TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1. 3
CORE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC IDEALS.. 3
CHAPTER 2. 5
OUR TRACK RECORD.. 5
2.1 Accomplishments since September 2007. 5
2.2 Work in Progress. 8
CHAPTER 3. 10
BOLSTERING THE ECONOMY.. 10
3.1 Strengthening Macroeconomic and Financial Management 10
3.2 Improving and expanding Road Infrastructure. 12
3.3 Expanding Energy generation and distribution. 13
3.4 Promoting Job creation and self employment 14
3.5 Scaling up Agricultural Productivity. 15
3.6 Promoting Industry and Trade. 17
CHAPTER 4. 19
MAXIMIZING AND SUSTAINING BENEFITS FROM OUR NATURAL RESOURCES.. 19
4.1 Adding value to our Forest Resources. 19
4.2 Optimizing returns from our Minerals. 20
4.3 Increasing benefits from our Marine Resources. 22
4.4 Boosting Tourism... 24
4.5 Tapping our Water Resources. 25
4.6 Sustainable use of Land. 26
4.7 Promoting Sustainable Environmental Management 28
CHAPTER 5. 30
IMPROVING SERVICE DELIVERY.. 30
5.1 Strengthening the Public and Civil Service. 30
5.2 Delivering education and training for national development 31
5.3 Improving Health and Nutrition. 33
5.4 Improving Water and Sanitation Services. 35
5.5 Delivering affordable Housing. 37
5.6 Improving Transport, Communication and Information Services. 38
5.7 Promoting Sports and Recreation. 40
CHAPTER 6. 42
PROTECTING AND EMPOWERING THE VULNERABLE.. 42
CHAPTER 7. 45
ENHANCING NATIONAL INTEGRITY AND SECURITY.. 45
7.1 Enhancing Peace and Security. 45
7.2 Strengthening Law Enforcement 46
7.3 Sustaining Human Rights and Justice. 47
7.4 Promoting National Identity and Symbols. 49
7.5 Intensifying the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change Initiative. 50
7.6 Sustaining the fight against Corruption. 51
CHAPTER 8. 53
DEEPENING OUR DEMOCRACY AND THE NEW POLITICS.. 53
8.1 Strengthening our Democracy. 53
8.2 Deepening Decentralization and Strengthening Local Governance. 54
8.3 Empowering Women and Youth. 56
8.4 Enhancing Participatory Policy Making. 58
8.5 Promoting Political Tolerance and Inclusion. 60
CHAPTER 9. 62
PROMOTING STRATEGIC FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION.. 62
A little over four years ago, the All Peoples Congress (APC) party presented the “Agenda for Change” and invited Sierra Leoneans from all shades, walks of life and regions to “come with us to a brighter future”. Most of you will now agree that when I said it, I equally meant it.
The sacrifice we have made as a nation has been great, but it has also been rewarding. We have built roads; provided electricity and free health care for our pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five; we have built schools and relocated Njala University.
In five years, we have turned this country around. We are at peace and our country remains stable. Our economy continues to show positive signs of growth. Once known as the darkest city in the world, Freetown now enjoys electricity generated from the Bumbuna Hydro Dam, supplemented with thermal plants at Blackhall Road and Kingtom. We have bettered public service delivery and brought Government, decision-making and participatory politics closer to our people.
We have established the Youth Commission to create space for mainstreaming issues affecting our young people into the governance and national development processes and promoting the acquisition of gainful skills, creativity and innovation to make them competitive in the job market. Equally so, we are opening up opportunities for sustainable jobs to absorb our young people by creating the environment to deepen and broaden the attraction to private sector investment. We recognise the imperative of promoting the rights of women and have taken positive steps in this regard. We are increasing efforts in scaling up Social Protection interventions to ensure that we take along the weak and vulnerable members of our society in the country’s match to prosperity. We intend to intensify these efforts in the next five years.
In 2007, I ran on a ticket of change; five years later the change I promised has come and it is visibly changing the quality of life of Sierra Leoneans. The change I promised is changing the deplorable state of the nation’s roads, it has changed our life expectancy, it is changing our agricultural sector, changing our foreign relations landscape, strengthening the ease of doing business, changing our human development index, and it is changing our mindset from low self-esteem to proud and forward thinking people. The change has brought hope to all.
What we have offered so far are essentially foundations to a better and greater future; we have far more to offer. Our ambition is to ensure that all people, I mean all Sierra Leoneans, benefit from the endowments which God gave us. Our goal is to develop a healthier nation; build better schools, better hospitals, and better roads; provide greater prosperity; and give power to the people. We remain committed to our pledge. The election is not just about winning; it is about the future of this country. I need your vote for a second term to change our collective dreams to a national reality.
There are those who in spite of the progress we are experiencing continue to preach sermons of doom. I am asking to be elected again so that I can scale up the gains we have made in just five years and bring prosperity to all Sierra Leoneans. See what we have done in one term; imagine what we could do in a second term.
Vote for me and the APC party again to ensure continuity of the march from the inaction of intentions, which had paralyzed this nation in the past, to the forward thinking action-better-than-intention philosophy that is bringing change we can see and feel.
Re-elect us into office to ensure that those who mortgaged the integrity of this nation and used the bullet to force their will on the people will never be rewarded with the highest office in the land. Vote for us to stop those who think that road networks and free health care are a waste; they should not be given a chance to take us back to the broken past of broken roads, of broken health care and of broken hopes.
Vote for me and the APC party again to give wheels to our collective will, to make this nation a force to reckon with on the world stage and a legacy we would be proud to pass on to posterity.
Re-elect us because the alternative belongs to the broken nation of the past and not the new Sierra Leone we are building. We have done a lot and there is still a lot more to be done. But all of us will have a lot to lose if we break this continuity.
Vote for us again because we don’t want to squander the gains that we have made over the last five years.
Believe in me and the party I lead, because it is the future of this country. Vote for us because we will continue to keep our promises, in the same way we have kept the promises of the Agenda for Change.
Vote for us again because we have a record of changing intentions to actions and the vision to continue on the same path till we attain the prosperity we dream for our children.
CHAPTER 1 CORE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC IDEALS
What inspired our founding fathers to establish the All Peoples Congress (APC) Party was their great concern for the welfare and unfettered political participation of the ordinary man and woman. The APC therefore became and continues to be a forum for advancing broad- based political and economic inclusion of the non-affluent and making them the rightful custodians of political power. To this end, the APC has remained true to the fundamental conviction of our founding fathers; that is, the state has a responsibility to take care of its people who are the custodians of political power.
The foundation on which we relied to build and expand this concept was putting the nation before self and developing a sense of profound national identity. The party base was neither ethnic nor regional; rather it had a broad-base, and appealed to every corner of society because the concerns were the same whether people came from the north, east, west or south. Our party has therefore been inclusive from the very onset.
Building on the foundation of our founding fathers, we have maintained the tradition of action, progress and commitment to the welfare and political inclusion of the common man and woman as the hallmark of the APC Party. Our inspiration coming from the common man and woman and our ambition to develop our nation even in the midst of poverty compelled us to adopt the ideal of national self-reliance, from which many projects were embarked upon through self-help. This tradition of self-help has carried on to this day, with Government providing matching funds for most donor supported projects. If you look around this country, in terms of development (infrastructure, economy, etc) what you see is what the APC has done. From the Mano River Union, through the Mano River Bridge, to Youyi Building, the Aberdeen Bridge, Bumbuna Hydro Electric Power plant, and the thousands of kilometers of tarmac roads across the country, people are persistently reminded of the wonderful achievements of this all-embracing party.
We remain relentless in maintaining a progressive and unified nation and we will continue to stress our similarities, not our differences. We will take development to every corner of this country because this is right and it is what this nation deserves.
We have always believed in gender equality and continue to promote and protect the rights of every citizen irrespective of gender, tribe, race and region. We will also harness the capacity of the youth and physically challenged. Everyone deserves attention, fair treatment and has a role to play in the political and economic development of the country.
We know that we are gifted with abundant natural resources as a country, and what we stand for as a party is that everyone should enjoy the benefits of our endowment. In our Agenda for Change, we asked this nation to come with us to a brighter future. We pledged to turn this country around in three years. There is ample evidence for everyone to see that we have remained true to our pledge. In our second term, we invite everyone to join hands in our quest for national prosperity.
We reject and condemn all forms of intolerance and divisiveness. Ours is truly a government of, by and for the people. We pride ourselves as a party that we have been responsive to every ethnic, regional and class interests.
OUR TRACK RECORD 2.1 Accomplishments since September 2007
The 2007 elections presented a golden opportunity which our people embraced and ushered us into governance based on the unparalleled inspiration of our “Agenda for Change”. The “Agenda for Change” created a revolution of great expectations and since then the country has not looked back. Much was expected of us and indeed our record in governance can only be compared to the remarkable economic, social and infrastructural achievements of previous APC governments. Since 2007, our Government has been able to turn the country around in several areas.
The APC Government of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has embarked on the largest road rehabilitation, reconstruction and construction ever in the history of this nation. The programme includes the resurfacing of the Makeni – Matotoka Highway and the Bo – Kenema Highway; the completion of the Masiaka – Bo Highway; rehabilitation of 600km of feeder roads in Port Loko, Kambia, Pujehun and Kenema Districts; rehabilitation of twenty five (25)km of selected streets in Freetown including: Mends Street, Duke Street, Victoria Street, Dundas Street, Caulker Street and widening of Wilkinson Road and Spur Road; rehabilitation of a combined total of 250km of streets in all of the 12 district headquarter towns and Lunsar township; and the reconstruction of the Freetown –Conakry Highway. It is now possible to travel to the country’s major towns faster and in comfort.
The Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma APC-led Government has constructed jetties at Gbondapi, Gbangbatoke, Yargoi, Port Loko, Rokupr, Kassiri, Kychom, Mambolo and Funkia to improve river transportation and fishing infrastructure. Additionally, we have increased protection of our fish resources, provided adequate extension services to fisher folks and strengthened rescue networks.
Energy and Power
The Bumbuna Hydro Plant started by APC over thirty years ago was completed and commissioned by President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. The Capital Freetown now enjoys the benefits of electricity supply. Mini dams and Solar energy are also being explored while 6 mega watts thermal plants have been installed in Makeni, to supply Magburaka and Matotoka; Lungi; Koidu; Blackhall Road in Freetown; and an additional three 6 megawatt plants are being installed in Bo to supplement supply from the Dodo hydro-electric plant.
In 2008, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma took a more robust stance in the fight against corruption by empowering the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate and prosecute all corruption cases spanning from “possession of unexplained wealth” to breaches in procurement procedures and influencing public officials.
Under our watch the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced in 2010 ensuring that more people paid tax. As a result, we experienced a growth in total revenue collection as a percentage of GDP from 12.6% in 2010 to 14.9% in 2011. Similarly, GST as a percentage of GDP grew from 3.2% in 2010 to 3.9% in 2011. Additionally, the Automated System for Custom data (ASCUDA) was introduced cutting down corruption at the Port and facilitating trade through the faster movement of goods and individuals.
