Salone News

PMDC Manifesto (Final Version)

25 February 2006 at 22:39 | 682 views

This is the final version of the PMDC manifesto. What we published earlier was a draft.

MANIFESTO

OF THE

PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT

FOR

DEMOCRATIC CHANGE

FORWARD

The founding fathers that ushered in independence on 27th April, 1961, had a dream for Sierra Leone. A dream that was intended to put Sierra Leone on the International stage. The march towards this goal was not only reassuring but comprehensive enough to embrace all components of a true democracy. In this regard, tolerance, probity and accountability were the guiding principles. It was to the admiration of all, both within and without Sierra Leone. Sierra Leoneans of all ages, creed and status lived a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life. This was however to be short lived.

For some reprehensible reason, which may have been connected with greed and self-aggrandisement on the part of past leadership, the decades declined into decadence with those set-goals degenerating into despair and wanton suffering. Democratic ideals were replaced by dictatorship short of a police state. Integrity, probity and accountability gave way to rampant institutionalized corruption with impunity. Sierra Leone is almost on the verge of collapse as a nation state.

The birth of PMDC was God sent, if only to rekindle the hopes and aspirations of the people.

As interim Leader of PMDC, I am privileged to write this forward, and to assure all and sundry, PMDC’s determination to reintroduce all core values taken away from the people by selfish and un-progressive past leaders who have served only their own self interests with little or no regard for the welfare and well-being of the citizenry.

With God’s grace, help and guidance, the future progress of our beloved nation lies with PDMC. This I can assure the people of Sierra Leone with their support.

SIGN:
DATE:

Charles Francis Margai
(Interim Leader)

CONTENTS

A. BACKGROUND (PMDC is BORN)
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B. PHYLOSOPHY and IDEOLOGY
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1. PHYLOSOPHY
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2. IDEOLOGY
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3. APPROACH
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4. BENCHMARKS
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C. POLICY GOALS
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1. GOVERNANCE ENHANCEMENT
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1.1 Security, Law and Order
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1.2 Judiciary, and the Rule of Law
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1.3 Devolution and Local Government
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1.4 Civil Society Participation
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1.5 Extra Departmental Commissions
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1.6 Parastatals
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1.7 Non-Governmental Organisations
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2. FOREIGN POLICY and INTERNATIONAL RELATION
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3. ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
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3.1 Financial Management
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3.2 Financial Management Strategies
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3.3 Development and Economic Planning
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4. ENGINE of GROWTH
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4.1 Energy and Power
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4.2 Agriculture and Food Production
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4.3 Marine and Fisheries Resources
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4.4 Trade and Industry
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4.5 Transport and Communications
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4.6 Mineral Resources
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4.7 Tourism, Culture and Heritage
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4.7.1 Tourism
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4.7.2 Culture and Heritage
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5. SOCIAL SERVICES
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5.1 Health, Sanitation and the Environment
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5.2 Education
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5.2.1 Education Policy
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5.2.2 Education and Millennium
Development Goal (MDGs)
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5.2.3 Education Incentives
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5.3 Public Works and Housing
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5.4 Information and Social Mobilisation-
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5.5 Sports and Recreation
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5.6 Land Acquisition, Distribution and Utilisation
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6. PEOPLE’S EMPOWERMENT
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6.1 Children’s Affairs
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6.2 Youth
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6.3 The Aged
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6.4 People with Special Needs and disability
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6.5 Gender Affairs
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6.6 Rural Development
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D. THE PLEDGE
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A. BACKGROUND

PMDC IS BORN

People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) is born of the desire of the people of Sierra Leone for positive change in governance to turn the country round in order to improve the lives of the general populace for the better. It is in response to their call for a radical departure from the negative and un-progressive political traditions that have characterized bad governance over three decades.

Reforms therefore, will underpin the Movement’s policies. These will be fundamental, profound and comprehensive enough to address every aspect of national life for the better.

When voted in to power, PMDC will guarantee and foster the nation’s basic values of Unity, Freedom and Justice, shall promote Liberty and Equalities and set a clear Vision for the country.

The Movement sets amongst its goals honest, dynamic, focused, and committed leadership so that in partnership with the citizenry, take the nation out of its present predicament.

