By KABS KANU :

Infrastructural and road construction are one of the centrepieces of the socio-economic and political development programs of  President Ernest Koroma. When the government was voted into power in 2007,  President Koroma immediately launched The Agenda For Change Program which had the blessings of the United Nations, other stakeholders , the UK and our multilateral and bilateral development partners. According to President Koroma, the program was launched to “chart a bold new path for accelerating the advancement of our country on all fronts.” President Koroma has grown up to see a nation where backwardness was the order of the day and he decided that enough was enough. Sierra Leone must stand head and shoulders over other African nations.  The Agenda For Change was therefore  built around the  strategic pillars of Energy, Transportation, Agriculture and Human Development, each capable of accelerating the wheels of progress in the country.

The government’s achievements in all all four areas are fully documented and have been propagated by the pro-government media and praised by international stakeholders and development partners.

 

THE MAKENI-FREETOWN ROAD —–PHOTO CREDIT : SAMA FORNA 

The whole nation is undergoing a remarkable transformation under President Koroma. Some of the most physical signs of the socio-economic and political progress  in Sierra Leone today under President Ernest Koroma  are  the extensive infrastructural and road development  projects going on through the length and breadth of the country. Sierra Leone, once  the backyard of infrastructural backwardness that made citizens ashamed of their country, is now a magnificent works yard  where the most profound and impressive infrastructural and road development projects are taking place . Suddenly, Sierra Leone has become the beneficiary of some of the best road network systems in West Africa , under the progressive and productive leadership of President Ernest Koroma.

There is not a single  visitor or delegation that has left the diaspora to visit Sierra Leone that has not returned with high-sounding praise for President Koroma for the immaculate manner he is transforming a once-backward and stone age country. Even Sierra Leone’s stakeholders including delegations from the UN, Peacebuilding Commission, European Union , DFID and AU  have visited Sierra Leone and returned with profound admiration for President Koroma and the APC Government. The very impressive perception that every stakeholder has for Sierra Leone is that donor money and the nation’s resources are being invested in the right direction by President Koroma . This explains why even on the eve of elections, Sierra Leone’s development partners have continued to fund projects, unlike what happensed to the  profligate and corrupt Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) Government of former President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.

THE FREETOWN-BO ROAD : PRESIDENT KOROMA IS OPENING  SIERRA LEONE  UP TO INCREASED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY AND ENHANCED INVESTMENT CLIMATE : PHOTO CREDIT—SAMA FORNA

 

Some misguided , unfruitful and unprogressive Sierra Leoneans who do not understand national development strategies and who think they can score political points against the government have tried to ridiculously downplay the achievements of the President in his road development projects. Their posture about the President’s infrastructural and road construction developments is SO wrong that one wonders if these people really understand how civilization started . Ignorance and the basic lack of understanding of how modern and greater nations emerged are behind  the  idiotic statements SLPP supporters make about President Koroma’s commitment to build modern highways throughout the country. Do they know that the  Great United States’  socio-economic and political renaisance that has taken her to the apogee of world dominance and development kicked off with massive infrastructural and road development projects ?

TAIAMA JUNCTION : PHOTO CREDIT—ABDUL ISCANDARI

AMERICA ON THE MOVE, a website that highlights the stages of American advancement in the world writes : ” It’s hard to imagine America in 1800. The young country consisted of 16 states and just over 5 million citizens. The vast and impenetrable landscape made travel difficult and as a result people tended to live very local lives. But over the next hundred years, roads were built, canals dug, rivers improved, and rails laid, which allowed Americans to spread out and conquer the continent. Road construction was one of the first improvements in American infrastructure.”  Yes, this was the foundation of American civilization.   Without good infrastructure and state-of-the-art- transportation facilities, there is no way that the U.S. could have been the greatest nation on the face of the earth today.

President Ernest Koroma, a paragon of visionary leadership and endeavours is  cleverly emulating the strides great nations like  the U.S.  took to propel themselves to the dizzying heights of socio-economic and political developments they find themselves today. Infrastructural and road development projects were the precursor of other development achievements. According to AMERICA ON THE MOVE, “ By the turn of the century, the nation’s growing network of canals, roads, waterways, and railroads had forged new links between people and places, and helped create the spectacular growth of 19th century America.” The same will be said of Sierra Leone one day.

