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Promises by Sierra Leone's Ruling Party in their 2007 Manifesto
By ALL PEOPLE'S CONGRESS WEBSITE (www.apcpartysl.org)
Sep 9, 2009, 17:20
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Awareness Times is today reproducing the entire text of the ruling All People's Congress Manifesto they presented to the electorate two years ago. Has President Koroma Kept to the APCs 2007 Manifesto Promises on the Judiciary, Youths, Human Rights, Review of Public Order Act, etc. etc. etc? Read below and make your decision on the APCs Two Years in Government as you recall how they assured the following: "As a Party, let us assure everyone that we have in place a solid team of dedicated personnel with the brain power, commitment and professional expertise to implement these programmes. The APC therefore calls upon all to join us in realising these noble goals of governance".


 ALL PEOPLE'S CONGRESS

APC MANIFESTO FOR 2007 ELECTIONS
(The Turn Around Agenda For Sierra Leone)
CULLED FROM WWW.APCPARTYSL.ORG

PREFACE

PREAMBLE.

The All Peoples Congress Party affirms its belief in the supremacy and inviolability of the constitution of Sierra Leone and the sovereignty of our people.  As a government we are committed to the strict observance and enforcement of it provisions. We will therefore conform to the spirit and letter of the constitution.

 

Sierra Leone entered the 21st century as one of the poorest countries at the bottom of the United Nations Human Development index, a condition that was exacerbated by an eleven year civil war.  But the courage and resilience of our people, and immense support by the International Community, presented to Sierra Leone a tremendous opportunity for change and renewal.

 

What emerged in the last ten years however, has been a pathetic and painful picture of socio-economic decline  corruption and generally poor governance.

 

The challenge of any incoming government in 2007 will be to reverse this trend, by establishing proper governance and sustainable development, and generally breaking the depressing cycle of poverty.

 

In this regard, the 2007 national elections present a decisive opportunity to the people of Sierra Leone to choose the party that will lead the country to the path of progress and development.  That party it is now clear can only be the All Peoples Congress.

 

No nation can function without the essential elements of peace and stability.  An APC government will therefore rely on its police and military forces for the internal and external security of the state respectively.  We will ensure that these forces are properly trained and equipped to enforce law and order to counter any threats actual or potential and generally enhance national security.

 

An APC government is determined to lift this country from its current state of disrepair and desperation by rebuilding its human resources, its social services and physical infrastructure that will gear the nation towards equitable and sustainable economic growth.  Sierra Leoneans will once again see hope for a better future.

 

In every nation today, the principles of transparency and accountability and the elimination of corrupt practices are generally recognized as indispensable attributes for good governance.  An APC government will ensure the strict adherence to these principles and practices, and will subject itself to an African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and any other international benchmarks.

 

Under the principle of separation of powers as provided for in our national constitution, the Sierra Leone Parliament has, in the last ten years, clearly demonstrated an inability to exercise its functions as an institution distinct from the executive. 

 

Unfortunately, executive interference, coupled with the pursuit of political party interests have clearly undercut the constitutional role of the legislature.  In addition to this, general conditions of service for members of Parliament remain unattractive.  This situation will be thoroughly examined by an APC government, and proper and adequate policies will be put in place to make Parliamentary work attractive and productive.

 

Our immediate and general concern for our people will be to provide the basic social services which many other countries take for granted, but which our people continue to be deprived of.  Necessities such as affordable staple food (rice), electricity, water, basic health care, an expanded education system, and jobs for the bulging numbers of unemployed youth.  All these will be our focus.

 

This 2007 APC Agenda for change is our manifesto.  It clearly presents our deep understanding and appreciation of the aspirations of our people for a better future for themselves and their children.  In presenting our objectives and strategies for change, we are keenly aware of the challenges and limitations that will face a new government in its efforts to fulfill the demands and expectations of its people.  We have therefore presented, in this manifesto in the honesty and humility, our priorities and areas of focus in the immediate and long term.