PMDC faithfully undertakes to promote sustainable peace and security; make fervent effort to turn the economy around, ensure equal justice for all, pursue good governance and war against corruption. The Movement is determined to give un-stinted leadership in the spirit of one for all and all for one!

B. PHILOSOPHY AND IDEOLOGY

1. PHILOSOPHY
PMDC’s political philosophy is grounded on tested political system that brings into being a government that truly represents the mass of the people, with the rights of the individual adequately safeguarded.

2. IDEOLOGY
PMDC’s ideology is composite of:
(a) The inalienable right to representative government.
(b) The right to individual liberties.

3. APPROACH
In practice the essential features of PMDC’S approach are as follows:
(a) Sound democratic institutions based on majority rule, through a pluralistic electoral process attested to as free and fair.
(b) Devolution of political power such that limits the powers of the central government.
(c) Transparency and Accountability in the process of governance.
(d) Freedom of expression, assembly and association as guaranteed by the national constitution.

4. BENCHMARKS
In the people’s desire for a positive change, PMDC shall be judged on the following benchmarks:
(a) Evidence of constitutional government.
(b) Evidence of free and fair elections for local councils and parliament.
(c) Evidence of true separation of powers with checks and balances between the three organs of government: executive, legislative and judiciary.
(d) Evidence of good livelihood for citizenry.
(e) Evidence of sound and relevant social services.

C. POLICY GOALS

1. GOVERNANCE ENHANCEMENT
Appropriate measures will be taken (with the necessary reforms put in place) to satisfactorily enhance effective governance.
1.1 Security, Law and Order.
Taking into cognizance the fact that this nation has barely come out of war, and that the maintenance of security, law and order are paramount, one of the Movement’s policy goals prioritises security and translates it to include the welfare of the masses in order to avoid mass discontent. To achieve this, PMDC will:
a) Provide the wherewithal for the Armed Forces and Police to ensure effective and efficient performance in the conduct of their duties:
protecting life and property;
law and order enforcement;
adequately and effectively handling home-grown insurgency;
protecting the nation against external aggression.
b) Ensure adequate policing of our porous borders, which shall be paramount to our national security strategy to control smuggling, illegal cross-border activities, money laundering, human trafficking and security threats across our borders.
c) Ensure that immigration for national stability becomes a priority area. A PMDC government shall set up mechanisms for the sharing of information on security and trans-national crime with modalities put in place to ensure effective control.
1.2 Judiciary, and the Rule of Law.
The rule of law is a sine qua non for any democratic society. It is the cornerstone for good governance leading to a stable society. PMDC is committed to upholding the rule of law and guarantees a free, open and just society. A PMDC government will:
a) Ensue the independence of the judiciary as opposed to what obtains now and had long been.
b) Reform the judicial and justice system to make them more efficient, effective and attractive.
c) Embark on comprehensive legal reforms to address the imbalances in our society, including a review of the Public Order Act No. 46 of 1965.
d) Guarantee the constitutional and democratic rights of all citizens, viz:
freedom of speech,
freedom of worship,
freedom of association,
freedom of information,
right to free access to information,
right to free, fair and expeditious trial,
freedom of the press.
e) Institute and reinforce discipline at all levels in the society, as part and parcel of the maintenance of law and order.
f) Enforcement of laws and regulations will be strictly administered to uphold serve as deterrent in the maintenance of law and order.

1.3 Devolution and Local Government.
PMDC is committed to ensuring people’s participation in governance to the fullest. Decentralization of power would therefore lie at the heart of the Movement’s policies. In power, PMDC will therefore:
a) Empower all local authorities/councils/chiefdoms to mobilise their resources to generate the necessary funds for their advancement, as they are better placed to determine their communities’ felt needs, developmental priorities and aspirations.
b) Ensure greater autonomy to local authorities/councils/chiefdoms to determine the destinies of their respective communities in order to economically empower themselves.
c) Review the Local Government act of 2004 to ensure proper separation of powers, responsibilities and authority.

1.4 Civil Society Participation.
The People are the cornerstone of PMDC and they are placed at the very heart of its policies. The Movement believes that the people are the surest vehicle for their own salvation and economic emancipation. A PMDC government will:
a) Galvanise civil society participation at all levels of governance to move the nation forward.
b) Provide credible leadership in partnership with the people.
c) Endeavour to accomplish, encourage and promote community spirit and service.

