Salone Needs A Dependable Technocratic Leader:

In the January 2015 edition of the African Business magazine there is an article on page 10-11 by Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella entitled "How To Power A Clean Energy Future" (http://issuu.com/icpubs/docs/ab_davos_0115/10). In the newly published book by Oxford University Press entitled "Energy Poverty: Global Challenges and Local Solution", edited by Antoine Haliff et al  ( ISBN 978-0-19-968236-2), Chapter 8 of this book is co-authored by KKY and a group of energy experts entitled "Beyond Basic Access: The scale of investment required for Universal energy access". So if you are wondering what will KKY do about energy in Salone read these pieces and also watch video from Davos on January 23  (http://www.se4all.org/2015/01/23/world-economic-forum-press-conference-africa-energy-leaders-group/) as he explains how Africa can deal with the energy access problem. So as you can observe KKY describes the AELG in the first article and then develops it practically, brings the leaders and investors together and launches it in Davos. In other words he goes from vision, to action and then results.

Then if you want to know what will KKY do about agriculture and rural poverty (80 percent of Sierra Leoneans live in rural areas  and live below the poverty line), well KKY and Dr. Kormawa are co-authors of the book "Agribusiness for Africa's Prosperity" published in 2012 and launched around the world. In fact, as guest speaker of the Sierra Leone Agriculture Society in 2012 chaired by Mr. Sanusi Dean, KKY presented the ideas in this book and there relevance to Sierra Leone. In case you want a free down load of the book you can google it, or order it with reference ISBN: 9789211064469 e-ISBN: 9789210548274. These ideas formed the basis for the UNIDO-African Union's Agribusiness, Agro-Industries and Agricultural Development Initiative (3ADI).

If you ask what will KKY do about attracting investments to Salone, here are three examples. Remember what he did for EBK and our people in 2008 and 2012. In 2008, President Ernest Bai Koroma signed his first infrastructure development project, the Kenema-Kailahun Highway in Vienna Austria. KKY organised the event with the OPEC Fund. The S.L.P.P. had done the feasibility studies and most of the negotiating. J.B.Dauda and JOB as Ministers of Finance, and Sheku Sambadeen Sesay (the Financial Secretary and later Governor of the Central Bank) and others deserve most of the credit for this project. KKY persuaded OPEC fund to expedite internal approvals (OPEC fund is based in Vienna), and so the new president was introduced to his first infrastructure project. This singular act by KKY ensured continuity in order to make sure that the people of the SouthEast are not denied a good project because of politics.

In 2001/2002 Mr. James Sanfa Koroma (Bank Governor), Dr. Kadi Sesay (Minister Of Trade and Industry) and the Kabba government organised the first Diaspora Forum to encourage us to invest in our country. KKY flew in from Nigeria to help and facilitated/chaired a session (he was then stationed in Nigeria as UNIDO Representative). This started KKY's long partnership with Dr. Kadi Sesay for various projects in Salone. In 2009, in order to attract foreign Direct investments into Salone, the APC government and DFID organised the biggest investment forum and donors conference our nation has ever seen at Queen Elizabeth House in London. Who was the moderator and star performer of the event? Our own KKY. "One-Country, One-People" means putting the interest of "Salone Fos" irrespective of party affiliation and which government is in power. He skillfully marketed our country and our people with pride and gusto in front of Tony Blair, representatives of DFID, Professor Paul Collier, of Oxford University, Prince Charles, and foreign business leaders. Through his influence UNIDO and BADEA provided capacity building support to the Sierra Leone Export and Investment Promotion Agency for a few years after the London event. We also know that several hundreds of millions of dollars went into Salone in subsequent years.

The most memorable moment of the London investment forum for me was when KKY asked "how come there are no projects for a new airport"? Well, at the request of the President, in mid - 2012, KKY was back in Salone to chair and facilitate all the sessions of another infrastructure investment forum and donors conference with emphasis on "a new airport or a bridge between Lungi and Freetown". Mrs. Strasser- King (President of the Chamber Of Commerce), Dr. Samura Kamara as Minister of Finance, Mr. Olunyi Robin-Coker as private sector adviser, the SL-Society of Engineers and many more remember KKY putting his technical skill at the disposal of our people for this conference.

To transform Salone, we need to go beyond common sense. We need a deeper understanding of what drives economic transformation, the inter-sectoral linkages, the role of public policy and the "developmental state" that creates the enabling environment for entrepreneurship and the private sector to thrive. Our man knows this, can teach it and has been working with other countries to implement these transformative strategies for almost 30 years. Now it is time for Salone to benefit from his vast knowledge and leadership. When we launch his candidacy we will present sectoral plans and visions for every aspect of the economy. Our opponents should challenge us on the vision and policies not the old style name calling (but we are ready for that too). The people should challenge each aspirant on what he/she will do for Salone and its suffering people and not who shouts the loudest, has more cash, or has more thugs (but we are ready for that too). KKY is a leader, a technocrat, and a manager all in one. Salone needs a fresh start.

By Foday Daboh