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Sengbe
Reply with quote  #1 
The answer to a sustainable governance structure in a very cultural diverse nation such as ours, has been answered a long time ago by KNICE et al since the late 90's on Saro Fora through our on-line discourse on these forums. According to this Sage of a Man, this is the governance structure that best suits us:

"...We must decentralize into a federation of fourteen autonomous District Administrations, along the line of States in the USA. We can fan out responsibilities for most of our basic needs to District Governments, and buy us time to evolve into Sierra Leoneans..."

The reason why we must follow this structure has been delineated theoretically by Sengbe in his "OIL ehn WATA" article on the Bintu in 2011.

We can discuss the pros and cons, or the merits and demerits, of this structure aforementioned until the governors on the ground prove us to be headed in the right direction in seeking a very sustainable governance structure.

I hope you are game, folks.
Sengbe
Reply with quote  #2 
For easy access, here is the link for your perusal:

https://bintumani.forumchitchat.com/post/oil-ehn-wata-5745953?highlight=sengbe

Knice
Reply with quote  #3 
Sengbe, I love you as a relative, but also because you have brains. Sustainability implies a governance structure that no special interests can manipulate to their advantage; a structure in which all voices matter; a structure in which we are resilient enough to survive the follies of any one administration; and above all a structure in which freedom for the individual and the rule of law are paramount. I don't know how long it is going to take. But it is inevitable that Sierra Leone will decentralize along the lines we are advocating. It is our only way out.
Sengbe
Reply with quote  #4 
And the SAGE has spoken again in clarification of the implications of sustainability using the type of governance he has championed for all these years. Need I add more!

If u geh yeye, u nor go see? If u gah yase, u nor go yerri! waytin we day torke bot?

This is the only way out for Saro to be governed effectively in a consistent manner, based on our diverse cultural composition as a heterogeneous nation.

Ar bi we lie!
DMK
Reply with quote  #5 
Whilst I agree in principle with the idea of a federation of districts I worry that these might be too small to be economically viable. If what we are talking about is real devolution with 'semi-autonomous' districts then that might work.

The question then becomes what is devolved to the district level and what remains centrally. I think the defence of the realm should remain a national matter so the military should remain central but the management of the police needs to be devolved. You can retain some national functions such as CID but policing must be by consent and therefore managed by locally elected and accountable politicians.

In this semi-autonomous system I also see tax raising powers being retained nationally, but the share of the consolidated fund that goes to each district needs to be enshrined in a formula in the constitution in a way that means district leaders do not need to go cap in hand to central government for funds. Some thought needs to also be given to who is allowed to borrow money from the global institutions and investors, central or local government or some combination of the two.

A full list of other devolved responsibilities would need to be agreed but at a minimum should include the police, health, education, transport, housing, waste management and management of public spaces such as markets, parks and beaches.


Sengbe
Reply with quote  #6 
So! what responsibilities do you ascribe to the District Governments, in general, and to the Central Government, in particular, in this sustainable DECENTRALIZED system of governance in the nation of Saro?

For me, let me start with the responsibilities the Central Government should adhere to firstly before delving into those that the District Governments should undertake consistently:

1. National Defense: Army/Navy/Air Force?/Police Force?
2. National Healthcare: Hospitals/ National Healthcare Insurance for all.
3. National Treasury: National Income tax
4. National Social Security

The District Governments should undertake the provision of the rest of the other services not mentioned above relative to the Central Government.

What is your take? That is mine for now until I can think of others.

Leh we shaybe the responsibilities appropriately/accordingly for the benefit of ALL in the Nation.
Sengbe
Reply with quote  #7 
DMK, I guess I was writing my latest piece in this thread while you were posting yours, thus the convergence of ideas in the thought process along these lines.

I'd like to add Transportation and Financial Institutions / Banking to the list for the Central Government's service/function to the nation.

