From the Editor’s Keyboard

Evaluating and assessing Sierra Leone

By  | 5 November 2010 at 21:34 | 663 views

Dr Lansana Gberie, Lans for short, is a Sierra Leonean journalist, writer and academic based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is a senior researcher with the Africa Conflict Prevention Programme of the Institute for Security Studies which introduces itself on its website as the "premier research institute on Human Security in Africa" with offices in South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Lans, a regular contributor to PV, is a very good writer and researcher (he studied History at the University of Sierra Leone and did post-graduate work in Canada). In a recent Situation Report on Sierra Leone (see main page),he first of all acknowledged the positive strides made by the current government led by Ernest Bai Koroma including improvement in health and sanitation, provision of electricity and advances in agriculture. Then he briefly takes the reader through the turbulent political history of Sierra Leone leading almost imperceptibly into the present problems of governance, ethnocentrism and pollitical patronage, controversial mining agreements and so on.

It’s fascinating reading, but don’t take my word for it because even though Lans (nicknamed The Analyst by close friends) has very strong research skills we must not lose sight of the fact these are largely his views. ISS itself has this disclaimer for all its writers and Situation Reports: "The opinions expressed in this Situation Report do not necessarily reflect those of the Institute, its Trustees, members of the Council, or donors. Institute research staff and outside contributors write and comment in their personal capacity and their views do not represent a formal position by the ISS."

The fact however remains that Lans is an excellent writer and researcher and I would like to recommend his report to all Sierra Leonean politicians, policy makers, students, our dear readers and all friends of Sierra Leone.

By the way my friend, Reverend Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu, publisher of the Cocorioko newspaper, has just written glowingly on Sierra Leone’s rising up from the bottom of the the UN Human Development Index. It’s another view on the performance of the current government. Check it out (http://www.cocorioko.net/?p=4204). Yes, there are always two sides to every coin. Pros and cons, Yings and Yangs.

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