Sierra Leone

English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

Lawyer Abu Bakarr Kalokoh, the Joseph and David of the times

The Patriotic Vanguard - Wed, 20/10/2021 - 22:07

Sponsored Content

By Dr Yahya Kaloko, USA

Love him or hate him, lawyer Abu Bakarr Kalokoh (photo) epitomizes the Biblical/Islamic Joseph/Yusuf and David/Daud of our times. He espouses goodwill even to those who hate and fight to vanquish him in public, or in a cowardly fashion in nooks and corners, or using the power of darkness. His affable demeanor and respect but resolute stance for his beloved APC Party is unmatched by most, if not all, contestants for the leadership of the APC at all times.

We have many in our midst today who at some point left the party on their own volition to join other parties. That was a time when the party was going through difficult times, fighting hard to climb difficult political terrains. We also have some currently claiming to be APC who have formed pacts with the current SLPP regime for personal gain. We have heard the sounding off from some of these actors during the 10/11 years of APC rule, blowing steam hotter than nuclear explosion clouds, on how much they love the party, ready and willing to sacrifice everything under the sun.

We also have aspirants for the 2023 flagbearer contest for the APC who have no clue on what the party stands for and what it has achieved in governance since the 60s. They are clueless on the party's political ideology, but trying to claim the upper ground. Unfortunately too, we have witnessed utterances from many who claim to be grassroots APC members since the beginning of time, dancing to the unsavory tune of unity for an aspirant for flagbearer (not yet flagbearer), who has not proffered any recognition of APC accomplishments over the decades.

I cannot imagine where one can be embraced free onboard in a household he or she never invested in, but still refuses to show any sign of gratitude to that household; refuses to embrace or even acknowledge the kindness of the host. Looks like it's only in the APC such behavior can be tolerated. You will not see an iota of such behavior in the SLPP. It's therefore only hate, greed, ignorance or monetary gain that drive some self-proclaimed party loyalist to be calling for unity around such a candidate against other more suitable candidates, with a pedigree in party history and accomplishments. These are party faithfuls who had fought in the trenches for love of party and country for decades.

Remember, when things are given free of charge to people, many fail to even acknowledge or value the kindness provided them. But one who suffers in the trenches, fighting for what he or she believes in will end up being more appreciative of successes. In the dispensation of power when in governance, we brought in many outsiders to join, hoping to broaden or grow the party. This was done on the backs of those who fought very hard for our 2007 victory. In the end many were left to languish, nothing to show for their sacrifices. But it is even more troubling to see some of the same sufferers who did not enjoy the fruits of their labor the last time to be dancing with both hands and feet, as the Temne says “lak a baka” for someone who was given a leadership position in a silver platter, and cannot even recognize till this day the hands of openness given. It is therefore important for the APC to ensure this time around our party flagbearer undergoes the rigors of campaigns, fighting for every vote.

Let it be known at this point the APC DOES NOT HAVE A FLAGBERER, BUT ONLY ASPIRANTS. ANYONE WHO CLAIMS TO BE THE PARTY'S FLAGBEARER AT THIS MOMENT IS A FALSE CLAIM. LET THE CAMPAIGN START IN EARNEST. BASED ON THE NEW APC CONSTITUTION, EVERY ASPIRANT MUST FIGHT TO GAIN VOTES. THAT IS NOT TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR OUR PARTY'S POSTERITY.

Lawyer Abu Bakarr Kalokoh has always stood firm in his faith for the party. There were times in the past when some current actors pretending to be holier than the “Holy” even more than the Pope or Chief Imam who attempted to recruit lawyer Abu Bakarr Kalokoh to leave the APC and join Late Thaimu Bangura (may his soul rest in peace), or the current Speaker of the Sierra Leone Parliament, Hon. Abas Bundu's party. But lawyer Kalokoh's love and faith in the party rebuffed them. We will soon start calling them by their names if they continue misbehaving.

It is important to make the above distinctions because lawyer Abu Bakarr Kalokoh's stance on the current party flagbearer contest is clear. His inclination towards the party is based on purity. It's high time the party cleaned up its act. The party has been pushed to the fringes of liberalism where it recruits candidates who have no business being APC flagbearer, and even refuse to acknowledge what the party stands for and its achievements in the 60 years of our nation.

Some of those reading this piece, betrayers of the party in the past know themselves, should be ashamed. Some of them are again pretending to be high priests, holding the keys to heaven's gate in the battle to lead the party or promote candidates. The ignominy of their past actions caused the party many years in the wilderness. This is again about to happen if the party does not get its act together.

Based on what our party stands for, it is still willing to embrace all the prodigal sons and daughters who have at some point betrayed the party. But they must realize, if they are sincere enough and love the party as they claim, they do not have the moral virtue to cry down those who stood the test of times, in good and difficult moments in history to fight for the party.

Let's take a page from historical contexts. The only nations on Earth that survived the test of times and remain seemingly strong are those that espouse a nationalistic approach in geo-political battles. Consider the Israelites, the US, China, etc. These nations have prevailed because they consider first their regions, and use the derived strength to conquer externally. But that strategy is only achievable in one who believes in what his party stands for, and is willing to be constant like the Northern Star to achieve victory.

Lawyer Abu Bakarr Kalokoh believes the party must go back to its historical foundation. It won in 1967 and in 2007 mainly because of building strong political infrastructure in the Northern and Western regions. He believes and is battle tested to realize that dream. The current SLPP Government uses the same strategy. Is it then a crime for the APC Party to do likewise? Hell no. I love the American stance on winners. Most of the time, the end justifies the means, notwithstanding the casualties.

To be a viable party of the future, the APC must first think local then global. It must start rebuilding its power structures in its regional strongholds, the Northern and Western regions, create impregnable defenses. The political math shows the SLPP only has about 30% of the country's electorate in their South Eastern strongholds. They depend on chipping in the Northern and Western fringes to win. With lawyer Abu Kalokoh, a master strategist in Law and Politics, who has ferociously and with much substance challenged the Bio Administration on many fronts, will be the strongest flagbearer for the APC in 2023. Apart from being a clean candidate with no corruption flavor around him, he has proven to the Bio administration that he is fairly balanced in his approach to political discourse. He has challenged the Bio administration with substance when it commits excesses.

For those who think this piece will continue to divide the APC, especially Diasporans, I have this to say: We have lived in Democracies and seen how candidates of the same party fight for leadership. In the end they will all come together to embrace the winner in the interest of party and country. Please stop brainwashing our electorate in the fight for the soul of our party. Let us ensure we elect, not select or crown, someone with no fire in the belly to fight for the posterity of our party. Sometimes wuna dey use bad heart for wuna party en country. Wuna dey overseas dey enjoy the fruits of Democracy. Bot wey e cam pan wuna contry, wuna dey prefer for leh things continue as usual, living in stone age mentality.

You can create many Judases to destroy lawyer Abu Bakarr Kalokoh. But if he is the anointed Joseph/Yusuf, David/Daud of our times, you will be cursed too because of your hate. It's only hate that will go the extra mile to destroy a family for political gains. I offer myself as free fodder to those who will use ill-informed family members to dissociate themselves from me and Lawyer Kalokoh. I will feel very proud to be the second in my family, after lawyer Abu Bakarr Kalokoh, the Joseph/Yusuf and David/Daud of our times, to be lynched by opportunists, because of my political beliefs in my beloved brother, the politically indomitable member of our party, the All People's Congress, APC and for country.

LONG LIVE THE APC. THE SUN WILL DEFINITELY RISE AGAIN.

Thank You.

The writer, Dr. Yayah Kaloko

Categories: Sierra Leone

President Bio gets biometric driver licence

The Patriotic Vanguard - Wed, 20/10/2021 - 20:07

I got my first Sierra Leone biometric driver's license today with top of the line security.

Development is not just about concrete on roads. We will continue using technology and innovation to promote digital inclusion and catch up with the rest of the world.

Categories: Sierra Leone

President Julius Maada Bio meets Sierra Leonean community in the UAE

The Patriotic Vanguard - Tue, 19/10/2021 - 19:32

He thanked them for the love and patriotism they had shown by attending the Exhibition Day of Sierra Leone at the EXPO Dubai 2020, and for comporting themselves in a foreign country. He added that the UAE was a country of law and order, and, therefore, urged them to be ambassadors of Sierra Leone by putting on their best behaviours.

“My government is working hard back home to make the country a place we all can be proud of. That is why we are hugely investing in education for the future of our children and national development. As a country, we are beginning to be recognised in the world for investing in education and for fighting corruption. I, therefore, encourage you all in UAE to be law-abiding because you all are ambassadors of Sierra Leone,” he noted.

The newsletter features articles on the cooperation between Sierra Leone and the UAE, the strides already made by President Julius Maada Bio, particularly his Human Capital Development agenda and the efforts of the Office of the First Lady at protecting women and girls.

President Bio commended the Embassy for producing the newsletter, saying that it was part of Sierra Leone's rebranding process. He noted that the newsletter contained major highlights of activities carried out by the Embassy and the Government of Sierra Leone.

He also thanked the community for attending the event and for celebrating Sierra Leone's National Day at the EXPO 2020. He also used the occasion to provide updates on development efforts by his government while encouraging them to always put on their best conduct and serve as good examples.

Also at the event was Her Excellency Madam Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone and Sierra Leone's Ambassador to the UAE, Rashid Sesay.

Categories: Sierra Leone

Albert Academy Thanksgiving photos and video

The Patriotic Vanguard - Mon, 18/10/2021 - 19:57

PV Staff

The Albert Academy in Freetown was founded on October 4, 1904. The 117th anniversary was recently celebrated by a ceremony at the school grounds and Thanksgiving services at churches in Freetown and abroad. Here are Thanksgiving photos from Mr. Kellie Conteh, President of the Washington DC alumni Chapter and a video clip from the London, UK, Chapter:

New Albert Academy alumni executive in Washington DC. From right to left: Kellie Conteh, Namoneh Kandeh-Duwai, Sheku Kamara, Josephine Dakin-Davis, Leroy Oates and Rev. Ken Turay.