Yours?
Sengbe
Reply with quote  #8 
@ DMK

"...Whilst I agree in principle with the idea of a federation of districts I worry that these might be too small to be economically viable..." DMK

Too small relative to the national population? A national population that is commensurate with the population of New York City in the USA? The concept of decentralization in SL is not a novel one; it was practiced to some extent when I was coming up after independence in 1961 under SLPP rule, and during SLPP rule again from 1996 - 2007. Thus, it can be practiced again more elaborately, more effectively, and more consistently in a very sustainable manner if it is properly constructed and enforced in a very rigid way. Thus, the worry about the "smallness" of the districts to be "economically viable" is notwithstanding in this case.

In a national population of about 7 million folks, let us assume that half a million folks reside in each of the 14 autonomous areas / districts under consideration. To me that population distribution is sufficient to be economically viable, especially since these districts are endowed with some sort of homogeneity - culturally and tribally - in their composition.

Like I always state philosophically: we must solidify the pockets of homogeneity in our national population in order to buttress the heterogeneity in our midst for the sake of strengthening the national outlook in development in a very peaceful atmosphere. Oil ehn wata nor day mix, but all man need dem for heathful survival. This is a natural law. Furthermore, the geography of the nation favors the facts inherent in this philosophy.

 "...If what we are talking about is real devolution with 'semi-autonomous' districts then that might work..." DMK

Yes! I believe we are talking about "semi-autonomous districts" and provinces. The order that I envision is: Chiefdom-level; District-level; Provincial-level; followed by the National-level. So such a governance structure will definitely survive beneficially, even more so than in the past under SLPP rule if modified appropriately to meet modern standards. This is NOT a new experiment.

Our rivals in the APC do not favor this form of governance because they are a political party dominated and "ruled" by a minority tribe - the Limba tribe, per se.

WE have always been led to believe that in a DEMOCRACY, the MAJORITY rules. In this governance  scheme /structure we are proposing again, we are postulating a level-playing field for ALL by cutting your coat to fit your size.

For cut you coat according to you size in an equitable manner, norto bad thing.
Aristotle
Reply with quote  #9 
 "To me that population distribution is sufficient to be economically viable, especially since these districts are endowed with some sort of homogeneity - culturally and tribally - in their composition. "  Sengbe


Sengbe,

The economic viability of a region goes far beyond population distribution and cultural and tribal homogeneity.  Economic viability primarily refers to sustainability of market operations.  We are talking about whether the region's projected revenues can be greater than or equal to its current planned expenditures for it to support itself financially.

Although I am an avid supporter of decentralization in Sierra Leone, like DMK, I question the economic viability of some of the districts in Sierra Leone.  How would poor districts like Tonkolili, PortLoko and Moyamba survive in your model of decentralization?

Instead of having fourteen autonomous district administrations representing the twelve districts, the Western Urban Area and the Western Rural Area, I suggest four autonomous administrations representing the Western Area, the Southern Province, the Eastern Province and the Northern Province.  Each of these four areas will be politically governed by a governor.  Additionally, while the nation's monetary policy will be centralized for reason of national economic stability and growth, fiscal policy will be devolved to the respective regions.

 
Korkor
Reply with quote  #10 
Even though decentralization is an attractive idea, it also has cost implications, which the country cannot afford in the present. In fact, it is not even the most pressing need at the moment. What I would like to see or suggest is we improve on the present governance structure, functionality etc. For instance, there should be a clear separation of roles between the executive, judiciary, legislature (and media). Each branch should be able to hold the other accountable. In the current setup, our MPs have failed to hold the executive accountable for its (in)actions in state governance. The MPs have demonstrated lack of understanding of their roles.  A quick-win solution is building the capacity of the next set of parliamentarians (new and continuing) and other legislative staff.    
Knice
Reply with quote  #11 
DMK, I think Sengbe is on a good start to answer your concerns. But let me just give my own take on one of the ideas he mentioned, National Security and how this can be structured in decentralized environment. There are currently three levels of security forces in the country, the army, the police, and the court messenger forces. I propose a fourth, Civil Defense Forces. To explain how this will work, understand that the decentralization I am proposing will have the following levels of jurisdiction:

1. The National Government with a President as Head.
2. Four Regional Jurisdictions, with a Regional Governor as Head.
3. Fourteen District Jurisdictions, each with a District Executive as Head.
4. Multiple Chiefdom Jurisdictions, each with a Paramount Chief as Head.