The APC government of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has committed itself to the protection and promotion of women’s rights. In a bid to enhance gender equality, our Government has established focal points not just in Ministries, but at local government level as well. The Gender Acts of 2007, designed to improve the legal status of women in Sierra Leone, have greatly enhanced women’s rights and promoted gender equality. Currently women head the judiciary, the National Electoral Commission, the National Revenue Authority, Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority, the Audit Department and the Army can boast of having its first female Brigadier. Women have also been appointed Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Ambassadors.
The APC Government has established the National Youth Commission to provide policy oversight and ensure that Youth issues are brought to the fore and given the appropriate attention they deserve in our national development efforts.
Information and Communication
The recently established Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation has now gone worldwide. For the first time Sierratel launched its mobile phone service and the undersea cable has landed which very soon will tremendously improve internet connectivity with the rest of the World.
In the realm of justice and the protection of human rights, our record is second to none. Not a single journalist has ever been brought to court nor incarcerated. There is not a single political prisoner. New courts and backlog courts have been either constructed or are being set up. We have also strengthened the Sierra Leone Human Rights Commission and we have not executed any prisoner since we came into governance.
The National Sustainable Agricultural Development plan is the platform for increasing agricultural productivity, promoting commercial agriculture through extension delivery systems and promoting efficient sector resource management with the following accomplishments:
The Smallholder Commercialization Programme has been used to construct 193 Agricultural Business Centres with at least one in every chiefdom, equipped with mini rice mills, cassava grating machines, drying floors and water sources to assist small farmers in processing, adding value and marketing their products.
In addition, feeder roads have been rehabilitated and village banks established to facilitate farmers’ access to financial resources and services.
There has been tremendous increase in cultivation in inland swamps. The APC government of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has embarked on a programme of reforestation.
The Environmental Protection Agency
The APC Party fully recognizes the inextricable link between human wellbeing and the wellbeing of the environment. In 2010 therefore, our Government amended the 2008 Environmental Protection Act and place the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) directly under the supervision of the Office of the President thus demonstrating an unwavering political commitment of the Government to the protection and conservation of the Environment.
President Ernest Bai Koroma has initiated a free health care policy for lactating mothers, pregnant women and children under five. The infant mortality rate in 2007 was 158 deaths per 1000 and by 2011 it stood at 78 deaths per 1000 children. In 2010 Sierra Leone was presented with an MDG award for its leadership and progress in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. Salaries of health workers have also been improved. In addition there are various training services and courses to improve the skills of the health workers and Health facilities are been increased and better staffed.
President Ernest Bai Koroma set up the Gbamanja Commission and accepted its report on the poor performance of pupils in basic education and the West African Secondary Schools Certificate Examinations. Under our watch, the University of Makeni has been established and the infrastructure of Njala University has been refurbished and the university subsequently relocated to its original campus. We have also recently attracted $36 US million dollars to refurbish and expand Fourah Bay College. Government has provided for automatic scholarships for University entrant female science students. Conditions of service of teachers and lecturers have also been improved. The verification exercise embarked upon by our administration has by 2012 recovered up to Le270 million of monies which were hitherto unaccounted for. In 2012, we launched the first ever census report of schools in the country.
We reviewed the Koidu Holding Mining Agreement and made it more rewarding to Sierra Leoneans. We ushered in the African Minerals Limited and London Mining Companies to mine and make our iron ore deposits meaningful to the our people. We have facilitated the discovery of off shore oil deposits which will help boost the national economy 2.2 Work in Progress
As part of our efforts to re-brand Sierra Leone Lungi airport is currently undergoing a serious facelift. Through bilateral economic cooperation, the Peoples’ Republic of China is to construct a new international airport on the mainland between Mamamah and Magbontoso in the Port Loko District. NASSIT has constructed pilot houses in all of the provincial headquarters. The construction of the Transport Terminal and Shopping Plaza in Kenema is nearing completion. Similar facilities are being constructed in Bo and Makeni. The sports complex in Bo is also almost complete. Construction is also well on course on the Hillside Bypass Road, Kenema-Pendembu Road and Lungi-Port Loko Road. The twenty one km Tokeh-Lumley road is ongoing; the first 9 km stretch of the road from Lumley to Tokeh is being expanded to four lanes. The construction of the 87 km Kenema- Pendembu section of the Kenema Kailahun Highway has commenced and will be completed in 2013. Every District Headquarter town is experiencing road construction and rehabilitation. We are also looking forward to the soon to be constructed Bo- Bandajuma highway; Makeni-Kabala highway, the Jomo Kenyatta- Hillcot Road and 550 feeder roads in Bombali, Tonkolili and Kailahun Districts. In July 2011, our Government not only signed a Build, Operate and Transfer agreement for the construction of thermal plants with installed capacity of 1000 megawatts but that also included the construction of the Transmission and Distribution network. Funding for the Pendembu-Kailahun and Sefadu-Matotoka Highways has been secured. Work on the Regent-Jui Road is ongoing.
CHAPTER 3 BOLSTERING THE ECONOMY 3.1 Strengthening Macroeconomic and Financial Management
Sound economic policies designed to significantly improve the socio- economic wellbeing of our citizens have been the hallmark of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s APC government. With such policies and our Government determined not to be deterred in its progressive drive, the economy continues to show positive signs of growth and wealth accruing is invested to trigger further growth. The GDP looks set to grow significantly in 2012.
GDP growth has been driven by investments and expansion in agriculture, mining, construction and services as well as by the enhanced unprecedented government investment in infrastructure and electricity. The inflationary double digit increase in the period between 2007and 2012 was largely due to external factors.
Domestic revenue generation and collection experienced considerable improvement exceeding yearly targets over the past four years. This increase has contributed to the GDP growth from 11.7% in 2008/2009 to 14.1% in 2010/2011. The expected iron ore exports in 2012 will significantly contribute to enhancing the national coffers.
Public expenditure also rose from 17.7% of GDP in 2007 to 21.8% in 2008-2009 and about 27% in 2010-2011. This was largely due to government’s strides in investing in Agriculture, Energy, Roads and Water Supply. Improvement in domestic revenue generation and collection has significantly contributed to the timely allocation of development funds to local authorities.
There has also been an unprecedented increase in exports with its attendant GDP growth from 2.9% in 2007 to 33.5% in 2010. This encouraging phenomenon is set to continue.
Import trends have also been encouraging whilst the exchange rate has remained relatively stable since 2009. This positive development has contributed to foreign exchange reserves sufficient enough to sustain external shocks to the economy.
The Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s APC-led Government, prudent in its external borrowing policy, has wisely opted for highly concessional loans to support development projects/programmes.
The continuing global financial and banking crises and the international food and fuel price increases. The creation of more and sustainable jobs to absorb unemployed youth. The informal nature of the economy and the minimal manufacturing and industrial capacity. Raising the effectiveness and efficiency of the bulging civil and public service. Enhancing the effectiveness of National Development Planning. Centralising expenditure control and revenue collection systems. Continuing improvement in the procurement and contract management system. Streamlining responsibilities for recruitment and forging greater co-ordination of payroll management within the public service.
Sustained effort in developing a robust and healthy economy. Intensified fight against corruption. Greater and more effective control over expenditure and revenue collection. Diminishing reliance on food imports. Progressive development of an agro-based production economy. Continued improvement in the performance of the public service. Improved procurement and contract management.
Continue pursuing policies that enhance peace and stability as well as those that promote donor confidence. Boost investment in productive sectors and productivity related infrastructure and moderate spending on luxuries. Improve the business climate by putting in place and implementing appropriate legislative and administrative measures. Develop a Transit, Hospitality and Service Economy. Leveraging on the country’s location and deep water port for transiting containers and other cargo to Guinea, Mali and even Niger and Senegal. Review and reinvigorate National Development Planning. Invest more in Education, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Energy, Manufacturing, Tourism, Housing, Information Technology, Solar and Bio-Fuels. Institute performance and relevance based mechanism for retention and remuneration of staff in the public and civil service. Encourage more stringent oversight by the ACC. Institute more measures to control inflation and ensure that public borrowing from the Bank of Sierra Leone allows money to flow and bolster the private sector.
3.2 Improving and expanding Road Infrastructure
Our APC Government is transforming the national transportation landscape by undertaking the most extensive road rehabilitation and reconstruction yet in the history of Sierra Leone.
A Roads Maintenance Fund and an administration for financing the core road networks in the country have been established. A coordinated approach in the mobilization and utilization of resources for the construction of feeder roads has also been developed. Thousands of kilometers of feeder roads have been constructed across the country.
Meeting the cost of routine road maintenance. Introduction and implementation of a road toll system to generate funds for road works. Funding the expansion of paved road network countrywide. Expanding the rehabilitation, reconstruction and construction of feeder roads.
Improved connection of all major towns by paved roads to facilitate the fast movement of goods and people. Reduced travel time to most parts of the country thereby promoting trade and tourism. Enhanced quality of streets in district headquarter towns and urban centres across the country. Continue expanding paved road network to connect chiefdoms to districts and districts to provincial headquarter towns. Continue building and sustaining the road maintenance fund. Encourage public-private partnership in funding road network development. Develop and implement a roads toll system. Introduce an effective, extensive and efficient highway patrol.
3.3 Expanding Energy generation and distribution
Since 2007 our Government has embarked on programmes to initiate and sustain the much needed transformation of the energy sector. The Bumbuna Hydro Power Plant, started by the APC over thirty years ago was completed and commissioned by President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma in 2009.
As it continues to generate power supply to Freetown and other places, discussions are underway to expand Bumbuna Hydro System to 400 megawatts. Because Bumbuna cannot supply all the electricity needs of Freetown, a 16.5 megawatt and a 10 megawatt thermal plants were installed at Blackhall Road and Kingtom respectively in March 2011, improving power supply to over 45,000 customers. There are thermal plants either completed or nearing completion in Makeni, Lungi and Koidu, while Dodo supplies power to Bo and Kenema. The building of mini hydro power stations in Charlotte and Makali has begun. Construction work on the Bankasoka Hydro Power Station in Port Loko District will soon commence. Solar lights are being provided to city streets and homes in rural communities, with homes already electrified in Mamusa, Blama Massaquoi, Kissy Koya, Makandeh and Mambioma.
Expansion of Hydro-power generation across the country. Reducing the use of high cost thermal generators. Improving the transmission and distribution of electricity. Improving the collection of payment from consumers.
Increased power generation from current level. Sustained functioning of the Bumbuna and Dodo Hydro Dams. Reduced dependence on thermal plants. Improved distribution network. Greater access to power supply in cities, towns and communities. Greater predictability of power supply.
Continue the identification and exploration of additional hydro electricity power potentials across the country. Increase investment in clean energy sources by harnessing solar power. Strengthen the distribution function by rehabilitating and replacing where applicable non- functioning transmission lines in the cities. Encourage public-private partnership in the provision of energy. Increase coverage and regularity of power supply within the cities. Install prepaid meters for all consumers to ensure payment of bills. Institute more robust monitoring of distribution and consumption to apprehend and punish perpetrators of illegal connections.