Here is the late Max Bailor, the most famous of the Albert Academy Principals and his wife the late Ada Bailor who was also Vice Principal:

Categories: Sierra Leone

Africa CDC to Host the Inaugural Annual Conference on Public Health in Africa from 14- 16 December

The Patriotic Vanguard - Thu, 14/10/2021 - 18:18

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) recently announced that the 1st International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA), which was postponed earlier this year due to COVID-19, will now take place virtually 14-16 December 2021. The conference offers a unique platform for African researchers, policymakers and stakeholders to share scientific findings and public health perspectives and collaborate on research, innovation and public health across the continent.

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over in Africa. With 7 million infections and almost 175,000 lives lost across the continent, its impact has already been severe. Economic and social disruptions caused by COVID-19 have threatened even more lives and livelihoods, putting years of human development progress at risk of reversal.

“Africa has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, COVID-19 has created a historic opportunity to build a new public health order that makes health for all a reality across the continent. Together, we can build health systems and manufacturing capacities to effectively respond to multiple health threats,” said John Nkengasong (photo), MSc, PhD, Director of the Africa CDC.

“The Africa CDC's inaugural annual conference provides a platform that capitalizes on the knowledge, experience and ambition of Africans to collectively pave the way for a healthier future for all.”

Over the course of three days, scientific tracks focusing on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, health systems strengthening and learnings from the COVID-19 response will be covered through keynote and panel presentations, plenaries and participatory sessions with a special focus on skill-building for early career professionals. An Organizing Committee of more than 15 health leaders from across Africa and the globe are helping to shape the strategic direction of the conference.

CPHIA Co-Chair and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, Professor Agnes Binagwaho, MD, M(Ped), PhD shared: “By convening some of the leading figures in public health in Africa, the conference will provide a forum to review lessons learned from COVID-19 and to shape more resilient health systems that can effectively respond to future crises. We are eager to see up-and-coming future leaders take center stage in front of their peers as they work to advance public health, scientific education and research in Africa.”

“The past 18 months have been full of uncertainty and hardship – especially for women and girls and other marginalized groups – but one clear message has emerged: to build a healthier and more equitable future for all Africans, we need African leadership and African-led solutions,” said Professor Senait Fisseha, MD, JD CPHIA Co-Chair and Director of Global Programs and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. “I am so inspired by the immense talent and expertise we already have on our continent, and in awe of the leadership of Africa CDC. Through this
unique platform, we can chart a bold path forward to improve health care for all people.”

Additional details of the conference will be made available in the coming months.

Categories: Sierra Leone

President Bio attends Expo 2020 in Dubai

The Patriotic Vanguard - Thu, 14/10/2021 - 17:44

Contributed

His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio is in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for Sierra Leone's National Day at the EXPO 2020 Dubai which took place today Thursday 14th October 2021.

During his visit, His Excellency is expected to meet with the leadership of the UAE and other stakeholders in the private sector. He is also expected to preside over a Country Business Briefing, an event organised to showcase and market Sierra Leone's investment opportunities. President Bio is also expected to have a town hall meeting with Sierra Leoneans living in the UAE.

His Excellency the President is accompanied by Her Excellency Madam Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone and other senior members of Government.

President Bio was received by His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed AL Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade in the UAE and Sierra Leone's Ambassador to the UAE, Rashid Sesay.

Categories: Sierra Leone

New book by Dr. Patience Mususa

The Patriotic Vanguard - Wed, 13/10/2021 - 21:35

By Dr. Patience Mususa, Sweden

I would like to alert you to the publication of my book “There Used to Be Order: Life on the Copperbelt after the privatisation of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines” published by University of Michigan Press.

“There Used to Be Order” examines what happened to the texture of place and the experience of life on a Zambian Copperbelt town when Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) was privatised from the mid 1990s following the implementation of structural adjustment policies that introduced free market policies and drastically reduced social welfare. The Copperbelt has long been a locus for innovative research on urbanisation in Africa.

My study in its examination of middle-income decline directs us to thinking of the Copperbelt not only as an extractive locale for copper whose activities are affected by the market, but also as a place where the residents' engagement with the reality of losing jobs and struggling to earn a living after the withdrawal of mine welfare is re-texturing simultaneously both the material and the social character of the place. It builds on an established anthropological engagement with the region that began with the Manchester school, which had done much to develop a theoretical approach to social change. The book contributes to this literature by reflecting on how landscape and the art of living are interwoven and co-produce possibilities that, owing to both historical contingencies and social formation, make certain forms of inhabiting the world more or less successful for some.

Electronic and hard copies can be purchased here:
https://lnkd.in/ee2kURMs

Categories: Sierra Leone

Freeland meets with Yellen

The Patriotic Vanguard - Wed, 13/10/2021 - 21:17

On Tuesday October 12, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Canada, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, held a bilateral meeting in Washington, D.C., with the United States Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen.

Both the Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary noted the close ties and friendship between Canada and the United States.

They welcomed the once-in-a-generation agreement on the two-pillar approach to international tax reform agreed on October 8 by 136 countries in the OECD-G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.

The Deputy Prime Minister (left in photo) and Secretary underscored how this historic agreement will end the race to the bottom in international taxation and how it is a win for middle class workers and for businesses in Canada and the United States.

The Deputy Prime Minister highlighted how Canada and the United States have worked very closely to make this international agreement possible. Canada's strong preference is for a multilateral agreement, and the Deputy Prime Minister shared Canada's plan to transition from the Digital Services Tax to the OECD-level agreement.

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary also discussed climate action and carbon border adjustments; the unequal impact the pandemic has had on certain people, particularly women, and the need for early learning and child care; electric vehicle incentives; as well as “Buy America” and how Canada-U.S. trade is mutually beneficial.

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary agreed to continue collaboration on these and other shared priorities.

Categories: Sierra Leone

A Lesson for the Sierra Leone Government: The Key to Reducing the Cost of Living in Sierra Leone

The Patriotic Vanguard - Wed, 13/10/2021 - 20:45

Commentary

A Lesson for the Sierra Leone Government: The Key to Reducing the Cost of Living in Sierra Leone

By Mohamed A. Jalloh (USA)

Editor's Note: This copyrighted article was originally published on the pioneering Sierra Leone Discussions group on Facebook on September 7, 2021.

As Sierra Leone's Pres. Julius Bio verily stands on the verge of making history in our homeland as the first president in the last 42 years to do what every other president of Sierra Leone failed to do, I continue today to humbly help the government of Sierra Leone grasp a key concept that is crucial to cementing Mr. Bio's legacy - if he implements that concept - as perhaps the greatest president in the history of post-independent Sierra Leone.

That crucial concept is understanding that the key to alleviating the needless poverty inflicted upon millions of innocent Sierra Leoneans by their own government over the past 42 years is a revaluation of the Leone - not its mere redenomination.

So, why - readers might reasonably ask - have I been writing most recently about this same topic for the past fortnight?

ANSWER: Because - despite our clear and easy-to-understand writings explaining that the most serious problem with the Leone is NOT that it needs “3 zeros removed” from it - the Sierra Leone government's lead spokesman for its recent admirable effort to address the problem with the Leone, Dr. Kelfala Kallon, Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, unfortunately keeps on talking about “removing 3 zeros” from the Leone as the most serious problem with the Leone.

In fact, it is not - as most of our valued members have seen over the past two weeks.

Accordingly, in the interest of accuracy, and pursuant to our Sierra Leone Discussions forum's patriotic mission of discussing and implementing ideas to advance Sierra Leone's development and to uplift Sierra Leoneans, we are obliged to keep trying respectfully to elicit a nascent understanding from the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone that the most serious problem with the Leone is that its value needs to be restored so that it can stop being a source of exponentially increasing inflation that has made millions of Sierra Leoneans unable to afford the escalated cost of food, shelter, and other necessities of daily living.

Fortunately, the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone has stated that he is trying to “redenominate” the Leone as other countries have done. Ghana has been mentioned as one such country. So, since what happened in Ghana in 2007 was in fact a revaluation and not a mere redenomination, once we apprise Dr. Kelfala Kallon of that fact, hopefully that will suffice to avert the looming economic disaster overhanging Sierra Leone from Dr. Kelfala Kallon's implementation of a redenomination of the Leone instead of the requisite revaluation.

So, how do we know that Ghana implemented a revaluation and not a redenomination?

The short answer: Because the Ghanaian currency increased in value when the New Cedi replaced the old cedi in July 2007 - and a redenomination NEVER changes the value (exchange rate) of the currency; it merely changes the denomination of the currency (hence the term, REdenomination.)

For the long answer, we go to the versatile archives of our pioneering SALONEDiscussion forum.

Specifically, we reach for the following excerpt dated August 24, 2014, which details how the 2007 revaluation of the Ghanaian currency increased its value from nearly 10,000 cedis = $1 to 0.93 cedis = $1 (to be exact, from ₵9,600 = $1 to ₵0.93 = $1) This made it necessary for Ghana to introduce lower denomination paper currency in order to implement the revaluation. Therefore, Ghana properly redenominated its paper currency in July 2007 to ₵1, ₵2, ₵5, ₵10, ₵20, ₵50, ₵100, and ₵200.

This fact may be the source of the confusion in Sierra Leone's Bank Governor, Dr. Kelfala Kallon's mind. Hopefully, a brief explanation will help him overcome his apparent confusion. The revaluation of the cedi in 2007 was the primary goal of the 2007 monetary policy change in Ghana - to increase the value of the cedi and thereby reduce the cost of imported goods for Ghanaians. That, in turn, will clearly reduce the cost of living.