 

MASIAKA , THE GATEWAY TO THE HINTERLAND, IS NOW A MODERN SETTLEMENT —PHOTO CREDIT ABDUL ISCANDARI

 

Sierra Leone cannot sustain the marvelous investment climate that DFID  has just highly commended nor become an industrial nation without good roads and infrastructure. Investors have to be sure that imported materials and goods for their companies and industries  reach their plants safely and speedily  and that their finished products would be transported to the appropriate markets with dispatch . A very clever developer, President Koroma knows that once Sierra Leone constructs good roads and infrastructure, the economy would be developed by leaps and bounds through increased investments and the development of industries.

SLPP supporters,  who bemoan President Koroma’s emphasis on road and infrastructural developments,  have jaundiced conceptions  even about Agricultural productivity. They cry that the prices of foodstuffs are high , but do they know that President Koroma’s road development projects  will be one of the solutions to the exorbitant prices of food ? Don’t they know that there is a telling correlation between good roads and agricultural productivity, availability of food and the reduction of prices  ? An excellent road network system is  a huge boost to Sierra Leone ‘s agricultural and food security enterprise because farmers and retailers will be able to move perishable foodstuffs speedily to markets and consumers, thereby forestalling scarcity . The upsurge in farming activities in the country was stimulated by President Koroma’s road construction and infrastructural development projects and this will soon bring immense benefits through food security . Even the huge rise in mining activities was stirred by the excellent road network in the country today. Today,  mining companies are operating smoothly in Sierra Leone because the roads and infrastructure are good.

Therefore, every true patriot should hail President Koroma for his brilliant vision in crafting the Agenda For Change which has put Sierra Leone at par with other African nations and made us one of the most promising countries in socio-economic and political advancement. We are on the way to becoming one of the economically viable nations in Africa because of our new roads and infrastructure.

© 2012, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

8 Responses to “President Koroma’s emphasis on road and infrastructural developments opens the way for viable and sustainable socio-economic and political development in Sierra Leone”

  1. Samuel Bangura July 5, 2012

    You have said it all. Thank you so much for all you are doing to put Sierra Leone on the world stage. Freedom of speech is God given, therefore, those of us who think alike should forge ahead and continue to do what we believe to be the good of the Country and what we believe is God’s will for us to do what we are doing.
    We can no longer pray for all of you who are honestly and deligently doing all in your power to put Mama Salone on the map. But to come out of our cells and encourage you and openly speak out, support and do all we can to accomplished the desired goal – prosperity and an enviable position on not only in West Africa, but the World.
    Its a shame that some of our interlectuals could forget the basics of development both in O’level Economics and Commerce. As you rightly mentioned, America and all other developed Nations started with infrastructure development. And thank God for sending a Leader to start with basics of development. Like what my favorite writer (Elen G. White) says; “It is only when we forget the way the Lord has lead us in the past, that we are afaid of the future”. I strongly believe that its God who has brought President Earnest Koroma to power. If God could bring him to power in 2007 with all the SLPP machinery and love of power, He will do it again, come November. In Jesus’ name!!

    Reply
  2. Amadu Bagura July 6, 2012

    I LOVE THOSE CHINESE ROADS. I HOPE THEY LAST US FOR ANOTHER FIVE YEARS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT BUILDING THEM PROPERLY. SAM STUDIED HERE AT LEAST HE COULD CONVINCE THE PRESIDENT TO HIRE EUROPEAN CONTRACTORS WHO WILL BUILD ROADS AND BRIDGES THAT WOULD LAST. BESIDES THE EUROPEANS HIRE MOSTLY AFRICAN LABORERS AND ENGINEERS. THE CHINESE BRING THE WORKERS AND THE SUBSTANDARD MATERIALS.

    KOROMA MEANT WELL. HOWEVER, HIS ADVISERS FAILED HIM. HE CANNOT DO IT ALL BY HIMSELF.

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  3. If People drive safely good roads saves lives, time and money on expensive repairs.

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  4. Tamba July 7, 2012

    Go to China and see technology at her superlative best then you will stop crying down the Chinese. There is nothing that the west can do that China cannot do. Mind you the Western shops are full of Chinese products. Tell me if I am lying like SLPP.

