Alhaji U. N’jai: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 August 2022:
Our current economic hardships in Sierra Leone and Africa is not going to go away soon, unless our leaders take bold steps at decolonisation and radical breaks from current neoliberal economic models.
We have been in perpetual denial for the last 60 or so years about what systems of social, economic and political organization works for us. We are still trying to perfect Eurocentric democratic and economic systems in a culturally and environmentally different landscape and realities.
Interestingly, even when we try to adopt these systems (American or European), the reality is that we often lack the capability, capacity, infrastructure, and above all the culture to successfully integrate them to our societies. So, we find ourselves being dependent on external support to run and maintain the very systems we chose to adopt.
Hence, the dependency cycle continues, which makes us chronic victims of global economic meltdowns i.e. Covid-19 , Russia-Ukraine War, foreign currency rates, and so on.
Our post-Independence leadership except for few like Kagame, Magufuli, Sankara, Nkrumah, Nyerere, Mugabe, Sekou Toure, Gaddafi, etc, have been mediocre and less visionary in driving transformational change along radical decolonisation and shift in the global dependency dynamics.
So, we keep struggling with undue economic hardships in nations of plenty and paralysed by global economic system’s – recessions or meltdowns, simply because, 1) we haven’t been able to uncouple some of our systems from the global neoliberal markets, and 2) drive economic freedom through expanding local production, consumption and trade.
We are doomed for the moment and no amount of change of parties or government can do it, unless we as a people are willing to take the sacrifice with bold transformational steps at decolonisation, economic freedom, and self-reliance.
Achieving this is not an impossible feat (as Sankara proved it in four years), it simply requires leadership that inspires it people to achieve greatness with a sense of pride, integrity and patriotism.