3.4 Promoting Job creation and self employment
Sierra Leone continues to face the post- war challenge of unemployment especially for the youth population. As is the case in every economy, while direct employment by the State can contribute towards addressing the problem, the availability of sustainable employment is very much dependent on growth in the private sector. As we continue to attract investment in the economy from the private sector, as a responsible government, we will take specific actions to offer opportunities to our people especially the youth, to access both self and waged employment. Currently the attraction of the mining sector and agro-based industries continue to create jobs all over the country. President Dr, Ernest Bai Koroma’s APC-led Government remains committed to creating more opportunities for citizens especially the youth to be meaningfully engaged in livelihood activities that maintain their dignity and we will engage well meaning partners in this effort.
Creating more opportunities for formal employment. Reducing over dependence on the State for employment. Expanding national spread of technical and vocational training centres. Scaling up opportunities for entrepreneurship and self employment. Providing progressive skills development for hardcore unemployed and new entrants into the job market. Cushioning the difficult transition from University and training institutions to the job market.
Reduced rate of unemployment. Effective career and employment advisory. Progressively expanding and more efficient middle level manpower. Greater emphasis on training in employable skills for the hard core unemployed. Increased spread of well resourced Vocational and Technical Training centres across the country. Progressive scale-up of “local content” in existing and new companies. Availability of well targeted micro-enterprise schemes. Smoother transition from University and Training Institutions to the job market.
Re-establish/establish functioning career and employment advisory centres at district and regional levels including Western Area. Establish a reliable unemployment tracking mechanism. Negotiate progressive scale-up of “local content” with existing and new companies. Identify and set up well targeted Special Schemes for employment creation at Regional and District Levels. Raise awareness and increase focus on service industry skills acquisition. Encourage acquisition of skills in technology including modern auto mechanics, assembling and maintenance of mobile phones, computers, solar panels assembly and installation, installation of washing machines, dryers and cooling system. Review and strengthen existing interventions that offer internship opportunities to University and Technical/Vocational graduates. Through the National Youth Commission, NaCSA and other Partners, establish and resource a National Service Scheme to facilitate the acquisition of work experience and address the difficulty of transitioning from training to the job market. Work with partners to support training in employable skills for the hard core unemployed. Work with the Private Sector and appropriate Government Agencies to design and set up well targeted micro-enterprise schemes for women and young people. Increase the spread of well resourced Vocational and Technical Training centres across the country and encourage re-training of job seekers.
3.5 Scaling up Agricultural Productivity
Since 2007 our Government identified agriculture as a top development priority and increased investment in the sector from 1.6% in 2007 to almost 10% of GDP in 2011. The National Sustainable Agricultural Development Programme is Government’s platform to make agriculture the ‘engine’ for socio-economic growth and development by promoting “farming as a business.”
Agriculture, the backbone of the economy contributes about 46% to the GDP, supports the livelihood of two thirds of the population and generates almost one fourth of the export earnings while providing most of the raw materials for industry.
The ecological systems allow for the growth of a broad range of crops, cereals, tubers, fruits and vegetables. Our rich fisheries resource not only contributes 9.4% to GDP but enhances our national food security and poverty reduction/alleviation drive. Artisanal fisheries which contribute 80% of the locally consumed fish, also provides employment and incomes for a large number of women gainfully engaged in fish processing, marketing and ancillary services.
The livestock industry which comprises mostly the local Ndama cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry has the potential to contribute to national development. Government is renewing support to increase productivity and revitalize growth in this sector.
Phasing out subsistence agriculture. Motivating higher indigenous private sector investment in value addition, large scale agriculture and agro-marketing. Opening up rural areas to increase access to market and services. Increasing crop yields and reducing post-harvest losses. Controlling smuggling of our food stuff across our porous borders. Effective utilization of the ample water resources for irrigation. /Changing farmers’ attitudes and perceptions towards farming as a business by adopting new skills and strategies to increase economic returns. Expanding farmer services especially research and extension delivery systems. Building a comprehensive agricultural database and an early warning system for forecasting climatic conditions, pests and diseases, and food security situation in the country.
Sustained promotion of commercial agriculture through the Smallholder Commercialization Programme. Attracting private sector investment in large scale commercial agriculture. Enhanced year-round cultivation of rice and vegetables through Inland valley Swamp development and irrigation. Expanded support for mechanization. Enhanced promotion of the agricultural value chain. Increased transfer of innovative skills and knowledge to farmers. Increased access to market and agricultural services.
Continue to provide investment incentives to the agricultural private sector including foreign direct investors. Improve research and extension service delivery. Continue promoting efficient and effective resource management both human and material in the sector. Provide Cash Reserves in order to help cope with food emergencies and natural disasters, to stabilize grain prices during price hikes. Establish more Village and Community Banks country-wide and rehabilitate and construct more feeder roads to link production areas to markets. Promote cash/export crop plantations in appropriate areas. Rehabilitate and establish new feed mills to stimulate the expansion of the pig and poultry industry. Expand the tractor hire purchase scheme and complement that with an effective hire scheme for poor farmers who cannot afford hire purchase. Expand research institutions to cater for all the sub-sectors and specialized thematic issues of the agricultural sector of Sierra Leone. Promote capacity building in Ministry of Agriculture, Districts, Chiefdoms/Wards, the ABC, farmers as well as civil society. Encourage irrigation to increase cultivation of inland swamps year round and create incentives for fish farming.
3.6 Promoting Industry and Trade
Before 2007, a limited number of people invested very little in industry with the majority engaged in retail trade. One of the major reasons for this was the dearth of capital with financial institutions demanding impossible collaterals. Where finance was available, interest rates were very high and returns from investments low and slow thus leading to high rates of default by borrowers. Consequently, banks became reluctant to provide more loans.
The absence of standardized products also contributes to the difficulty our products have to successfully compete with products from other parts of the region. Since 2007 our government has promoted an enabling climate to encourage agro-based industrial development. Though many industries are foreign-owned, partnerships with indigenous entrepreneurs are beginning to spring up. With a small market and various restrictions from other parts of the world it makes it rather difficult to mass produce and this prevents high profit margins. The estimated contribution of trade and industry to the GDP currently stands at about 5%.
Transforming the largely informal activities to formal operations Increasing access to venture capital Motivating indigenous participation in industrial operations Ensuring adequate legal protection for partnerships and joint ventures Creating business centres to accommodate small business operators
Greater participation of indigenes in industrial activities Increased access to business financing by entrepreneurs Rationalize tax base of government Better accommodation for small business operators
Encourage public-private partnerships Encourage banks to provide more favourable financing for businesses Establish better market and business centers especially in urban centers Strengthen the business climate for indigenous participation Support the establishment of agro-based and other industries that use local materials Encourage and provide support for value addition enterprises
CHAPTER 4 MAXIMIZING AND SUSTAINING BENEFITS FROM OUR NATURAL RESOURCES 4.1 Adding value to our Forest Resources
As a Party we recognize that our natural resources are a principal source of income for not only safeguarding a healthy GDP but also important in the preservation of livelihoods for both rich and poor; enhancing export earning opportunities; eradicating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Our Government is determined to continue promoting responsible and just management of the country’s natural resources through proper coordination, cooperation and partnerships that will allow us to derive maximum benefits now and accrue sustainable benefits for future generations. At the core of this are the issues of production, sustainability and protection.
Currently, the country has 48 forest reserves; two protected areas - Outamba-Kilimi and Gola Rainforest - have been elevated to the status of National Parks while another 15 protected areas have been earmarked for Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation. There are community forests scattered in several chiefdoms. Our Government is implementing newly enacted environmental legislations through programmes such as the Conservation of the Western Area Peninsula Forest Reserve and its Watershed; Eco-tourism Supporting Community Development and Conservation at Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary; the Trans-boundary Forest Co-management; and The Gola Forest Management.
Because of illegal harvesting and poaching of our forests with the negative impact on environmental degradation the APC-led Government of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma instituted in 2008 a ban on all logging activities. We also developed a policy on timber development, exploitation and trade in order to regulate the exploitation of our forest resources and address the associated environmental degradation. Our Government will continue to pursue sound policies and best practices to ensure proper and sustainable use of our forest resources and deter unscrupulous exploiters.
Maintaining coordination among sector MDAs. Enhancing value addition in the logging business. Promoting large scale commercial forest plantations. Expanding re-forestation schemes for exploited rain forests. Improving the capacity of relevant MDAs.
More prudent management of our Forest Resources with stronger emphasis on production and protection. More effective and efficient conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. Greater coordination amongst relevant MDAs. More effective enforcement of policy and legal provisions on the management of forest resources. Value addition incorporated into all commercial logging operations. Reduced environmental degradation resulting from the exploitation of forest resources. Investor encouragement to establish large scale commercial plantations. Greater benefits accrued from carbon credits.
Ban the export of round logs in favour of setting up processing facilities to add value before export. Enact the Forestry and Wildlife Bill to address the multiple demands on the sector and incorporate international best practices. Develop a certification system for timber destined for export from Sierra Leone through a Chain of Custody system. Add legal authority to the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce the legal instruments for conservation and wildlife forestry. Establish a National Conservation Trust Fund (NCTF) to provide alternative livelihoods for communities hosting conservation programmes. Collaborate with neighbouring countries within the Mano River Union to develop a trans-boundary forest management system including harmonization of legal frameworks, policies and Protocols for cross border patrols and movement of forest personnel. Invest in gradually phasing out the use of charcoal and firewood. Conduct qualitative and quantitative assessment and monitoring of natural resources using Satellite imaging to provide real time information on what we have, how much, where and what is changing.
4.2 Optimizing returns from our Minerals
Sierra Leone which has often been described as the land of gold and diamonds also boasts of significant deposits of rutile, bauxite, iron ore and other minerals. The extraction of our mineral wealth has impacted foreign direct investment (FDI), employment, government revenues, foreign exchange earnings, innovation and development of related sectors over the last four years. This has turned the fortunes of this country around. Because of the heavy capital investment requirements we have had to rely on the involvement of international investors. The policies of our Government have greatly enhanced peace, stability and an enabling business climate attracting many international investors.
While mineral concessions and exploration and exploitation licenses have been granted, the Government of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma had cause to re-negotiate agreements with Koidu Holdings, London Mining, Sierra Rutile and Sierra Mining Holdings to ensure the preservation of the public good.
Additionally, we granted a concession to African Minerals Limited for the mining of Iron Ore in Tonkolili district and this included the reconstruction of the Pepel Port and the railway from Ferengbeya to Pepel for the trans-shipment of the iron ore. The production and export of Iron Ore we started in December 2011 after more than 30 years lull.
To ensure transparent and effective administration of mineral rights a mining cadastre has been established that enhances a geographic database which helps the country to know exactly what we have while at same time we feed relevant information into the EITI process. An information repository in the Ministry’s website has improved on transparency and accountability.
Attracting and sustaining investors’ interest in establishing value added industries. Managing the process of mineral discovery. Capturing optimum rents on mineral resources through taxation and royalties. Balancing use of mineral revenues between consumption and investment. Eliminating the potential for a “resource curse”. Mitigating the environmental and sociological effects of mineral extraction.
Optimum revenue inflows into the national treasury from mining operations. Fairly distributed benefits from mining proceeds across the country. Greater opportunities for employment especially for the youth. Increased investments in Social Services and National Assets Greater investments in human capital development. Effective application of environmental and social safeguards. Acceptable labour practices upheld by mining companies. Assured good governance, strong institutions, effective regulatory frameworks, and the protection of rights including those of a customary nature. Sustained attraction and protection of the interests of investors.