The President will be commander in chief of the Army; the Governors will command Civil Defense Forces; District Executives will command District Police Forces; and Chiefs will command Court Messenger Forces, whose mandates I propose to expand to encompass more security responsibilities. There is of course much more to this than the skeletal structure proposed here. But discerning eyes can see one immediate benefit: it will limit the potential for coupes! A National Army planning to overthrow an elected government for instance, will have to secure the acquiescence of all four Regional CDF, fourteen District Police Forces; and myriad Court Messenger Forces to be successful. This is virtually impossible. A decentralized security structure is therefore conducive to stability and sustainability. Responsibilities for other critical functions can be allocated along these same lines with similar benefits. 



Sengbe
Reply with quote  #12 
@ Aristotle

"...The economic viability of a region goes far beyond population distribution and cultural and tribal homogeneity..."

TRUE!

"...Economic viability primarily refers to sustainability of market operations.  We are talking about whether the region's projected revenues can be greater than or equal to its current planned expenditures for it to support itself financially..."

TRUE! TRUE!!

"...Although I am an avid supporter of decentralization in Sierra Leone, like DMK, I question the economic viability of some of the districts in Sierra Leone..."

WHY??

"...How would poor districts like Tonkolili, PortLoko and Moyamba survive in your model of decentralization?..."

How can you consider these districts to be POOR? by any stretch of the imagination? Are there not very large deposits of GOLD and IRON ORE in Tonkolili, and Port Loko districts? How about Moyamba district, and her very large deposit of RUTILE in the Mokanji hills. And there not ARABLE lands, rivers, and forests? Brotherman, these districts are not poor.

The lack of resources you imagine that render these districts to be categorized as poor districts, is due to the fact that the natural resources they are endowed with have not been harnessed, and exploited sufficiently to the extent of uplifting them out of the poverty they are experiencing now. If these natural resources are properly harnessed for the benefit of the inhabitants of these districts, and the nation at large, this categorization would be a thing of the past. Please believe me.

But we leave the harnessing of these natural resources to foreigners to mine and harness economically, and they give us crumbs in "taxes" after making exorbitant profits in their sales abroad. Why can we not allow the inhabitants to have the upper hand in benefitting from their God-given endowments? I believe that the concept of decentralization we are discussing at the present time will show them the light, and give them the way to uplift these districts from the poverty under which they currently exist  that you are alluding to. The same goes for all the other sections, chiefdoms, districts, provinces, and the nation.

Bra we nor poe oh na da country. Na the mismanagement of we natural resources mek we tink say we poe. Ar believe say if we devolve the exploitation of dem natural resources to the inhabitants of the areas way dem day, the pipul dem, ehn the nation go benefit more so than the way the exploitation day occur for benefit of the foreign companies way day in-charge now. All that is needed to be done is to find a way for correct this anomaly na the nation. And decentralization is the starting point.

"...Instead of having fourteen autonomous district administrations representing the twelve districts, the Western Urban Area and the Western Rural Area, I suggest four autonomous administrations representing the Western Area, the Southern Province, the Eastern Province and the Northern Province. Each of these four areas will be politically governed by a governor..."

That is a start. A fact that KNICE has elaborated upon, so I will leave it alone for now, due to the fact that I agree with him.

"...Additionally, while the nation's monetary policy will be centralized for reason of national economic stability and growth, fiscal policy will be devolved to the respective regions..."

Okay! Point well taken.
Konouwah Sengbe
Reply with quote  #13 
@ Korkor:

"...Even though decentralization is an attractive idea, it also has cost implications, which the country cannot afford in the present..."

We are here looking into the future, because in the present scheme of governance we have NOT moved up a notch on the development ladder beneficially.

"...In fact, it is not even the most pressing need at the moment..."

Why not? Is every facet of nation-building on the up-and-up in present day Saro? I do not think so.
 
"...What I would like to see or suggest is we improve on the present governance structure, functionality etc. For instance, there should be a clear separation of roles between the executive, judiciary, legislature (and media). Each branch should be able to hold the other accountable..."

