Sierra Leone –  Nexus of economic hardships, leadership and decolonisation of the political economy – Op ed

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.



  1. Kudos to Alhaji U.Njai for a well thought out and timely piece Sierra Leone- Nexus of economic leadership and decolonization of the political economy , a welcome break from August 10,2022, rather macabre depiction of our own nemesis , though, sadly and admittedly, our current socio- economic hardships are going to be with us for some considerable length of time, yes, until we , individually or as a collective we change our mind set and accept the new reality that the biblical manna these days, hardly drop from the sky, probably affected by climate change. For species survival, animals and plants alike, tap into their innate abilities to learn from their mistakes and thus avoid those that are germs to their existence. The so-called developed societies evolved thus, and it’s time for Sierra Leone to wake up from her slumber and tell herself “enough is enough”. The new reality is that our world has changed subject to contextual harsh realities of our once “former benevolent friends “.

    Honestly, speaking, the West will soon, out of frustration, begin to tell Sierra Leone to look closer nearby to see how the likes of Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia made the break through for their countries, when Sierra Leone is by far more endowed with natural resources by comparison. Mr N’jai cum Mr. Thomas I most respectfully beg to defer on your colonization and global effects excuse for our demise in Sierra Leone. Ghana, Kenya and other smaller African countries were and are subjected to the same forces as Sierra Leone, but they have got up, dusted themselves and are making headway with nation building. Sierra Leone has to stop the stupid childish games that are inimical to her existence.

  2. Until we decouple our colonial social, political , and economic infrastructure from what our former European masters transplanted to the African continent , and go back to basics , to develop our own unique social , political and economic model that we called the African experience , what happened on the 10th of August in Sierra leone,will continue to happen right across the African continent . We nither need the Europen capitalist model with venture capitalist speculators as gods of financial institution,nor the Chinese command and control economic model .Even the African model is not uniform .Each country should come up with their own economic model that fits their own cultural and historical heritage .The cost of living crisis protest is not unique to Sierra Leone . Forget about Bio and his men trying to create an alternative facts about the demonstrations caused by malcontents and malnourished terrorist on the rampage versus the reality of everyday life in our country ,the facts will always remain the same .The poverty and lack of opportunities for youths in our country will continue . Until the government starts to draw up plans not to put youths in their place ,but put youths in their right places by giving them the support both financial ,education and training so they can excel and decide their own future prospect ,these sort of tragedies will continue to hunt us .

    This year alone we have seen young citizens protesting in Sudan, Sir lanka, Lebanon , Iraq , Columbia , South Africa ,Egypt , Tunisia, Guinea , Mali , Liberia and many other parts of the world , but left to Bio and his cronies , they have a different interpretation of why hungry and angry people came to our streets. The loss of life on both sides is regetable and completely avoidable . This is not intelligence, is intelligence failure of the highest order . Those responsible for intelligence gathering should hang their heads in shame .A complete shambolice behavior of the misuse of intelligence .No family should go through the trauma of losing their love ones under any circumstance .Today Africa is more exposed to this sort of turbulent episodes than ever before . Until now the post colonial experience didn’t work as perfectly as everyone was hoping for .

    Thanks to our new African political salve masters that have gone beyond the call of duty in making sure that exactly what happens .without making the necessary reforms and preserving the status quo we will condemn ourselves to several decades of political , social and economic upheavals. The beast we called African libration and it aftermath , with coups and counter coups , exploitation of our natural resources for the benefit of the former colonial powers , civil wars , corruption on industrial scale , lack of freedom of speech , no transparency and accountability , suppression of press and oddly enough African governments that are more accountable to international financial institution than their own people , If there is no course correction we will continue in that trajectory of doom and gloom for the next hundred years .And we don’t have anyone to blame but ourselves .It is our African leaders that have collectively created the hell we are enduring today .At present, there are fifteen active civil conflicts across the continent .Meanwhile the rest of the world is forging ahead to the fourth industrial revolution .Whilst we are still hunting ourselves like in the dark ages .

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