Acknowledgement Is The Beginning Of A Solution

Transparency International recently released some data which is very embarassing to Sierra Leone.

Check here to see this depressing data http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23231318 and http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2012/results/

My take is, we have to stand up and acknowledge that these things are happening so that we can do something about it. Isn’t that what is said in therapy, acknowledge the problem you have  (whether drink or drug addiction), for that is the FIRST step in resolving it?

I hear people saying only a survey of 1000 were taken and so the report is not relevant??? Was it not the same criteria used for other countries? I guess if the results were good, the same people will have no qualms in accepting it.

If we keep burying our head in the sand, most will be drowned in the mire of corruption, if it hasn’t happened already.

You only have to read recent headlines in newspapers to corroborate this data.

I love Sierra Leone and unless something is done about this endemic corruption, the country is going no where!

Little excerpt from William Yeats “The Second Coming Poem” (Read full poem here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Second_Coming_%28poem%29)

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

…..

I pray we don’t reach the point where even “The best lack all conviction.

Sierra Leone Investment Opportunities – Doing Business In Sierra Leone

Looking for a Sierra Leone investment opportunity? As a person living in Sierra Leone, I can say, I see opportunities everywhere in every sector: be it agriculture, mining, education, health, hospitality, you name it. Now whether these opportunities are viable rests with the individual looking to invest in Sierra Leone. For those – especially of the diaspora -  looking to do business in Sierra Leone, one thing I suggest is pay a  visit if at all possible and see how things are for yourself.

The advantages of coming before investing is a no-brainer! Really, you can’t do “remote control” business  here.

First off, you will get to meet people, find out things like business rates, what you need (licenses, business registration etc) to set you up, the location of your office. For instance, if you are into mining, it’s likely you will spend more time in the provinces than in Freetown, the capital. Same with agriculture. (Although, you might want to retain an office in Freetown). In addition to all this serious business,  you get to sample all the superb beaches Sierra Leone offers in your spare time!

Development in Sierra Leone is picking up. More and more investors are coming. The early bird catches the worm.

For those who need help, my company (Dunamis Ltd) offers help to those looking to do genuine  business in Sierra Leone.

Here’s what we can do for you:

  1. We can help you navigate the Sierra Leone investment scene, put you in contact with the right people and help you get started.
  2. We can also help you set up a company in Sierra Leone or help set up a branch for an already existing company.
  3. We can setup a professional website for your business
  4. We can brand your business and make it well known in Sierra Leone through various media including the Sierra Leone Yellow Pages
  5. We can handle all your customized design & printing needs such as business cards, catalogues, leaflets, banners, t-shirts,keyrings etc

Contact me for more information or if you need references or samples and also if there’s something else you require. Likely, we can provide it or find the right person who can.

 

The Many Faces Of Corruption In Sierra Leone

As I write this, I silently mourn for Sierra Leone. I have never been a country where people in all walks of life actively fight against progress for all. This year has been heralded with the revealing of woeful state of the Public Accounts of various ministries and other government bodies who were audited by the Audit Service. Just last week 29 people were charged to court by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Although, people have been angry to see so much misappropriation of funds, many of those responsible will still be walking free and in THEIR respective posts by the end of this year. Such is the system here, that it beggars belief!

Accusations that will cause people to resign in other countries only cost alleged perpetrators here a few nights of lost sleep. Yes corruption is everywhere, but countries like Sierra Leone CANNOT afford it!

13 Examples Of Corruption

So how do we encounter in our daily walk in Sierra Leone? Let’s get down to what ordinary Sierra Leoneans are likely to encounter:

1. For instance, you go to buy a bag of charcoal, be warned: the seller might put only good ones on the top and the rest of the bag filled with poor quality stuff so that instead of lasting 2 weeks, it may last for just one week, then the cycle repeats itself.

corruption tummySellers of palm oil or anything local may mix it with something else inedible in order to save and make more profit. Be warned. Watch what you eat!

Measuring tins used to measure out flour, rice etc may have tampered with so they measure out less than they are supposed to.

For those who eat cooked kebhabs on the street, beware; vendors being arrested for selling dog meat is not uncommon. Yes DOG meat! Some of the stray dogs they use may actually be riddled with diseases such as rabies. But what do they care so long as they are making money!  This is similar to the horsemeat scandal that has recently engulfed Europe. This shows the human heart is the same.