Have we been able to do that in the 56-years since "independence" from the Brits? So why do you think your honorable suggestion would bear fruits now?

"...In the current setup, our MPs have failed to hold the executive accountable for its (in)actions in state governance. The MPs have demonstrated lack of understanding of their roles..."

So what is new here? This is one of the main reasons why we are advocating for a new form of sustainable governance to be looked at and implemented in the near future.

"...A quick-win solution is building the capacity of the next set of parliamentarians (new and continuing) and other legislative staff..."

How do you suggest we do that? Please elaborate.    
Macron de la France
Reply with quote  #14 
What have you lot been smoking? As long as the APC and SLPP are the only kids in the bloc we are stuck in the rut. 

Keep on hallucinating!
Sengbe
Reply with quote  #15 
@ Abu Trump/Macron du France/or Whatever:

"...Keep on hallucinating!..."

We are not the ones hallucinating. It is you, who is guilty of the charge.

"...As long as the APC and SLPP are the only kids in the bloc we are stuck in the rut..."

Is this not the main reason we are brainstorming on an alternative form of sustainable governance structure? for the sake of solving the nation's problems?

Yeah! APC and SLPP are from Mars, not S/Leone.

Man, if you have nothing else to do, in terms of contributing positively to this thread, but cry up the same foolishness, do not do it here in this thread.

Now go back to doing what you are foolishly accusing of us of doing. It takes one to accuse the other.
Aristotle
Reply with quote  #16 
Sengbe,

Interesting debate.  I used the term poverty relative to Tonkolili, PortLoko and Moyamba in a relative sense.  In other words, relative to Salone's other districts and areas, Tonkolili, PortLoko and Moyamba are poor.

Also, in a purely economic sense, having natural resources only guarantees initial growth.  If the natural resources cannot be exploited to create wealth you cannot be regarded as wealthy.  This has been Africa's problem especially since independence in the late 1950's and early 1960's.

In Sierra Leone, Tonkolili, PortLoko and Moyamba are not known to be big contributors to the country's gross domestic product (GDP).  And matters have been made worse with the fall of iron ore, bauxite and rutile prices in international markets.

  Thus, it makes all the sense in the world to diversify our economy with less emphasis on minerals and more emphasis on agriculture and tourism.   We have very arable land in Sierra Leone and our beaches rank among the best in the world.
DMK
Reply with quote  #17 
@Knice, I've just been re-reading Peter Tucker's excellent history of SLPP. The powers you describe for the Court Messengers are exactly the powers they used to have post independence. I can't remember if it was Albert or Sheki that changed/reduced their power. Funny how history goes in cycles.

No problems from me for the structures you propose other than the one of cost that @Korkor has already highlighted. All these new structures and office holders will need offices, cars, possibly housing, staff etc. Not a reason not to do this but need to be mindful of the costs.

My initial concern was that a fully decentralised system could end up with regions/districts etc. that are too small to be economically viable. The rest of the world is moving towards supranational structures like the EU (Brexit notwithstanding) to be able to compete with China and the USA. Dividing ourselves up into smaller units would put us at a disadvantage. But a level of decentralisation is urgently needed.

One more change I would like to see is the use of presidential 'Executive' powers limited to only being exercised:
  • in national emergencies or
  • only on the explicit advice of Cabinet or
  • only on the explicit advice of constitutional commisions e.g. the national Electaral Commission, the Commission on Judicial Appointments etc.
  • and never when prior parliamentary approval is required

Presidential Executive power should not be exercised solely at the discretion of the current president as seems to be the case at the moment.

