New Year message by the leader of the
ruling APC party and President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma
Fellow Sierra Leoneans, the
beginning of every year is a time for reflection on the successes and challenges
of the previous year. It is also a time for renewing our commitments to continue
to tackle the challenges and build upon the successes.
It is also a moment for saying thanks, for showing goodwill, and acknowledging
those who are making it possible for our nation to take hold of its destiny and
live to the true meaning of its motto – Unity, Freedom and Justice.
Fellow Sierra Leoneans, 2009 was a momentous year for our country. Like many
other developing nations, our country had to meet the many challenges posed by
the global economic meltdown.
But with the sound economic policies of my government and the resilience of our
people we weathered the storm. We completed phase one of Bumbuna Hydro Electric
Project; we show cased our country in a consultative conference and a trade and
investment forum that attracted investors from all over the world. Organizations
as varied as the IMF, the World Bank, Transparency International and the Mo
Ibrahim Index have lauded my government’s improvement of the governance and
economic situation in the country.
Investor confidence in our country is being restored. From oil exploration to
iron ore, agriculture and sea transportation, investments are growing. We
deployed more agricultural equipments, tractors, and harvesters to enhance
We continued our construction of highways and feeder roads in every part of the
country. My government put in place robust measures to meet the challenges posed
by the few who were engaged in political violence and armed robbery. We are
fully engaged in the efforts by ECOWAS to address the conflict in our sister
Republic of Guinea.
Fellow citizens, this year, we shall build upon the successes we have made. We
will continue the construction of highways and feeder roads; we will continue to
prioritize the agricultural sector; we will continue to be very robust in the
fight against corruption and crime; we shall continue to more robustly implement
our Agenda for Change; we shall not tire. My government is resolved to transform
Fellow citizens; let us remember that our country is only as good as we Sierra
Leoneans make it. We Sierra Leoneans have many great values; we are second to
none for religious tolerance; our hospitality and openness are lauded by all
those who visit our beautiful country; and our zest for happiness is legendary.
We also have many amongst us who are hard working, honest and self-sacrificing.
We applaud the efforts of the many market women who tirelessly work to maintain
their families; we congratulate the youths who utilized their energies and
creativity to transform their lives; we laud the efforts of the farmer who toil
on the land to provide food for the community; we salute the common man and
woman who finds succor in the contributions they are making towards the
sustenance of their family and community.
We also laud the efforts of the honest public servant who toils to serve the
public interest. My government shall do all in its power to build upon the good
qualities of our people and tackle the negative attitudes that are making it
difficult for us to transform this country.
We have come a long way as a nation. Next year, we shall be commemorating the
fiftieth anniversary of our country’s independence. Since 1961 we have had many
twists and turns as nation. We have established universities, spread education,
built roads, hospitals and dams. We have changed governments through ballots and
through deplorable means.
Sierra Leoneans have also fought wars, engaged in
unjust actions against women and youths, and burnt down villages. But we have
also conducted successful disarmament programs, rebuilt communities, fought
corruption, made great music, and produced world renowned scientists.
We have had both low and high points as a nation. Our duty is to emphasize the
high points and renew our determination to exalt this Land of the Free. That is
my call to Sierra Leoneans in the year before our 50th Anniversary as an
independent nation: let us emphasize our better values; let us make our good
actions triumph over our bad attitudes; let us allow the great thoughts of the
great men and women of our country to inspire us unto greater achievements.
Let us remember Wallace Johnson and fight for the common man and woman; let us
remember Sir Milton Margai and fight for honesty in government, let us remember
Davidson Nicol and fight for educational excellence; let us remember Siaka
Stevens and strive for unity and infrastructural development; let us celebrate
the lives of Madam Yoko and Nancy Steele and stand up for the rights of women;
let us recall the achievements of Salia, Rogie and Ebenezer Calendar and make
Remember that a country is only as great as its people make it. God has
bequeathed unto us a beautiful country, rich in resources and with a remarkable
history. Let us resolve to work harder to reclaim this inheritance, build upon
the good we have achieved, and bestow unto our children a greater nation.
I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2010.
God Bless Sierra Leone