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    • Sam Pratt July 25, 2012

      Tamba!! You seem too quick on the draw. China historically, technology likewise for infrastructure came yesterday. It has to stand the “Test of Time”; The Germans built some of these re-built roads years ago. Albeit, Sierra Leone’s ability to “maintenance” they all succumbed to failures. True, the US and may be some Western stores do carry Chinese products, but NOT ALL Westerners are that naive to fall for Chinese products. I personally do not. By the way Tamba, Do you who REALLY know who the Chinese people are? Well, I have, to a very large extent. I went to school with them and know what makes them tick. My advice, be slow to “speech” and immediate acceptance for everything and all things. “Le we sleep pan am en think about am for a while.

      Reply
  5. Yes indeed it is high time for roads, good and quality roads in our “land that we love,our Sierra Leone.” CONSCIENCE, CONSCIENCE,CONSCIENCE in this effort at nation-building. The net-work of well-built roads must connect ALL parts of the country to another.The desired goal is to move the peoples and the goods and the services so that the national economy is revived and grows.Can you picture investors;local,national and international on these roads? Sierra Leone like all geographical locations has it’s North,South,West and East points.We love, we all love our land,Sierra Leone.We trust we will see spectacular roads criss-cross her length and breadth. The concern about inferior quality road-building materials and workmanship must not be overlooked. In Economics one must not compromise quality for quantity. I see the constuction of good roads in our Sierra Leone as a CAPITAL CAMPAIGN investment.Well-built roads connecting the people who move the goods and services around the country will greatly and positively impact the economy of our beloved and beautiful Sierra Leone.Let us avoid “going with the lowest bidder” syndrome or worse F.O.C.,[free of charge].Of course Sierra Leoneans must be involved in this major aspect of their land:improvement and development.Let that be involment at ALL levels.There are Sierra Leoneans qualified or trainable to fill all levels of positions in this and all other projects of nation building of our sweet Sa.Lone.Builders may come and builders may go but the “oose pekin” builder will be around like “watasigh stone”.I highly recommend we include MAINTENANCE OF ALL ROADS IN SIERRA LEONE in our national budget and be seen and felt to be upkeeping our roads. The product of a capital campaign[good road network] is sustained by continous maintenance.Thank you.

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  6. Inonu Khyne -Sam July 19, 2012

    Congratulations on the road program for sierra leone, at least we are making some progress in mama sierra leone, first to start with the road building program is good but it is bad , i ask the question you have all the land in the provinces and you did not widened the road to four lanes but you are doing it in freetown, the reason for so many accidents is because you followed the same road plan in the provinces and you should have straightened most of it and make it four lanes if you are building roads build it well, just imagine small bends and smooth roads it is a recipe for disaster , i hope the roads authority take this into consideration and rectify their mistakes make God help us all in our journeys to the provinces.

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  7. Mr. Amadu Bangura I can imagine your concern. However, we must not forget that China and Sierra Leone have had longstanding bi-lateral relations, in which they, the Chinese, have been highly involved in infrastructural developments in Sierra Leone even before the 80’s. Most of the infrastructure in Sierra Leone has been constructed by Chinese companies. The Sierra Leone National Stadium was constructed by the Chinese and has served Sierra Leone since the 1980′s because it was maintained it is still standing.
    As Madam Cecilia Bamgura amiably said it, the emphasis must be laid on maintenance.
    American infrastructural development continues to make America greater because of the emphasis on maintenance and innovation, without which, no economy will progress, prosper and become sustainable.
    Our system before the advent of President Koroma was not reliant on maintenance. As such, even the electricity and water services dilapidated or became non-functional.
    Regardless of what works are done on our roads or who do them, we must ensure there are continuous maintenance and put the right leadership office with the right temperament for progress as President Koroma, to continue wherever President Koroma will leave-off after his second term. If such a leadership is not there after he leaves office, his services to the nation will be another non-functional, non-profitable relic to our nation.
    Nonetheless, I see your concern that we must ensure there are good conditioned road in Sierra Leone.
    President Koroma’s next challenge should be train services. Cargo or otherwise.
    In fact, the West African sub-region should make it a priority to ensure that there are train services that can transport goods and services to enhance trade between the nations and help move goods, particularly perishable goods, fast and safe to towns and villages, if not in the sub-rejoin but in Sierra Leone.

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