Bureh Yoko
Reply with quote  #18 
In Sierra Leone, Tonkolili, PortLoko and Moyamba are not known to be big contributors to the country's gross domestic product (GDP).  And matters have been made worse with the fall of iron ore, bauxite and rutile prices in international markets.-Aristotle

So what has been the contribution of Bombali and Koinadugu to our GDP?  Dop yopu know you have just stated the reverse?  If I am not mistaken the big GDP contributors are Kono, Kenema,Port Loko, Moyamba and Tonkolili. I don't need to go into specifics with regards to evidence since the facts are clear for all to see. A place like Port Loko is only lacking in fertile soil for growing crops otherwise it is not poverty-stricken as you have claimed.Moyamba and the rest have it all-minerals, fertile soil etc. to invalidate your segmentation.
Hail Mary
Reply with quote  #19 
Instead of concentrating on improving our present day governing system and strengthening democracy there are people clamoring for ways to further destabilize and destroy Sierra Leone.
How will the national resources be divided? Did I hear some greedy folks say the districts where they belong have ownership. Such an idea will invite tons of court cases that will paralyze the nation. It might even lead to war.
I strongly feel that the idea of creating a federation will add to the perennial problems we face in Sierra Leone.
The further you go away from Freetown the less democratic the institutions are and the less educated are the leaders in the communities. The learning curve for democracy and good governance in our communities in the districts is too great. Human rights will be a casualty and so will development under the more corrupt communities of the provinces 

The Airport trumps
Reply with quote  #20 
Could any one quantify for me the amount of Money DELCO of Port Loko contributed to national coffers in the 70s? It is not to far fetced to hint of a nexus beween the demise of DELCO in the 70s and the gradual deterioration of Sierra Leone's economy since.

Apropos Lungi Airport. Sierra Leone's only international Airport is not in no man's land. It is rather located in Port Loko District. Any taker to quantify its contribution to the country's GDP?
KL
Reply with quote  #21 

Someone once wrote:
"A true commitment to democratic values, where the leadership believes in the genuine empowerment of the masses, is critical to the effective performance of a decentralised system."

Also, in a purely economic sense, having natural resources only guarantees initial growth.  If the natural resources cannot be exploited to create wealth you cannot be regarded as wealthy" (As stated by "Aristotle")

This has been my point over the years whenever this topic of decentralization comes up. We alwaus pretend that national leaders are the only corrupt ones. Fact of the matter is that corruption in Salone has no boundaries.  The common citizens are as corrupt, if not more, than the average politician and regardless of tribe, party, district or region. 

Having said that, proposing decentralization without the required infrastructure is like having old wine in new bottles.  We must first focus on the characters of the people we elect into office. Electing people because of tribal and political affiliation will sustain nothing and that includes decentralization.  And by the way, I am impressed by the forumite that suggested regional decentralization rather than districts.

 

Sengbe
Reply with quote  #22 
@ Aristotle:

"...I used the term poverty relative to Tonkolili, PortLoko and Moyamba in a relative sense.  In other words, relative to Salone's other districts and areas, Tonkolili, PortLoko and Moyamba are poor..."

Well, let us find ways to uplift these districts from poverty in the relative sense you have alluded to: if DELCO succeeded in extracting iron ore from Port Loko district in the past very profitably, why can we not find ways for this district to rebound so profitably at the present time and/or into the future?

If Tonkolili is relatively poor, and there is a massive heap of GOLD and IRON ORE in the land mass, why cannot we find ways to extract these natural resources from the Earth, refine, and add value to them, and sell them on the global stage so that their relative poverty is a thing of the past? Why do we leave it to others from foreign lands to conceive, and implement this notion to the detriment of the inhabitants and the nation? If the land mass in these districts is very fertile, as I know they are, why can't we mechanize the farming activities in order to produce our staple foods for national consumption and exportation a la SLPMB in the past? We always leave it to others to do the woke and expect us to benefit profitably in a grandiose manner. We must find ways to do the woke ourselves in order to create wealth to sustain our livelihoods in the best possible ways. By doing so, we create employment opportunities for the inhabitants as well. 

How u go geh koppor under u baid ehn cry hunger? Norto foolishness da wan day?

"...Also, in a purely economic sense, having natural resources only guarantees initial growth.  If the natural resources cannot be exploited to create wealth you cannot be regarded as wealthy.  This has been Africa's problem especially since independence in the late 1950's and early 1960's..."

Initial growth is the precursor to sustainable wealth growth, if the natural resources can be extracted, and value added, wealth is created sustainably through sound management and business practices if the process is sustainably continued in this sound manner.

