News / Africa

    Sierra Leone Government Targets Economic Transformation

    Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma waves to supporters after voting in the capital, Freetown, November 17, 2012.
    Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma waves to supporters after voting in the capital, Freetown, November 17, 2012.
    Peter Clottey
    Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma’s government has drawn up a 30-year plan to transform the country from a fragile low income state into a middle income nation.

    “As a way of doing that, we have developed what we now call our agenda for prosperity, which is a five-year cascading plan that will lead into an eventual 30-year posterity plan,” said Richard Konteh, the president’s chief of staff. “We are setting up a transformational development plan that will ensure that the returns from our natural resources are not overspent, but to reserve some for posterity, and that we will be able to invest to take care of the people going forward.”

    The prosperity plan, Konteh says, consists of eight main programs to stimulate economic growth. The eight include economic diversification, managing the country’s natural resources, accelerating human development, international competitiveness, labor and employment, social protection and women’s empowerment.

    Public records show that the youth make up about 60 percent of the country’s population. But a majority of them are unemployed and there are fears this could undermine the administration’s economic transformation efforts.

    Konteh says the government is moving to create employment opportunities for the youth.

    “We have set up the National Youth Commission and a separate ministry for youth affairs charged with the responsibility of ensuring that jobs are created for the youth and the interests and concerns of the youth are addressed,” said Konteh.

    He also said the government has plans to build a youth village to train young people how to develop skills needed in the job market.

    “What will happen in the youth village is that we will equip it with all types of possibilities for training so that you can go there get trained so that when you come out you get jobs immediately, either in the mines or on the oil rigs,” said Konteh.

    Some critics have said the government has not been effective in maintaining law and order especially, in the capital, Freetown, and that this has harmed the climate for business investment from both local and international investors. But, Konteh said situation is improving.

    “We have seen the restructuring of the entire security set up of this country and [are] setting up of the office of national security. We also have the intelligence unit set up to ensure that we are getting intelligence information useful for us to be able to take proactive decisions where actions are necessary and we are building the capacity of the police and building other security apparatuses across the country,” said Konteh.
    Clottey interview with Dr.Richard Konteh, the president’s chief of staff
    Clottey interview with Dr.Richard Konteh, the president’s chief of staffi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Abdulai from: USA
    June 14, 2013 10:01 AM
    It’s a shame that after 6 years in power, this president and his gang of thugs have witnessed the scrapping of existing youth programs and the haphazard implementation of development programs handed down from the previous administration. This president has risen from a poor insurance broker to one of the richest West African leaders with all the behind the screens selling of the Sierra Leone natural resources. While the nation has slipped back into massive foreign debt; How does that feature in his 30 year plan?

    For a balanced view on progress made in Sierra Leone, VOA should endeavor to interview the opposition and some average street folks.
    In Response

    by: Tarawali from: USA
    June 19, 2013 1:28 PM
    I agree with you. The leadership of EBK is not one to write home about. no structured program or plan and after enriching himself he now wants to act or look like he cares for the people.

    by: Rev Patrick Wager-Felix from: USA
    June 14, 2013 9:15 AM
    A great plan, indeed. The President is a real Servant of the citizens of Sierra Leone. He seems unselfish. He cares a lot about his people. We will continue to pray for this leader and, for his country.
    God bless Sierra Leone!

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.