Once the revaluation was implemented, $1 was now less than ₵1. Since, before the revaluation, $1 was equal to ₵9,600, even a blind man could see that after the revaluation when $1 was now equal to less than ₵1, there was a clear need to recognize the new reality that the cedi was now STRONGER than the dollar. Hence the heed arose to print new currency notes BECAUSE of the revaluation - since Ghanaians no longer needed a ₵10,000 note to obtain a dollar. Instead they needed slightly less than ₵1 to obtain $1. So, the Ghanaian government reasonably replaced the old ₵10,000 with new ₵1 notes. That's the redenomination that happened in Ghana BECAUSE of the revaluation!

To put it another way, the only purpose of the redenomination was to implement the revaluation. If this sounds familiar to our readers it is because I wrote the following recently in explaining that the ONLY purpose of a redenomination is to implement the transactional element of a revaluation:

“To reiterate, merely ‘removing 3 zeros' is not an economic policy.”

Therefore a redenomination has no discernible economic purpose except in one - and only one - circumstance: when the redenomination is part of a carefully planned and finely coordinated series of actions that together constitute the economic policy referred to as a currency revaluation.”
Source: “How a revaluation will reduce the cost of living in Sierra Leone”
http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/how-a-revaluation-will-reduce-the-cost-of-living-in-sierra-leone

I respectfully recommend that the government of Sierra Leone study my very lightly-edited post below which details how Ghana implemented in 2007 its currency's revaluation - not a mere redenomination, as the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone erroneously alluded recently.

I do so in the hope that the Sierra Leone government would diligently study it in order to understand the difference between a revaluation and a redenomination. From that understanding, hopefully, the Sierra Leone government would thereby avoid mistaking a redenomination for a revaluation and thereby avoid making the current very bad economic situation infinitely worse for the millions of Sierra Leonean victims of their own government over the past 42 years

[BEGIN EXCERPT FROM THE SALONEDiscussion FORUM'S ARCHIVES DATED AUGUST 28, 2014]

37084 The (Unnecessary) Lesson the SL Govt. Must Now Learn from Ghana

Expand Messages
onemohm
Aug 28, 2014

[Redacted],

Thank you, my indefatigably patriotic, younger fellow alumnus of the great St. Edward's Secondary School at May Park, Kingtom, Freetown, for your reply to my post yesterday. (Please don't forget to attend our projected best-ever annual St. Edward's Celebration weekend to be held this year in New Jersey on Sept. 19-21 to hear me officially narrate, as 2014 Grand Chief Patron, the previously unpublicized true story of St. Edward's national record of academic excellence set in Sierra Leone in 1973 which has never been broken by any school in SL during the past 41 years!) Care to guess what that record is, [redacted], even though it was before your time at May Park? (Smile)

In regard to your question ("Are there any alternative theories to what Moh'm is proposing?"), the truth is that, indeed, there are alternative theories to what I am proposing. The problem is that those alternatives have been proposed in Sierra Leone throughout the past 35 years since 1979 by the very same culprits who had initiated our country's worst ever economic catastrophe - the IMF and the World Bank.

Sadly, but predictably (Colonial Mentality at work), those plainly porous alternative theories were nevertheless dutifully implemented by the undoubtedly well-meaning but clueless succession of Sierra Leone governments since 1979 in a classic display of unremitting Colonial Mentality (Colonial Mentality is the belief held by an African that anyone and everything African are inherently inferior to anyone and everything non-African for no other reason than their racial differences.)

The result of implementing those alternative theories in Sierra Leone is plain for all to see in the ravaged Sierra Leone economy teeming with millions of needlessly impoverished Sierra Leoneans in a land that we love that used to be a relative paradise. That is, it was a relative paradise before the unconscionable IMF-instigated devaluation rendered the once-strong Sierra Leone currency virtually worthless in relation to the previously weaker U.S. dollar.

Which, of course, is why I have been tireless in urging successive Sierra Leone governments during the past 35 years to stop implementing the predictably inappropriate and demonstrably failed policies foisted on our country by the architects of its economic collapse: the IMF and the World Bank.

Alas, instead of at long last celebrating Sierra Leone's emancipation from economic slavery at the hands of the architects of the impoverishment of millions of Sierra Leoneans over the past 35 years, I am left thus far with nothing but hope for the long overdue emergence of a leader who will save Sierra Leone and its long-suffering innocent people, using our ideas that some of my colleagues and I on the SALONEDiscussion Think Tank offered Sierra Leone's then newly-elected President Ernest Koroma in 2007, but which remain unimplemented to date.

Interestingly, as you know, in the same year that we tried and failed to convince the Sierra Leone government to act upon our policy prescriptions - 2007 - Ghana used substantially the same ideas we had proposed to our own country, in vain, to propel its economy onto its current sustainable path to development while our country remains mired in progressively worsening self-inflicted poverty.

Finally, kindly permit me to point out for the benefit of some of our brothers like Dr. Herbert Mcleod, who urge us to "move on" (to a destination they have yet to specify) from a discussion of how to remedy the greatest economic catastrophe inflicted upon our country - the IMF-instigated devaluation of the Leone in 1979. They tell us to "move on" because, they declare, we shouldn't discuss such matters after 30 years, as Herbert did here in reply to you earlier this morning: "After over 30 years?!?!! Tanzania, Gambia, Ghana, almost all of them devalued. They have all moved on. Should we remain stuck in the past?" [Herbert Mcleod, on SALONEDiscussion, 8/28/2014]

It may come as a surprise to our friend, Herbert, but the fact is that even after more than 30 years Ghana, for example, did NOT move on from discussing its own devaluation and how to reverse it.

On the contrary, Ghana continued such discussions for 40 years! Indeed, it was exactly 40 years after the devaluation of the Ghanaian cedi in 1967 that Ghana finally did in 2007, as noted above, what I had been advising successive Sierra Leone governments since 1979, in vain, to do in our own country, namely: reverse the harmful and totally inappropriate devaluation of the national currency. The result of Ghana's action in the same year that the Sierra Leone government refused to heed the similar advice of my colleagues and I on the SALONEDiscussion Think Tank is exactly what we had predicted would happen in Sierra Leone:

The Ghanaian currency, the cedi, before the devaluation in 1967, was worth $1.08 (₵0.93 = $1). By comparison, in Sierra Leone before the devaluation in 1979, the Leone was worth $1.25). After the devaluation in Ghana, severe inflation predictably ensued and the cedi was pegged at ₵2.80 = $1.00. In Sierra Leone, after our own IMF-instigated devaluation in 1979 and high inflation predictably ensued, the Leone was pegged at Le2.50 = $1 in 1985, as those of our valued members here who remember the "two-tier" system would recall (the other rate for commercial transactions being Le5 = $1.)

By 2007, in Ghana, the exchange rate for the cedi to the dollar was ₵9,600 = $1. In 2007, in Sierra Leone, the exchange rate was about Le3,000 = $1. However, AFTER the Ghanaian cedi was revalued in 2007, the exchange rate in 2008 dropped (i.e., the cedi's value increased) from ₵9,600 = $1 to ₵0.93 = $1!

In stark contrast, in 2008, after the Sierra Leone government REFUSED to implement our 2007 recommendation to revalue the Leone - the similar recommendation that Ghana's government used to revalue its own currency in 2007 - the exchange rate for the Leone remained at about Le3,300 = $1.

Significantly, today, in 2014, 7 years after the Ghana government had acted upon a similar recommendation to revalue its currency as the one we had earlier proposed to our own Sierra Leone government to revalue the Leone - and which the Sierra Leone government refused to implement in 2007 - here are the current exchange rates for the two countries' currencies:

2014 Currency Exchange Rates

1. Sierra Leone: Le4,300 = $1 (compared to Le3,300 = $1 in 2007)

2. Ghana: ₵2.35 = $1 (compared to ₵9,600 = $1 in 2007)

Hopefully, my patriotic friend, [redacted], you now can see why I must crave your indulgence in changing the subject line of this thread to "The (Unnecessary) Lesson the SL Govt. Must Now Learn from Ghana!"

Do you now also see why I have always maintained that the Sierra Leone government missed a golden opportunity to save our needlessly suffering people from poverty in 2007 when it inexplicably refused to implement our very sound recommendations, including the revaluation of the Leone, of which a similar proposal was implemented in Ghana in the same year that the Sierra Leone government decided not to do so in Sierra Leone?

As a result, today the Ghanaian currency's exchange rate has exponentially become stronger, going from ₵9,600 = $1 in 2007 to ₵2.35 = $1 in 2014. Going the opposite way, SL's currency, the Leone, has become even more worthless, going from Le3,300 = $1 in 2007, to Le4,300 = $1 in 2014.

In closing, just in case the Sierra Leone government is now willing to listen to us in 2014, following its refusal to listen to us in 2007, I hereby provide far below for the attention of all, including Sierra Leone's ambassador to the USA, H.E. Bockari K. Stevens (who is copied on this thread), the link to the most important proposal in our 2007 compendium of proposed solutions to Sierra Leone's perennial economic problems that we presented to Sierra Leone's President Ernest B. Koroma in 2007 - the revaluation of the Leone.

The link below provides access to a January 2007 article titled "An Analysis of the DFID/EC Strategy for Sierra Leone" authored by my fellow SALONEDiscussion Think Tank colleague, Jonathan Rose and I that was published six months before Ghana implemented a similar version of our key proposal therein to revalue Sierra Leone's currency, the Leone. The article contains three chapters: Chapter 1: The Revaluation of Sierra Leone's Currency; Chapter 2: Is The Sierra Leonean Currency Overvalued?; and Chapter 3: Why Devaluation Would not Work in Sierra Leone.
http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/an-analysis-of-the-dfid-ec-strategy-for-sierra-leone

I remain hopeful for a different reception to our proposals from the Sierra Leone government in 2014 compared to 2007.