 

It should be a useful reminder that the All Peoples Congress was the first opposition party in Sub-Saharan Africa to unseat an incumbent government through the ballot box.  In its twenty four years in governance, the nation experienced relative peace and stability, as well as remarkable social and infrastructural development.  These achievements were neither by accident, nor were they by dint of good fortune.  They were the result of carefully calculated and prudent policies, underlined by wise counsel, visionary leadership and a good knowledge of the politics and people of Sierra Leone.  It is on this well established tradition that the All Peoples Congress Party presents itself for the 2007 elections as your next government.

 

 

AN AGENDA FOR CHANGE.

CORE PRINCIPLES.

Faced with the tragic state of despair and desperation in the nation, as a result of corruption, nepotism and mismanagement of our human and material resources, the All Peoples Congress Party is committed to reverse this trend and move the country forward to its rightful position in the community of nations.  In this regard the APC establishes the following core principles as its guidelines in this noble endeavour.

1.                  Democracy and good governance

2.                  Freedom, human rights and human dignity

3.                  Justice equality and the rule of law

4.                  Integrity, transparency and accountability in the conduct of public Affairs.

 

5.                  Long term sustainable development; through dependable and affordable  regular power supply, sound education, basic health-care, abundant food production, appropriate housing, increased youth employment, improved infrastructure, efficient transport and basic services.

 

1.         THE ECONOMY

 

1.1       OVERVIEW

Sierra Leone is endowed with rich human and diverse natural resources, yet its economic and social infrastructure are poorly developed. The economy under the present Government is bankrupt and propped up by the grace of institutional donor funds which are grossly misused. Furthermore our economy is characterized by many factors including endemic institutional corruption, alarmingly chronic youth employment, unbearable cost of living and a lack of political resolve to check and curb corruption. The state of the economy can be summarized by the following key factors:

        Large scale unemployment

        High inflation and low wages

        A weak private sector

        An ineffective public sector

        Weak basic industry

        Inadequate energy and power supply

        Difficult climate for doing business

        Corruption\

        Inadequate and decaying infrastructure

        Weak institutional capabilities

 

1.2             OBJECTIVES .

            As a government we are committed to:

a)         reviving the economy and improving the standard of living of every Sierra Leonean in line with an APC agenda of change and the Millennium Development goals. 

b)         creating a conducive atmosphere for doing business and embarking on policies that will enable the resumption of growth in the trading, manufacturing, mining, marine and agricultural sectors.

c)         pursuing policies that will promote private sector development and encouraging direct foreign investment.

 d)        initiating policies that will help boost our export capacity in order to reduce our balance of payments deficit, maintain a strong currency, reduce inflation and achieve economic growth.

 

1.3       STRATEGIES

            Our strategies for pursuing these objectives shall include:-

a)         Financial sector reforms with emphasis on favourable terms for access to  capital for Small and Medium scale Enterprises ( SMEs) and push micro-finance.

b)         Fiscal discipline and financial prudence to achieve low inflation, low interest rates, resulting into long term economic stability.

c)         Expanding and strengthening intra African trade in accordance with the principles and policies under the New Partnership for Africas Development (NEPAD).

d)         actively encourage civil society, non-governmental and charitable organisations that have expertise and experience in training that can support and finance self employment schemes.

e)         placing emphasis on productive industries including value added processing of our raw materials for local consumption and export.

f)          Tax reformation to encourage investment, generate revenue, boost local production and stimulate economic growth.

e)         ensuring that our producers conform to international standards and values for commodity export.

g)         vigorously addressing unfair trade barriers, regulations and procedures that inhibit the growth of our domestic industry and external trade. Accordingly, we shall exploit the advantage of Sierra Leones membership of the World Trade Organisation.

h)         encouraging the creation of Economic zones that will enable industry and commerce to flourish. 

b)         intensifying and coordinating revenue collection and monitor government expenditure to ensure transparency and accountability.

d)         facilitating an investor friendly atmosphere that will encourage and accelerate privatization and fully take our national interests into account.