Strengthen competition among resource extraction companies. Institute wherever possible, in-kind over in-cash compensation for natural resources from international mining consortiums that will help government deliver in a timely fashion world-class structures that reflect the wealth of the nation. Set definitive time limits for prospecting rights to not more than three years. Impose optimal taxation on mineral assets to make a significant contribution to fiscal revenue. Increase transparency, public awareness and consultation in the design and granting of concessions and licenses. Invest more in technical capacity especially in geo-spatial information, monitoring and evaluation of natural resources. Create a Sovereign Wealth Fund to support economic infrastructure, agricultural productivity, human capacity development as well as poverty reduction especially Social Protection. Adequately provide for sustainable social and economic development of host communities, enforcement of social and environmental safeguards and strict adherence to contractual provisions in all mining agreements. Include value addition in mining agreements. Promote the discharge of coordinated and participatory Corporate Social Responsibility.
4.3 Increasing benefits from our Marine Resources
Sierra Leone has one of the richest marine fishing zones in all of West Africa with an estimated maximum sustainable yield of between 170,000 and 300,000 tons annually. Sierra Leone’s fisheries are crucially important to the population’s livelihoods, food security and employment, especially in processing and marketing which are primarily undertaken by women. Fish constitute the largest source of protein especially amongst the poor.
Eradicating overfishing which threatens the fish stock in Sierra Leone. Eliminating institutional weaknesses within the Ministry in terms of capacity for effective policy formulation and implementation. Coping with the migratory and open access character of fish resources which paves the way for overexploitation. Expanding the availability of proper fish landing and handling facilities which do not only prevent the country from benefiting fully from this resource but also prevents Sierra Leone from earning much needed foreign exchange from trans‐shipment of foreign caught fish and the repair and servicing of fishing vessels operating in Sierra Leone’s coastal waters. Curbing the rampant illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Sierra Leones’ waters.
Sustained growth of the fishing sector. Increased investment from the private sector. Increased availability and affordability of fish in the local market. Greater impact on poverty reduction. Effective safeguard for fishery resources to ensure sustainability. Improving governance processes to address institutional weaknesses. Ensuring effective regulatory and surveillance frameworks for tackling the challenge of open access to fishery resources.
Increase public revenues from fisheries through imposition of levies on volume caught, in combination with regulating access to fishing grounds Increase growth in the industry by effecting a more stringent system of vessel licenses, allocation of rights (e.g. total allowable catch, individual quotas) and stiffer regulations on gear types and sizes. Raise productivity through investment in more productive fishing techniques, processing and promoting competition. Combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing through a more stringent surveillance system. Protect artisanal fisher folks against the hazards of industrial fishing companies Ensure that revenues raised are used for pro-poor expenditure by earmarking some of the revenues for improved fishery management through enhancing monitoring, control and surveillance. Enhance opportunities for small-scale fisher-folks by encouraging small-scale fisher-folks to form associations to negotiate better terms and benefit from a system of devolved rent. Scale up the provision of cold storage facilities at landing sites and during transport.
4.4 Boosting Tourism
Aware that tourism is an important contributor to the socio-economic development of the country whose full potential is yet to be tapped the Government of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma started and continues to support the industry through several initiatives. These include scaling up national budgetary allocations and offering appropriate tax incentives to genuine investors.
The National Tourist Board has been instrumental in giving visibility to the sector by engaging in aggressive marketing and promotional activities in major tourist markets and participation in collaboration with the private sector at international Tourism Fairs.It has also extended invitations to international Travel Writers and Journalists to undertake familiarization tours to Sierra Leone with a view to having an on-the-spot assessment of the industry’s potential and opportunities. Government will continue to encourage the Board to undertake proactive measures to boost the sector. In addition internal tourism is also being encouraged.
Expansion of associated services such as electricity and water at critical tourist sites. Preventing harassment of Tourists. Expanding a good road network across the country. Inducing greater local private sector investment in the sector. Achieving high quality of service amongst service providers. Creating incentives for the internal market to patronize the industry. Providing better quality hotel facilities up-country.
Greater international awareness of the touristic potentials of the country. Enhanced attraction to investors in the sector. Improved inflows to the National Treasury from the Tourist Industry. Enhanced capacity of local operatives within the industry, Expanded job opportunities.
Make capital out of the country’s landscape, beaches, climate, culture and friendliness of the people. Undertake more aggressive advertising and positive imaging of the country. Promote supportive policy, regulatory framework and long-term planning for Tourism. Promote local content in employment amongst Tourism Businesses. Invest in both vocational training and the promotion of mentoring to build a critical mass of human capital in the industry. Support local spin-off businesses such as tour guiding, community campsites, craft markets and small and medium enterprises. Investing in tourism infrastructure that also benefits poor people such as roads, communications and healthcare. Promote a change in attitude towards tourism in general and ecotourism in particular.
4.5 Tapping our Water Resources
The APC-led Government of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma recognizes that Sierra Leone is endowed with vast water resources consisting of both surface and underground water resources. There are twelve major rivers with year round flow of water. The uses into which such vast resources could be put include irrigation for year round crop production, river transportation, tourism, hydro electricity generation and domestic use.
President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s government and its partners are executing several water projects across the country with the aim of improving the usefulness of this great natural resource. These include the Bankasoka mini hydro in Port Loko; the Gloucester Mini Hydro; Water Supply projects in Kailahun, Lungi and four locations in the Western Area – Allen Town, Wellington-Blue Water, Thunder Hill and Fourah Bay College-White Water. Additionally, three cities water supply projects are on-going in Bo, Makeni and Kenema. Our Government will continue to pursue plans to facilitate the availability of treated pipe borne water supply to every major town countrywide.
Tapping the full potential of our surface and underground water resources. Combating deforestation which reduces the protection of catchment areas. Managing the rapid population growth which puts pressure on available water resources. Combating the illegal drainage of wetlands which dries up such ecologies. Controlling pollution of rivers and streams.
Assured universal access to clean, treated, adequate and sustainable water supply. Poverty-targeted water resource interventions such as investments to improve catchment quality and maintenance of livelihoods for the poor. Improved performance of water utilities, user associations and irrigation departments
Invest in the improvement of portable water supply systems across the country. Invest in Water conservation. Promote affordable Water technologies to ensure that the poor benefit from improved access. Greater investment in Water for hydro-power and growth to increase electricity supply. Promote better water supply and sanitation. Further ensure responsible water management in order to sustain the range of economic services provided by water (irrigation, energy production etc.) as well as the livelihoods and well-being of the poorest populations. Promote conservation and enhancement of “natural infrastructure” (i.e. aquifers, watersheds, lakes and wetlands) as a sound investment to complement and, in some cases, substitute for artificial storage Ensure minimal or no pollution from industry, agriculture and household waste disposal, Enhancement of revenue collection from consumers.
4.6 Sustainable use of Land
Because we are a small country land, which is the most basic of all resources, is limited for social and economic development. Most people regard land and a home as a fundamental human right. In Sierra Leone, the land tenure system is dualistic. It is governed by statutory law in the Western Area and customary law in the provinces, where land is communally owned.
The issue of access to secure land is critical for farming and the livelihoods of a variety of Sierra Leone communities as well as for domestic and foreign commercial investments. Food security and employment opportunities require an increase in investment flows into land for agricultural and industrial development and for growth in other related sectors.
Our Government has developed a National Land Policy which is awaiting validation. We have also designed and deployed a land documentation database for private and state lands to promote effective land management. We have initiated a Land Registration Project (LRP) for the Western Area and introduced the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) and state of the art Geographic Information Systems.
Enforcing the law and policy on land Ensuring better coordination among sector ministries with bits of legislations dealing with the environment. Managing the balance between agriculture and other land uses.. Ensuring co-habitation between pastoralists and crop growers. Ensuring a reliable database on the status of land availability. Resolving boundary disputes between communities in rural areas.
Sustainable land use through effective land use planning, regulation and strategies Elimination of land grabbing and hoarding Greater effectiveness and transparency of the relevant MDAs Reduced land related litigations and community disputes. Better planned settlements
Develop a comprehensive national land use planning and mapping systems based on agro-ecological and economic potentials and social requirements in line with the Town and County Planning Act (Cap 81.of 1946). Build capacity for land use and country planning for sustainable development in both urban and rural areas. Discourage land grabbing and hoarding. Budget land for allocation to the development of social services especially in urban areas. Identify and map areas which are prone to natural calamities like floods, landslides and drought for national preparedness. Ensure the sustainability of land for agricultural development programmes and develop specific agricultural land use plans for every district. Create and enforce cattle settlement areas in rural areas. Facilitate the provision of land and land use planning to enable the development of informal commercial activities in a more ordered and sustainable manner.
4.7 Promoting Sustainable Environmental Management
The country’s environment is undergoing pressure from a rising population, mining operations, charcoal production, slash and burn agriculture, illegal logging, over fishing and poor waste management.
Our government acknowledges that while pursuing our goals of national development, it is also imperative to ensure that we protect and preserve the environment, which is our common heritage. Its degradation and rampant misuse has led to catastrophic results in many parts of the world. Mining activities, for instance, have tended to separate communities with large bodies of water infested with malaria-laden mosquitoes. In other areas, it has led to landslides, flooding and drought. In our towns and cities, proper and adequate care has not been taken of the environment in the past.
Recognising the importance of environmental issues that cut across all developmental programmes, the APC government of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma took steps to strengthen and raise the profile of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We will continue to ensure that environmental impact assessment will not be restricted to national economic projects only but will be very much part of the rural and urban planning process.
Ensuring sustained protection of the environment. Promoting alternatives to other harvestable resources that degrade the environment. Proper planning of settlements. Enhancing the effectiveness of the environment division in the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment.
Increased knowledge of the importance of environmental protection. Enforcement of environmental impact assessment for all development programmes. Gradual phasing out of the use of fire wood and charcoal for cooking
Co-ordination of environmental management activities with neighbouring countries. Enforce adherence to the National Environmental Policy, the National Environmental Protection Act and submission of the Environment, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) for all large scale agricultural investments. Ensure that any large scale agricultural investment follows the national database on land use to ensure maximum, judicious and sustainable use of land Launch a comprehensive land tenure policy. Capacitate and intensify the Forest Rangers. Enforce implementation of existing laws on environmental protection. Make the EPA more robust by enhancing its operational capacity.
IMPROVING SERVICE DELIVERY 5.1 Strengthening the Public and Civil Service
Since 2007 the APC Government acknowledged that turning the country’s circumstances around required a systemic approach at the centre of which is the modernization of service delivery by the public sector. The Public Service is part of the State and the channel through which any Government fulfils its responsibilities to its people.
Since Independence, the rules, laws, procedures and institutional structures of the Public Service have either become obsolete due to changing circumstances or have merely been abandoned thus rendering the Public Service, especially the Civil Service, less than effective and efficient.
In spite of the reforms already undertaken, lapses remain that will compel the APC Government to further address the situation through a step-wise modernization of the systems, processes and structures of service delivery to make them more effectively and efficiently responsive to the needs of our people.
