Meet Dr. Kadi Sesay: Aspirant for the SLPP Presidential Platform - 2012.
With over 30 years of dedicated service to Sierra Leone in the field of teaching, leading democracy and peace building initiatives, and managing the state at ministerial and political party levels, Dr. Kadi Sesay is well-prepared to provide leadership to the SLPP and Sierra Leone. Her father hails from Rhombe, a small village in Lokomasama chiefdom, Port Loko District in the North. Kadi was born and grew up in Rotifunk in Moyamba District in the South. She understands the feelings of the different peoples across the regions of the country - those very feelings define her life.
Sierra Leone is approaching 2012 with her citizens standing on the crossroads to make a choice between: continuing to propagate the harmful divisions in the country or promoting unity and peace; reclaiming our youth from violence, joblessness and poverty or continuing to use them as agents of terror; giving women an important place in society or continuing to relegate them to the margins of society; privileging patronage and incompetence or rewarding competence, hard work and character. Kadi embodies the bridge of change that Sierra Leone needs.
Kadi believes that Sierra Leone should be the home of all Sierra Leoneans and that Government should support all citizens to pursue their individual dreams in their communities and still bring them together as a single Sierra Leone family. Kadi believes in a Sierra Leone where hard work is rewarded instead of patronage. She believes in constitutional rule, justice and freedom that have made our country enjoy the relative peace it currently has. Kadi believes that it is not right for just the friends and family of any president in power to unfairly prosper at the expense of the rest of the population. Such an approach to governance is sure to hamper efforts at alleviating poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and disease.
Kadi’s Vision for the country is underpinned by the SLPP philosophy of “one country, one people”. She is seriously perturbed by the worst polarization and divisions Sierra Leone has ever faced as a result of the policies and practices of the current Government. She therefore seeks to work towards making a Government that gives hope and endeavours to mend the cracks that have divided Sierra Leone and inhibited its cohesiveness. Kadi’s style of leadership will be one that thrives on professionalism and excellence and therefore will seek to fully utilize the available limited local human resource and expertise for the development of the whole country. Her exposure and experience in key top positions and her proven record of competence and integrity points to a leadership that will lead by example. As a woman and mother, she will provide a strong but caring leadership that will revamp the economy and improve the living standard of the average Sierra Leonean. Kadi will bring to the leadership arena a new energy, freshness and innovation that inspires hope. The SLPP and the country require a visionary, confident and enlightened leadership with experience of how the grassroots people feel and live and what needs to be done. The choice of the first female Presidential candidate for the SLPP this time will demonstrate the shattering of the proverbial glass ceiling and give hope to young Sierra Leonean women that they can attain any position in their country including the highest political office.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE SLPP
Kadi’s membership of the SLPP is borne out of a strong conviction that “the one country one people philosophy” of this party is indeed the only way out and the only way forward for the peaceful co-existence of the different people that constitute Sierra Leone. She is a Grand Chief Patron of SLPP which is the only political party she has ever joined. Kadi has regularly made financial contributions for the up-keep of the party. She has constructively supported party activities from all parts of the country.
Kadi served as SLPP Regional Women’s leader for the North and worked diligently to contribute in building the capacity of northern women. She supervised the Government micro-credit programme which provided urgently needed financial support to women, including those in SLPP, following the end of the war. And as Regional Women’s leader, Kadi provided assistance to female SLPP candidates at all elections and helped them campaign in their constituencies.
Kadi is exceedingly proud to have been elected, in 2009, the first Woman Deputy National Chairman of this historic party and whilst holding this position, she has helped in building the good image of our party. In 2009, Kadi effectively negotiated with the APC and the International Community which resolved the conflict that arose when the APC supporters vandalized the SLPP headquarters and other offices. She provided astute and fearless leadership in leading the SLPP through these negotiations by ensuring that the issues of concern to the SLPP membership were adequately addressed in the resulting Joint Communiqué. The party’s credibility and respect were consequently restored.
