From the Editor’s Keyboard

Happy New Year, Salone!

By  | 1 January 2014 at 21:59 | 1170 views

On behalf of the Patriotic Vanguard management and staff (a group of patriotic Sierra Leoneans currently working as volunteers) and our numerous contributors and friends, I would like to wish a happy and prosperous New Year to all Sierra Leoneans wherever they may be.

We should not lose hope, brighter days are ahead but we should all work to make it happen; the President and his cabinet cannot do it all by themselves. God helps those who help themselves.

We should also abandon the notion that other people (be they white, black, brown or yellow) will change our lives; it will not happen until we ourselves participate in the process. Sierra Leone is NOT a poor country, it is most of the people living in it that are poor, mentally poor, because you are what you think you are. If you think you are rich, you are rich; if you think you are poor, you are poor. Personal fulfillment starts in the mind. You want to be rich? Then do something to make it happen.

It may mean going back to school or doing what you love and doing it well. But it is not enough to work hard; to be successful you have to work intelligently, to keep up with the times. Sierra Leonean rice farmers for example, should abandon the old ways of the hoe and cutlass and go into mechanized farming, experimenting with new rice seedlings that will bring them a bumper harvest; Sierra Leonean fishermen should abandon the canoe and paddle and come together to buy small fishing vessels to earn more, and so on and so forth. Work with intelligence and with willingness to change tactics or methods.

Transform your hobby into a business and work hard at it, because when you face challenges what will sustain you is your love for what you do. Nobody else can bring you prosperity on a plate. The Americans say there is no free lunch. On the surface this may sound like a banal statement, but it is a fundamental fact of life. That is why there are so many billionaires in America, most of them like to work hard for their money.

The President and his cabinet constantly talk about the Agenda for Prosperity. That is the President’s business plan for the company called Sierra Leone. He is going to try to implement it with the help of all us as shareholders in this huge company. He will only succeed if we help him and we ought to, because all of us will ultimately benefit from a prosperous Sierra Leone.

That means we should also have our own business plans in whatever profession or activity we find ourselves and work hard to implement them this year, without involving ourselves in corrupt activities. Only lazy minds succumb to corruption, you can be prosperous and happy without being corrupt.

Before signing off, there is one thing I would like the government to do this year. They should publicly declare their assets to put an end to all the rumours and speculations. That will also send out a strong signal to our foreign friends that we are ready for business. When you contact a bank for a loan the first thing they ask for is a declaration of your assets. It should be the same in state governance. I know parliament asks for this when people are nominated for public office, but that is kept private or secret. That information should be made public, or be accessible to the public as is done in other countries. That is a tough demand, I know, but that is what it means to be a public official: Transparency and Accountability.

Happy New Year, Salone!

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