Monday, September 16, 2013

Sierra Leone Tax-Payers Getting Ready to Fund Official Adventure.

UN New York
New York, the Always busy headquarters of the world's premier international body the United Nations, will be even busier this week as the organization gets ready to host the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, an annual event where world leaders get together to discuss issues they feel is of importance to the future of the world and the destiny of their nations. This year talkative Hugo Chavez of Venezuela will not be in attendance, having joined his brother Muammar Ghaddafi in the hereafter. The Iranian delegation will also be quieter with the exit of Ahmadinejad.

This year the President of the United Nation's General Assembly will be the UN Ambassador of Antigua and Barbados, John William Ashe, who was unanimously chosen by all the 33 GRULAC member states of the United Nations. All the countries of the United Nations are divided into five regional groups. The African Group consists of 54 countries, the Asia-Pacific group has 53 members, the Eastern European Group has 23 members, the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) has 33 members and the Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG) has 28 members plus the United States as an observer. USA voluntarily decided not to become member of any regional group but has observer states in WEOG and only acts as a member to put forward candidates for election in the UN general Assembly. These regional blocks were created to help in the fair distribution of UN positions and prevent domination by nations with deep pockets, though African Group with 54 members still does not have the influence its numbers suggest.
Ernest Bai Koroma
The "World's Best President"

Our country, the poor West African nation of Sierra Leone has become famous over the past 5 years for the size and lavish lifestyle of its UN General Assembly delegations. In 2011 the President Ernest Bai Koroma led Sierra Leone delegation occupied two entire floors of the Hyatt 48Lex hotel where single rooms cost between $1600.00 to $5600.00 a single night, excluding taxes. But as the "World's Best " President, who comes to these occasions with a battalion of admirers, friends and supporters, President Koroma has become popular for using international trips funded by the poor taxpayers of Sierra Leone as an effective tool of political appeasement. It is not uncommon to have Sierra Leone UN Assembly delegates strolling aimlessly through the busy streets of New York gazing in awe at the skyscrapers, with their mouths wide open. Many members of our country's overbloated UN General Assembly delegations, never even see the United Nations during their entire stay, but just use these trips to engage in shopping.
Garbage Pile up in Freetown
The Capital of the World's Best

This year, following rumors that the official UN General Assembly delegation from Sierra Leone will top a record 52 people who will each receive daily allowances (per diem) of four hundred and thirty five dollars, loud grumbling across the country forced a government spokesman, Abdulai Bayraytay to go on radio to refute the allegations. Bayraytay was at pains to emphasize that there were two delegations coming to the USA from Sierra Leone, one headed for the UN General Assembly and the other to attend the Millennium  Challenge Corporation (MCC), which he claims Sierra Leone won last year.  

The world's best Citizens
The American Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent US foreign aid agency that gives aid to developing countries based on pre-established criteria such as good governance, economic freedom and investment in their citizens. Their are two main types of MCC grants, Compacts and Threshold Programs. The Compacts are large five year grants for countries that pass MCC's eligibility criteria. The African countries that won a compact are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ghana, Mali, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Tanzania, Senegal and Zambia. These countries and some non-African countries are receiving over 7 billion dollars in poverty reduction grants. The countries that won a 495 million dollars in Policy Improvement Threshold Programs from Africa are Burkina Faso, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Below is the list of African countries who won the millennium compact and Sierra Leone is missing in action. While spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay may have been talking about some other MCC challenge, he is not being completely liberal with the facts as has become a pattern with the current Sierra Leone government, a government that has become increasingly addicted to the dissemination of embellishments, half truths and the occasional lame brained propaganda. These embellishments and  juvenile propaganda are effective in a country in which over 75% of the people are illiterate and most of the journalists are hoping to become government foreign press attaches, but they are an embarrassment to the image of the country abroad. Below is the list of African countries with MCC programs and I don't know what Sierra Leone won.

Countries in Africa with MCC Programs
Benin Compact
Benin Compact II
Burkina Faso Compact
Burkina Faso Threshold Program
Cape Verde Compact
Cape Verde Compact II
Ghana Compact
Ghana Compact II
Kenya Threshold Program
Lesotho Compact
Liberia Threshold Program
Madagascar Compact
Malawi Compact
Malawi Threshold Program
Mali Compact
Morocco Compact
Mozambique Compact
Namibia Compact
Niger Threshold Program
Rwanda Threshold Program
Senegal Compact
Tanzania Compact
Tanzania Threshold Program
Uganda Threshold Program
Zambia Compact
Zambia Threshold Program

President Koroma is trying to bring a country up that was nearly decimated by ten years of violent conflict. However, his individual flaws as a leader is gradually making his second term a joke. His affinity for sycophancy has led him to surround himself by yes men and praise singers who lack the ability to tell him the truth. Everybody around the President is now an official spokesman, with one saying one thing and one saying the opposite. Alpha Kanu, Abdulai Bayraytay, Sylvia Blyden, Jarra Kawusu Conteh, Titus Boye-Thompson and every single character ambulating the corridors of State House has become an official spokesperson, with no coordination and competing messages.

The large presidential team will travel to New York City on the sweat of the poor Sierra Leone taxpayer for no well defined purpose, while teachers in the country are not being paid. But as the main opposition party so busy with infighting is now a toothless bulldog, President Ernest Koroma can even bring clowns to UN as delegates and he will still be praised as the world's best.


jatatibe11 said...

Wow, an excellent material presented by someone with good insight on what is happening.

Anonymous said...

This is pitiful to say the least
God will surely punish these people
We have seen a lot of wicked politicians end up as paupers - may not be an English word but
What happened to CA Kamara Taylor, mommoh etc etc
Let's all sit and watch

Martina H. Kabba said...

Sheku, this is an excellent and informative presentation about our country. Its rather unfortunate and a shame that Sierra Leone couldn't win anything from the MCC

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