"...In Sierra Leone, Tonkolili, PortLoko and Moyamba are not known to be big contributors to the country's gross domestic product (GDP)..."

I am quite sure you are talking in the present tense, and not the future tense. So if this is an established fact, does it mean that this anomaly cannot be changed for the better? I am advocating for a brighter future for these districts, as well as all the other districts.  

"..And matters have been made worse with the fall of iron ore, bauxite and rutile prices in international markets.Thus, it makes all the sense in the world to diversify our economy with less emphasis on minerals and more emphasis on agriculture and tourism. We have very arable land in Sierra Leone and our beaches rank among the best in the world..."

Still talking in the present tense; are these prices going to stay low forever and ever amen, for these minerals? Reason we must endeavor to extract them and add value to them. Not only to sell these raw materials on the global market without adding value. We must find ways of doing so.

Let us delve into the near future, and find these ways and means at the present time for a very bright future to be richly endowed on this small nation in West Africa. We MUST be motivated to do this, perhaps not our generation presently, but future generations must implement these notions. We seem to be too laid back and expect massive changes to occur without our fundamental participation as the case should be.
Sengbe
Reply with quote  #23 
@ Aristotle again:


"...Thus, it makes all the sense in the world to diversify our economy with less emphasis on minerals and more emphasis on agriculture and tourism..."

I agree with you about diversification. But how can you put less emphasis on minerals when we geh borcu in the land mass? Can we not simultaneously put emphasis on the exploitation of ALL of our God-given endowments since we are such a "poor" nation? We must find the ways.

 "...We have very arable land in Sierra Leone and our beaches rank among the best in the world..."

But what have we done with these facts in the past and presently? Based on our collective ineptitude in management in economic advancement, and natural calamities, are the tourists not running away from our land?

We must find ways of obviating these negativities. A new form of sustainable governance will help us do that. This is the main thrust of this thread.
 
Sengbe
Reply with quote  #24 
@ Hail Mary (mother of Yesu?):

"...Instead of concentrating on improving our present day governing system and strengthening democracy there are people clamoring for ways to further destabilize and destroy Sierra Leone.
How will the national resources be divided?..."

Has the present-day governing system worked very well on behalf of the nation in 56 years? If not, why not? It is foolish to follow the same process continually, and expect different/successful results, AFK. Do you not agree?

Who are these people who are ''clamoring for ways to further destabilize and destroy Sierra Leone", AFK, the APCerian? Please mention their names, or their tribal affiliation(s) as you are known to do in the past. Bra if one form of governance nor woke, we nor for try new one? Especially since the "new" bin don woke in the past.

I know why you are so apprehensive about this change we are proposing here: your APC party is led and dominated by your minority LIMBA tribe, and you do not want to shaybe the goodies in an equitable  manner, as y'alls have been doing disadvantageously toward other tribal affiliations in the past. So you want to maintain the status quo. But where has that mentality got the nation to? BACKWARDNESS and lack of UPWARD MOBILITY nationally into modernity. Bra how unu SELFISH so ba?

Well the national resources will be divided nationally, through "cutting your coat according to your size". Through how much you contribute to their extraction, as far as their location is concerned; through how much you contribute in value addition for gainful profitability. 

"...Did I hear some greedy folks say the districts where they belong have ownership..."

As in the past, no "greedy folks" are advocating that they SOLELY own these minerals as your warped imagination is leading you to believe. But must they be allocated equitably in the mode of babu woke monkey eat ? Me nor think so oh, bra. This attitude portends the perpetuation of LAZINESS in the land.

"...Such an idea will invite tons of court cases that will paralyze the nation..."

BULLSH-T!!

"...It might even lead to war..."

So what is new here? Remember the period from 1991 to 2002 in the history of Saro? What happened?

"...I strongly feel that the idea of creating a federation will add to the perennial problems we face in Sierra Leone..."

And the "perennial problems we face in Sierra Leone" have been solved in 56 years since "independence"?

"...The further you go away from Freetown the less democratic the institutions are and the less educated are the leaders in the communities..."

