What Donald Trump should have said about Sierra Leone – but did not

A boy walks through the river in Kroo Bay slum looking for scrap metal to sell. The river is effectively a giant sewage and everyday new garbage arrives in the water from the hills around. Kroo Bay, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 March 2016

America’s presidential hopeful Donald Trump may be a buffoon with a lot of cash, and perhaps the worst presidential candidate the US has ever produced. But to be wrongly credited with a statement about Sierra Leone, so powerful and true, is quite a stretch.

The fact is that Trump is terribly incapable of thinking logically and putting together a coherent and sensible set of ideas and constructive criticisms, which could lead to the formulation of credible policies.

But many Sierra Leoneans who read excerpts on social media of that bogus statement he was supposed to have made about Sierra Leone, especially the people who run the country, would have saluted Donald Trump had he made that statement, because every single word is painfully true.

And not surprisingly, the Sierra Leone Embassy in America and government media, were quick to denounce the alleged Trump statement.

Yet, just two weeks ago, the United Nations Development Programme published a damning report, showing that Sierra Leone is still languishing at the bottom of the Global Human Development Index.

In 2011, Sierra Leone was ranked 180 out of 187 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) and 72.7% of people described as multi-dimensionally poor.

salone poverty1Three years later in 2014, the report placed the country further down the HDI at 181 out of 188 countries and 77.5% of Sierra Leoneans multi-dimensionally poor – among the highest in the world, and with life expectancy at less than 50 years.

The latest Global HDI report 2015, shows that Sierra Leone has the highest maternal mortality in the world with 1,100 deaths for every 100,000 women giving birth; making the country the most dangerous place for a woman to get pregnant.

Equally so, is the sad and tragic statistic showing that Sierra Leone is the worst country for a child to be born, with the highest child mortality rate of 107 for every 1,000 births; and 160 children out of 1,000 dying before they celebrate their fifth birthday.

The physical growth of 45% of children, aged under-five is severely stunted because of malnutrition.

Sierra Leone has the lowest life expectancy for people aged 60, at just 12.5 additional years.

Only 44% of people aged 15 years and over are literate in Sierra Leone, with only 2.9% of GDP spent on education, compared to 13% of GDP spent on education in Lesotho where 76% of people aged 15 and over are literate. Which of these two countries will attract the most investors?

So, what didn’t  Donald Trump say, that caused so much uproar among government officials, which should have been said; and will he one day soon set aside his buffoonery and call the leadership of Sierra Leone for what it is?

“Look at African countries like Sierra Leone for instance, those people are stealing from their own government and go to invest the money in foreign countries. From the government to the opposition, they only qualify to be used as a case study whenever bad examples are required.

“These are people who import everything including matchsticks. In my opinion, most of these African countries like Sierra Leone ought to be recolonized again for another 100 years because they know nothing about leadership and self-governance,” Trump is wrongfully quoted as saying.

But had he made that statement, would he have been accused of being wrong?

salone poverty3The truth is that most Sierra Leoneans hold these views about the country of their birth. After 55 years of self-rule, the government of Sierra Leone cannot pay for much needed public services without funding from international donors.

The country has a shockingly low tax revenue base of just 11% of GDP.

According to local media, speaking at the launch of the government’s home fair and exhibition last  weekend, the general manager of the housing corporation (SALHOC) Lavern Buya-Kamara said that; “65% of Sierra Leoneans are living in sub-standard houses in the country”.

Speaking on World Water Day in Freetown last week, Water Aid Programme Director – Chiuchu Selma, said that “the government should take action in ensuring that 37.4 percent of Sierra Leoneans living without water are provided with access to clean water.”

The World Bank is providing tens of millions of dollars in funding to help rebuild the country’s electricity infrastructure, which it says currently supplies electricity to less than 10% of the population, with the remaining 90% living in darkness.

Despite the Koroma government claiming to have spent over $500 million on infrastructure since coming to power in 2007, few of the newly constructed roads are useable during the rainy season, because of poor construction and corruption.

Read the HDI Report here:

http://report.hdr.undp.org/

5 Comments

  1. If we are cried down by someone, some where, then all we need to do is to prove them wrong about our country Sierra Leone.

  2. I am not a fan of Donald Trump and I completely disagree with almost everything that he says, but is he right to use Sierra Leone as example of countries that need to be recolonized?

    Because effective colonization teaches people and countries to be better, to govern themselves effectively, to be united, to love their countries and country mates, to uphold their principles and abide by the laws that attracts credible and responsible investors and tourists.

    It is an example of anti-human living conditions and shameful analyzes but 55 years after the British rule, the government of Sierra Leone (mostly headed by northerners – Limba, Loko tribes. The two biggest tribes in the country – Mende and Temne do not govern their own country ) cannot pay for much needed public services without funding from international donors.

    Since 1981, Sierra Leone has won every international begging competition and she has become the biggest laughing stock around the world.

    What is the direction of Sierra Leone today? Sierra Leone continues to go backward. Corruption and daylight intimidation has become the order of the day.

    Is Ernest Koroma’s so-called New APC any different from Siaka Stevens and J.S Momoh’s destructive days? By the way, these people were the architects of human destruction and the collapse of Sierra Leone.

    What kind of society is ours when 70% of its people especially young people are jobless and lives on less than two dollars a day?

    Colonization and recolonization has its pros and cons. Effective colonization teaches the citizens of colonized societies to be better and stronger coupled with enough information and ideas to govern themselves after colonization.