Improving efficiency and effectiveness across Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies Correcting the unacceptable female-male-youth ratio in the public service workforce. De-politicizing the Civil Service. Addressing the improper handling and maintenance of public assets. Continuously updating conditions of service for Public Service workers.
More efficient and higher quality of service delivery across MDAs. Functioning and predictable administrative and management systems, structures and procedures across MDAs. Improved human resources management and discipline across MDAs. Progressive improvement in the female-male-youth ratio within the Public Service workforce. A non-politicized Civil Service. Better conditions of service and work environment for public servants. Productivity mindset and improved professional standards within the public service.
Through the Ministry of Information and Communication, institute a permanent Radio and TV slot to raise awareness on professionalism in the public service. Work with Parliament and the (Human Resource Management Office) HRMO to phase in an executive service with annual contract employment based on performance and continued relevance of position for middle and upper level personnel. Continue to strengthen the HRMO to improve recruitment and disengagement processes, modernize records management and strengthen lines of communication within the Public Service. Increase the emphasis on the recruitment and promotion of qualified women and youth within MDAs and encourage disaggregation of the workforce by gender. Through the Ministry of Finance, effect more pay reforms in the Public Service. Improve intra ministerial linkages amongst the Professional, Administrative and Political arms. Revisit and enforce standards of service delivery including Value for Money in service delivery. Strengthen the Civil Service Training College and emphasize professional training including scheduled refresher training.
5.2 Delivering education and training for national development
The country deserves more than what we are getting from our educational system as we need an educated workforce to cope in a competitive world. The foundation that the Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s APC government is laying would require grooming an enlightened and educated generations coming after us through an educational system that inspires confidence in oneself and as a nation. We have an obligation to give our children and their children’s children the quality of education that they need to manage the affairs of our beloved Sierra Leone.
The Gbamanja Commission of enquiry into our educational system and its recommendations have opened up a window of opportunity for rethinking the current system from pre-school through tertiary and taking the bold steps to refine it for more productive results.
Managing the overwhelmingly large size of the Ministry. Improving the standard of education and performance of students at public exams. Aligning the curriculum to National Development needs. Improving gender parity in enrollment, retention and completion rate at primary and secondary levels. Achieving optimum quality and number of classrooms and associated facilities across the country. Scaling up and sustaining supervision and morale of teachers and lecturers. Building a reliable database on number of schools, enrollment, and number of teachers. Energizing regulatory provisions on Teachers, Lecturers and school proprietors conduct; cheating at exams, falsification of matriculation requirements for university entry; and the conduct of public exams by WAEC. Combating misconduct among pupils and students.
Improved quality of education. Improved management and productivity of the educational system. Secondary and tertiary curricula adapted to national development needs. Availability of better and well equipped classrooms, lecture rooms, Libraries and associated facilities across the country. Improved female-male ratio in enrollment, retention and completion rate in schools. Improved quality of performance of students at public exams. Reliable database on number of schools, enrollment, and number of teachers created. Stronger regulatory regime on teachers, lecturers and school proprietors conduct; Reduced incidence of cheating at exams; elimination of falsification of matriculation requirements; and improved credibility of WAEC. Improved behavior and reduced violence among pupils and students
Increase annual budgetary allocation to the education sector. Split the Ministry into two: Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and Ministry of Tertiary, Technical and Vocational Education. Review aspects of the current curriculum and lay emphasis on subjects relevant to the local and international job markets. Establish and enforce strict adherence to categorization of schools into Premier, Category 2 and Category 3 schools based on governance and performance standards Upgrade all Government Schools so that they fit into the premier category and maintain them as “Model” schools Institute a predictable system for maintenance of educational infrastructure and facilities including already dilapidated classrooms, lecture rooms, staff quarters and associated facilities across the country. Procure and distribute teaching and learning materials to disadvantaged and poor children. Set up and effect performance standards for Lecturers and phase in contract employment in tertiary educational institutions. Sponsor research in colleges and universities across the country. Conduct an independent GPS based survey of the number of schools and their locations and build up a biometric registry of teachers and a database of enrolment across the country to address the issue of ghost teachers, inflated enrolment and non-existent schools. Strengthen regulatory regime on the conduct of Teachers, Lecturers, School Proprietors, pupils and students. Increase incentives for female enrollment, retention and completion rate.
5.3 Improving Health and Nutrition
The system of health service delivery is pluralistic as it accommodates partnership amongst Government, religious missions, local and international NGOs, the private profit-making sector and traditional practitioners in providing services to the population. While the private health facilities which cater for the haves are relatively efficient, service provision by the public sector on which the bulk of the population depends though improving is still in its infancy. It involves mainly curative care for inpatients and outpatients on a fee-for-service basis with the relatively new exception of pregnant women, lactating mothers and under five children within the Free Health Care Initiative. The poor especially in rural areas often resort to Traditional Healers and Traditional Birth Attendants for a significant amount of their health care needs.
The APC Government will continue to pursue reducing the inequalities in the health sector and improve the health of our people, especially mothers and children, through strengthening the national health systems to enhance health related outcomes and impact indicators.
As a Government the APC will continue with the on-going reform of the sector and strengthen the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to focus on the core functions of policy formulation and implementation. At the same time, we will continue to push ahead with the devolution of services to the 19 local councils in terms of shifting responsibilities and associated budgets to these Councils for managing the delivery of both primary and secondary health care services.
While efforts in improving interventions in health continue comparable effort will be directed at achieving improvement in the nutritional status of the population especially women and children. The APC government further commits itself to addressing the issue of malnutrition especially amongst women and children.
Improving coordination of service delivery at central and operational levels. Balancing the need for increased number of specialists and general health personnel and meeting the associated financial obligations in terms of remuneration and working conditions. Ensuring reliable forecasting of requirements to avoid irrelevant procurement of goods and services Ensuring adequate availability of equipment and logistics including ambulances, power supply and communications system in hospitals and clinics. Perfecting systems for distribution, storage and dispensing of drugs especially at district level Narrowing the catchment area per health facility to increase access Reducing the level of reliance on donor funding for the sector. Enforcing regulations and code of practice in the sector. Energizing the Sanitation Wing of the Ministry.
Improvement in the health and nutrition indicators more so for women and children. Optimum number of well qualified and better motivated human resources serving the sector. Improved systems and structures for the delivery of better quality health and nutrition services in terms of safety, efficacy, and value for money and integration. Better quality of medical and nutrition products and technologies in use within the sector. More and better functioning hospitals and clinics across the country. Increased access to health and nutrition services for everybody in terms of availability, utilization and timeliness of delivery. Greater emphasis on equity in health services in terms of meeting the needs of disadvantaged groups. Greater inclusiveness in terms of the involvement of well meaning partners in the delivery of health and nutrition services. More reliable Health and Nutrition Information Management System in use.
Progressively increase annual allocations of GDP to Health and nutrition services Enforce stringent coordination of programmes and partners within the sector for synergy Enforce strict adherence to the code of conduct with sanctions for practitioners Increase number of qualified general practitioners, ensure their efficient deployment across the country and encourage training of specialists at secondary and tertiary health care levels. Improve conditions of service and quality of work environment in the sector to increase the attraction and retention of specialists and general practitioners. Enforce a well defined and predictable career structure across all cadres of medical staff, offer opportunities for refresher training and cascade the performance management system. Improve the spread, quality and functionality of medical and nutrition facilities including existing ones to increase access and utilization of the services for our people. Encourage the participation of well meaning private medical agencies in the delivery of health services. Strengthen the regulatory functions of the Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Council and the Pharmacy Board. Put in place an effective management information system to guide forecasting and quantification of drugs and other requirements.
5.4 Improving Water and Sanitation Services
Sierra Leone is naturally blessed with abundant sources of water supply including a minimum of six months of rainfall per annum, many rivers and streams running across the country and high volumes of underground water. With such endowment of these vast resources, water could be tapped for the benefit of our people. Troubled that our people have difficulty accessing reliable supply of portable water in both urban and rural areas and have to largely depend on rivers, open wells and unprotected springs for drinking water, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s, APC Government has triggered the process of addressing the issue of access to portable water in districts such as Kambia, Bombali, Koinadugu and Western Area. In the area of sanitation, we continue to take steps to keep our environment clean and hygienic, noting that without such measures there could be very serious consequences on our health, quality and longevity of life and reputation as a civilized country.
Making the water and waste management agencies more effective and efficient. Meeting the growing demand for potable water in both urban and rural areas. Modernizing the distribution system for pipe borne water and eliminating waste especially in urban areas. Expanding exposure to proper hygiene practices. Building a culture of paying for the disposal of household and office solid waste in urban areas. Attracting investment in recycling of waste materials. Controlling the use and disposal of plastic materials which constitute a major proportion of solid waste in the cities.
Effective and proactive management teams in place within the water and waste management agencies Improved and expanded distribution system for pipe borne water in urban centres A robust water bill collection system with effective sanctions for defaulters put in place Proactive and effective monitoring and timely correction of wastage and faults Effective sanctions for unauthorized tampering of the water distribution system in place. Effective sensitization on proper hygiene and sanitation practices. Improved and expanded sewage network and disposal system Effective solid waste disposal system put in place within municipalities
Restructure the management of the water and waste management agencies to introduce a profit making private sector style of management including performance based employment contracts for middle and upper staff cadres. Privatize the management of solid waste. Attract a public-private partnership in recycling. Work with importers and manufacturer of plastic materials to put in place a “buy back” scheme for all plastic materials. Through the local councils, bring back the Sanitary Inspectors, empower them and legislate sanitation rules. Establish effective Sanitation Courts and locate them outside of the Urban Centres to decisive deal with citizens who contravene sanitation rules. Increase the number of sewage collection vehicles.
5.5 Delivering affordable Housing
One of the most basic needs of human existence is housing and this is a priority for our Government. Whereas the provision of house mortgages is assured in developed countries, it remains a major challenge in countries such as ours. The mortgage market recently launched is still in its infancy and although it is beginning to make positive strides its impact is still minimal. NASSIT and the Housing Corporation have made strides in providing housing both in the western area and parts of the provinces.
Houses are to a large extent still provided through an elaborate and laborious traditional method of first buying land and erecting a building over many years that could span a life time. Situations arise when such buildings are left uncompleted even after individuals have depleted their entire life savings. There is the urgent need therefore to invigorate the mortgage market to address this situation.
As a Government we have and will continue to encourage both local and foreign private investment by creating the climate that will attract resources and joint ventures.
We will also focus on attracting investment into this sector, continue to provide the necessary infrastructure, and mortgage insurance to first time home buyers and low-to middle income families. We will continue to encourage the use of local materials such as clay and other local building materials as a way of cutting down the cost of constructing homes.
As we are committed to bringing inflation down to single digits and as interest rates decline, banks and pension funds will be encouraged to look less toward government securities and more towards the private sector to invest their assets. Mortgages and mortgage-based investments would stand to benefit as the macroeconomic environment improves.
Expanding access to affordable housing especially for low income earners and the poor. Eliminating the difficulty and unreliability of land acquisition for housing especially in urban areas. Reducing the overdependence on use of expensive construction materials Attracting private sector ventures in the housing market. Enforcing proper planning of settlements especially in urban areas
Increased access to housing especially for low income earners and the poor. Easier and more reliable process for land acquisition for housing within urban areas. Increased use of local materials in the construction of better houses for low income earners. Better planned settlements with basic services in existing and emerging settlements. Greater effectiveness and efficiency of the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment.
