Development Requires Transparency And Accountability
Sierra Leone still remains at a very critical stage of development that requires good leadership at all levels of state administration and management. In this all important endeavor to build a nation we can all be proud of, whoever is elected as the next President and whichever party is given the majority in parliament to work with him, we the nation must work with them to build a sustainable future for this country.
In the past three national elections, we made the mistake of voting sentimentally for people whose true intention was to use the power we had given them to enrich themselves.
Thus, we should not continue with the same old pattern of voting in a president, parliament and councils and failing to hold them accountable every step of the way for the election promises that they made.
The president alone cannot do it all. Parliament and the nineteen local councils we shall elect must have a highly developed sense of patriotism and nationalism as the nation sets about dealing with the recurrent developmental problems bad and corrupt management of the MDAs, responsible accountable public financial management, clean drinking water, electricity, education, health, food security and jobs.
Let us understand that at this stage of capital formation, our country will continue to depend heavily on donor aid. What attracts high levels of donor funding? It is transparency and accountability of government and it ensuring that the funds that are provided are utilized judiciously for their intended purposes. That is how from the 1980s onward the Chinese people used borrowed foreign capital and technologies to dramatically transform their economy into the miracle that it is today.
In a renewed effort to develop using or own brains and resources, another thing is that we should not depend too much on is the private sector to transform our economy; as the prime motive of the private sector is making profit which at this stage of development does not tally with the production of many essential goods and services.
Let us learn from the Chinese who took their own development in their own hands by setting up and establishing the key industries that they needed to diversify their economy and increase gross domestic productivity.
As things stand, Sierra Leone is going through an economic recovery period. At the start of the process, President Koroma said it should not be a return to business as usual, but a chance to rebuild Sierra Leone as a better, more resilient and fairer society.
About a year on, critically reviewing the process, there is the need for a different approach to accelerate economic development – one that enables the government to better plan and prioritize investment involving the district councils, chiefs and communities. What is still missing is the engine and vehicle for ensuring that laid down policies, projects and programs are efficiently implemented; such as the Austerity Measures.
As the British High Commissioner Guy Warrington noted recently in his Queen’s Birthday speech in Freetown, it is the impact on the ground, the difference that is made to people’s lives, that really counts.
In this regard, he said the lessons from of the recovery process can be applied as we transition to the next stage of development. According to him, what is key is leadership from the very top; better delivery; personal responsibility and accountability at all levels; and strong ownership at the district and community level.
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