Chinese Trojan Horse at Black Johnson Sierra Leone!
Sierra Leone is a Least Developed Country (LDC) that lacks the muscle to resist the tantrums of Globalization, disguised in the deception of a global village, enjoying equal opportunities.
In real terms, globalization is the new form of economic rip-off and exploitation of poor countries like ours by the rich and highly industrialized world with the complicity of our Governments, as evident in the Chinese overtures at Black Johnson, as China joins the bandwagon of the west for obvious reasons.
Just a couple of days ago, Members of Parliament favourably voted for a controversial agreement tirelessly pushed by the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Emma Kowa Jalloh, between the Government of Sierra Leone and the People’s Republic of China for the construction of a $55m Chinese-funded fishmeal processing factory on Black Johnson estuary in Freetown; despite vehement condemnation against such a move from various quarters including the community people.
Contrary to Government’s money-driven and unrealistic rhetoric, the project has devastating effects on pristine fish-breeding sites and will destroy the already humbled artisanal fishing communities along the Sierra Leone coast.
Black Johnson is a vast and beautiful expanse of calm and clean waters in an unspoilt setting, sitting beneath the peninsula overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and holding some of the most delicate ecosystems in West Africa with a plethora of fish species, which the Government has decided to fling away to the Chinese at the expense of its touristic value.
In as much as we appreciate the so-called generosity of the Chinese in boosting the fishing industry, and Government’s trumpeted intention to create jobs through the private sector as justification for embracing the Chinese trojan horse, we cannot be blinded to the catastrophic effects the fishmeal operations will unleash on our natural environment which should be preserved at all cost.
China is a developing nation that is hell bent on ensuring that no stone is left unturned to achieve their mission not just in Sierra Leone, but in Africa as a whole, to settle scores with capitalism. If it is not illegal gold mining, it is cutting dubious deals ranging from infrastructure to fishing with unscrupulous Governments like ours much to the detriment of our national pride and integrity.
The context is crystal clear; he who pays the piper calls the tune. Our Government being perpetually on the receiving side with cap in hand parading the four corners of the globe in search of investors, even when the country is rich with what investors are hunting for, shamefully lacks the moral ground to resist the deceptive paltry bait of desperate Chinese rangers ravaging Africa for China’s economic glory.
The die is cast, no turning back; the deal is struck, and the Chinese have it just as the “Ayes” had it. We believe that history will be the best judge and our position remains as stagnant as the northern star, pollution, and destruction of our beautiful environment. Without the fishmeal, tourism has the potential to preserve our nature, generate more revenue and create more jobs with less harm to the community and the culture.
In conclusion, we consider the position of the House of Parliament as unfortunate and less representative and not in the interest of their constituents and the nation.
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