness .

The government should make it a priority to enforce law and order in the
entire country . In a lawless and consequently weak country , citizens are
defenceless , expecially women and children .

Development programmes are
always unsucessful under that kind of environment , so the government should make it clear , that criminal and unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated under
any ciecumstances .

The government should make it a priority to provide basic amenities , ( water and
electricty ) in particular.
I am talking of clean drinking water . Remember , that for our survival , water is the most essential , next to air. Water makes up more than two thirds of the weight of
the human body , and without it , humans would die in a few days .

Electricity use is the foundation for much of our way of life . I am not talking
about generators. The previous government looked the other way , and let our
people use generators for years that pollute the air they breathe . That is
very unhealthy .

Most communication is based on electricty . Lighting is universally electric ,
and as a society , we need it for our security because one of the main functions
of government is to protect its citizens .

God bless our beloved Sierra Leone.