2. Taxi and Ocada drivers complain all the time that everyday they have to pay the police some amount of money to be able to ply their routes. In fact, if you wish to start such a transport business, you have to pay a bribe to some police of high office so that your driver will not be arrested for no reason. This is not hearsay, I know someone who was affected this way eventually he gave up. Too much hassle for little profit. Who wants to die young?

3. You go to  some restaurants, you may find that your bill has been inflated because the menus have been taken away and you probably don’t remember how much your order cost anyway so you pay up.

4. If you are a restaurant owner, chances are if you don’t keep a strict eye on your staff, they will be selling their own drinks at your restaurant! YES! the day I heard one guy complain of that, I nearly fell of my seat. Whiles your stock of drinks remain…shocking!

5. If you are a hairdresser, watch out, Click Here To Finish Reading… »

Inauguration Pictures – Sierra Leone

Meeting With HE Ghanaian Vice President & Education Minister

This happened on the eve of the inauguration. I was very impressed with both of them. Ayiko, Ghana!

Inauguration Day

Friday the 22nd was a holiday in Sierra Leone as the president HE Ernest Bai Koroma was formally sworn in as President of the Republic. I enjoyed it especially the March past at least the initial bits. For me it was a good day except for the lack of cover even for VIP presidential seats & the delay which caused even some dignitaries to leave before time.

Same thing happened on the 50th anniversary. I think something ought to be done about this lack of organisation and attention to time, as fewer and fewer VIP’s will be willing to come and sit for ours on end in the future….

Five Years On….How Are We Doing In Sierra Leone?

I’ve been all excited today since it’s been exactly “5ive” years today since we landed in Sierra Leone for good!. I remember how sultry the weather felt compared to the cold we had just left in England. There was dust everywhere and excitement in the air for us! We had 14 pieces of luggage with us – 8 suitcases and 5 pieces of hand luggage – All of that were placed in the helicopter which took approximately 7 minutes to bring us to Freetown from Lungi Airport. It was around 12 midnight and the car wound its way through the then busy and bumpy roads of Lumley, Regent Road then into a new life in Sierra Leone.

Now if I recall my first impression well, it was soooo…… dark – no light at that time – and our generator was on 24/7. I remember waking up the next morning and thinking “oh…my it’s so hot the heater has been on all night” hahaha… I had forgotten that we were now in the tropics no more radiators or heaters to worry about. We had our own free heating system – the sun.  Thank God! I always dreaded the dreary winters.

Five years on and I can whole-heartedly say it’s been great, I am glad and thankful to God that we came back! I can’t explain every detail here. We face different challenges in Sierra Leone but slowly and gradually, we have tackled and continue to tackle each of them head-on and overcome them. Each one overcome means a better life and more importantly a better attitude to life. Most of all, I am glad for the help I get in the home. I  don’t have to run around like headless chicken trying to be Superwoman. Yes Life is Good! No Life is Better!

Here are some of the Positive things that have happened since we came:

Click Here To Finish Reading… »

For Laughs

The picture tells the story…. (Courtesy From Eldona’s FB page)

For Laughs

For Laughs

SLPP Campaign Day

Today was SLPP campaign day. For those who don’t know, in order to avoid unnecessary clashes and/or violence, politcal parties campaigning for the presidential elections in Sierra Leone have been allotted different days. Official campaigning began on the 17th of October, a month before election day.

What amazes me is that, I have not seen or heard of any manifesto of any party! No leaflets, no website links, nothing! Is this about who makes the loudest noise and parties the most? What does each political party going to do for us? Is it written on paper, can we see it?  I may be missing something but I thought one uses manifesto to decide who to vote for.

Here are some pictures I took today: Enjoy!

 

Sierra Leone Election Nominations Pictures

There are 10 or so politcal parties, the past 5 days have been nominations and formal registration week. I was surprised to see the number for supporters that turned out  for both SLPP and APC especially. There are roughly 10 or so parties contending in these elections – : APC, SLPP, PDMC, PDP, UNPP, YPP, RUF ,PLP, GAP, NDC. Seeing the partying that has gone on this week, I’m beginning to look forward to how the elections will go.

Here are some pictures I managed to get from the APC float on Regent Road. (By the way, I’m non-partisan, I don’t even have a vote!)

and by the way Regent Road is being revamped….

 

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