1.5 Extra Departmental Commissions.
As the business of governance becomes ever more complex, modern state management requires the creation of extra-departmental commissions to perform specialized functions which normal government departments are not tailored to do. Examples are National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), National Commission for Privatization (NCP). New commissions will be set up to enhance performance and transparency, such as for Financial and Projects Implementation Monitoring. Controversy and suspicion however, have dogged the operations of such commissions. For better performance, efficiency and effectiveness, a PMDC administration will:
a) Ensure that the operations of such commissions more transparent and accountable to the people.
b) Ensure that funds are channelled to the right priorities and such funds are properly accounted for and that the commissions themselves do not become duplicates or super ministries.
c) Ensure that such commissions actually complement and supplement the programmes of mainstream government departments.
d) Ensure that activities of such commissions are very well coordinated and that they are cohesive.

1.6 Parastatals.
Poor management of many parastatals has rendered such institutions national liabilities rather than assets - hence, the hue-and-cry for their privatization. PMDC will:
a) Acknowledge the need for privatization of many such parastatals with a cautious approach.
b) Assess the impact of privatization on the country and on different communities and societies.
c) Encourage full Sierra Leonean participation in the privatization process in the form of Public - Private Partnership to ensure the Sierra Leonean business community benefits.

1.7 Non-Governmental Organisations.
Though not a novelty in Sierra Leone, even going back thirty years into history, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) proliferated here only during and after the war. Considered more flexible, less corruption prone and in touch with the grassroots than centralized government institutions, NGOs became more fashionable to the donor community and therefore more involved in project implementation funded by such donors. To reach our goals, a PMDC government will:
a) Better coordinate the functions of NGOs in order to avoid duplication of efforts, waste of funds and resources and ensure that the greatest benefits of their activities actually meet the people for whom the funding was meant.
b) Put in place a monitoring and tracking systems that would enhance and guarantee more transparency and accountability in the operations of NGOs, both local and international.
c) Ensure that programmes embarked upon dovetail into overall government development policies so that development would be made more holistic, cohesive and sustainable.

2 . FOREIGN POLICY and INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
As globalization brings the world’s diverse peoples and cultures ever closer; as advances in science, information technology and the internet increase communication between nations; as international trade and cooperation facilitate enhanced cross-continental contacts; and as man made or natural disasters stir the human heart making people reach out to each other in times of crises, PMDC takes cognizance of the fact that no nation can afford to live in isolation.

PMDC recognises and appreciates the help given to us Sierra Leoneans by the International Community when we were in dire need. The efforts of the international community towards the restoration of peace and democracy are highly commendable. A PMDC government will:
a) Embrace the Articles and Principles enshrined in the Geneva and Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Practice and Consular Relations; adhere to the Protocols and Articles of regional associations and international organizations such as the United Nations, African Union, Commonwealth, ECOWAS, Mano River Union and all global alliances which are committed to the pursuit of liberty and peaceful co-existence.
b) Commit to the fight against global terrorism in order to ensure a more peaceful and stable world.
c) Fully endorses an enhanced and more dynamic and robust role for the UN in the maintenance of international peace and order and the resolution of conflicts wherever they occur.
d) Support the UN’s preventive measures in addressing conflicts rather than embarking on crisis management.
e) Recognise the important role the Mano River Union (MRU) could play towards restoring the cordial relationship enjoyed by the three nations of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
f) Commit to an invigorated MRU that would play its rightful role in ensuring the peace and stability in the Mano River Union basin.
g) Pursue vigorous multi as well as bi-lateral agreements to promote greater international cooperation in the areas of economic development, trade, the war against drugs, human trafficking etc.
h) Commit to initiating robust diplomatic efforts to raise our national stature in the international forum and expand our bi-lateral relationships with other nations in furtherance of mutually agreed goals and programmes.
i) Ensure that compatriots in the Diaspora fully participate in national development. Such participation will extend to making them eligible to vote and be voted for at national elections. Reciprocally, they will be expected to pay their taxes to meet their civic responsibility.
j) Review the law of the land with a view to recognizing dual citizenship for Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora.

3. ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
3.1 Financial Management.
Prudent, honest, resourceful and proper management of any nation’s financial resources is indispensable to economic development and sustainable growth. This has been woefully lacking in Sierra Leone, accounting for the scanty evidence available on the ground to justify the millions of dollars of donor intervention. A PMDC administration will:
a) Guarantee transparency, probity and accountability in the management of the nation’s finances.
b) Introduce fiscal policies to achieve maximum benefit to the nation.
c) Review taxation policies to ensure that the people are not over-burdened, as is currently the case, which militates against investment and increased productivity.
d) Restore credibility to the National Treasury and other state financial institutions.
e) Introduce a programme aimed at re-establishing macroeconomic stability, rehabilitating the social and economic infrastructure and rebuilding capacity for policy development and implementation.

3.2 Financial Management Strategies
The above financial management programmes will be achieved through the following strategies:
a) Collaborating with our development partners to reduce both domestic and external debts to a minimum through debt cancellations, debt-swap and buy-backs, and the mobilization of maximum domestic and external resources (in the form of enhanced tax administration and collection for domestic resources and in the form of programme and project grants and concessionary loans at a minimal cost).
b) The maintenance of strict fiscal discipline driven by measures to rationalize the tax system and strengthen control over spending.
c) Enhanced monetary policy directed towards controlling money supply growth to levels consistent with inflation objectives while ensuring that sufficient bank credit is available to the private sector.
d) Reduction in capital gains tax to encourage entrepreneurship, especially indigenous entrepreneurial activity and business creation.
e) Introduction of Volunteer Corps for Youths in both agriculture and road construction. This would be done by creating farming communities and small-scale contractor companies for youths throughout the country, whose involvement will be encouraged through provision of scholarships for those intending to continue any form of education and the formal employment of those no longer wishing to be enrolled in educational institutions.
f) The introduction of adaptive technology that befits the endowment of each district for the establishment of small-scale factories, for example, Garri making factories in the Bo and Moyamba Districts, Ginger in Moyamba District, Fruit canning factory in the Koinadugu District, Garra and Cloth making factory in the Bombali and Kailahun Districts respectively, Groundnut Oil and Cream making factory in the Port Loko District, local building materials factory in the Pujehun District, Fish processing factory in Shenge, Tombo, Gbondapi and Goderich, cocoa and coffee processing factory in the Kailahun District, cashew nut processing in Kambia and Port Loko Districts, to list a few.
g) Establishment of an export processing zone.
h) Linking the educational system to the labour market through the introduction of a comprehensive active labour market policy, this will largely depend on the type of education and training system in place.
i) Concerted effort in Infrastructural Development to enhance investment and information/communication technology (ICT).
j) Concerted effort in the provision of safe drinking water and health facilities throughout the country.
k) Data collection, analysis, update and review for use in national policy planning, forecasting and programming, will be maintained assiduously.

3.3 Development and Economic Planning.
Uncoordinated and disjointed planning has characterized national development and economic programmes. Failure to implement such plans further compounds the problem. To reach our objectives, a PMDC government will:
a) Create an equitable input/output balance between productivity and labour.
b) Create an efficient legal system that protects property rights and enforces contracts.
c) Develop an infrastructure to reduce transaction costs.
d) Introduce an institutional and regulatory framework that promotes healthy competition and the creation of employment.
e) Resolve to providing leadership in ensuring holistic planning such that projects embarked upon are accomplished.
f) Ensure that growth and development are sustainable and properly coordinated, with the aim to reap the maximum benefits from the advantages of the economies of scale.

4. ENGINE of GROWTH

4.1 Energy and Power.
The availability and access to electricity and safe drinking water are of paramount necessity for the functioning of any modern state. The vast majority of Sierra Leoneans have no access to electricity and safe drinking water. The effect of the absence of these fundamental necessities has resulted in the lack of industrial development.
A PMDC government will strategically work in partnership with local and international institutions, organisations and various interest groups and stakeholders in order to achieve the following commitments:
a) Totally commit to human development by providing electricity supply nationwide.
b) Revive the defunct water supply systems in the chiefdom headquarters and extend such facilities countrywide.
c) Design a long-term programme to ensure that every settlement has access to electricity and safe drinking water.
d) Promote effective research and other initiatives in the field of renewable energy, such as solar, small hydro and biomass energy.

4.2 Agriculture and Food Production.
No nation can develop fully if it cannot feed its people. Sierra Leone is endowed with bountiful arable land, which must not be left to lie fallow. The vast majority of Sierra Leoneans who are rural based are employed in the agricultural sector. Agriculture being the economic mainstay of the nation, It is not only a job for farmers but also a way of feeding the people and ensuring sustainable national economic growth.