 

 

2.         AGRICULTURE AND MARINE RESOURSES

2.1       Overview

Agriculture and Marine resources have the potential of extricating Sierra Leoneans from poverty and hunger that are devastating eyesores of our development paradigm. They can be the real engine for economic revitalization and poverty reduction which are crucial to peace and security. In spite of their growth potential, they have not been given any priority by the current government. The challenge of an in-coming APC government is to reverse this trend and make these resources the bedrock of our economic growth. Currently the sectors are faced with the following constraints:

 

Agriculture:-

        Subsistence production

        Small acreages

        High post harvest Wastage

        Limited supply of farm inputs

        Poor road networks

        Limited access to capital

        Limited diversification

         Marine Resources:-

        Inadequate supervision of our coastal waters

        Lack of capital to engage in large scale commercial fishing

        Incapacity to quantify foreign fishing catches and thus depriving the country of valuable revenue

        Corruption in the management of marine resources

 

2.2       OBJECTIVES

An APC Government will:-

a).        make local food production a matter of priority so as to bring Sierra Leone to a level of food self-sufficiency.

b).        resuscitate commercial agriculture and effectively use our arable land for coffee, cacao and other tree crop production. This will enable our country to become once again a foreign exchange earner from our agricultural produce.

c)         set up an expert task force to look into research institutions, libraries and the massive agricultural data stocked in government offices with the aim of bringing into clear perspective the use of all arable lands comprising uplands, inland valley and mangrove swamps, bolilands and the vast riverine lands of Rhombe and Tormabome.

d)         make agriculture and aqua-culture  viable options,  attractive enough to provide gainful and rewarding employment and at the same time improving our foreign exchange inflows.

e)         give logistical and other capacity building ( processing and preservation) support to artisanal fishermen to enhance their capacity to produce more for home consumption.

 

2.3       STRATEGIES  

            The APC government will pursue these by:-

a)         making available basic agricultural inputs to stimulate food production, plantation agriculture, and animal husbandry. In this regard we will pursue a well structured agricultural loan scheme through rural banks and micro finance institutions.

b)         stimulating and promoting agricultural research in our universities and colleges that will lead to the revitalization of productive farming through extension services.

c)         seeking expert partners to facilitate the development of the countrys vast agricultural and marine resources into commercial production to support local food production and export.

d)         embarking on sustainable financial schemes that will boost investment and private sector participation

e)         building feeder roads to make farm inputs and food available in the rural areas and in the urban markets.

f)          encouraging the cultivation of more land 

 

 

3.         DECENTRALISATION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

3.1 Overview

Poverty in Sierra Leone is heavily concentrated in the rural areas. There has been an unprecedented massive migration to the urban areas because of the lack of opportunities especially employment, good schools and hospitals Decentralization is the corner stone on which rests the policies and programs that will facilitate development and participation of our citizens in every part of the country. The APC firmly believes that the true Decentralization of Political, Legislative, Economic and Administrative functions would encourage the rural population to stay in their localities and participate in the management of their own affairs. These sectors are beset with the following problems;

 

Decentralization:-

  • Unwillingness on the part of the central government to devolve power, functions and resources to the local units
  • Limited capacity on the part of functionaries at the local level
  • Lack of adequate and proper infrastructure

 

Rural Development:-

        Lack of basic services

        Lack of employment opportunities

        Rural urban migration resulting in unavailability of adequate labour and undue pressure in the urban areas

 

3.2       OBJECTIVES

The Party in government will embark on:-

a)         logistical capacity building that will give real meaning to multi-sectoral devolution

b)         instituting strict supervision and monitoring of local Government authority to ensure accountability and transparency, without micro managing.

c)         introducing a more focused, coordinated, sustainable and holistic rural development program that will use both internal and external resources to raise the capacity of the rural economy for self sustenance and improve standards of living for the population. 

. d)       rehabilitating the crumbling infrastructure and provide where necessary additional rural roads, rural water supply, affordable healthcare and rural banks through cooperation with local Government authorities in accordance with our decentralization policy.

 

3.3       STRATEGIES

As a  Government, the APC will

a)         fund rural development programmes in collaboration with our National and external partners.

b)         encourage home-based industries that will create employment in the rural areas.

c)         provide for the rural population to participate in the development and management of their affairs through self-help.

d)         accelerate the moribund decentralization process and meaningfully empower local Councils with a view to achieving  the goals of the MDGs on time.

d)         facilitate compilation of statistical base line studies of all services, facilities and inadequacies in all districts. Such data will be useful in planning the needs of the rural population.

