From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
“Sierra Leoneans have a duty to make the country a better place” Says President Kabbah
By Vidal Boltman
May 10, 2006, 14:40

The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, has said in Freetown that "Every Sierra Leonean has a duty to play in making Sierra Leone a better place".

He made this statement while delivering his keynote address at the ceremony marking the official opening of the prestigious Hotel Barmoi, on Saturday 6th May 2006, in Freetown.

In his address, the President thanked the sole proprietor of the hotel, Alhaji Dr. Sheku Kamara for undertaking such a venture, and called on all well meaning Sierra Leoneans to emulate his good example in making Sierra Leone a better place.

The President reminded Dr. Sheku Kamara about the challenges ahead, pointing out that as long as he has shown sings of success, he will come across a mixture of people, some of them his friends and others his enemies.

He said the only way Sierra Leoneans can make the country a beautiful place is by investing in the country, adding that by so doing, jobs will be created and poverty effectively reduced.

He ended by calling on the youths to refrain from the notion that it is government which should provide them with jobs, noting that even in the United States of America (USA) the highest employment comes from the business sector.

Giving the history of Hotel Barmoi, the Proprietor, Alhaji Dr. Sheku Kamara, said during the last lap of his career in the civil service as Director General of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, he decided to build a three bedroom bungalow as a retirement home.

On completing the said bungalow, he said he had three expatriate friends who were in the country for a few months and were staying in one of the hotels around town.

He said he invited them one evening to a private dinner at his bungalow, and were impressed with the view.

They manifested interest and asked whether he could rent them the house for the rest of their stay in the country.

According to him, he was happy about that and hence went ahead and rented the house to them.

By the time they left, another United Nations organisation manifested interest and rented the house. This was a super jackpot for a civil servant, Dr. Sheku Kamara said. Upon retirement as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the year 2000, he said he decided to embark on business, adding that it did not take long for him to realize that the private sector is far more productive.

Dr. Kamara called on Sierra Leoneans to be prepared to take the lead in investing in the country, noting that by so doing they will be contributing to the creation of job opportunities for the youths and under privileged, as well as contributing to the socio/economic development of the country.

Statements were also made by the Minister of Tourism and Culture Mr. Okere Adams, and the former Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Mr. James Sampha Koroma, who chaired the occasion.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.