By Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu :
President Ernest Koroma promised it during the heated campaign for the 2007 Presidential and Legislative Elections. He said that if Sierra Leoneans elect him President, he would ensure that the country moves up the United Nations Human Development Index.Only three years after the APC came to power, it has happened, giving yet another feather to the President’s cap. In the 2010 Human Development Index launched at the UN today, Sierra Leone moved dramatically up to 158 places .Though we could still do better than that, Sierra Leone has effectively buried her old stigma of being the least developed nation in the world . We are climbing and a UN official told me today that Sierra Leone has provided the enabling situation for the country to move even further up the ladder.
The Human Development Index was devised by the UN to “assess comparative levels of development in countries. Its three main matrices are literacy, life expectancy, and purchasing power parity (PPP)-adjusted income.” It is also a ”measure of human development using three equally weighted dimensions of human development – life expectancy at birth, adult literacy and mean years of schooling and income (purchasing power per capita in dollars).” Countries behind Sierra Leone in the order of the positions are the Central African Republic, Mali, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Burundi, Niger, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe.
This is an achievement that should make every patriot in whose veins run the true Sierra Leonean blood very happy and proud . This achievement , coming at the heels of other commendable showings in the Mo Ibrahim Index on Governance , the Transparency International Corruption Index and the index on Doing Business , effectively reinforces what the International Community and stakeholders have been saying all along during UN meetings and conferences that President Ernest Koroma is performing above expectation. The opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) ,with its archaic and retrogressive propaganda machinery that always presents false, fictitious, fallacious and deceitful assessments of the country’s progress under President Ernest Koroma , has suffered yet another bitter defeat . What will they come up with this time ? Will the SLPP continue their ridiculous argument that it is their projects that the APC is outdooring ? In all the 11 years that the SLPP ruled Sierra Leone, the country never moved a limb up the Human Development Index and we remained embedded at the very last position. Today, in just 3 years, Sierra Leone has surged to the top. Who in his right mind will continue listening to the SLPP Propaganda that the APC is outdooring their achievements ? Something has certainly happened in Sierra Leone during the past 3 years and it is called socio-economic and political development .
We are not saying that all is now very rosy in Sierra Leone and that we should rest on our oars . This is far from what is being said here . Challenges still remain in areas like youth employment and keeping prices of basic commodities stable but the HDI Report also reinforces what all reasonable Sierra Leoneans believe that the Government has taken a gigantic step to address these challenges and should be given chance to continue its socio-economic and political reforms . At least, the government has demonstrated that it is very committed and has the capacity to steer Sierra Leone back to her old glory. This has nothing to do with partisan politics but the interest of the nation. If President Koroma is given the chance, Sierra Leoneans will reap the rich dividends of his socio-economic and political developments.
In subsequent issues, we hope to bring you more reports on this exciting development and we will start looking in detail at how the President Koroma Government has turned the nation around in just three years.