 

 

 

 

           

4.         EDUCATION

4.1 Overview

Sierra Leone, once a pioneer in education and the envy of the sub region  formerly known as the Athens of Africa, now finds itself in a deepening crisis that has undermined the very foundation of its educational system. Teaching and learning in many schools in Sierra Leone are at a minimal level principally because of poor classroom conditions, insufficient learning materials, lack of adequately qualified, well compensated and committed teachers. The APC considers education as the most important vehicle through which Sierra Leone will develop its human resources.

An APC government will therefore facilitate, encourage and provide adequate and appropriate education. It will promote training and enforce discipline within all educational institutions so that the young will derive the best benefits to equip themselves as responsible citizens for life.

 

Currently the educational system is characterized by;-

        Lack of adequate schooling facilities

        Lack of Qualified and committed teachers

        Poor classroom conditions

        Insufficient teaching materials

        Poor conditions of service for teachers

 

4.2       OBJECTIVES

An APC Government will

 

a)         make education a right for everyone and accessible to all to enable the country meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals.

b)         strengthen all legal, institutional and infrastructural frame work necessary for the enhancement of education. 

c)         ensure that books and other school materials provided by government reach the target population.

 d)        revive schools broadcast programmes for countrywide dissemination on regular basis to help with additional learning for pupils preparing for BECE and WASSCE Examinations. Community radios will be utilized for this purpose.

e)         support adult education programmes nation wide in order to combat  the high incidence of illiteracy.

f)          provide adequate funding and making University education relevant to the needs of the Nation.

g)         Encourage and facilitate the establishment of libraries and a reading culture nationwide

 

4.3       STRATEGIES

As a government we will pursue these through:-

a)         training more teachers and improving their conditions of service and at the same time make available relevant educational materials

b)         re-examining the whole educational system critically with a view to determining the effectiveness, appropriateness and relevance to our national development goals.

 c)        strengthening the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Education and make it more effective.

d)         setting up adult Educational centers in the urban and rural areas.

e)         effecting compulsory education up to JSS 3.

f)          revising remuneration of teachers package across the board.

 

5.         HEALTH, NUTRITION AND SANITATION

5.1 Overview

The health system in Sierra Leone is in acute crisis. The whole country is serviced by less than six physician doctors, less than four surgeon specialists and less than three hundred nurses in the employ of government.  The APC established the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences and the National School of Nursing while in governance. Disappointingly the SLPP government rendered these institutions unproductive and unable to meet our nations health needs. This lack of vision on the part of the SLPP government has had a devastating effect in the country to the extent that life expectancy has reached an all time low of 35 years for females and 33 for males.

 

Malaria and Tuberculosis are prevalent and widespread. HIV and AIDS prevalence is estimated at 4.9%. Nutrition has worsened across the nation owing to the inability of the SLPP government in fulfilling its promise of attaining food security for all by 2007. The APC believes that like education, health is both a human goal and human investment through which development can be achieved. This is why the APC is committed to providing affordable health services to all Sierra Leoneans and shall adopt policies towards improving and upgrading the health, environmental sanitation infrastructural facilities in both urban and rural areas.

The health service has been dysfunctional because of:-

  • Lack of hospitals and health centres
  • Insufficient numbers of doctors and nurses
  • Poor conditions of service
  • Lack of adequate equipment
  • Lack of energy and power supply
  • Inadequate medical supplies

 

5.2       OBJECTIVES

An APC Government shall

a)         allocate resources for a rapid rehabilitation of existing hospitals and health centers in all districts headquarters and chiefdoms.

b)         provide better working conditions and facilities to our doctors and nurses and support staff.

c)         while acknowledging the important role traditional healers play within our own health care service, encourage cooperation between them and western trained health delivery service providers.

d)         equip hospitals with adequate medical supplies.