Did you read the thread about using ICT to improve the literacy rate amongst our folks that I initiated? Apparently not. Has this improvement been facilitated in the current state of governance by your APC? Will it ever be improved? I believe not, because that is how governance by your political party is usually sustained; through gross illiteracy amongst the nationals in the population; mismanagement of the economy, etc. We must endeavor to find novel ways in obviating these national problems.

"...The learning curve for democracy and good governance in our communities in the districts is too great..."

Has that learning curve been lessened ever since your misrule in governance for all these years? 

"...Human rights will be a casualty and so will development under the more corrupt communities of the provinces..."

What party is the MOST guilty and responsible political party in the "casualty" you have invoked in human rights"? Not the SLPP, I am sure. Prick your conscience fors bra.

Den say leh the oodat way ugly go fetch wata; babu begin cry. U na babu na yah?
DMK
Reply with quote  #25 
The main reason we end up inviting foreign companies to extract our minerals and we do not add value to them before exporting is costs. It costs something like $300-400 million to set up a small steel mill that can convert sufficient ore into steel to be profitable. This does take into account the actual cost of mining and shipping. We just don't have that kind of ready cash.

We could borrow the money but the experience of government running these enterprises is not a happy one. There will be far too much political interference and diversion of funds to other 'priorities' for this to be viable.

Some sort of public private partnership of mining is the way to go rather than the current system of licensing alone. In some African countries, on being awarded a mining licence, as well as paying a royalty of between 3-15% on all exports, a percentage of the company (typically 5-10%) is also automatically transferred to and owned by the state as a condition of getting the licence.
Aristotle
Reply with quote  #26 

"If Tonkolili is relatively poor, and there is a massive heap of GOLD and IRON ORE in the land mass, why cannot we find ways to extract these natural resources from the Earth, refine, and add value to them, and sell them on the global stage so that their relative poverty is a thing of the past? Why do we leave it to others from foreign lands to conceive, and implement this notion to the detriment of the inhabitants and the nation?"  Sengbe


Sengbe,

Extracting natural resources (especially minerals) requires human capital (skilled labor), physical capital (machines) and technology/technological knowledge.  Sierra Leone is lacking in these factors of production, hence we have to contract with foreign interests/companies.

That we do not have the aforementioned factors of production to sell to foreign interests/companies operating in our country means that their operations in Sierra Leone have little or no effect on exchange rates between the Leone and the major currencies of the world.  

Therefore, it is not surprising that the Leone would continue to depreciate against the major currencies of the world.  A nation’s currency only appreciates against foreign currencies when there is a demand for its goods and services in international markets.  This is not always the case with Sierra Leone.   

Moreover, that we have an abundance of natural resources but are bereft of physical capital (machines) and technology/technological knowledge to sell to foreign entities extracting our minerals means that the only way that we could benefit from the extraction of our minerals is through taxation.  

But as you may well know, taxation in our minerals sector is mired in corruption as unscrupulous politicians are ever so ready to collude with foreign entities at the detriment of the country.  Reliable sources intimate that Sierra Leone only has a 3% tax on the diamonds mined by a certain foreign company in the Eastern province.  Ludicrous.

Lastly, I think it is important that this debate be pursued in the context of the objective realities of the present world economic order. Accordingly, international economists generally agree that among the dynamic benefits that result from industrial production are an increase in human capital stock (skilled labor), higher and more stable prices for a nation’s exports and higher income for its people.

However, since developed countries specialize in manufactured commodities while developing countries specialize in primary commodities, most of the dynamic benefits of industry and international trade go to developed nations.  What this means is that developing and undeveloped countries like Sierra Leone will not only remain poor but in fact will continue to remain dependent on developed countries.  This may sound pessimistic but it is the reality of the world that we live in.

Sengbe
Reply with quote  #27 
Here we go again!

Excuses! Excuses!! Excuses!! galore: "we do not have the means, the know-how, the technology, etc., etc., etc." But we have the land, do we not?

How long has the extraction of the minerals in Saro been going on? Many, many, many years.

