President Koroma Outlines Bold Proposals to Make Sierra Leone a Middle Income Country
Middle income countries are important for achieving the world’s development goals. They are an important source of knowledge on development practices and an important source of funds for development. ---Sri Mulyani Indrawati, (Indonesian economist), and managing director of the World Bank Group
In Friday's speech, President Koroma outlined a series of bold proposals focused on making Sierra Leone a middle income countr. Among them were initiatives to develop a mutual accountability framework that will be monitored and reported on, to strengthen the partnership between government and development partners, and ensure that the voice and opinion of each and every Sierra Leonean is heard. The president called for every Sierra Leonean to do more to better manage natural resources, and add value to primary products.
These proposals complemented other efforts to sustain the fight against corruption, and provide the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
Excerpts from the speech:
Doing more to Sustain the Transformation
We will do more to complete residual projects in the Agenda for Change and to address recurring and emerging challenges. We will do more to address unemployment, particularly among the youth. We all need to do more to better manage our natural resources for the good of all Sierra Leoneans, we need to do more to add value to our primary products, and we need to extend, expand and sustain the Free Health Care and Scaling-Up Nutrition initiatives. We will reform the education system to meet the emerging needs in the job market, we will finish on-going projects in roads, energy and water supply, and we will build much needed infrastructure, including the new mainland airport, railway, roads and ICT capabilities; provide a social safety net for the vulnerable population; promote good governance; ensure that the public sector is capacitated to deliver; empower our women and ensure equal opportunities for both men and women; and above all, we will sustain our fight against corruption, and provide the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
We must ensure that our economy is diversified to promote inclusive and sustainable growth. We must anchor our Agenda on efforts at being globally credible and internationally competitive. This may require partnerships with internationals in building up capacities in our judiciary, our foreign ministry and other key state institutions. To be successful in the global environment we need to draw upon the best and committed within the country, the best and committed within the Diaspora and the best and committed at the global level.
The Agenda for Prosperity is the country's one vision and one plan. Its implementation will be guided by strong commitments by Development Partners as well as the Government. In this regard, Government is developing a mutual accountability framework that will be jointly monitored and reported on. Our goal is to strengthen the partnership between Government and Development Partners as well as ensuring that the voice and opinion of each and every Sierra Leonean is heard in the implementation as was done through wider consultation in developing this national plan.
As we embark on this epic journey to become a middle income country, let me remind fellow Sierra Leoneans that we are today re-committing ourselves to asserting our best. Prosperity is not a gift on a silver platter. Abundance of natural resources is only half the story; the reality of prosperity only comes to a people that go for it. We must go for it with determination. We must sweat it out with our hands, with our brains and with our minds. We must set out to embrace the values of innovation, of cultural renewal in the workplace and respect for public goods.
Most importantly, all Sierra Leoneans, at home and in the Diaspora, must realise that success primarily depends on what we as a people do for ourselves and not on what others do for us. Ask not what others have done for you, but what you have done for yourself, your community and your nation. The possibilities of growth, renewal and transformation reside in every Sierra Leonean. We must assert these possibilities to seize the destiny of prosperity. I am very optimistic that we will be successful; I believe that we will all do more; and that together we will achieve the goals that we have set out for ourselves in our Agenda for Prosperity.
Read the President’s AGENDA FOR PROSPERITY