Moving out of a difficult 2011
The year 2011 has been an eventful one like many others before. Indeed, for the vast majority of ordinary Sierra Leoneans, it has been the most difficult year since the APC government came to power in 2007.
Even as the year rolls by there are many Sierra Leoneans who cannot afford one decent square meal a day. Many find it difficult to meet their obligations toward the education of their kids due to the unprecedented increase in illegal school charges by unscrupulous school authorities.
Also, 2011 witnessed series of crises in tertiary institutions including the University of Sierra Leone where lecturers staged sit-down strike actions in protest over better conditions of service. The University of Sierra Leone, for instance, is only recently opening its doors to students after aggrieved lecturers have been on strike for the better part of the first semester.
Furthermore, this year witnessed the drastic increase in the price of basic consumable items with its attendant hardship while the foreign exchange rate hit close to five thousand Leones to the US Dollar.
Like previous years, Sierra Leoneans also witnessed series of politically motivated violent activities in 2011 involving supporters of the two rival political parties, the ruling APC and the main opposition SLPP, some of which are subject of legal investigation.
The issues are many; some came as embarrassment to top APC government officials including the Vice President of the Republic, Chief Sam Sumana who was implicated in a scam that continues to haunt him seriously.
There is also the landing of a container full of substance said to be cocaine at the nation’s port, the Queen Elizabeth Quay in Freetown. This is also an embarrassment for the government.
This is not to suggest, however, that good things did not take place during this period amidst these ugly incidents. One good development was the landing of the fibre optic cable in September to enhance communication, although this is yet to be operational.
One other good news is that for the first time in thirty years, the mining companies operating mainly in the north of the country made their first shipment of iron ore in 2011. And the media made capital of the development.
One major good thing that also happened to this country in 2011 is the historic celebration of our golden jubilee which marked the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary on April 27. It was a moment of reflection, some sad some pleasant.
Whatever history was made during 2011, whatever difficulties Sierra Leoneans experienced during this period, we happy that 2011 would pass off peacefully to welcome a turbulent 2012.
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