In the light of this, PMDC will make the following our priorities in the agricultural sector:
a) Food production for the population
b) Provision of employment
c) Provision of source of income
d) Earning foreign exchange through export

e) Commit to providing the leadership necessary to put such bounteous farmlands into cultivation, as agriculture is the surest gateway to sustainable economic growth.
f) Ensure that the agricultural sector is strategically restructured, and adequately equipped to enhance production of sufficient food to meet the nation’s needs and boost foreign exchange reserves through export.
g) Efficiently manage this sector and encourage the establishment of agro-based industries that will undertake the processing, preservation and canning of agricultural produce for both local consumption and export.
h) Radically reorganize the Agricultural Sector in favour of mechanization in order to move our farmers from the current subsistence farming to self-sufficient mechanized farming.
i) Take onboard the restructuring of a large-scale livestock rearing and fish farming as well as restructuring and strengthening agricultural cooperatives and Trade Fairs.
j) Ensure that our womenfolk in the production, processing and marketing of agricultural products get the necessary legal safeguards to achieve gender parity in benefits and foster national growth and prosperity.

4.3 Marine and Fisheries Resources.
With a coastline of about 506km, territorial sea frontier of 200 nautical miles, fish catches of more than 62,000 tons per annum from pelagic species (surface dwelling) taken by small-scale fishers and 106,000 tons per annum from demersal species (bottom dwelling) taken by the industrial sector, Sierra Leone has little to show for it. The coastline and beaches are also mined disconnectedly ensuing inordinate erosion and environmental degradation. PMDC will:
a) Recognise the fact that activities of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources are unfortunately confined to fisheries (biological) resources.
b) Identify and encourage the functional incorporation and management of other coastal economic activities such as sand, stone and rock mining, salt production and make the aquatic resource sector in general more accessible and accountable to the people of Sierra Leone.
c) Make provision for recreational facilities.
d) Invest in the fishing harbour nationwide, which would attract well-meaning investors, ensure/assure quality.
e) Monitor, control and surveillance our aquatic resources.
f) Facilitate canned food production/value added processes.
g) Introduce a systematic research in the marine environment; generate reliable data and statistics for a much needed management information system for the management of the nation’s aquatic resources.

h) To achieve the above and to maintain there sustainability, a PMDC government will encourage appropriate fishing innovations and exploitations of the relatively “Untapped” resources like Tuna and Sharks off the continental slope.

i) Transform the industry into a major source of food production, job creation, income generator and a vital life line for foreign exchange in terms of export.

4.4 Trade and Industry.
Trade is both domestic and international and dependent on the level of economic activities in the state. With productivity stunted because of the plethora of a host of problems, imbalances in trade are bound to occur.

Small Businesses act as one of the engines of the nation’s economy. They create and sustain employment and provide flexibility and innovation for all sectors of the economy. A PMDC government will:
a) Commit to creating an enabling economic environment in which small businesses prosper by creating a Small Businesses Commission to examine government interventions, monitor the progress of small businesses and keep their needs on the government’s agenda.
b) Create a liberal market economy, free businesses from the shackles of low skills and shortages of trained workers.
c) Commit to stimulating productivity and providing conducive environment in which such productivity would be marketed.
d) Address restrictive trade practices and policies to promote both domestic and international trade with a view to improving on the volume of trade from which government could earn revenue to embark upon developmental programmes.

4.5 Transport and Communications.
Commercialization is the key to development and economic growth as it facilitates exchange, which stimulates greater productivity. Meaningful commercialization of economic activities can only take place when sellers and buyers are brought together to transact business. Existing and past governments have failed to improve on transport and communications facilities and therefore have limited the ability of buyers and sellers to transact business. PMDC government will work in partnership with local and international investors and stakeholders to :

a) Improve the transport and communications sector in order to boost trade and in that pursuit inspire greater productivity.
b) Embark upon an extensive programme of road rehabilitation and construction. This would bring communities into closer communication with each other and therefore accelerate exchange of goods and services.
c) Emphasis on both major trunk roads as well as feeder roads.
d) Explore and introduce inland water transportation.
e) Put measures in place to safeguard and improve air, sea and land travel, and make these more accessible , affordable, convenient and safe.
f) Pursue policies in the areas of telecommunications to ensure advancement in technology and competitiveness in the provision of services for greater customer satisfaction at reasonable tariffs.

