“No development is sustainable without good universities. The countries that have been able to transform their economies –those in East Asia---place a high premium on education. Their universities are now ranked highly in the global ranking of universities. There is no reason why our premier university, which will be 200 years old in 2027, cannot achieve the same.” (Dr. Yusuf Bangura)
We've been exporting diamonds etc. since 1934. What do we have to show for it?
The population of Sierra Leone has doubled in 40 years, and in another 40 years we will probably be something like 10 million mouths to feed.
If all of the Sierra Leoneans currently out of the country were to return today, the population of Sierra Leone could already be about 7 million.
Many of those who are brained-drained from Sierra Leone had their education funded by the Sierra Leone Govt. I too had a National Scholarship which in my day meant that I was NOT BONDED – and this to me does not seem entirely fair. Dr. Yusuf Bangura sums up the ideal attitude:
“As a beneficiary of state educational grants in the 1970s, I have a very strong urge to pay back my debt.”
President Koroma and Brig Bio could take a serious look at what Dr. Yusuf Bangura says about education here: Exclusive Interview: Dr. Yusuf Bangura Speaks on the Past, the Present and the Future
There are a few obstacles in the way of well-intentioned people, ever returning to Sierra Leone:
People in my part of the diaspora are used to certain basic creature comforts which may be considered luxuries in Sierra Leone: 24 hours a day hot and cold running water, electricity is also one of the givens in Sweden, first class accommodation, state of the art custom built kitchens, all the elements of city civilization ( theatre, cinema, music concerts, opera etc.) and the possibilities of creative living; that's why some people that I encounter in some Sierra Leone forums strike me as coming from another planet, when they start talking about certain things ( themselves/ their exalted positions in this and that country/organisation/ Great University etc. and feeling that poor CH is “suffering" or has no bananas in the bank. Given a choice, with all such possibilities such as being handed the presidency of Sierra Leone on a plate ( what a responsibility!) CH and CH's Better Half, relatives and friends would much prefer that CH continues being the “ dreg-man” that you think he is. So, for those who are perpetually worried about me, I say, please don't worry about me. You would be better off worrying about the 6 million other Sierra Leoneans....
There's dukkha and all that but CH is ashamed to say that he does not remember having ever suffered on the physical/material plane in Sierra Leone or Ghana or Nigeria or anywhere else and CH does not intend to start a life of sufferation any time soon. CH hates CORRUPTION.
I wouldn't say that the "APC has failed in attracting and encouraging diasporans to fill up the brain drain in salone"- or that the SLPP completely failed to improve the living conditions to entice diasporans back home,1996-2007.
We have to look at it as "work-in-progress" ...I just talked to Mr. Tinga Seisay
( uncle to me and to Malcolm Seisay) and we both agree that one of the things that has to be considerably improved is our Health Services, since inadequate Health Services is a factor that accounts for the drained-brains staying away, afraid that the slightest mosquito bite could despatch them to face the last judgement....
If Sierra Leoneans could emigrate to Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa then why should it be more difficult to return to Sierra Leone?
It's not only “the brains” that are reluctant to return and I'm thinking of humble people like myself and others who would like to enjoy some of their retirement benefits in Sierra Leone. Since we are no longer in the boys scouts, very personally speaking and to hell with Love Almqvist & Rousseau and the Noble Savage etc., it would be an ordeal to live without electricity and clean potable water....
Well, some people have strong national feelings and know that not even the Chinese are going to build Sierra Leone for us, we will have to help them....and that there's fierce competition in trying to attract good people. I've posted this here before. Check it out :'Every global citizen should work in Sweden'