    Cases in mind are Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, USA and Vietnam that refused to be colonized hence fought the French and Americans respectively.

    As highlighted above, I am not a Donald Trump supporter or fan, but Sierra Leone is a death trap and an example of failed society led by people with zero idea about good governance and love for society.

    Before APC came to power, Sierra Leone had a middle-class economy, she was a law abiding society, a principled society that used to be call the “Athens of Africa”, had good infrastructure like railway, good roads, water, improved agricultural as well as organized mining sectors.

    Today, S/L has no economy on its own; its entire economy is driven by aid, drugs and lies. The so-called fourth-class buyers and seller’s investors (the Lebanese, Syrians, Indians, now Chinese) have taken over the country; once more, the natural born citizens have become slaves in their own country (same as re-colonization but more dangerous for the country and its citizens).

    Sierra Leone is bankrupt, its citizens are poor and lives by the day, the world look down upon us because we are not respected anywhere in the world, yet tribal-driven northerners continue to vote blindly for APC.

    They continue to vote against the country’s interest, they continue to vote for seasoned corruption, intimidation, poverty, environmental degradation, division and potential slavery that could be worst than Donald Trump’s so-called re-colonization.

    The north continues to vote against their own interest and the interest of the future generations.

    It’s up to us Sierra Leoneans to rise up and demand real change in Sierra Leone, it’s up to us to spread the message to the entire people, it’s up to us to educate the people and liberate their minds, it’s up to us to educate them about human responsibility to society.

    It’s up to us to define real human living and the differences between S/L and other countries in the world. It is up to us to become fearless and commit ourselves to responsible change for the betterment of Sierra Leone and for future generations to come.

    Why is it that any time APC is in power, human destruction and natural disaster will continue to unfold?

  3. Sierra Leone is right on the crossroads of a make or break existence. Adults, young adults and even our kids, kith and kin made great sacrifice in our recent history in order to usher in freedom, justice, democracy and prosperity in the country, following a cruel civil war which claimed the lives of well over fifty thousand citizens, for a system of governance which all peace loving and progressive nations across the world have embraced and are enjoying today.

    A democratic system which paved the way for the opposition APC party to assume governance of the country in 2007, thanks to a gallant woman Christiana Thorpe, electoral commissioner who stood firmly to ensure that democratic tenants are observed in the presidential election process, along with the blessings of late President Ahmed Tejan Kabba who against the wish of his SLPP party, handed over power as a true democrat to the incumbent Ernest Koroma of the APC. A system this APC government is trying to destroy.

    This census report corroborates and testifies once again the aimless direction this APC government is driving Sierra Leone – a recurrent down turn of the Human Development Index that shows no sign of improvement. They should feel deeply ashamed of themselves and quit the political scenario, as they are unfit to put the country on track and move it towards progress and prosperity, a singsong of their failed policies.

    Overwhelmed with the daunting task of running the affairs of the country and stagnated in a clueless limbo with no sense of purpose, they are bent on corruption, scam and embezzlement of tax payers money and resources of the land, with very little or nothing to offer to the wellbeing of citizens.

    Donald Trump’s alleged statement about Sierra Leone addresses the true image of the country in current times, a condition inflicted by our clueless, corrupt and inept political elites in both the APC and SLPP governments, since the achievement of our independence.

    Sierra Leone represents a bad example of a modern nation; we are trailing far behind our peers in the sub-region in terms of social transformation. Our governments have continually failed to lay adequate foundation that could stimulate and boost the local private sector, an area of potential economic development, taking into account the business oriented nature of the people of Sierra Leone.

    As all development parameters are underpinned on the strength of the local economy of a nation, this is an area that could help lift our rankings in the Global Human Development Index, and also lay the foundation for a sustainable development.

    Left with the APC and SLPP alone, Sierra Leone will never achieve real progress. These two parties have already outlived their usefulness and must take the exit door.

    We need honest and sincere politicians with the right focus and common sense to uplift this country from the doldrums of backwardness.

    As a people, we sit by passively without speaking up to defend our democratic rights; or watch as events continue to unfold. What would posterity think about us if our democratic system fails and our country is once again dubbed a failed nation. We are accomplice to this state of affairs.

    We need to become a real force for change through exercising our democratic rights. Sierra Leone is a democratic state as enshrined in our national constitution; we are yet to move towards a democratic crusade, with total involvement of all who believe and uphold the system of democracy in Sierra Leone.

    The Sierra Leone people have attained political maturity that should be sound enough to make the right choice of their governors in a free and fair democratic election, but the educated Sierra Leoneans need to crystallize this effort – come 2018 parliamentary and presidential elections.

    This is a call to all patriotic Sierra Leoneans to wake up from our slumber and redirect our destiny.

  4. Liz: You are hereby reminded of what God’s word says on waiting for Him: “Therefore, return to your God; observe kindness and justice. And wait for your God continually.” Hosea 12:6.

  5. Mr. Mohamed Ali: Allow me respond to you in a few words. I neither insulted nor denigrated you in anyway, shape or form. I have only been assertive to you on the negative consequences of Freemasonry. And if that is extremism, then so be it; I offer no apology for that.

    Lastly, I was a Muslim too and got converted to Christianity. Jesus Christ is the reason for my conversion. For He is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father in heaven except through Jesus. John 14:6.

    Sure, I will keep my Bible with me no matter what. And thanks too for the exchanges we had between us. Bye bye.

    “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” Matthew 10:14,15 (NIV). Amen.

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