In a radio debate in August 2009, Kadi fearlessly exposed the challenges facing the country in two years of APC rule which affectionately earned her the title:”the iron lady of the SLPP.”
When the SLPP National Chairman was away in the United States, Kadi effectively looked after the party and all its members and initiated court action against the Independent Media Commission (IMC) for closing Unity Radio.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE COUNTRY
Service to the University of Sierra Leone:
20 years experience as University lecturer and eventually, head of the Department of English, Fourah Bay College, during which she contributed significantly in training hundreds of young Sierra Leoneans
She effectively managed female students welfare as warden
She served as member of university Senate and the disciplinary committee
Service to the National Commission for Democracy and Human Rights:
Five years uninterrupted service as Chairman
Developed and implemented civic education programmes for the first post conflict elections in 1996
Played lead role in the holding of the Bintumani I & II Conferences
Key organizer of “The National Consultative Conference on the Peace Process in Sierra Leone”, and co-editor of “The Road to Peace” - the report of the Consultations which served as a reference book during the Lome Peace Negotiations
Member of the Sierra Leone Government Negotiating Team for the Lome Peace Negotiations; and chairman of the Socio-Economic and Human Rights Committee during the Lome Peace Negotiations
Secured funding and facilitated the participation of civil society groups in Sierra Leone as observers at the Lome Peace negotiations
Co-writer of the Sierra Leone National Pledge
Service as Minister of Development and Economic Planning:
· Supervised the Development of Sierra Leone’s Interim PRSP and the commencement of the Full PRSP.
· Oversaw the development of a new NGO Policy for the coordination of NGO activities in Sierra Leone
· Supervised the development of VISION 2025, a long term vision for Sierra Leone.
· Spearheaded the development of a National Science and Technology Programme and set up National Council and Secretariat for Science and Technology for Sierra Leone.
· Established a government Micro-credit scheme that provided micro-credit loans especially to women in all 149 chiefdoms and the Western Region.
· Co-chaired the Post-war National Recovery Programme committee.
· Supervised the development of the World Bank $15 million National HIV/ AIDS Programme and led Sierra Leone’s negotiating team with the World Bank for that programme.
· Successfully negotiated and secured the EU funding for the Freetown – Conakry Highway, the Masiaka – Bo Road and the Songo - Moyamba road.
Service as Minister of Trade and Industry
· Led the development of Sierra Leone’s Investment Code
· Initiated a UNIDO Integrated Small and Medium Scale Enterprises programme (2003)
· Facilitated the establishment of The Henan Guoji and Government of Sierra Leone Industrial and Trade Zone at the Old National Workshop Complex, Cline Town where more than 10 industries are located.
· Secured for Sierra Leone, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Visa for duty and quota free exports to the US.
· Led the establishment of the Petroleum Products Strategic Stock Programme and the harmonization of petroleum products price across the country.
· Secured Sierra Leone’s qualification for multi-donor trade support under the Integrated Framework
· Oversaw the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study which provides the framework for current trade development programmes being carried out
· Established the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA)
· Oversaw the simplification of Trade and Investment regulations and Business registration processes that led to the improvement of Sierra Leone’s ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report (2007).
· Organised Sierra Leone’s First International Investors Conference that attracted over 400 foreign investors.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
· Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in The Teaching of English as a Foreign language, Institute of Education, University of London (1982)
· Master of Arts (MA) Degree in African Literature, University of Sheffield, England (1974)
· Bachelor of Arts ( BA Honours) Degree in English Language and Literature , Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.
· St Edwards Secondary School, Freetown ( GCE A’Levels)
· Magburaka Secondary School for Girls, (GCE O’Levels)
· EUB Primary School, Rotifunk, Moyamba District.
· Date of birth: 4th March 1949
· Marital status: Widow with three children
· Place of birth: Rotifunk, Bumpe chiefdom, Moyamba District
· Place of origin: Rhombe, Lokomasama chiefdom, Port Loko District
· Profession: University lecturer and consultant
· Telephone: 033-46 88 47 or 076-81 98 94
E-mail: info@kadisesay2012. org