Sincerely,

Moh'm Jalloh

[END OF EXCERPT FROM THE SALONEDiscussion ARCHIVES DATED AUGUST 28, 2014]

Since I wrote the above-excerpted essay on our SALONEDiscussion forum on Yahoo groups 7 years ago, in 2014, predictably, the Leone has become, sadly, even more worthless, thereby impoverishing even more the already searingly impoverished people of Sierra Leone.

How much more worthless?

Today, in 2021, the Leone is worth far less: Le10,000 = $1.

To put in simpler terms: Between 2007 and 2014, while the Sierra Leone government of Pres. Ernest Koroma was figuratively twiddling its thumb instead of revaluing the Leone - as millions of his fellow Sierra Leoneans continued to needlessly suffer - their suffering became worse. That's because the nominally more Leones in their pockets became even more worthless.

How so, readers might reasonably ask?

The answer is that because in 2007 a Sierra Leonean who in 1978 before the IMF-instigated devaluation needed only eighty Sierra Leone cents (Le 0.80) to obtain $1, now needed in 2007 Le3,300 to obtain the same $1.

Worse still, 7 years later - as Pres. Ernest Koroma refused and failed to implement the sorely-needed revaluation of the Leone, the Sierra Leonean now needed in 2014 not Le3,300 but Le4,300 to obtain the same $1!
(The economic opportunity cost of wasting time.)

Could it get worse after we renewed our call in 2014 for Pres. Koroma to act to save the people of SL from wholly avoidable continuing poverty - and Pres. Koroma unconscionably continued to refuse?

I will let the exchange rate speak for itself: Today, 7 years after Pres. Ernest Koroma had refused for the second time to revalue the Leone in 2014, the Sierra Leonean who needed a previously unheard of Le4,300 to obtain $1 in 2014 now needs more than double that amount to obtain the same $1 in 2021: Le10,000 to obtain the same $1!

That - for the long- and needlessly-suffering millions of innocent Sierra Leoneans - is the economic opportunity cost of CONTINUING to waste time which has been unconscionably inflicted upon them by their own government.

I will end as I similarly ended 7 years ago in 2014, as noted in the excerpt of my essay above:

I remain hopeful for a different reception to our proposals from the Sierra Leone government now in 2021 compared to 2014.

In closing, I am obliged to reiterate that it took the IMF and the World Bank 22 years - after the catastrophic devastation of the economies of many African countries I had predicted had come to pass during the 1980s and 1990s - to finally admit in 2001 that their ubiquitous one-size-fits-all devaluation policies in Africa (the foundation of their failed Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) in many African countries) had been a “mistake”. See, “World Bank admits mistakes in SAP implementation”
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.modernghana.com/amp/news/14077/world-bank-admits-mistakes-in-sap-implementation.html

However, both the IMF and the World Bank continue to refuse and fail to compensate the hundreds of millions of African victims of their belatedly self-admitted “mistakes” against which I had clearly warned them in 1979.

About the author: Mohamed A. Jalloh, known to his many friends as Moh'm, is an experienced financial executive and a former official of the Government of the District of Columbia, USA, resident in the U.S. He first advised the Sierra Leone government against devaluing the Sierra Leone currency which was then stronger than the dollar 42 years ago. He did so, at great personal risk from the notoriously murderous Pres. Siaka Stevens of Sierra Leone, in an article, “Devaluation: A Rich Man's Cure” published on April 11, 1979 in We Yone, then the leading newspaper in Sierra Leone. At that time, Mr. Jalloh had just become - less than a year earlier - the first Sierra Leonean to graduate from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, with a B.Sc(Hons)Econ degree with joint honors in economics and accounting. See, “Mohamed Jalloh: A Life of Historic Firsts”
http://thepatrioticvanguard.com/Mohamed-Jalloh-A-Life-of-Historic

Categories: Sierra Leone

The Bandajuma-Pujehun road construction project: A callous display of negligence and lack of monitoring and patriotism by Pujehun stakeholders

The Patriotic Vanguard - Tue, 12/10/2021 - 19:12

Commentary

The Bandajuma-Pujehun road construction project: A callous display of negligence and lack of monitoring and patriotism by Pujehun stakeholders

By Kortor Kamara, USA

What I have decided to term a callous display of negligence of duty, lack of patriotism and non-representation by Pujehun District stakeholders and politicians, has now been on display since 2013 for all and sundry, with the still incomplete government of Sierra Leone - contracted road construction project from Bandajuma to Pujehun town, by First Tricorn road construction company.

A project slated to have been completed in 2016, still remains incomplete, 5 years beyond its completion date, with total unaccountability by the contractor, the SLRA, the central government and local representatives, to ensure timely completion and compliance to the terms of the contract.

The total abandonment of advocacy, monitoring and compliance by the local community and leadership, who are the direct beneficiaries of this roads project, represents a callous disregard for the welfare and priorities of the people.

The company, First Tricorn was first awarded a 5-kilometer township road construction contract in 2011, which was extended to 7.8 kilometers in 2012 by the erstwhile APC administration. By 2015, this modest road contract had not been completed, thereby engendering resentment among the people as to the capacity and competence of the company to complete the contract.

Subsequently, in the wake of much fanfare and hope, especially for the people of Pujehun district, the Government of Sierra Leone ( GoSL) in 2013 awarded a road construction contract to a Nigerian company - Tee-Mark Limited, which later changed its name to First Tricorn Construction Company (SL) - for construction of the 24-kilometer Bandajuma to Pujehun town road.

For non-indigenes of Pujehun, it is worth noting that the southernmost part of Sierra Leone, bordering Liberia and the Atlantic Ocean, is Pujehun district, with its headquarter town Pujehun (see map below). This historically significant town was the successor headquarters of the now defunct Bandajuma District of the colonial era, and has produced many Sierra Leone luminaries and politicians, who to date continue occupying high state offices.

However, ease of accessibility to the headquarter town of the district, which possesses huge mineral and extractive resources, not to mention fishing, forestry and agricultural fertile lands, has always been a bane of its socio-economic underdevelopment.

The proposed start date of this road construction project, according to the terms of the contract was June 1, 2013. However, as a harbinger of things to come and a foreshadow of the prior 2011 township agreement, which had over the years frustrated the indigenes and visitors to Pujehun, the project did not start until October 21, 2013 and has to date in 2021 remained largely uncompleted.

According to the Audit Service Sierra Leone report, entitled “ Report on the Technical Audit of Social Security, Telecommunications, Civil Works and Energy Sectors - March 2019”, the completion date for the Bandajuma - Pujehun Road was subsequently unilaterally extended from June 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015, by the company citing “change in scope and additional works/EPA closure of quarry sites”.

In a 2015 Government of Sierra Leone report titled “Nationwide Verification and Monitoring of On-going Development Projects”, this GoSL funded project was reported to have been 20% completed. The report stated that “during our assessment, bush clearing, site erection, earth moving work has been done on 7km of the road, given a proportion of 20% of work done so far”. The report further noted that the GoSL had not disbursed any funding but work was being pre-financed.

It should thus be noted that from 2013 through 2018, when the erstwhile APC government left power, only 20 percent of the work had been done by First Tricorn.

How has the road fared during the SLPP administration?

The president, HE Julius Maada Bio, who coincidentally spent a meaningful period of his teenage years growing up in Pujehun, has always shown great deference and love for the people of Pujehun by incorporating in his cabinet, state agencies and commissions, what some would argue is a rather disproportionate amount of Pujehun indigenes.

I am sure, the president by bringing so many Pujehun indigenes in his government, intended their inclusion not for personal aggrandizement, but as an opportunity for these our brothers and sisters to ensure development projects, such as completion of the district roads, employment and other priorities are properly advocated for and implemented in the interests of the people.

The question that many Pujehun people are currently grappling with, is whether our Pujehun politicians and stakeholders are truly in the service of the president's vision and developmental aspirations or only for personal aggrandizement?

Since inauguration of the current government in 2018, President Bio's administration has not only renewed the contract for construction of the road, with the same First Tricorn Construction Company in 2018, but infact added an additional 17.8 kilometers of road construction from Pujehun to Gbondapi, to the First Tricorn contract.

Thus, despite delays in completion of the initial Pujehun township roads and the current Bandajuma to Pujehun road, spanning several years, it's incomprehensible as to why an additional road contract for the Gbondapi road was even awarded to First Tricorn.

Pujehun Stakeholders
To better understand why First Tricorn construction company continues having Government of Sierra Leone contracts, spanning both APC and SLPP administrations, especially in the southeast, my research of available information and sources, reveals a conundrum entangling various actors, some of whom are direct indigenes of Pujehun district, who appear to be in collusion with the construction company.

The negligent and lackadaisical role played by Pujehun district stakeholders and politicians throughout this road construction saga, has became one of grave concern to many indigenes, who fail to fathom, not only the foot-dragging by First Tricorn but more especially the lack of any meaningful advocacy by the multitude of politicians, ministers, directors purportedly representing the district's interests.

The fact that several top ranking government officials ply the Bandajuma to Pujehun road every weekend, since the award of the 2013 contract, but express no advocacy as to why, who and what are the stumbling blocks towards timely completion of this road, more than explains the lack of representation and potential conflicts.

The role of SLRA
The government of Sierra Leone, and especially its agency, the SLRA bears an especial responsibility to the people of Pujehun district for the negligent, shoddy and untimely completion of this 24- kilometer road.

The absence of any road design drawings, material tests, failure of project supervision, status of project reports, as documented in the Audit Sierra Leone 2019 report, glaringly point to failures of the contracting agency SLRA.