 

5.3       STRATEGIES

As a government we will

a)         fully empower local council authorities to take up their responsibilities for the delivery of dependable health care services to their people.

b)         ensure that public health education (sanitation and hygiene) form an integral part of formal education curriculum. Adult and community learning on the subject of public health will also form part of our urban and rural education programme.

c)         pay attention to areas of the country prone to high levels of infant and maternal mortality, the incidence of diarrhea, malaria, cholera and river-blindness and ensure effective health service provision by improving the capacity of all District referral hospitals.

d)         promote a health programme through environmental sanitation awareness, education on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and family planning.  In spite of massive international support, far too little has been done to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS throughout the country. An APC Government will continue to collaborate with the international community to control this scourge.

e)         revisit the current cost recovery scheme with a view to making it more accessible and affordable nationwide.

 

6.         WATER RESOURCES

6.1 Overview

Sierra Leone is a tropical country blessed with high levels of rainfall yet we are unable to provide safe drinking water to the vast majority of our people.

 

In spite of the abundance of this resource, we are faced with the following:-

  • Lack of and unreliable supply of portable water to all urban and rural communities
  • Absence and deficient treatment plants
  • Lack of safe drinking water for the vast majority of our people

 

6.2       OBJECTIVES

The challenge of a new APC Government is therefore:-

a)         to harness and manage the available water resources efficiently so that the majority of our people are provided with pipe borne and safe drinking water at all times.

b)         Construct dams for irrigation and hydro-electric energy

c)         cut down on water borne diseases by introducing water and sanitation programmes throughout the country

 

6.3       STRATEGIES

In government, we shall achieve these by:-

a)         putting in place water management programmes under which communities shall be provided with hand dug-wells, boreholes or piped system accordingly.

b)         prioritizing the rehabilitation and construction of water supply to vital establishments like hospitals, schools and other public institutions.

c)         Ensuring that educational programmes cover the vital elements of water and sanitation

d)         reactivating the World Bank rehabilitation support project to ensure delivery of safe drinking water throughout the municipality.

 

7.         THE JUDICIARY

7.1 Overview

The true mark of any democracy can be measured by its citizens commitment to the supremacy of the rule of law. This supremacy dictates that justice will be dispensed with fairness and citizens will have access to redress if there is any doubt as to the fair application of the law.

The inequitable applications of the law and the lack of fair access to the judicial system have been some of the reasons that have contributed to undermining the rule of law in Sierra Leone. 

The ability of the judiciary to properly dispense with justice has been handicapped by:-

 

  • Political interference
  • Extremely unattractive salaries and poor conditions of service
  • Corruption

 

7.2       OBJECTIVES

When in government, the APC will:-

a)         establish clear procedures to ensure an independent, impartial and autonomous judiciary.

b)         separate the offices of the Minister of Justice and that of the Attorney-General.

c)         ensure expeditious dispensation of justice.

 

7.3       STRATEGIES

Our government will achieve these by:-

a)         ensuring a proper functioning of the judicial system by discouraging political interference in all spheres of governance including the Anti-Corruption Commission which shall be given the power to prosecute.

b)         setting up Special Rapid response courts that will adjudicate in land issues, small claims courts, to settle disputes which otherwise have created bottle-necks in the legal system.

c)         supporting the work of the Law Reform Commission, the justice sector development programme and other reformatory institutions to review laws that have no relevance in todays Sierra Leone.

 

8.         FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION

8.1       Overview

The Foreign thrust of a re-elected APC Government shall be to reinforce existing relations with foreign countries and all International Organisations to which Sierra Leone is a member. This will be done through implementation of well defined policies and programmes that will safeguard and protect our national interests as stated in section 10 of the preamble of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

 

Our ability to explore the full potential of foreign policy and International Cooperation has been characterized by  the following:-

        Inability to fully fund the activities of our missions abroad

        Poor conditions of service

        None and sporadic remuneration

        Uncoordinated, Inadequacies and weaknesses in pursuing our national interest as pivotal to our foreign policy goals

 

8.2       OBJECTIVES

The APC Government will

a)         Implement a credible foreign policy that will enhance mutually rewarding co-operation with our International partners.

b)         Strengthen but balance relations with they development partners focus on technology and knowledge transfer as well as market access and development

b)         build up from the impressive, constructive and rewarding foreign policy of the previous APC Governments, an APC foreign policy shall re-introduce and maintain a positive, respectable, pragmatic and common sense approach in our dealings with nations and organizations.

c)         renew our support and commit ourselves to meeting our obligations to all international organisations such as the Mano River Union (MRU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), the United Nations and all other international organisations to which we are signatories.