Improve the reliability and predictability of the process of land acquisition for housing within urban areas Encourage improvement in the quality of local materials for housing construction. Enforce strict adherence to planning of settlements with installation of basic services in existing and emerging settlements Increase the effectiveness of the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment Introduce and effect zoning to differentiate residential from commercial and industrial locations and enforce building standards. Encourage private sector interventions in affordable housing.
5.6 Improving Transport, Communication and Information Services
The APC Government of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma realizes that in order to ensure sustainable development, there is need for a reliable, accessible and affordable transport, information and communication system. This requirement would facilitate the easy movement of people, goods and services. However, over the years, limited construction and maintenance of road networks; and the absence of well-equipped air and sea networks have hampered easy travelling and transportation of goods and services throughout the country. This has also impacted food production, transportation and distribution. Since 2007 however our Government has improved the transportation by providing air conditioned busses for travel all over the country. There is a proliferation of radio stations. The undersea cable has landed for easy and affordable connectivity to any part of the world. In addition there are four mobile carriers. SLBS has been transformed into a corporation (SLBC) and now transmits worldwide. There are progressive increments in transport, communication and information services the likes of which have never been experienced in this country before. We will continue to encourage further expansion in many parts of the country.
Enforcement of traffic and road regulations and reducing the misuse of roads. Ensuring availability of effective public transportation system Reducing the risks and increasing the use of sea and water transportation across the country. Boosting investment in air transport. Sustaining the land line telephone service Expanding the penetration of mobile phone communication. Expanding access to faster Internet connectivity. Revitalising the postal service.
Improved effectiveness and efficiency of public transport system. Faster communication and information dissemination throughout the country. More effective regulatory and monitoring systems in place. Greater safety and dignity of passengers as well as security of goods and services. Better airport transfer.
Conduct mass sensitisation on and enforce adherence to air, sea and land transportation safety regulations. Introduce electronic road use surveillance systems and drastically reduce check points. Increase availability of safe landing jetties. Conclude the undersea fibre cable project to provide high speed internet connectivity Increase the number of public buses for all major towns with appropriate bus stops along the way. Set up an affordable financing facility to support reliable public transport operators to acquire small or medium size passenger transport vehicles on hire purchase basis. Provide financial support to the Sierra Leone Postal Services to gradually reactivate especially its parcel post functions. Pass the Freedom of Information Act. Promote the development of a sub-regional airline. Work with the motor drivers union to promote discipline among drivers
5.7 Promoting Sports and Recreation
The development of a healthy population particularly of our youth rests on how well their physical and mental states are nurtured. To a large extent the realization of this situation requires facilities and opportunities for sports and recreation. With a youthful population of 47% largely unemployed and sometimes unemployable, engaging them in sporting activities would instill discipline and a level of tolerance that would enhance our peace and democracy. This is particularly urgent in a country that has just graduated from a gruesome civil war.
The APC –led Government of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma recognizing the danger to peace and democracy of a largely unemployed, untrained and unemployable youth, set up a Ministry of Youth Employment and Sports and created a National Youth Commission to address the problem. Furthermore our Government has created the investment climate that has encouraged many investors to come to Sierra Leone. Employment is springing up in the mining sector and agro-based industries. We will continue to pursue policies to further accelerate employment especially for our youth.
Expanding availability of sporting and recreational facilities in primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions. Strengthening coordination among sporting institutions. Eradicating indiscipline and violence in sports among our youth. Entrenching the value of sports and recreation as part of our culture. Securing adequate financing for sports.
Improved health and fitness among citizens. A healthier population. Higher degree of sportsmanship, soundness of mind and tolerance among youth. More meaningful and gainful engagement for young people. Meaningful contribution to the consolidation of peace and stability. Improved financing for sports and recreation.
Develop the necessary sporting facilities and opportunities in educational institutions from primary to tertiary. Use available information networks to sensitize the youth on tolerance, peace and reconciliation. Conduct sensitisation sessions for all national stakeholders including parents with a view to encouraging them to discharge their responsibilities to the youth. Strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Youth Employment and Sports, other sporting bodies and the National Youth Commission to provide the necessary support for effective youth participation in sporting and recreational activities. Strengthen coordination of all stakeholders through the leadership of the Ministry of Youth Employment and Sports. Facilitate periodic healthy sporting competitions among political parties; MDAs; Civil Society groups; and schools. Encourage public/private partnership in financing sports and recreation.
PROTECTING AND EMPOWERING THE VULNERABLE
As we pursue the Party’s Agenda of national prosperity, our government will ensure that no one is left behind. The APC Government of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma will therefore pay more significant attention to helping the weaker and less privileged individuals, groups and communities effectively cope with not just the risks and volatilities associated with the process of growth but also the global trends which often have spillover effects on our people.
As a Government, we will pursue a variety of measures to strengthen citizens’ resilience to shocks by enhancing their access to insurance against risks; promoting equity by reducing poverty and destitution among the poorest; and by improving opportunities through the building of human capital, assets and expanding access to productive work in a way that does not create disincentives to work nor stifle people’s initiatives to solve their problems. We will seek to mitigate social inequalities in access to education, health and nutrition all of which make intergenerational economic mobility unattainable for most families in our midst.
Scaling up national coverage of social insurance against risks for vulnerable individuals, groups and communities. Scaling up protection and promotion of vulnerable children and women. Sustaining the delivery of social assistance services to the physically challenged and other vulnerable individuals and groups. Satisfying the growing demand for productive work by unskilled and less educated out of work youth. Responding to disasters and shocks affecting deprived and vulnerable communities in rural, peri-urban and depressed urban settlements.
Expanded Social Insurance coverage. A minimum package of social benefits delivered to the Vulnerable especially children, women and the physically challenged. The potentials of the Physically Challenged fully harnessed. Improved and intensified Public Works Schemes for off-farm rural workers and the Urban/peri-urban unemployed. Enhanced early warning and response system for the management of disaster and shocks.
Expanding Social Insurance coverage
Expand NASSIT coverage to informal sector operators including petty traders, Artisans and Bike Riders through matching defined contributions
Introduce non-contributory Social Pension for special groups such as the war amputees, polio victims, the blind, the childless adults above 65 years and Albinos
Introduce a contributory Health Insurance Scheme.
Improving and intensifying Public Works Schemes for off-farm workers and the Urban/peri-urban unemployed
Scale up Workfare Schemes by improving on systems of delivery, expanding coverage and increasing the duration of interventions and linking them up with building of entrepreneurship skills and creation of productive assets.
Harnessing the potentials of the Physically Challenged
Effect implementation of the Disability Act 2011
Provide innovative training and re-training opportunities in areas including ICT, Creative Arts and entrepreneurship
Introduce Affirmative Action for the recruitment of the physically challenged within MDAs and through discharge of Corporate Social Responsibility
Delivering a Minimum Package of social benefits in Health, Education and Consumption to the Vulnerable:
Consolidate the Free Health Care Scheme in terms of perfecting the systems and structures for efficient and effective delivery.
Review and intensify supplementary feeding for lactating mothers and school children.
Review and improve enforcement of the Free Primary Schooling Programme.
Pilot Subsidized Bussing for Pupils and Students in the Municipalities of Koidu, Kenema, Bo, Makeni and Freetown.
Provide conditional cash transfers to vulnerable households with: i) more than one school going child to augment non-fees expenditures and ii) with more than two children between five and ten years of age for attending health clinics.
Provide unconditional cash transfers for income and consumption protection to Vagrants, Amputees, the Blind, Polio Victims, and child care takers, children of the disable, the aged, stroke victims, and People Living with HIV/AIDS.
Enhancing Early Warning and Response Systems for Disaster Management
Set up and operate a surveillance system for early detection of weather related, epidemic, fire and seismic emergencies.
Set and operate a disaster response mechanism including prepositioning appropriate physical, technical, material and financial resources
ENHANCING NATIONAL INTEGRITY AND SECURITY 7.1 Enhancing Peace and Security
Peace and security are the essential bedrocks of progress and development. Except for isolated incidents of violence over the last four years, the country has remained relatively peaceful and stable allowing the government to roll out its development programmes and citizens to conduct their affairs on a daily basis across the country with ease. As a result, we have been able to inspire the international community and credible investors as evidenced by the influx of foreign owned Banks, large mining companies and investors in agriculture. We have acquired for ourselves a reputation for being one of the best countries for doing business.
Sustaining the peace and security we currently enjoy. Addressing youth unemployment. Balancing the competing expectations of citizens with available revenue. Curbing political intolerance. Coping with the effects of negative attitudes and behaviour amongst citizens. Ensuring effective policing and protection of the open national borders. Safeguarding ourselves amidst the security and stability challenges of the immediate neighbouring countries.
Sustained peace and stability. Better trained and equipped, motivated, committed and more professional Security Forces. Improved attitude amongst Citizens. Continued attraction of Foreign Investors. Sustained political tolerance. Robust protection of our national boarders and territorial integrity. Peaceful co-existence with our immediate neighbours.
Continue sensitization on political tolerance and peaceful co-existence. Continue propagation of the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change Agenda. Encourage broad participation of all categories of citizens in political and economic activities. Ensure constructive use of national resources for the benefit of all citizens. Continue the even spread of development activities across all regions and districts. Continue attracting good investors to create more and sustainable jobs. Step up the protection of our national borders and territorial integrity. Maintain good neighborliness with Guinea and Liberia. Improve conditions of service for the Security Forces.
7.2 Strengthening Law Enforcement
President Ernest Bai Koroma’s APC Party holds the firm conviction that improved resource management, effective social service delivery, poverty reduction, private sector development and sustainable human capital development hinge strongly on how effective laws and policies are formulated, implemented and enforced. Over the years, the general populace’s confidence in the Judiciary and the Police which are the core arms of our Law enforcement system was shaken. This has not only rendered citizens’ relationship with these institutions dysfunctional but has equally continued to make law enforcement very difficult.
Since 2007 when the All People’s Congress assumed power we have initiated reforms to strengthen law enforcement. Notable among such reforms are: strengthening the institutional capacity of the Sierra Leone Police; appointment of more Judges and Magistrates; and construction of additional Magistrate Courts. We will continue improvements in law enforcement by acting proactively and also embracing and incorporating objective and constructive views of citizens.
Enhancing technical capacity and operating resources. Intensifying the fight against varying levels of corruption that reduce effective law enforcement responses. Increasing cooperation among law enforcement agencies. Scaling up remuneration for law enforcement personnel. Addressing the issue of more support staff for Judges vis-à-vis the number of cases in the courts. Avoiding delays in judgments. Minimising the exercise of un-codified traditional justice system in the local courts.
Continued modernization of law enforcement. Improved credibility of law enforcement institutions. Improved accountability, transparency and efficiency of law enforcement institutions. Effective coordination of stakeholders involved in enforcement. Sustained autonomy of the judiciary. Improved discharge of traditional justice. Better conditions of service for law enforcement personnel. Improved discipline and professionalism amongst law enforcement institutions.