Finally, It is highly recommended that the SLRA leadership reviews the very damning Audit Sierra Leone 2019 report on its management or rather lack thereof of road construction contacts and agreements in the country, with especial emphasis on the Bandajuma to Pujehun road.

Categories: Sierra Leone

President Bio meets new Guinean leader

The Patriotic Vanguard - Mon, 11/10/2021 - 19:08

PV Staff

President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone is in Conakry, Guinea, on the invitation of military junta leader Lt.Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.

Guinea is under ECOWAS sanctions because of the Mamady-led coup that overthrew former president Alpha Conde but at least two other presidents have been in Guinea since that coup, Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire.

Bio and Doumbouya are expected to discuss both bilateral and international issues. Guinea and Sierra Leone share a lot of things in common including an extensive border that includes Kambia district in the north of Sierra Leone to Kono and Kailahun districts in the east. Many ethnic groups found in Guinea are also in Sierra Leone and trade between the two countries is brisk.

Categories: Sierra Leone

Toxic political rivalry: The APC versus the SLPP

The Patriotic Vanguard - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 23:42

Toxic political rivalry: The APC versus the SLPP

By Teddy Foday-Musa
PhD Student
University of Ghana - Legon
Email: tfodaymusa450@gmail.com
tfoday-musa@student.ug.edu.gh
October, 2021

Abstract
The political rivalry between the two main parties (the All Peoples Congress - APC and the Sierra Leone Peoples Party - SLPP) has degenerated into hate-filled and savage politics. The scenario has caused worry among Sierra Leoneans both at home and abroad, with some viewing it as a threat to the country's governance process. Even after the country's most recent general elections in 2018, political interaction between the two parties remains tense, threatening the country's peace and security. The current challenge is how to address the mutual mistrust, suspicion, anger and hatred, spilling into significant national issues of development like attracting foreign investment to the country. This article examines the nature and dynamics of the political rivalry between the APC and SLPP, translating into an inter-conflict between them. This examination is based on Johan Galtung's ABC conflict triangle model. The research method of this article is desk review in tandem with the analysis of documents including local newspapers, press releases and public opinion to provide fairness and preserve objectivity in presenting the issue.
Keywords: contradiction, attitude, behaviour, political rivalry, conflict, triangle

1. Introduction
Whereas Sierra Leone has made tremendous strides in its transition from the civil war to peace, the country continues to resurface into a renewed political division and other issues that have to deal with peace, security and national cohesion. The consolidation of peace and national unity continues to pose a severe threat to the peacebuilding process in the country. This threat is predicated on the potential for a relapse into structural violence should the political tension between the APC and SLPP not be addressed. Even after the 2018 elections, political engagement between the two major political parties – the opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) and the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) – remains tense and threatens the country's peace and security. This threat, ingrained in the current APC-SLPP political rivalry, weakens the country's national cohesiveness and continues to put Sierra Leone's peacebuilding effort to the test. Furthermore, social media has become a platform for propagating disinformation, hate speeches, and violent messages.

Disunity among Sierra Leoneans, as triggered by the APC-SLPP divide, is no more a hidden secret. In explaining popular local responses to decades of disunity and how it undermines our national cohesion, it is widely argued that partisan affiliation to either the APC or SLPP is thought to have fueled the extent of disunity among Sierra Leoneans. Of particular concern is the hate-driven politics that exist between the APC and SLPP. It is critical to recognize that the current political tension between these parties is a breeding ground for potential violent conflict. As a result, the present scenario has produced disgruntled and disillusioned armed party vigilantes, most of whom are unemployed youngsters willing to confront the police and perpetrate violence. Instead of addressing this political and partisan conflict, party stakeholders preach hatred and divisive messages to their supporters, preparing their minds to engage in violence and reject the national government agenda.
The main goal of this article is to identify and emphasize the causes, nature, and dynamics of the APC-SLPP political rivalry, which has graduated into an inter-conflict between them. This conflict analysis conforms to the ABC conflict triangle model proposed by Johan Galtung which conceptualizes the causes of conflict. The article's scope spans three years, from 2018 to 2021. The article is divided into three sections. The first section introduces the topic and the background of the conflicting parties (APC and SLPP). The second section examines the concept of conflict and how it should be perceived. The third part puts into perspective the contextual analysis and understanding of Johan Galtung's conflict triangle in tandem with the toxic political rivalry between the APC and SLPP. The conclusion provides an insight into how Sierra Leoneans can manage the APC-SLPP political rivalry to promote unity and national cohesion.

2. Background and Formation (SLPP & APC)
The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP): is the country's longest-running political party. The SLPP dominated Sierra Leone's politics from its foundation in 1951 through 1967, when it lost the 1967 parliamentary election to the APC led by Siaka Stevens. It identifies as a social democratic party. The SLPP regained power after its leader, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, won the presidential election in 1996. The party was in power from 1996 to 2007, when it was defeated in the 2007 presidential election by the APC, led by Ernest Bai Koroma. The SLPP regained power in 2018 when Julius Maada Bio was sworn in as Sierra Leone's new President on the 4th of April, after winning the 2018 Presidential election2.

The All Peoples Congress (APC): Albert Margai and Siaka Stevens quit the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) to form the Peoples National Party (PNP), which aimed to increase African participation in the British colonial administration. The PNP sought the educated elite's support to lead the country's transition to independence. However, in 1960, Siaka Stevens left the PNP to form the All Peoples Congress (APC). The APC governed the country from 1968 until 1992 and returned to power in 2007 after its presidential candidate, Ernest Bai Koroma, won the 2007 and 2012 presidential elections. The APC lost power in 2018, with its flagbearer Dr Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara, losing the presidential election to Julius Maada Bio, the presidential candidate for the SLPP3.

Conflict: Conceptual Clarification
Conflict may occur everywhere. It can be in the church, mosque or the most sacred place on earth. Nobody is immune to conflict, and no one avoids conflict. Conflict is unavoidable in each encounter since it is a natural component of human existence. When we are in conflict, we are confronted and respond with every fibre and synergy in our being. Conflict is both a force that can tear relationships apart and a force that binds them together. In this vein, conflict is an inevitable element of life, as old as humanity, and a universal phenomenon in all human
1 Johan Galtung is the father of peace studies. He is a Norwegian and popularly known for his conflict triangle model proposed in 1969.

Conflict will always exist since it is an unavoidable element of human life.
However, conflict is not only a bad or negative phenomenon, as many people have long perceived. Conflict has a dual capacity in that it may be used constructively to provide opportunities for positive change. It may assist people in realizing their interests, beliefs, and goals and discover their actual identity. In this spirit, conflict may expose opportunities for growth and development, improving progress and connection with others, serving as a means of understanding each other and a tool for relationship building. These good effects have the potential to promote social cohesiveness and empower previously marginalized groups in society. Therefore, conflict may be a driving factor for healthy societal development and a unifying force. Thus, the Chinese consider conflict as an opportunity for change. So for them, they tap into conflict to enhance opportunities for positive change.
To summarize, conflict suggests that something in a relationship cannot continue, as if a missing component has to be replaced. Conflict brings to light problems that are important to individuals who are involved in them. Therefore, in most cases, attempting to prevent conflict would be futile since, depending on how the issues are dealt with, conflict will either be negative or positive.

4. Galtung's Conflict Triangle Versus APC-SLPP Political Rivalry
The ABC conflict triangle proposed by Galtung in 1969 includes both symmetric and asymmetric conflicts. In his opinion, a conflict can be viewed as a triangle whose sides are represented by (A)-Attitude, (B) Behaviour and (C) Contradiction, where (C) is the tip of the angle, with A and B corresponding at the bottom of the triangle. In other words, Conflict = attitude (A) + behavior (B) + contradiction (C). This triangle is also referred to as the ABC Conflict Triangle.

4.1. Contradiction (C)
Galtung indicated that contradiction (C) is the root of the conflict. It is perceived as the “incompatibility of goals” between the conflicting parties. In symmetrical Conflict, the contradiction is defined by the parties, their interest and Conflict of interest. In asymmetric conflict, contradiction is defined by the parties, the relationship between them and the conflict within the relationship (Ramsbothan et al., 2011)4. According to Galtung (1969), a symmetric conflict is when A and B have a relatively similar or equal position, as indicated at the bottom of his triangle. They enter into a conflict due to diverging interests. In an asymmetric conflict, he noted that the relationship between A and B shows that one of the parties has a superior standing compared to the other. This superior standing demonstrates a situation of inequality between the two sides, the conflicting parties. An example of such a situation is an armed conflict between rebels and the government. In peace and conflict studies, conflict is regarded in a restricted ‘objective' sense as meaning a different incompatible position over a specific topic or about a particular thing as the goal, that is, the object of the Conflict (Stalenoi, 2014)5. This can be physical, such as an orange fought over by two teenagers who desire it for themselves. However, it might also be a more abstract topic, filled with emotion and commitment to acquire a specific goal.
APC-SLPP Contradiction (C)

In the case of the APC and SLPP, the incompatible goal is to win elections and form a government in Sierra Leone. The incompatibility of this goal implies that the APC wants to win the election while the SLPP also wants to win. In essence, the contradiction is that both parties target a single goal of winning elections and forming a government, yet only one can fulfil this requirement. As a result, these two parties have a political relationship, evident throughout the country's election period and in opposition governance. However, their relationship has developed into an inter-conflict between them. Both parties are of equal strength, so this type of conflict is referred to as symmetric, unlike the asymmetric kind of conflict in which there is inequality of status between the conflicting parties (Galtung, 1996). As a result, both parties might be on the A or B axis on the conflict triangle, indicating the competitive political relationship.