 

8.3       STRATEGIES

In government the APC shall:-

 

a)         endeavour to understand and interpret at all times, the constantly changing character of international situations in a changing world.

b)         acknowledge that as patterns change, so will our friendships between and among nations shift.  We shall adjust when necessary, to ensure valuable diplomatic representation and outreach that protects our national interest.

c)         ensure unwavering national support for a new and dynamic foreign policy, the Foreign Ministry of an APC Government will step up outreach contacts with civil society, students, the media, traditional authorities etc to explain emerging international ideas and concepts such as the Millennium Development Goals MDGs, New Partnership for African Development. NEPAD and African Peer Review Mechanism APRM affect us as a country.

 

9.         DEFENCE

OVERVIEWc)         empower and work with the appropriate authorities and agencies to implement laws and policies that will eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women.

 

9.3       STRATEGIES

The above objectives will be achieved by:-

a)         ensuring that womens issues are mainstreamed across all development and public policy processes. We believe that policies that are not engendered are endangered.

b)         working with our development partners, organizations and agencies operating in Sierra Leone to maximize the support that war affected young women require for their rehabilitation and integration into mainstream society.

c)         supporting female-owned and managed enterprises through credit on favored terms.

 

10.       THE WAR WOUNDED AND PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED

10.1 Overview

Throughout Sierra Leone the scars of war are a grim reminder of the atrocities committed on our people for more than a decade.

Quite a good number of the victims of the war have yet to put a closure to that nightmare more so because of the gross failure of the SLPP Government to implement the findings and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Raped women, orphans, branded children, amputees; the mentally and physically scarred all require and deserve reparations and integration into mainstream society.

The current conditions of the war wounded and physically challenged are as follows:-

  • Total lack of a comprehensive policy to assess and meet the needs of this category
  • Failure to adequately address discriminatory practices
  • Failure to implement the findings and recommendations of the TRC

 

10.2    OBJECTIVES

The APC Government will:-

a)     implement to the fullest the TRC recommendations on the needs of victims especially those on health, pensions, education, skills training, micro-credit and community reparations. 

b)     initiate and promote propgrammes that will enhance the status and welfare of this group.

c)      Enhance the legal capability, empower institutions and eliminate all forms of discrimination and biases against the physically  challenged.

 

10.3    STRATEGIES

Our Government will achieve these by:-

a)         working in collaboration with National and International Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) and Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOs) to ensure that programs and adequate services such as health, shelter and educational opportunities for the victims and their dependants are available in all districts.

b)         making the activities of NACSA more effective and focused to ensure that proper and adequate measures are put in place for the benefit of the victims of the war.

c)         designate a day of National Mourning in respect of the many who lost their lives and for those who remain permanently damaged.

d)         erect a war monument so that the painful past will never be lost on the conscience of our people.

 

11.       ENERGY AND POWSPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; TEXT-DECORATION: none">12.2    OBJECTIVES

As a government the APC shall:-

 

a)         develop sea safety standards and rehabilitate jetties and slipways and where possible build new ones.

 b)        extend the activities of Sierra Leone Ports Authority by providing dry dock services among others and explore the possibility of having a free port in Freetown.

 c)        rehabilitate trunk roads and bridges to facilitate public transportation.

d)         complete on-going construction of roads such as the peninsula road and Guinea- Sierra Leone Highway and all others initiated by the APC while previously in government.

e)         extend and improve existing feeder roads to enhance the movement of agricultural inputs, produce and other essential commodities.

f)          seek to upgrade Lungi International airport and domestic air fields.

g)         facilitate an environment in which our local Communication industry will compete favorably with other tele-communication companies. 

 

12.3    STRATEGIES

As a government we hope to achieve these by:-

a)         promoting transportation and exploring the abundance of waterways throughout Sierra Leone, to enhance the tourist industry.

b)         strictly supervising and monitoring the disbursement of the road users tax.

c)         continuing its program of trunk road expansion commenced whilst in office, through partnership with friendly countries willing and able to support such programs.

d)         encourage private, local and International airline operators to invest in the airline industry.

e)         reactivate our National tele-communication system by providing adequate resources.

