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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

SECOND YEAR PROGRESS REPORT ON PRESIDENT KOROMA AND THE APC GOVERNMENT - Part One
By Abdul Bero Kamara aka Chief
Sep 18, 2009, 16:37
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Two years ago the democratically elected APC government of his Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma inherited from the SLPP administration a near comatose nation, under a heavy yoke of corruption, maladministration and ineptitude, albeit the billion dollars of hand outs from donor countries. 

 

Through divine intercession a man who has the fear of God, and knew the problems of the average Sierra Leonean was democratically elected to clean up the mess that was left behind by the SLPP Kabbah Administration. Sadly, at a time when the determined president Koroma was faced with other challenges and  having sleepless night trying to repair the mess left by Kabbah and his thieving minister, he was taken by surprise by an inevitable global economic tsunami.

 

Thus, it became evident to the new administration that nothing short of a drastic holistic intervention mechanism was needed to make the agenda for change a reality.  By and large, since the APC government is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Therefore, it is imperative to inform the people on how their government is doing for the last two years..

 

It is therefore my honor and privilege as a citizen of Sierra Leone to present this second year progress report card of his Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the APC government from September 2007 to September 2009.

 

 

ECONOMY

 

 After a period of robust growth during the past twenty four months under the astute leadership of the President Koroma, The global economic downturn has weakened economic prospects in 2009 and is putting pressure on the fiscal position. Like many other sub-Saharan African countries, Sierra Leones economic conditions and prospects are being profoundly affected by the global economic meltdown, and it is slowing economic activity in the Sierra Leone. For example, the mining industry, the countrys main export sector, is being  hit hard  by declining prices and cut back n production, similarly investment projects are being delayed, and other sectors are also affected, notably services, tourism, and construction.  

 

Moreover, after a long period of stability during the past two years, the Leone has been drastically depreciating relative to the dollar. Unfortunately, both the business community and the average man are paying the high price for the shortcoming of the invisible hand of Adam Smith the father of modern economics. There is one thing when a government is ruling a nation like Switzerland whose population is overwhelming educated as oppose to ruling a nation like Sierra Leone whose population is vastly illiterate. In a country like Sierra Leone majority of the people just believe that it is the governments responsibility to solve every single economic, and political problem whether be it created by nature, man or its the making of the free market economy.

 

The key point that I am trying to address here is the current downgrading of the Leone relative to the US dollar-an issue which is pinching the average man and now the opposition is trying to blame the APC government of President Koroma. 

 

As a concern citizen I felt compelled to educate some of my compatriots who are genuinely ignorant about the macroeconomics affect of exchange rate in a free market society Vis-a Vis Sierra Leone. 

 

I would like those people to understand that there is less the APC government can do to remedy the exchange rate debacle; second, the decline in the Leone relative to the dollar is caused by demand and supply.  In economics 101 I was thought that when the demand for an item increases, the price for that item will surely go up and vise verse. In this context, the demand for the dollar has skyrocketed during the past months, consequently two things happened: the dollar appreciated in value, whereas the Leone depreciated in value.  Can the APC government of President Koroma remedy issue of the exchange rate Leone? The answer is no. No matter what one does, currency is going to fluctuate, in Europe, US, Asia and even Africa.

 

In my opinion, the only way to have stopped the Leone from downgrading was to stop the entire world from changing in any way. The truth is no unusual weather, no consumable resources, no changes in population, no changes in fashion, no changes in technology, no changes in medical care, no changes in childbirth rates, no APC government intervention - no changes of any kind could have stop the Leone from depreciating to its current status.   

 

The good news is that according to the July 2009 International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast reports there is a hope for the economy of Sierra Leone: The Real GDP growth is projected to slow to 4 percent in 200910, from 5.5 percent in 2008, and to gradually recover to 6 percent in 2012. Lower commodity prices and healthy domestic food production should continue to ease inflation pressure. Annual inflation is projected to decline from 12.2 percent in 2008 to 9 percent in 2009 and 8 percent in 2010. The balance of payments position is expected to be challenged further in 2009, as export receipts continue to decline steeply, but the trend should reverse in 2010 as the global environment improves.

 

In sum, the APC government has little or no control over the crash down in value of the Leone relative to the dollar, and that the force of demand and supply will self regulate itself. Dont let any one fool you to believe that the government is responsible for the fall of the Leone, regardless which part is in power.

 

In conclusion, despite the unstoppable global economic tsunami that touched every corner of the world, including Europe, United States and Sierra Leone the APC government of President Koroma is still determined and unabated by the negative repercussions of the global crunch. For example, The Doing Business 2010 report that shows Sierra Leone climbed 8 sports to 148 from 156 is a testament to the fact that the APC government of President Koroma is focus and still on track to turn Sierra Leone from a failed state to a hopeful one.  According to the report Sierra Leone made reforms in the following areas: closing a business, paying taxes, getting credit, protecting investors and starting a business.   The APC government of President Koroma deserves an acclamation for the job well done in twenty four months.  

 

Stay tune for part two of the progress report on the APC government of President Koroma-


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