The SLPP won the 2018 elections because the two goals cannot be fulfilled simultaneously due to having mutually exclusive end conditions. The APC failed to fulfil their goal of winning and establishing a government, causing friction and tension in the country's political landscape. The political relationship between the two parties has deteriorated over time. As we approach the 2023 elections, we may expect more significant conflict between these two parties. During the Koinadugu District bye-elections in October, we saw a manifestation of the 2023 early warning signs. This will continue as long as the APC and SLPP's political goals are incompatible and can only be achieved by one party at a time.
4.2. Attitude (A)
Attitude includes the perception and non-perception of the parties about themselves and each other. It can be positive or negative, strongly negative, especially in violent conflicts when the parties can develop humiliating stereotypes about each other. Attitude consists of emotive and affective components (I like or dislike), cognitive components (favourable or unfavourable), which can be used as information about another person. Negative labels and stereotyping can also lead and contribute to conflict. When you negatively label others, you treat them with disdain and disrespect. Labelling is the process of attaching a descriptive word or phrase to someone or something. This act sometimes leads to unfair treatment of others and becomes a permanent stereotyping. The labelling theory posits that individuals' self-identity and behaviour may be determined or influenced by the terms used to describe or classify people. Stereotyping occurs when a person ascribes the collective characteristics associated with a particular group to every member of that group, discounting individual characteristics.

APC-SLPP Attitude (A)
In our country's political history, the expression of attitude by the APC and SLPP to one another has thrived chiefly on the negative label and stereotyping. Over the years, both parties have attributed negative labels with prejudice and stereotyping to one another that has damaged their public image and ignited conflict between them. In recent times, the APC labelled SLPP as “paopa”, associating the SLPP with the negative conduct of bulldozing their way to achieve political power at all costs disregarding democratic values. This was not a very good image for a party that prides its principles on the importance of democracy. This, however, was purposive on the side of the APC to negatively portray the SLPP to voters, Sierra Leoneans and by extension, the international community. At the end of the day, the SLPP had no choice but to accept the “paopa” label and translate it to their positive political intention for the country. Today, slogans like “paopa Salone go betteh” has formed part of the SLPP political diction. Accepting the “paopa” label by the SLPP stems from a conflict theory that suggests that deviant behaviour results from a social or political attack on a group or set of people. The SLPP became deviant by embracing the “Paopa” label due to the APC forcing the identity upon them. This is one of the attitudinal conflict scenarios hulled at the SLPP by the APC, based on negative labelling and stereotyping.

On the other hand, the SLPP has also labelled and stereotyped the APC as a “party of 99-tactics”. I am not sure if this label was initially given to the APC by the SLPP as in the case of “paopa” or whether it was captured by the SLPP from the bravado pronouncements made by the APC in self-appraisal. We can clarify this with historians of good standing. However, what I can say for sure is that the SLPP has constantly labelled the APC as a party with “99-tactics”. This stereotyped perception underscores that the APC is a party with dishonest credentials, especially when electioneering. This label has projected the APC as a party that cannot be trusted regarding electioneering. Such a label has dented the democratic image of the party and has labelled APC supporters and their leadership as dishonest and unreliable.
Undoubtedly, this mud-slinging of humiliating stereotyping of each other is associated with the concept of self-fulfilling ego. It is a dynamic and effective component of attitudinal conflict.

Both parties express their emotional dislike about themselves, the product of the current prevailing friction and tension.

APC supporters are also in their mood of attitude, expressing similar tension on the frontiers of various social media platforms. The use of hate speeches, invectives and messages of war against the country's current ruling government and the wish for a military takeover (coup) are hallmarks of negative attitudinal conduct displayed by them. This is due to their emotional attachment with their political party, a passion they have promoted higher than their loyalty to their native country – Sierra Leone.

4.3. Behaviour (B)
The APC-SLPP accumulated contraction (C) and attitude (A) are openly played out in conflict. The violent behaviour of party supporters in elections is what scholars of peace and conflict studies refer to as an “overt” conflict. “Overt” is a borrowed word from French, which can be interpreted in English as “open”. Therefore, when we describe conflict as “overt”, we mean the conflicting parties are now acting out their conflict openly to the public view. This is the current state of happenings between the APC and SLPP.

APC-SLPP Behaviour (B)
These parties have engaged themselves in a Hollywood-style movie with episodes featuring bye-elections in Freetown and Koinadugu. During the bye-election in Freetown (Constituency-110), the SLPP was accused of damaging election materials. Conversely, the APC was also accused of damaging electoral materials in the Koinadugu bye-elections. These are allegations, and I am not here to say who did what. However, these are sad realities for the country and our democracy. Galtung's conflict triangle's B axis indicates the following behaviours: cooperation, violence, and reconciliation. Collaboration on the APC's side has been absent since the 2018 elections. As the country's leading opposition party, the APC is a part of the present governing structure. Sierra Leoneans were optimistic, expecting the APC to play a constructive opposition role devoid of party politics. However, the public opinion holds the APC accountable for failing to cooperate with the current government to ensure a smooth governing process that promotes growth and investment.

Credit is awarded to the SLPP through the President in his wisdom to call on few opposition members to help in the fight against COVID-19. In a public statement, one of the invited guests mentioned how this move by the President underscored inclusive governance. On another note, after the 2018 elections, the SLPP government saw the need to reunite the country badly divided along with party and regional lines. To this end, the government convened the Bintumani-3 meeting to foster reconciliation and to propose a commission for peace and national cohesion. The APC was invited as a party but did not show up. According to one school of thought, if the APC had participated in the Bintumani-3, the country's current political friction and tension may have been deescalated, thereby enhancing our national cohesion.

In conclusion on the violent political behaviour, I will draw your attention to the objection made by Mahatma Gandhi against violence. He said: “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent”.

Conclusion
The end of the 2018 elections has been characterized by the emergence of antagonistic political rivalry between the APC and SLPP, marred by threats, intimidation, assault, vandalization of electoral materials and hate speeches on various social media platforms. Political violence has become a threat in the country's electoral cycle. This ongoing threat has implications for the country's peace and stability, with the tendency to reverse Sierra Leone's gains in consolidating its peace. The consolidation of these gains is predicated on the de-escalation or eradication of the hostile political rivalry between the opposition APC and the ruling SLPP. However, to deescalate or eradicate this friction and tension, Sierra Leoneans should display a high propensity of loyalty to their country over their political parties. To achieve this, Sierra Leoneans should pledge their love and loyalty to their native country Sierra Leone. They should vow to serve their country faithfully and at all times. Their promise to defend her good name will come as their commitment to work for their country's unity, peace, freedom, and prosperity. I recommend that the fight against the antagonistic political rivalry between the APC and SLPP be embraced as a national agenda coated with collective responsibility for Sierra Leoneans and confronted with all hands on deck.

About the Author:
Teddy Foday-Musa is a Sierra Leonean and a Rotary Peace Fellow. He holds a Master's Degree in International Studies in the area of peace and conflict resolution from the University of Queensland in Australia. He is a lecturer in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies – Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Teddy is currently a sponsored Gerda Henkel Fellow pursuing his PhD at the University of Ghana – Legon.

Categories: Sierra Leone

Albert Academy is 117 years old today

The Patriotic Vanguard - Sun, 10/10/2021 - 21:48

By Gibril Koroma, Editor and Publisher, Toronto, Canada

The Albert Academy, one of the oldest secondary schools in Sierra Leone based in Freetown, the capital, celebrates 117 years of existence today, October 6, 2021. The school was actually founded in 1904 but its founding is usually celebrated October 6 and named after Reverend Ira Albert, an American missionary.

This is a school founded by American missionaries and had and still has elements of American education which combined the usual formal education with trade subjects like carpentry or woodwork and metal work. It is also one of the first schools for boys in the country to offer what is known as Commercial subjects like Accounting, bookkeeping and to admit girls into its sixth form programs.

I spent seven years at the Albert Academy (Form 1 to Lower and Upper 6) and I can tell you the discipline administered by the then Principal the late Mr. Max Bailor and the his spouse Mrs. Ada Bailor (also of blessed memory) was tremendous but also very parent-like. It was not malicious but what Americans call Tough Love. May their souls continue to rest in peace.

Here is the AA band marching in Freetown toda and the Washington DC Alumni Chapter at a Thanksgiving service, also today.

Categories: Sierra Leone

Canada: Statement by PM on multiculturalism anniversary

The Patriotic Vanguard - Fri, 08/10/2021 - 21:12

Statement by the Prime Minister on the 50th anniversary of Canada's multiculturalism policy

October 8, 2021
Ottawa, Ontario

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the 50th anniversary of Canada's multiculturalism policy:

“On this day in 1971, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau announced multiculturalism as an official government policy – the first of its kind in the world – to recognize the contribution of cultural diversity and multicultural citizenship to the Canadian social fabric.

“The diversity of Canadians is a fundamental characteristic of our heritage and identity. For generations, newcomers from all over the world, of all backgrounds, ethnicities, faiths, cultures, and languages, have been coming to Canada with the hopes of making it their home. Today, in addition to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, people from more than 250 ethnic groups call Canada home and celebrate their cultural heritage with pride – they are at the heart of our success as a vibrant, prosperous, and progressive country.

“Canada's multiculturalism policy was implemented based on the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. These recommendations were made upon the urging of diverse ethnocultural groups throughout Canada, a reminder of the lengthy and ongoing struggle for equality in this country. The policy promotes respect for cultural diversity, acknowledges the freedom of all members of Canadian society to preserve, enhance, and share their own cultural heritage, and considers their cultural contributions throughout the country as essential to Canada. The policy received constitutional sanction in 1982, with an explicit recognition that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms should be interpreted in a manner consistent with the multicultural heritage of Canadians. Multiculturalism was then further enshrined into law in 1988 through the passing of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, which was adopted unanimously by Parliament. This was an important step toward promoting the full and equitable participation of individuals of all backgrounds in shaping a strong, diverse, and inclusive society.