 

13.       TOURISM

13.1 Overview

Sierra Leone with its unique landscape, exotic flora and fauna, mountains and natural beauty together with its historic heritage, remains a tourist dream. The APC recognizes the devastation caused to this sector by the civil war and sees the need for its revitalization.

 

This industry has been impeded by these factors:-

  • Total lack of ability to promote the industry
  • Lack of touristic infrastructure
  • Absence of energy and power supply
  • Dysfunctional health services
  • Limited International communications systems

 

13.2    OBJECTIVES

An APC Government will:-

a)         fully harness our gifts of nature for touristic purposes.

b)         revitalize the tourism sector to become a major contributor to the national economy.

c)         encourage and regulate the active participation of private entrepreneurs and non-governmental organient in mining activity must be subject to environmental safeguards.

c)      re-examining and revisiting exploration and mining contracts, sale, export and marketing of all minerals and will come out with a comprehensive mining     policy that will cover exploration, mining and export.

d)      encouraging and facilitating the establishment of a diamond cutting and processing industry.

e)      resuscitating vital area of economic activity that will encourage artisanal miners for both diamond and gold to set up cooperatives and/or joint venture companies. These will provide the institutional framework through which small scale miners can access funding for their operations. The APC acknowledges that increased and profitable activities in this area will result in reducing unemployment and increase regular payment of royalties and taxes to government.

 

15.       INFORMATION   AND BROADCASTING

15.1 Overview

Sierra Leone has been a pioneer and a leading light in radio and press journalism. However there is current need to revive those golden days at a time when this century has been designated as the information age.  The APC government, recognizing this situation shall continue to regard the mass media as a critical and necessary ingredient of good governance and shall support it as a tool for national development.

This sector is beset by these problems:-

  • Unreliable and sporadic news broadcasts
  • Miserable salaries and poor conditions of service for workers
  • Low maintenance levels
  • Lack of logistical support
  • Political interference that stifles freedom of speech

 

 

15.1    OBJECTIVES

The APC Government will:-

a)         use the mass media to serve as a medium to educate the public in matters of state and how these matters impinge on their daily lives.

b)         be committed to greater freedom, and democracy and we would enhance the role of a free, unfettered and responsible press.

c)         place a high premium on responsibility of journalists and broadcasters to build up the professional capacity that will enable them to perform their functions without fear or favor.

d)         examine the on-going privatization process of the SLBS and SLTV 

 

15.2    STRATEGIES

These will be achieved by:-

a)         reviewing the 1965 Public Order Act.

b)         assisting the fourth estate in building itself up in terms of capacity, professionalism and ensure its independence.

c)         improving public trust, confidence and interest through information sharing. Whilst in office the bottle necks and obstacles that stifle this free flow will be removed

d)      encouraging and strengthening the National Media Commission.

e)       improving radio/TV dissemination nationwide.

 

16.       HUMAN RIGHTS

16.1    Overview

Human rights have become an issue of great importance in contemporary times. This explains why it has come to occupy such an important and prominent place in State governance, the world over. Much of the misery an0in 0pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.5in; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">b)         enabling the civil service reclaim its past glory and efficiency.

c)         improving the salary and conditions of the public service with a view to making it attractive and competitive.

d)         ensuring that recruitment and promotion within the public service of Sierra Leone shall be based on qualification, merit and ability.

 

18.       YOUTH AND SPORTS

18.1 Overview

The APC Government recognizes that the youth problem has become chronic with a potential for explosion.  To be sure youth employment if not appropriately addressed is a time bomb. Its solution cannot be done on an ad hoc basis but rather on a comprehensive policy requiring inputs from the youth themselves. Conscious of the trauma to which thousands of our youths have been subjected as a consequence of the war, an APC Government will spare no effort in revisiting the existing National Youth policy.  The APC will engage and comprehensively promote sporting activities in support of the welfare of our youth.