4.6 Mineral Resources.
Sierra Leone is endowed with abundant mineral resources. Returns from the exploitation of the mineral resources of this nation have never impacted positively on national development, nor the welfare of the people. The benefits are not reflected in the conditions of life of majority of the people to whom such resources truly belong. A PMDC government will:
a) Restore the significance of mineral resources to the economy through increased output, employment, fiscal revenues and foreign exchange earnings.
b) Promote exploration of favourable geological targets.
c) Promote primary processing of minerals locally as obtains in other African countries, to add value to the end products, ensuring sound environmental and safety conditions.
d) Establish a principal objective for marketing of minerals to obtain the highest price for the goods.
e) Adopt measures to curb illegal mining and eradicate smuggling of precious minerals.
f) Formulate policies and create an environment to attract the interest of more of the leading international diamond merchants to participate in the industry.
g) Limit and restrict the number of exporters’ licenses to organized companies or groups. Foreign exporters shall be obliged to train Sierra Leoneans on the marketing of minerals on the international market.
h) Ensure that the exploitation of such resources goes towards the national good and such exploitation is carried out without disastrous consequences to the environment in which it takes place.
i) Take measures to curb smuggling of our precious minerals while mining policies shall be reviewed, in order to ensure that the people get a fair share of their God-given resources.

4.7 Tourism, Culture and Heritage.
Sierra Leone can boast of potentials in tourism, second-to-none in the West African sub-region, with the world’s longest unbroken beaches. It is also a repository of rare fauna and flora, with a potential to attract droves of tourists. Yet these bounteous gifts of nature are grossly under-utilised. The nation’s culture and heritage will also form part of the attraction to tourists.

4.7.1 Tourism
Tourism is an ever increasing and growing sector of the economy. PMDC will work closely with chiefdoms, local authorities, NGOs, local and international organizations, interest groups and other government agencies and stakeholders to promote and sustain community awareness in the tourism industry. PMDC therefore, will:
a) Provide greater incentives and support for tourism based on investments.
b) Recognize that tourism and tourism development must be sustainable and carried out in a manner which causes minimum disruption to the environment and traditional ways of life.
c) Properly market the industry nationally and internationally.
d) Efficiently manage and coordinate the industry to improve on the employment situation and create net benefits in terms of foreign exchange and tax revenues to government.
e) Identify, enlist and protect the country’s tourism assets - physical and wildlife, monuments, relics and historical buildings and cultural assets.
f) Effective market and promote all facets of tourism.
g) Establish, update and develop regional tourism attractions, involving the local people in the planning and development of tourist assets.
h) Provide local communities with appropriate education and training in tourism projects planning, implementation, management and monitoring.

4.7.2 Culture and Heritage
Successive governments have undervalued the arts, culture and heritage, but we the PMDC will:
a) Be proud to champion them.
b) Value and recognize culture for its benefits to society and the economy.
c) Transform Culture and Heritage to promote health, education.
d) Promote Culture and Heritage to create and foster sense of community, belonging and personal development.

5. SOCIAL SERVICES
5.1 Health, Sanitation and Environment.
Life expectancy in Sierra Leone averages 37 years, one of the lowest in the world. Maternity and infant mortality rate in Sierra Leone are among the highest in the world. There is a high prevalence of preventable diseases due to inadequate and ill-equipped health infrastructure, inadequate access to health and other social services in both urban and rural areas. Doctors, nurses and supporting staff are relatively few in number. PMDC believes that prevention is better than cure. The Movement will:
a) Create the enabling environment for citizens to live healthier lives, as good health is an important catalyst to economic and social development necessary for national prosperity and political stability.
b) Be committed to promoting a good health care delivery system through expanded/outreach and sustainable programmes in partnership with local communities nationwide.
c) Promote and sustain preventative and primary healthcare.
d) Take measures in collaboration with other agencies to rid our towns and cities of filth and garbage to ensure a healthy and safe environment.
e) Work in partnership with local and international organizations to fight HIV/AIDS and all communicable diseases.
f) Be at the forefront of the new Environmental revolution, by integrating environmental concerns into our policy making, both at local and national levels.
g) Promote environmental improvement using the bottom to top approach.
h) Give local people greater control over things that affect their lives by establishing community trusts to protect local environmental issues for the benefit of the community.
i) Productively sustain the environment to collectively enhance our economy.