Combating corruption within law enforcement institutions. Increasing the capacity and competence of Law enforcement institutions. Instituting an effective grievance redress system for handling citizens’ complaints against the police. Encourage effective engagement of communities and other stakeholders in combating crime and lawlessness. Enforcement of adherence to human rights principles by the Police in the exercise of their duties. Encourage the neutrality of the Police. Continue to support the effective functioning of the Law Reform Commission. Conclusively pursue the separation of the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. Align the local court system to modern day justice system.
7.3 Sustaining Human Rights and Justice
Pre-war governance in Sierra Leone was replete with abuse of power and contempt for human rights. This fostered a culture of rights violations and impunity in the society, reaching macabre proportions during the civil war. Resource capacity constraints, poverty and corruption, historically made the promotion, protection and enforcement of economic, social and cultural rights difficult to achieve, even though these are enshrined in the Sierra Leone Constitution of 1991. Since 2007, Government in partnership with the Human Rights Commission has made marked improvement in the protection of human rights.
With scores of newspapers and radio stations, freedom of individuals to join associations of their choice, and the transformation of the state broadcaster (SLBS) into an independent one (SLBC), Sierra Leoneans now enjoy unprecedented levels of freedom in exercising their rights of expression and association. Since 2007, there has not being any political detainee, prisoners of conscience, incarceration of journalists and meting out the death penalty. In the area of social, economic and cultural rights, significant progress has been made in education with the free education at primary and junior secondary school levels; in health with the intake of additional technical personnel and improvement in salaries of all healthcare workers and the introduction of the free healthcare scheme for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under the age of five.
These steps among others have earned the government of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma enviable international regard as a great respecter of the human rights of its people.
Ensuring full realisation of social, economic and cultural rights. Operationalizing the Freedom of Information act once the Bill is passed into Law and replacing the libel law in the statute books in the face of widespread concerns about the professional standard of journalism. Addressing issues of traditional practices. Scaling up the momentum in advancing Human Rights activities.
Guaranteed justice for all. Guaranteed protection of the human rights of all citizens. Better legislations that promote and protect human rights. More professional journalism.
Continue reforms in the Sector to ensure justice for the common man and woman Continue strengthening the mechanisms that support human rights protection and enforcement in the country. Continue enhancing the capacity of institutions engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights. Strengthen the partnership with the Human Rights Commission Support the Independent Media Commission in its efforts to uphold higher professional media standards and responsible journalism. Continue progressive implementation of the TRC recommendations.
7.4 Promoting National Identity and Symbols
The APC party believes that in our diversity which is expressed in our fragmented ethnic groupings and associated languages and cultures, we can still work towards strengthening national cohesion, unity and a sense of oneness as a nation-state. Already we have certain aspects of our lives which we cherish and uphold as our identity such as our unparalleled religious tolerance, hospitality to strangers, the flag, national anthem and national pledge and cultural festivities. In addition to these, the APC government will continue to encourage all citizens to embrace the principle of “national interest first”, develop a characteristic dress code and promote distinctive music and dance.
Building and sustaining a sense of unity amidst the ethnic fragmentation and diversity of languages and dialects to which many people get stock at the expense of the common national interest. Eliminating selfishness and nepotism within society. Combating negative and unconstructive politics. Reversing the general negative attitudes and behaviour among the population.
Stronger sense of national pride and patriotism developed amongst citizens Stronger national convergence on symbols that transcend issues of ethnic, language and other cultural particularities Putting national interest above all else.
Strengthen emphasis on national identity and symbols in the school curriculum. Promote and support indigenous art that extol national symbols and identity. Identify appropriate days to be observed every year in recognition of the positive aspects of our history, culture and identity in order to help foster familiarity with and internalization of national symbols and identity. Support to all institutions that give a national flavour to harmless cultural particularities of specific ethnic groups, such as dress, dance and music. Capitalize on the positive aspects of past and present leaders and intensify the process of erecting monuments across the country, and the naming of streets and places, in recognition of their contributions to national development.
7.5 Intensifying the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change Initiative
Attitudes and behaviors are core to every facet of development in any society. Whether we are talking about how we relate to each other, our work ethic, our contribution to national development, our treatment of the environment and corruption, all hinge on attitudes and behavior. Laws sanction society but attitudes and behavior change society. For a successful transformation of our society, the emphasis must be on attitudinal and behavioural change. It underpins almost all of our development challenges and cuts across every social, political, cultural and economic issue.
Since coming to power in 2007, the APC recognized and acknowledged that a paramount priority in transforming this society requires spearheading fundamental changes in our attitudes and behavior. Consequently, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma established the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change Secretariat and also used it as the platform to campaign for changes in our attitudes and behavior. The Secretariat continues to be strengthened with staff, an Advisory Board and financial allocation.
Managing the complexity of issues around attitudes and behaviour. Increasing the number of champions and national role models. Establishing acceptable social norms across the board. Mobilising resources to support an effective and sustained national campaign on Attitudinal and Behavioural Change. Expanding the campaign against widespread lawlessness and indiscipline in society.
Positive transformation of society through change of attitudes and behavior. Widely acceptable and established national social norms. Stronger sense of discipline and adherence to national laws and norms across all sections of society. Greater awareness of citizens of unacceptable attitudes and behavior. Mechanisms developed for the identification, recognition and rewarding of national role models.
Enhance the work of the ABC Secretariat. Establish a system for the identification of acceptable social norms. Inclusion of acceptable national social norms in the school’s curriculum. Use of various existing and other innovative platforms to propagate attitudinal and behavioural change. Annual national awards in all institutions to reward good attitudes and behavior.
7.6 Sustaining the fight against Corruption
Corruption has had a devastating impact on the Sierra Leone polity caused by greed, low levels of remuneration, unpatriotism, and inability to distinguish between public and private property. It has affected the effectiveness of government, undermined the rule of law, perpetuated impunity and violated the principles of accountability and probity in public life.
Coming to power in 2007, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s APC Government transformed the fight against corruption into a national crusade which he personally championed. By declaring his “zero tolerance” for corruption, he launched an upgraded version of the ACC by having amended the Anti-Corruption Act in 2008 that established a more robust institutional and legal framework for fighting corruption. The new Act strengthened the ACC by vesting it with independent prosecutorial powers, broadening the scope of corruption offences, providing protection for whistle-blowers and making it mandatory for all public and civil servants to declare their assets.
The strengthening of the ACC was then followed by a raft of measures aimed at reforming and strengthening all the other integrity institutions of the state that ensure transparency and accountability in the public and political spheres. These include the Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL), the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA), and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, the District Budget Oversight Committees, the Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS) and the Office of the Ombudsman.
Enlisting the commitment of the general public in resisting and reporting corruption. Matching public opinion with the legalities of fighting corruption. National budgetary allocation to boost the capacity of the Commission. Building and maintaining the Integrity of Commission’s officials. Effectively extending the fight to the non-public sectors.
Sustained zero-tolerance on corruption as evidenced by the unprecedented prosecution of ministers and other high profile cases. More effective prosecution of corruption cases. Increased preventive efforts in the fight against corruption. Greater cooperation from the general public in resisting and reporting corruption. Expanding the work of the Commission beyond the public sector.
Intensify the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change campaign targeted at addressing the widespread public ambivalence towards corruption through public education and awareness raising. Reviewing, refining and strengthening all institutions, laws, policies and mechanisms in place to eliminate corruption in public life Ensuring the effective implementation of the reform agenda currently underway in the public service, including the rebuilding of a weak and poorly-resourced civil service. Enhancing the capacity of the Civil Service Training College and completing the construction of the Public Service Academy as platforms for building a public Service of higher integrity. Continuing constructively engaging our development partners to leverage financial and technical support for the effective and comprehensive implementation of all public sector reform programmes. Further reviewing and enhancing the capacity of the Anti-Corruption Commission; Audit Service Sierra Leone; National Public Procurement Authority; the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament; the District Budget Oversight Committees; the Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS); the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commercial Court.
CHAPTER 8 DEEPENING OUR DEMOCRACY AND THE NEW POLITICS 8.1 Strengthening our Democracy
Prosperity and stability are a far cry in any state that is neither democratic nor peaceful. It is the observance of the rule of law and the rights of the individual that are the very foundations of a democratic system. The years before 2007 failed to overhaul the system that experienced vandalism during the civil war and virtually left the institutions essential for the foundation and sustenance of democracy very wobbly. This period witnessed a combination of pathetic economic decline, lukewarm efforts at fighting excessive corruption and extremely poor governance. It was this legacy that presented a formidable challenge to the in-coming APC government in 2007.
Since 2007, the democracy and new politics that we are nurturing is creating space for our people to openly demand transparent, accountable and representative governance. The emphasis is on deepening good governance based on the rule of law, freedom of expression, political tolerance, regular free and fair elections, protection of individual and vulnerable groups’ rights, separation of powers, and the independence of the judiciary. Our Government has over the last four years taken steps to ensure the transformation of the political landscape that has become the envy of Africa.
Managing the transition from a “failed State” to a stable democracy and growing economy. Continued support to strengthening the institutions of democracy. Creating awareness and acceptance of the basic principles that guide the proper functioning of a democratic process. Addressing youth unemployment which could threaten peace and stability. Enforcing discipline and regard for law and order.
Strengthened system of checks and balances and separation of powers Stronger adherence to the tenets of democracy. Strengthened institutions of democracy. Continued observance of universal human values such as justice, human rights and human dignity. Sustained outcome-oriented fight against all forms of corruption in all spheres of our society. A more effective and efficient public service that delivers the right services to the citizenry.
Supporting unfettered political inclusion Strengthening the justice system and its fairness to all citizens Introduction of legislations and policies that make the police robust and professional in implementing the rule of law and fighting crimes, drug and substance abuse, terrorism, and human trafficking. Scaling up the prominence of women in elective and appointive positions Bringing government closer to the people through innovative platforms such as the Open Government Initiative (OGI). Continue strides in nurturing the culture of the separation of powers. Introduce a National Service for young people through the National Youth Commission, NaCSA and other operatives. Encourage collaboration with the opposition, our development partners, and civil society in resolving problems through dialogue. Encourage a regionally representative Government and even spread of national development.
8.2 Deepening Decentralization and Strengthening Local Governance
The APC-led Government of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has in the last four years invested hugely in building the capacity of Local Councils to enable them to execute their statutory functions. Central government fiscal disbursement has more than quadrupled since 2007 thus enabling Councils to scale up the provision of social services, including primary and secondary health, primary and junior-secondary education, agricultural extension services, rural water supply and solid waste management. The APC Government will continue the devolution of functions to local councils, strengthen their capacities to improve on local revenue generation and enforce a stricter performance Monitoring and Evaluation system.
Ensuring the functionality of Ward level Structures. Accelerating the devolution process. Financing Local Councils’ administrative and development programmes. Enhancing human resource capacity of local councils. Managing coordination amongst donor agencies, national institutions and NGO’s/CSO’s operating in the localities. Defining the role of Chiefs in the decentralisation process.
Strengthened capacities of the local councils to perform effectively and efficiently. Fully devolved functions by MDAs as contained in the legislation. Promote participation and inclusiveness for all societal groups. Conclusion of the revision of the LGA2004. Improved local economic growth and service delivery through the mobilization of local resources in tandem with the private sector and civil society. Improved governance at the chiefdom and traditional authority level. Improved quality of life within localities.
