ERNEST BAI KOROMA – THE AFRICAN LEADER WITH AN AGENDA FOR THE PROSPERITY OF HIS PEOPLE AND COUNTRY
Not since the times of Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, and Kenneth Kaunda, at the helm of Africa’s leadership, has the continent experienced such outstanding oversight. When a leader assumes power and immediately set to work to reverse decades of mismanagement of his country’s resources, and embarks on a mission to strengthen the building blocks of democracy, and position the country to become the one with the largest economic growth in Africa in just 4 years into his tenure, a pat in the back is not enough, history is definitely being rewritten here and commendation in different forms becomes apparent.
The recent history of Sierra Leone has not been a pleasant one for many reasons. Firstly, the dilapidated ruins of its infrastructures brought down to rubble by one of its own, who savagely tore through its hinterland with barbaric carnage to kill and maim on sight, brought the West African state on its knees, and at the mercy of a donor-driven agenda to rescue what was left of its economic handicap. And most recently, the scourge of a nasty Ebola outbreak saw the country once more at the mercy of the world’s assistance. But what was different this time: at the driver’s seat was a determined leadership that ensured astute guidance to prevent the country sinking into subsidence once more.
The Ebola Outbreak brought the best of leadership qualities out of the Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma. In fact his critics were hoping he would not be up to the task. But the outbreak was an opportunity for fine leadership qualities to be on show – a moment that would finally define the legacy of a man who has already secured his place alongside Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere and Kenneth Kaunda, as the best the African continent has ever experienced around its corridors of power. All these men had one thing in common: the interest of their people and country at heart. When you take a look around Sierra Leone and see the amazing transformation taking place, you do not need to be a political or economic analyst to conclude that change has finally beckon in a country that has only known disaster as a way of life for the most part of the last 3 decades. The challenge the country now faces is no more about ebola or civil wars, its more about who can continue the fantastic work of President Ernest Bai Koroma, when his second term ends in 2018. The herculean task would not only be to elect a new leader, but one who possesses the make-up that has helped position the country as one of the fastest growing economies in sub-saharan Africa, and the most religiously tolerant society across Africa. A country that holds no political prisoners – one where the head of state is satirically depicted with horns on a notorious tabloid newspaper and the publisher ends up being appointed Executive Assistant at State House. An exceptional showcase of tolerance at its best.
There have been calls for the president to extend his term to another 5 years, Calls he has flatly rejected. Not surprisingly so, considering the fact that he would not want to see his country witness another crisis – albeit a constitutional one this time. But when one closely examines the achievements so far, one realises that there is still much more to be done for Sierra Leone to overcome all its economic and political hurdles, if it is to stand once more as a true member of the world’s community of nation. The trusted hands of the Koroma leadership may just be what the country needs to steer it through economic and political stability as the bedrock of a sound future that generations to come will enjoy and feel secure in. It will certainly be up to the Sierra Leonean people to determine whether they still want continuity of the present leadership or a change through the ballot box. If the people come out in numbers asking for a retention of the present status-quo – then we all know what people power can do!! But be rest assured this is not something the Koroma presidency will force upon the people. One has a duty to serve when called upon.
One thing that is clear though, is that the Koroma presidency has secured for itself a legacy uncommon across the African continent, one that is the envy of his colleagues and the admiration of world leaders, as Ernest Bai Koroma continues to be the African head of state everyone wants to confer with on issues pertaining the continent. Ernest Bai Koroma is also at the forefront negotiating Africa’s demands for a more pivotal role within the UN Security council and that is bearing fruits as other major countries including China are now on-board helping to make Africa’s case heard. It is only a matter of time for Africa to take its rightful place as a a permanent member of the UN Security council.
As Sierra Leone recovers from the nasty scourge of Ebola, President Ernest Bai Koroma once more has the unenviable task of re-igniting the economy and rebuilding its infrastructures including a reformed healthcare system and a more vibrant economy. Considering his achievements, one can be rest assured that Sierra Leone will bounce back from its woes and secure for itself a vibrant future. Ernest Ba Koroma has shown that when an African leader leads by compassion anything is possible.
© 2015, Ahmed M Kamara. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.