SLST started mining diamonds in Yengema, Kono, in 1932 until the late 60's. How long ago was that? That is 85 years ago. Who were the real miners? Saro people. Did we NOT learn anything about the intricacies of mining from that Company in all those years?

The SLST was replaced by other mining companies, where the foreigners did the "white" collar work, and the natives did the "blue collar" work.

Focusing only on diamonds for now: who mines alluvial diamonds in Saro with the most basic technology involved for all these years? The natives, that is who.

Who went to war of plunder for 12 years over the acquisition of diamonds; the RUFfians / Saro pipul?

What I am trying to state is that we may not have the sophisticated technology and management skills to extract, and refine our natural mineral endowments at the present time because we did not, and have not planned to take over these functions by ourselves. We still depend on foreign companies to do so on our/their behalf.

Look ye here! fellows: if I was in charge, I would offer the technological training to our nationals, and provide the wherewithal, and the infra-structure, for them to be capable of extracting, refining, and producing value-added goods in these domains for the benefit of the nation through very sound management practices.

It is NOT too late, due to the fact these endowments are still beneath the Earth in the land mass of Saro. Let the training begin today, not tomorrow at the present time. Let us forget about what has NOT been done in the past/yesterday. Let us correct the inadequacies, and look into the future for the next generations, since ours have failed.

EDUCATE and TRAIN the young ones into believing that they'd be qualified to take over the extraction and exploitation of their natural endowments for the benefit of their nation very beneficially.

Remember, the educational horse pulls the developmental cart. Thus, we must invest in their education very handsomely. Do we need to borrow $400 million from China to build a new airport in the same district, when FBC is in shambles? Our priorities seem to be misguided. Are these misguided priorities going to continue into the future, as it is now in the present tense? Can we not change?

I know all about the challenges faced by the nation in terms of CORRUPTION, and the other national maladies that preclude our developmental strides.

But way the merecine way for curb and eliminate these national cankerworms in our collective attitudes?

DECENTRALIZATION seems to be the sugar merecin, in my opinion. Na dat mek we wan for prescribe ahm na ya for future consideration, so that we go start for minimize or eliminate we bad habit way day preclude we from national development.
Claude Awoko
Reply with quote  #28 
Sengbe,

The easiest thing anyone can do is to stay in America for over forty years without ever visiting poor Sierra Leone and to be pushing the keys of a computer with wild dreams of a Utopian society in Sierra Leone.

"Look ye here! fellows: if I was in charge, I would offer the technological training to our nationals..."  Sengbe

So get up and go to Saro!!!   What are you still doing in America with such brilliant ideas that no other Sierra Leonean possesses???
Sengbe
Reply with quote  #29 
Bra lef me sarful! Nor cam fen me plaba na ya so jisnor.

Norto America mek ar day think along these lines ya so?

Oodat na you! for tell me for go Saro, when no opportunity nor day for mek ar do me woke quite effectively as ar able do ahm oosai ar day so na America for all these many years?

Unu kin jus torke empty torke, for mek den notice say yusef don torke na the thread. Norto America, or abroad you day?

Na way ar care bot me homeland na dat mek ar day write for hep solve national problem dem from afar. Waytin u don do, or day do? Nor lie tell me say; ar day u day on the gron na Saro.

Ormoss Diasporan Saronian unu don gee opportunity for contribute to nation-building? Norto mass unu day mass dem becus den wan do good according to the law, but unu wan continue pan unu corruptive activities so that the majority of the inhabitants go stay in poverty and illiteracy.

Right now na me haide/brain-power, fingers, ehn keyboard gee me the freedom ehn opportunity for mek me yone contribution to national development.

How u day mek you yone contribution?

Anyway ar nor go respond to foolish borbor lek you again!

Borgeddor bui!! Yop twa, yor mat!! N'sofali nyarkeh!!! 

Foolish borbor lek you! Go sidom sarful yah!!
ABK
Reply with quote  #30 
Sengbe you are full of excuses. With all the baskets full of knowledge you claim to have you are the last individual expectwd to complain about lack of opportunities in the homeland. You should be creating opportunities.  
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