“While the policy continues to give vitality to Canadian society, reflect its multicultural reality, and inspire people and countries around the world, we still have work to do to make Canada inclusive, fair, and equitable for all. This year, several disturbing and divisive incidents motivated by hate have reminded us that prejudice, systemic racism, and discrimination continue to be a lived reality for many Indigenous and Black peoples, religious minorities, and racialized communities. Many also continue to face barriers to social and economic participation, which have only gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today, Canada strives to be a respectful, prosperous, and compassionate country thanks to the tremendous contributions of people of all backgrounds who call it home. As we continue to build a more inclusive and open country, we recognize that a multicultural society is a work in progress. We must continue to promote the values of respect and inclusion that the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, the Charter, human rights legislation, and many other commitments have sought to promote. Along with Canada's strong multiculturalism policy, we must also recognize the rich cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, and our commitments to respecting their Aboriginal, treaty, and human rights and advancing reconciliation. This requires us to confront painful truths about our history and society, learn from them, and take meaningful action together to address systemic discrimination and ensure everyone is treated with respect and able to participate equitably in economic, social, cultural, and political life in Canada.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I invite all Canadians to find out more about multiculturalism in Canada, celebrate the cultural diversity that makes us who we are, and continue to learn from one another. By appreciating our differences as the source of our strength and resilience, we can build a truly inclusive, vibrant, and multicultural society.”

Categories: Sierra Leone

No more death penalty in Sierra Leone

The Patriotic Vanguard - Fri, 08/10/2021 - 18:56

By President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone

With the abolition of the death penalty in Sierra Leone, we today assert our belief in the sanctity of life; affirm every citizen's constitutional right to life; and, commit ourselves to a future of great optimism, social justice, and respect for all persons.

Categories: Sierra Leone

Constitutional coups have often preceded military ones

The Patriotic Vanguard - Fri, 08/10/2021 - 18:37

Commentary

By Johan Sävström, Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden

When democratic means have been exhausted, the only way to achieve political change appears to be through military takeover. According to NAI researcher Jesper Bjarnesen, this is one reason for recent coups d'état in West Africa.

Presidents who tamper with the constitution to remain in power for a third term have become increasingly common across the African continent. In several countries, citizens have clearly shown dissatisfaction by taking to the streets. However, popular protests have rarely changed the mind of any of the presidents – who, in some cases, have instead used violence against protesters.

The misconduct of elected leaders contributes to how people perceive democracy in their respective countries. An Afrobarometer survey from February 2021 found that only 42 percent of respondents in 18 African countries believed that people could remove leaders in free and fair elections. One in four believed the most recent election results had been manipulated.

Yet, the same survey indicated that almost two-thirds of people nevertheless still supported democratic elections as the way to choose leaders. According to the survey, democracy is desirable but the structures of democracy are not working.

Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt and Uganda are all recent examples of countries that do not have democratic structures in place, allowing the president to tamper with the constitution.

“When presidents act like that, people lose faith in the democratic system. If citizens no longer believe in democratic ways to achieve political change, military coups risk becoming a tool for change. In fact, constitutional coups have often preceded military ones”, NAI researcher and West Africa expert Jesper Bjarnesen states.

Alpha Condé in Guinea is the latest African president to have been ousted. Less than a year before the military coup in September, he defied widespread popular protests and ran for a third term in office. Condé won the election, but became a president without any democratic legitimacy. Did that justify a military takeover? Is a coup legitimate if it removes an illegitimate president?

“Coup leaders almost always say that they serve the will of the people and act in the country's best interest. That is seldom the whole truth, but several recent coups have enjoyed popular support. I think people do realise the risks of having the military in charge, but they simply don't see any alternatives”, Bjarnesen observes.

Guineans certainly know that having the military in power is dangerous. In 2009, junta leaders were responsible for the massacre of hundreds of people inside the national arena. Ironically, Condé was then a human rights activist and a leading proponent of democratic reforms. Eleven years later, he manipulated the constitution to remain in office for a third term.

Presidents do not become megalomaniacs overnight and likewise constitutional crises do not suddenly arise out of nowhere. There are early signs: harassment of the political opposition and media censorship should ring alarm bells. Too often, according to Bjarnesen, as long as things are calm on the surface international observers do not rock the boat.

“They have taken a very passive role in African countries facing democratic shortcomings. As soon as anti-democratic tendencies surge, the international community should initiate dialogues or increase diplomatic pressure. Because when such tendencies reach a breaking point, it is usually too late to intervene”, he remarks.

Without international support, it is difficult for the population to resist the misconduct of political elites or military leaders. Sometimes they do succeed, however. After the popular uprising in Burkina Faso in 2014 against President Blaise Compaoré, the military eventually took a leadership role until a transitional government was put in place. During negotiations, junta leader Isaac Zida signalled that he wished to remain in power. Representatives of the international community were slow to react, while domestic political parties and civil society insisted that all meetings and negotiations should be completely transparent.

“On at least two occasions, a coup was at hand. Thanks to Burkinabe determination – not, mainly, because of external actors – a military state was prevented, Bjarnesen says.

Crises of democracy and constitutional coups are happening on a global scale, not just on the African continent. However, military coups seem to be on the rise in West Africa. In just over a year, there have been two coups in Mali and one in Guinea; and in Chad the military took over when the president was killed. In addition, there was a failed coup attempt in Niger. It is probably no coincidence, according to Bjarnesen, because across the region military leaderships and political elites are interlinked.

“After the first coup in Mali, for example, general and former minister of defence Bah N'daw led the transitional government. He is a typical inner circle figure. N'daw was then ousted by a lower-ranking officer, Colonel Assimi Goïta. This is also symptomatic. Because of internal power hierarchies, career opportunities are limited for lower-ranking officers without political ties, and they are therefore more prone to challenge the generals and politicians”, Bjarnesen notes.

Moreover, armies in West African countries are also disproportionately large, he says. Partly, it is a remnant from the Cold War and the superpowers' proxy wars — which countries are still struggling to scale down. The many internal conflicts and civil wars in the region have also contributed. For example, after the end of the civil war in Côte d'Ivoire, many rebel fighters were incorporated into the regular army.

“It was a step in a national reconciliation process. However, they ended up in an oversized army with nothing to do, without career opportunities, and with irregular and insufficient salaries. As a consequence, some of the soldiers mutinied. This is a real risk in other countries, too. Governments are aware and prefer to send their soldiers on United Nations or African Union missions, in order to prevent problems at home”, Bjarnesen concludes.

Photo: Guinean junta leader Mamady Doumbouya

Categories: Sierra Leone

Finance Ministry engages MCC on Compact Design, Implementation

The Patriotic Vanguard - Thu, 07/10/2021 - 17:55

A team led by the Country Director of the Sierra Leone Compact Design Tina Yu from the Millennium Challenge Cooperation has on Tuesday briefed the Deputy Minister II of Finance Mr. Sheku F Bangura on the progress and stages in the MCC compact design and possible implementation.

According to Tina Yu, they are doing a wide range of consultations with various stakeholders including farmers, traders, private sector players, government Ministries, Department and Agencies like the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Energy and Agriculture, noting that these consultations will be very helpful in designing a successful compact that will impact on the life of all Sierra Leoneans.

“We want the Compact to be well designed and implemented within five years,” she added.

Tina Yu Country director furthered that the MCC is interested in the reforms the government is making in the energy sector to support the compact implementation and also stated that the MCC prioritize the issues of gender inclusiveness, clean energy, and issues around climate change which she said are part of the medium-term national development plan.

Making her contribution Ndaye Koroma who is the National Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Compact Development Unit at the office of the Vice President, stated that they have submitted the concept note for the compact design with the issue of leveraging on sustainable energy to ensure food security and other areas in the productive sector.

Sahr Lahai Jusu Financial Secretary thanked the team for the engagement stating that consultation and dialogue are critical at the design stage of the project for it to be successful.

He said that so many people misunderstood passing the scorecard and the actual compact development, design, and implementation processes.

He said the energy sector has been very challenging even with all the reforms and resources the government has invested in the sector. The Financial Secretary continued that sustainable and affordable electricity can leverage on storage and agro-processing for farmers in agriculture thereby reducing food insecurity and poverty.

He encouraged the MCC to create a platform in which private sector players will be at the center of the energy transformation.

In his statement, the Deputy Minister II of Finance Sheku F Bangura stated that the Government of President Bio wants to capitalize on the opportunities of the MCC compact program.

He continued that Sierra Leone has huge potential for clean energy through solar, hydro, and gas power.

The Deputy Minister assured the team of government commitment to supporting the team and the compact design unit to ensure that the process is seamless with minimum slowdowns or bottlenecks that might have the tendencies to delay the compact design and possible implementation.

US Ambassador to Sierra Leone Amb. David Reimer (seen left in undated photo) said that he is delighted with the performance of the team so far stating that this compact program is one of the biggest tangible projects between Sierra Leone and the United States of America.

Sierra Leone was selected by the MCC board for a compact program that is expected to transform the energy sector in Sierra Leon after the design stage, approval of the design, and the possible signing of the compact itself.

Categories: Sierra Leone

AstraZeneca and the Royal Academy of Engineering announce new partnership to bolster support for African health tech entrepreneurs

The Patriotic Vanguard - Thu, 07/10/2021 - 17:33

Earlier today (October 6, 2021), AstraZeneca (AstraZeneca.com) and the Royal Academy of Engineering (the Academy) officially announced a new partnership to establish connections between African healthcare innovators and AstraZeneca's A.Catalyst Network of more than 20 global health innovation hubs. The joint venture seeks to drive the development of engineering solutions that have the potential to address local challenges with a focus on health tech.