5.2 Education.
Human resource development is crucial to turning the economy around. Notwithstanding the billions poured into the education sector over the years, the best we could get are poorly constructed schools with few trained teachers, resulting in disappointing results in public examinations.
Sierra Leone, once heralded as the Athens of Africa, now lags behind less endowed nations in the provision of education.

5.2.1 Education Policy
As a political Movement, PMDC recognizes education as a key investment in human resources, which is grossly lacking at the moment. The thrust of the PMDC’s education policy shall be geared towards addressing the following:
a) Quality education at all levels.
b) Affordable education for all.
c) Accessibility to education nationwide.

5.2.2 Education and Millennium Development Goals
A PMDC government will be totally committed to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in education and adhere to other international targets aimed at reducing the imbalances in the provision of education. This is in a bid to reduce the high level of illiteracy currently prevalent in the country. Towards this goal, our government will keenly focus on the following:
a) Education of the girl child.
b) Gender parity.
c) Quality in education delivery.
d) Promotion of skills acquisition for self-reliance and self-actualization.
e) Training and a national curriculum that is tailored to the needs of country’s development.

5.2.3 Educational Incentives
In order to achieve and enhance these education policies and goals, a PMDC government will pursue the following measures and incentives:
Put premium on improvement of conditions of service for teachers to be as competitive and rewarding as in other walks of life.
b) Guarantee collaboration between University, Government departments and other organizations in the promotion of Scientific and Cultural programmes to attain national development.
c) Review conditions of service across the board making it attractive for qualified Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora to come home and make meaningful contributions to national development.
d) Acknowledge the invaluable contributions of the teaching profession towards human resource development.
e) Recognise the need to improve on teacher’s professionalism through enhanced in-service training and the establishment of a professional council.

5.3 Public Works and Housing.
Public buildings and offices, quarters, barracks, their furnishings and trappings nationwide are in dire state of disrepair and grossly inadequate. Meanwhile a significant number of our compatriots have no place to lay their heads. The institutional and legislative framework for a housing scheme in this country is weak and inadequate.
PMDC in government will:
a) Commit to developing policies, plans and programmes that will satisfy the housing requirements of the nation.
b) Develop a national policy and objective on housing that will be geared towards meeting the national housing demand by increasing the national housing stock and satisfying the hopes and aspirations of the low-income sector of the workers of our country.
c) Create an enabling environment that will facilitate local and foreign investor-participation in housing schemes through appropriate incentives.

5.4 Information and Social Mobilisation.
Information is power. Yet, successive administrations have failed to avail themselves of this power to mobilize the people through the effective use of information. They have instead kept the people in permanent ignorance in order to continue misusing, abusing and refusing them the right to a decent existence. The movement will:
a) Create an environment that ensures individual liberty and freedom, safeguard the freedom of the press and endeavour to keep citizens as well informed as possible at all times.
b) Make information free, open and easily accessible.

5.5 Sports and Recreation.
Access to sporting and other recreational activities makes a healthy nation. Facilities for these are lacking nationwide. While other nations are positively impacting the international sporting arena even in our sub-region, Sierra Leone has vanished from the sub-regional spotlight. The movement will:
a) Provide focused leadership to improve upon sporting and recreational facilities whilst putting premium on promoting and marketing Sierra Leone’s sporting prowess worldwide.
b) Promote other sporting activities such as cricket, basketball, lawn tennis and athletics, to name but a few, would also be given the attention they deserve.
c) Mobilise Sierra Leoneans both at home and in the Diaspora to try to generate funds necessary to host a major continental sporting event such as the African Nations Cup finals.
d) Put early emphasis on schools sports confined not just to Freetown and the provincial headquarters, but spread out through every district and chiefdom.
e) Encourage, support and promote competitive sports in all possible activity areas at Chiefdom/ Local Councils/authority levels in their respective areas in order to spot and develop talents.