Revise the Local Government Act 2004 as a matter of urgency. Roll out the decentralization policy and ensure its periodic assessment and review. Ensure the MDAs devolve residual functions and build local council capacities. Facilitate timely, predictable and increased performance-based fiscal transfers to local councils. Establish procedures for revenue collection and sharing between local and chiefdom councils and the administration of property rates respectively. Establish a Social Equalization Grant to enable rural district local councils to attract investments and qualified personnel. Strengthen Local Government Monitoring Systems and the role of civil society in the decentralization process. Support local councils to create conducive environments for private sector development and empower communities to undertake local economic development including small and medium size enterprises. Align and harmonize legislations relating to chiefdom and traditional administration.
8.3 Empowering Women and Youth
In the last five years, the APC government has implemented reforms that seek to reduce gender inequalities and improve the status of women. Foremost among these is the implementation of the Gender Acts of 2007, which made into law the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). There has also been increased access to micro-finance for women, support for girl child education, and the mainstreaming of gender in the public sphere. Of particular significance for women’s advancement is the appointment of women to high profile and critical public positions: ministers and deputy ministers, the Chief Justice, the Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission, the Auditor-General, and recently the first female Solicitor-General and first female Brigadier. At the local authority level, women constitute 50% of the membership of Ward Committees.
Similarly, several initiatives and programmes have been developed in the last five years in response to the needs of youth. These include the establishment of a youth employment ministry, a national youth commission and support for several youth support organizations in line with the revised National Youth Policy. A strategy for the introduction of a National Youth Service Corp has been developed, and plans are afoot for the establishment of Community Colleges as well as Vocational and Technical Training schools to support the training of youth to increase their employability.
Reducing the illiteracy rates amongst women. Upgrading the economic status of women. Increasing the number of women in decision making positions at both national and local levels. Stricter implementation of laws that prohibit violence against women especially in remote rural areas. Addressing issues of discriminatory, customary and cultural practices that are disadvantageous to women.
Reducing unemployment among youth. Improving literacy and skills among the youth. Creating opportunities for tapping the energies and talents of young people. Enforcing discipline and regard for acceptable societal norms among some categories of youth. Controlling use of drugs and banned substances and associated violence and criminality among youth.
Continued commitment to the empowerment of women in order to maximize their contribution to society Continued support to all those reforms, policies and programmes underway that are intended to reduce gender inequalities Improved economic, social and political status of women Achievement of the 30% representation of women in Parliament Elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women. Gradual elimination of harmful cultural and customary practices against women.
Increased attention to the youth issue. Greater opportunities for youth to achieve their full potential. Improved employability of youth through skills training and entrepreneurship development. More youth in employment in mining, construction and other companies. More productive and responsible citizenship among youth. Achievement of 10% representation of youth in Parliament and appointive positions.
Encourage affirmative action for women in elective and appointive positions Increase the representation of women in decision-making positions at national and local levels – Cabinet, Parliament, Local Councils and the public service – to a minimum of 30% Strengthen ongoing efforts at raising community awareness on gender equality and increasing access to education for the girl child Ensure enactment of the Gender Equality Bill which is before Parliament and implement its provisions. Intensify the process of mainstreaming gender through institutional and policy reforms, capacity building programmes, and the provision of incentives where necessary. Encourage constructive awareness raising on the progressive elimination of harmful cultural practices against women.
Continue to prioritize job creation for youth through institutional and policy reforms that will stimulate economic growth Continue to invest in the agricultural and rural sector, which provides employment for over 75% of the rural population and absorbs the vast majority of youth Renew the implementation of youth training and employment programmes to equip them with the skills they need for employment in all sectors of the economy. Continue to strengthen the capacity of the newly established National Youth. Commission to enable it play an effective coordination role in the area of youth employment Increase the participation of youth in all major decision-making bodies to a minimum of 10%. Ensure representation of youth in all appointive and elective public positions
8.4 Enhancing Participatory Policy Making
The APC Party holds the belief that effectiveness and inclusiveness in governance are anchored on dialogue and consultations at community, district, regional and national levels to ensure co-ownership of policies, programmes and decisions which affect them directly. Our Government has therefore in the last four years effectively engaged in opening up political space, creating the right conditions, and setting up the necessary structures and processes to enable participatory policy-making.
While Government has continued to deepen the decentralization process, it has also reinstated the position of District Officers to reinforce coordination and dialogue amongst district Councils, chiefdom authorities and Central Government functionaries; given prominence to the District Budget Oversight Committees and national budget discussions; established the Open Government Initiative (OGI) which creates space for citizens and civil society to have a say in policy and other governance matters; set up the office of the Chief of Staff and the Strategy and Policy Unit within the Office of the President to proffer advice to Government on national policy matters, support evidence-based policy making processes and provide broad oversight support to the MDAs in the implementation of government policies.
Creating a coherent framework for evidence-based policy making among MDAs. Building capacity for policy making at local council level. Ensuring the functioning of Ward Committees. Building capacity among local communities for effective participation in policy making. Addressing the limited capacity among Civil Society Organizations in policy analysis.
Institutionalised evidence-based and participatory policy making in all MDAs Continued updating of old policies that have been overtaken by time Strengthened capacity of local councils and associated structures in evidence-based and participatory policy making Greater awareness of communities of their roles and responsibilities in policy making Greater collaboration and linkages among MDAs in policy formulation Improved skills among CSOs in policy analysis and policy advocacy
Through the SPU, design and introduce a framework for evidence-based and participatory policy making for MDAs. Provide capacity building support to MDAs, sub-national governments and civil society in evidence-based and participatory policy making processes. Continue strengthening the Budget Oversight Committees and the national budget discussion process. Work with CSOs and experts to develop more independent local capacity for policy analysis and presentation of alternatives drawing on best practice and local realities. Encourage CSOs to build awareness among communities on their roles and responsibilities in policy making. Work with development partners to promote evidence-based and participatory policy making.
8.5 Promoting Political Tolerance and Inclusion
Unlike previous decades when politics was all about violence and “winner takes all”, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has earned himself accolades both at home and International levels for his politics of tolerance and inclusion. The APC under the leadership Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has displayed tolerance and patience the likes of which are a novelty in Africa.
Political tolerance only occurs in a society when there is an acceptance to express individuals’ rights and civil liberties that may differ from those of the establishment. It is a major corner stone of democracy. While accepting that majority rule is very basic to democracy, there must equally be an acceptance that the rights of the minority must be respected and protected. President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has ensured that these rights are not only protected but exercised under his administration.
In addition to the representation accorded to minorities, there is open deliberation of divergent ideas and no matter how much such ideas are disliked; our Government ensures that they are not suppressed.
As a Government we have learnt a lot from the mistakes of the past which will never be repeated. We may not all be born tolerant but we can learn to be; it is a virtue not a weakness and it is that which has endeared Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to the hearts of many people earning him support, respect and praise the world over.
Reducing the influence of ethnicity and regionalism in political organization and support. Eliminating the susceptibility of youth to engage in political violence. Phasing out the “winner-takes-all” tenet of democracy. Reversing the tendency towards politics as the only means for self fulfilment. Eradicating the tendency not to accept political defeat.
Improved sharing of political appointive positions across regions by the winning Party. Reduced reliance on ethnicity and regionalism for political organisation. Healthier inter- party interaction and dialogue. Reduced involvement of youth in political violence. Improved inclusiveness in the leadership hierarchy of Political Parties across regional boundaries.
Enlist elementary and secondary schools to build the spirit of political tolerance and regard for minority rights. Continue to ensure that the wealth of the nation is evenly distributed amongst all groups and all regions so that people feel part and parcel of the establishment. Promote the concept of “service to the nation” rather than looking to the nation as a means of satisfying greed. Continue to expand the work of the Open Government Initiative to ensure that divergent views are expressed without any fear. Encourage enforcement of the rule of law to deter all forms of political intolerance and violence. Continue to promote broad based membership of the APC Party across regional boundaries. Promote inter-party interaction and dialogue.
PROMOTING STRATEGIC FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION
As a sovereign state, Sierra Leone has to relate with other sovereign states, regional and international organizations through the medium of diplomatic channels. In other words, we have to sustainably continue to be an integral part of the global community of civilized nations. In pursuance of this, the APC will continue to maintain at the centre of its Foreign Policy, Sierra Leone’s national, strategic and economic interest in order to bring prosperity to the common man and woman.
As a party, we are strongly convinced that the conduct of our foreign policy must be guided by the profound changes that are taking place in our national, sub-regional, regional and international environments. Against this backdrop, we recognize the need for strategic reviews of our foreign policy in order to adapt it to the realities of a globalized world.
We have existing and rewarding relations which we have progressively nurtured as a nation state over several decades and we have in the recent past established new relations. We will continue to maintain those relationships we have known, continue to strengthen the emerging ones and build new rewarding ones.
The APC Party will continue making positive contributions to sub-regional, regional and international initiatives which seek to promote democracy and stability and will always condemn coups and undemocratic assent to power. We will seek to gain prominence and provide leadership where necessary within the various international bodies of which Sierra Leone is a member.
In the area of combating international crime, the APC Government did not only pass a strong Anti-Drugs Act in 2008 but also decisively dealt with culprits of drugs trafficking through prosecution and eventual imprisonment. Equally so, we transformed the Joint Drugs Interdiction Task Force into the Trans-national organized crime Unit.
As we progress in our efforts to re-brand the country, we will capitalize on our Foreign Policy as an entry point to market the national transformation to which we are committed.
Protecting the territorial integrity of our state within the context of the highly exposed national borders with our immediate neighbours. Responding to the threat of transnational organized crime (drugs trafficking, terrorism and money laundering) within the capacity limit of our security forces. Creating competitive conditions of service for our Foreign Service workers. Meeting our financial commitments to international organizations. Meeting the financial obligation of upgrading and maintaining our Diplomatic Missions on a comparative basis. Enhancing the capacity of our Foreign Service Personnel.
Robust protection of the peace and security of the country. Contributing to the realization of international peace and security. Prominence of national interest in our foreign relations. Prominence within the MRU, ECOWAS and the AU. Continued active membership of the country in the United Nations and its sister agencies. An effective and career oriented foreign service. Stronger partnerships with traditional allies, other major powers as well as with emerging world powers. Attainment of internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Stronger Sierra Leone and Guinea Joint Commission of Cooperation. Humane treatment of refugees.
Continue playing outstanding role in the fight against transnational organized crime including drugs trafficking, child trafficking, money laundering and terrorism. Participate in peace keeping operations at sub-regional, regional and international levels. Strengthen the capacity of our Foreign Service personnel through training. Fast-track the ratification, domestication and implementation of all signed regional and international treaties while taking steps to sign, ratify and domesticate all outstanding treaties. Strengthen partnerships with traditional allies and other states. Continue to conduct our international relations with emphasis on economic diplomacy focusing on trade and investment promotion. Work with other member states to realize the goal of ECOWAS with emphasis on the community interest. Promote south-south cooperation enabling the country to tap into the development reservoir of emerging nations. Continue pursuance of diplomatic approaches in resolving national boundaries issues including the case of Yenga.
Photo: APC leader President Ernest Koroma.