As part of its commitment to building international partnerships and solving global challenges, in 2014 the Academy founded The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation (bit.ly/3Ah0FC8), an annual award that grants crucial commercialisation support to ambitious innovators across sub-Saharan Africa. To date, over 100 innovators are part of the Africa Prize alumni network. AstraZeneca's A.Catalyst Network brings together digital, R&D and commercial resources to reimagine the future of healthcare, working with partners to co-create solutions and establish integrated and strong health systems that benefit the whole patient experience. By connecting Africa Prize entrepreneurs to A.Catalyst Network, as well as the AstraZeneca supply chain and wider ecosystem (including investors), the AstraZeneca-Academy partnership hopes to further strengthen the work of both organisations to nurture local talent and strengthen healthcare innovation and creativity on the African continent.

As part of the collaboration, AstraZeneca will join the Prize's network of expert mentors, offering training support for Africa Prize entrepreneurs, giving them access to tailored expertise and experience to help them develop their projects. AstraZeneca will also take part in a webinar series for the Africa Prize alumni network and current cohort, sharing knowledge and insights on health tech and other subjects.

We want to offer entrepreneurs in emerging markets like Africa the same kind of platform and opportunities that their counterparts in other countries would benefit from Aleksandr Bedenkov, VP, Medical International at AstraZeneca said: ‘We want to offer entrepreneurs in emerging markets like Africa the same kind of platform and opportunities that their counterparts in other countries would benefit from. A.Catalyst Network offers exciting opportunities for health tech entrepreneurs to connect and collaborate with a truly global network of expertise and experience, helping to accelerate innovation and ensure that more patients can get access to the latest health tech solutions.'

Barbara Nel, Country President, African Cluster at AstraZeneca, said: ‘This partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering is integral to our unwavering commitment to improve health access and create sustainable impact in Africa. We recognise that breakthrough science and healthcare don't happen in isolation; they are the result of collaboration and partnerships to strengthen healthcare innovation and creativity. We are looking forward to supporting our Africa Prize entrepreneurs in developing their innovative projects and working together to seek answers to our health challenges for the benefit of all patients in Africa.'

Ana Avaliani, Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development at Royal Academy of Engineering said: ‘Our partnerships are crucial to delivering the breadth and depth of support we can offer, which in turn allows the programme to accelerate African entrepreneurial capacity, producing scalable, local solutions to global challenges. We believe that while one innovator can change a community, a network can transform a continent, and the Africa Prize network truly represents the brightest minds tackling the greatest challenges. We are looking forward to working with AstraZeneca to amplify the impact of our innovators in harnessing the power of engineering and building a sustainable society and inclusive economy that works for everyone.'

Going forward, AstraZeneca and the Academy will continue to collaboratively explore further partnership opportunities to support the healthcare system in the region and beyond.

Credit: AstraZeneca and APO.

Categories: Sierra Leone

How a revaluation will reduce the cost of living in Sierra Leone

The Patriotic Vanguard - Thu, 07/10/2021 - 16:46


How a Revaluation Will Reduce the Cost of Living in Sierra Leone

By Mohamed A. Jalloh, USA

Editor's Note: This article was first published on the pioneering Sierra Leone Discussions forum on Facebook on September 4, 2021.

As you have undoubtedly noticed, about 3 weeks ago, the Sierra Leone government of Pres. Julius Bio commendably signaled a nascent awareness of the dire problem with the Sierra Leone currency of which I have been alerting every president of SL for the past 42 years. Cf. “Devaluation: A Rich Man's Cure” http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/devaluation-a-rich-man-s-cure?utm_source=ground.news&utm_medium=referral

In so doing, Mr. Bio seemed poised to become the first president of Sierra Leone to take appropriate action to reverse the ill-advised devaluation of Sierra Leone's currency, the Leone, by Sierra Leone's Pres. Siaka Stevens in 1979 which was instigated by the IMF, aided and abetted by the World Bank.

Remarkably, the IMF and the World Bank belatedly admitted in Accra, Ghana, in 2001, that the devaluation in Sierra Leone in 1979 and those in other African countries throughout the 1980s had been a “mistake.” See, https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.modernghana.com/amp/news/14077/world-bank-admits-mistakes-in-sap-implementation.html”

Tellingly, that very belated admission came 22 years after I had publicly warned the IMF, the World Bank, and Pres. Stevens that it would be a mistake to devalue the then stronger-than-the-dollar Leone. Yet, the Sierra Leone government took no action to correct its own mistake.

Furthermore, the Sierra Lepne government of Pres. Tejan Kabbah amazingly failed to act to correct Pres. Stevens' mistake in devaluing the Leone even after our SALONEDiscussion Think Tank showed it a plan to reverse the devaluation in January 2007. See, “An Analysis of the DFID-EC Strategy for Sierra Leone” http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/an-analysis-of-the-dfid-ec-strategy-for-sierra-leone

So also did Pres. Kabbah's successor, Pres. Ernest Koroma. In November 2007, Mr. Koroma refused and failed to implement our SALONEDiscussion's step-by-step plan to reverse the 1979 devaluation through a revaluation of the Leone, even though Ghana had successfully implemented its own revaluation of its currency four months earlier in July 2007. Ghana had revalued its currency in order to reverse its own IMF-instigated devaluation in the 1970s. See, “A Plan to Alleviate Poverty in Sierra Leone” http://thepatrioticvanguard.com/a-plan-to-alleviate-poverty-in-sierra-leone

So, when Pres. Bio, acting through the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr. Kelfala Kallon, announced the first serious proposal to reform the Leone last month, many Sierra Leoneans were hopeful that they would soon be relieved of the needless burden of poverty inflicted upon them by every president of Sierra Leone in the last 42 years.

However, those hopes were soon dashed when, instead of announcing a revaluation of the Leone, the Bank Governor announced 3 weeks ago a mere redenomination of the Leone - “removing 3 zeros” from the Leone notes, as he strangely put it.

Accordingly, I was obliged to again publicly sound the alarm - as I did 42 years ago in regard to the ill-advised and totally inappropriate devaluation of the Leone - that the current Sierra Leone government is about to make a monumental mistake that could make the economy even worse and worsen the impoverishment of millions of Sierra Leoneans by confusing a meaningless redenomination for the requisite revaluation that Sierra Leone needs to alleviate the needless impoverishment of the millions of innocent Surrra Leoneans.

In particular, in an effort to help the Sierra Leone government of Pres. Bio avoid making a catastrophic mistake in implementing a redenominstion of the Leone instead of a revaluation of the Leone, I have written essays here detailing how revaluation works and how it will reduce poverty. I have also described what a redenomination is and why it will never alleviate poverty. Additionally, I have set forth how to implement a revaluation in Sierra Leone. I did so most recently in Part 1 of this series. In this Part 2, I will now proceed to summarize what a revaluation will do and what it will not do.

But first a brief recap of my argument that a mere redenomination is not what is needed in Sierra Leone at this crucial time. What is needed is a revaluation. Therefore, implementing a redenomination is focusing on the wrong problem - transaction costs involving carrying bags of Leone notes to execute everyday purchases of household items. Instead, the Sierra Leone government must focus on reducing the cost of living that has resulted in millions of Sierra Leoneans being unable to afford the basic necessities of life.

To reiterate, merely “removing 3 zeros” is not an economic policy.

Therefore a redenomination has no discernible economic purpose except in one - and only one - circumstance: When the redenomination is part of a carefully planned and finely coordinated series of actions that together constitute the economic policy referred to as a currency revaluation.

I will now end by illustrating what a revaluation is. Predictably, I will do so by excerpting a characteristically informed exchange of ideas on our SALONEDiscussion forum dated May 16, 2016:

[BEGIN EXCERPT from the the SALONEDiscussion archives dated May 16, 2016]

Re: [SALONEDiscussion] How The Current SL Govt. Fatally Stumbled From the Outset in 2007

Mr. [Redacted],

Thank you for your gracious clarification. In response to your latest question ("which of the two countries do you know earned more for its exports than the other under the time frame discussed"), it is not clear to me which time frame you refer to but historically, Ghana - the second largest exporter of cocoa in the world, with Ivory Coast being the largest exporter - earns far more money from its exports than Sierra Leone.

I am curious though, given your initial statement that your "question is in relation to the comparison of Ghana and Sierra Leone currencies," why your question is only about exports and not also about imports. Specifically, I expected your question to be about the relative value of imports and exports in each country (the balance of trade) - one of the fundamental factors that determine the value of a country's currency in a free market for currencies.

The other factors are inflation, interest rates, public debt, balance of payments (the relative value of all foreign currency received from exports and other sources by a country and all foreign currency it pays outside the country for imports and other foreign obligations), and political stability and economic development.

In closing, kindly permit me to humbly offer the following crucial points in order to help promote a greater understanding of a revaluation in the context of Ghana and Sierra Leone, where necessary:

1. It would be a mistake to make inferences about the ability of a country to revalue its currency based only on the absolute value of its exports.

2. In the context of Sierra Leone and Ghana, a revaluation is a specific, limited remedy to correct an inappropriate devaluation of a country's currency.

3. A revaluation, therefore, does NOT exempt the revalued currency from the effect of the economic factors cited above which usually determine the value of a currency in a free market for currencies.

4. Accordingly, a revaluation does NOT guarantee that the exchange rate resulting from the revaluation will remain fixed for any minimum time or forever.

I hope the above analysis sufficiently clarifies the concept of a revaluation in the context of this discussion of the economies of Sierra Leone and Ghana.

Categories: Sierra Leone

Redenomination in Ghana

The Patriotic Vanguard - Thu, 07/10/2021 - 16:25

PV Staff

The national currency of Sierra Leone, the Leone, will soon undergo a process called redenomination (which may happen immediately before or after December). A lot has been written about this process and today we continue the discussion with an article by two Ghanaian scholars on the effects on redenomination on the Ghanaian Cedi (it has been called a revaluation by some economists).

Here is the article on the Ghanaian experience. Click on the link and download the paper:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2458054

Categories: Sierra Leone