5.6 Land Acquisition, Distribution and Utilisation.
Acquisition, distribution and utilization of land resources constitute some of the most contentious issues in today’s Sierra Leone. Poor land management has caused serious tragedies in our country. The movement will:
a) Design policies to ensure legality of possession, equity in distribution and social acceptability of the processes of utilization and exploitation of land resources.
b) Ensure that land development will be given prominence.
c) Design policies to attract substantial investments in land and land-based resources.
d) Give priority to Country Planning and proper land management.

6. PEOPLE’S EMPOWERMENT
6.1 Children’s Affairs.
Children constitute the future of any nation. Yet the children of Sierra Leone are so underprivileged that their future is a grim and unwholesome prospect. Child trafficking and use for forced labour continues to deny them the opportunity to fully develop their talents and make themselves gainfully employable to become contributing citizens of the state in the future. Grinding poverty denies them food; shelter and clothing while deplorable health facilities cause their premature demise - thus the high infant mortality rate. The movement will:
a) Put in place policies and measures to protect the child in partnership with parents, guardians and communities as well as International and national non-governmental organizations (NGO), such that the welfare of the child becomes the concern of all.
b) Design policies that will address the wholesome development of the child.
c) Address the issue of street children by encouraging the establishment of child support institutions in partnership with the international community and non-governmental organizations in order to provide these children adequate shelter, upkeep, training and education.

6.2 Youths.
Youths are the bedrock of any nation. The quality of youths therefore determines the dynamism of a people. Yet Sierra Leonean youths have been the most abused, misused and deprived by successive regimes. The movement will:
Ensure that youth empowerment shall be a commitment at the very core of PMDC’s objectives.
b) Ensure greater participation of youth in governance will also be fostered with their interests and welfare prioritized.
c) Prepare the youth for job opportunities.
d) Make provision to build the capacity of the youth to adequately prepare them for a meaningful contribution to nation building.
e) Provide opportunities for the youth to achieve the highest of their potential.

6.3. The Aged.
Like women and children, the aged in Sierra Leone constitute yet another disadvantaged and vulnerable class. They are deprived of basic facilities such as shelter, medicare, food and proper care. The lack of such facilities results in their early demise. The PMDC is committed to developing policies friendly to the aged as well as catering for their welfare and promoting their well-being.
6.4 People with Special Needs and Disability.
This is yet another of the vulnerable groups in our society through no fault of theirs. Current and past government policies have been grossly inadequate in tackling their predicament and addressing it with the seriousness it requires. The movement will:

a) Pomote policies to address the plight of the handicapped.
b) Provide opportunities for a decent existence.
c) Support, encourage and provide funds for adequately addressing the issue of handicaps so that they are not reduced to the permanent status of beggars all be it on a short-term.
6.5 Gender Affairs.
Women make up majority of the national population. Notwithstanding their size, they have been marginalized, and as such have become victims of gender discrimination. The movement will:
a) Create gender parity and to give equal opportunity without gender bias, this will be done by mainstreaming gender in all its programmes.
b) Revisit those laws that have been discriminatory to our womenfolk and would grant them equal opportunities in governance.
c) Fully recognize and adequately reward women for their contributions to their communities and the nation.
6.6 Rural Development.
Rural Sierra Leone makes up most of this nation’s land mass and accounts for a large proportion of the national population. It also provides most of our natural resources upon which the state is dependent for economic development. Yet current and past governments have directed very little of the national wealth to the development of rural Sierra Leone and as such rural dwellers are among the poorest of the poor. The movement will:
a) Endeavour to direct more resources and planning of rural communities in order to upgrade facilities and amenities in such communities such as electricity and pipe- borne water.
b) Commitment to halting the mass exodus from rural environments to urban centers by facilitating the provision of such essential services; such as job opportunities, recreational facilities, and effective decentralization that would make migration to the cities and big towns less attractive.
c) Support local authorities to provide job opportunities and other incentives for their locals.

D. THE PLEDGE
PMDC pledges:

1. Leadership which is:
accountable
decisive,
enlightened,
forthright,
honest,
robust,
transparent

2. Leadership which will:
inspire people
re-kindle confidence in politics and governance
work in partnership with the people so that
lift our beloved Sierra Leone out of the doldrums.

A comprehensive structure for governance characterised by a highly skilled, capable and committed workforce supported by a visionary leadership with a strong conviction for a positive change shall be the cornerstone of PMDC’s success in implementing these manifesto commitments.

TO GOD (ALLAH) BE THE GLORY

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