The following are the characteristics of this sector:-

  • High rate of youth unemployment
  • Widespread indiscipline and high  rate of school dropouts
  • Tepid acceptance and implementation of the National Youth Policy
  • Failure to inculcate a culture of civic responsibility
  • Complete breakdown of competitive sporting activities at school, collegiate and national levels
  • Lack of coordination between the Ministry and the respective sporting organisations

 

18.2    OBJECTIVES

An APC government will:-

a)         implement the current legislation relating to the protection and welfare of Youth.

b)         work steadfastly with both national and international non-governmental organizations to ensure that the youth in Sierra Leone receive the care, support and protection they require for their development into responsible and productive citizens.

c)         institute a national youth training programme to harness the potential of our youth, create understanding and instill a culture of civic responsibility that will support  and core enhance family values.

 

18.3    STRATEGIES                                             

The APC as a government shall seek to attain these objectives by:-

a)         formulating a comprehensive plan of action that is geared towards full implementation of the Sierra Leone Youth policy.

b)         expanding the National Youth Policy with the creation of youth executives in all Districts Councils.

c)         reviving and restoring the status of sports and athletics in schools and colleges by seeking assistance from our friends to extend sporting facilities accordingly.

d)         providing bursaries for students who demonstrate outstanding skills in sports and athletics.

e)         re-activating all sporting competitions especially soccer at national and international levels through closer collaboration with the respective sporting organisations.

f)          introducing a National Youth Service Corps.

 

19.       LANDS, HOUSING AND THE ENVIRONMENT

19.1    Overview

Land is a resource and an asset and in almost every part of the country issues related to land constitute a major source of conflict and court cases. Ministry of Lands officials including surveyors, land owners, dealers, are all to blame for these. The current poor city planning is the result of corruption, limited foresight and capacity. The uncoordinated and inept actions of Government departments and officials have led to a myriad of cases that have virtually strangled the judicial system. The APC recognizes that housing a basic necessity of life is in short supply in the country for all categories of the population. An APC Government recognizes further that environmental protection has become a necessity of life and its abuse nation wide demands immediate attention.

These sectors are beset with the following problems:-

  • Overwhelming cases of unresolved land disputes
  • No guidelines for zoning and building
  • Poor sanitation in built up areas
  • ruthless deforestation and degradation of the environment
  • Limited or no education on the use and abuse of the environment

 

19.2    OBJECTIVES

As a Government, the APC will:-

a)         seek an expeditious resolution of all matters dealing with land conflict.

b)         create opportunities for the expansion of all markets and cemeteries to meet current population demands.

c)         build a culture of civic responsibility for the care and protection of the environment.

d)         establish guidelines for zoning and building.

e)         engage in legislation to ensure that deforestation and degradation of the environment is arrested and further more draw up guidelines that will conform to international standards.

 

19.3    STRATEGIES

WE will achieve these by:-

a)         engaging in a national campaign of educating our people on all policies governing land use.

b)         supporting and strengthening the National Commission on Land and the Environment to function effectively.

c)         establishing a comprehensive national register that will document all cadastral records.

d)      encouraging international investors as partners in the provision of low cost housing.

e)         embarking on sensitization and awareness raising using the mass media, schools and colleges on the consequence of misusing and abusing the environment.

f)          reviewing the current state of all Government properties and their occupancy.

g)         pursuing a policy of strategic acquisition of lands and properties in an effort to expand and upgrade social infrastructure such as markets and cemeteries so as to ease congestion.

 

20              CONCLUSION

 

In conclusion, all of the above stated objectives and strategies are in support of the firm determination of the All Peoples Congress Party to govern Sierra Leone along the principles of GOOD GOVERNANCE.  An APC government commits itself to conforming and focusing on parameters and values of good political, economic and corporate governance.  We will ensure the adoption by all Government Departments and Agencies, sound policies, standards and practices that promote and protect the principles of probity, transparency and accountability.

 

As a Party, let us assure everyone that we have in place a solid team of dedicated personnel with the brain power, commitment and professional expertise to implement these programmes. The APC therefore calls upon all Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad and the International Community to join us in realising these noble goals of governance presented in this Manifesto.

 


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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