From the Editor’s Keyboard

Sierra Leone:Jobs and human resources

1 November 2020 at 00:34 | 1160 views

By Gibril Koroma, Editor and Publisher

President Julius Maada Bio’s SLPP government in Sierra Leone seems to be handling two main planks as it moves ahead with national development. Those two planks are human resource development and employment opportunities.

Sierra Leoneans are in dire need of employment or job opportunities. People need jobs in order to buy food to feed themselves and their families.

According to American psychologist Abraham Maslow, things like food, shelter (having a place to sleep), clothes to wear and other basics is what the average human being thinks of before considering other things.

And that is why the current SLPP government of President Julius Maada Bio has been providing employment for young people in farm projects all over the country. Unfortunately these projects are not extensively captured by the mostly Freetown-based media.

In addition to these rural projects, construction of the now famous Lungi bridge is said to start next month. This is a massive project that will employ hundreds of people, mostly young men and women from Lungi, Freetown and other parts of the country.

Thankfully, Covid-19 seems to be disappearing in the country with only three new cases reported by the end of this week. This means the big mining companies will soon start production again leading to more and more employment opportunities for our people.

The second plank of development (some would say the first, it depends on how you look at it) for this government is the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) programme.This is an extremely expensive programme that is costing the government and the country trillions of Leones every year and swallows about 22% of the national budget. It provides free primary school education and three years of free junior secondary school education for children in government and government-assisted schools. It also provides free books and free meals in schools in some desperately poor communities.

This is huge expenditure that former governments in Sierra Leone and others in West Africa had avoided like rabies. But the Bio government knows the importance of quality education and how an educated citizenry and visionary leadership have transformed countries like Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia. And are now transforming a country like Rwanda.

It is therefore natural to conclude that the Bio government is on the right path to transform Sierra Leone’s human resources and provide employment opportunities from an efficient and patriotic exploitation and commercialisation of our abundant natural resources. The two can go together.