The resilience of our forefathers was the driving force that led to the April 27th 1961 independence declaration for Sierra Leone by Great Britain. However, the nod from our colonisers for our country’s sovereignty was by no means an afterthought. It was a dictate of the time. Imperialism in its strict sense was losing ground.

The emergence of an African group of elites and their desire for self-rule as well as a revolutionary wave for self-determination across the world were by no small means major contributors to African independence. Therefore, when Sir Milton Margai, the man who was to become our Prime Minister returned home to the cheering of multitudes, there was hope for a wealthier and progressive nation and at that time, seeking for self-rule was probably the bravest move by anyone wishing to impress and leave a lasting legacy. So, the entire country was united behind those men and women and women who stood up for our independence. 

60 years later, we shall keep asking ourselves; are we there yet? The answer is a resounding NO!! Today, many believe that total independence goes beyond the freedom to determine your political destiny or pathway. Political freedom is a fantasy when your survival is still pegged on your ability to constantly appease the neo-colonialist agenda. In an increasingly competitive world, we have remained perennial economic toddlers always waiting to be breastfed.

We gained political independence, hurray!! But until I see my country deciding to build its health infrastructure, engaging in large scale mechanized faming, converting its raw materials into finished products to attract more foreign exchange and negotiating trade deals without giving a hoot about IMF implications, our so called “independence” shall remain a phantasmagorical conjecture.

Restoring hope to this state of hopelessness is a bright possibility when we effectively marshal our God-given resources for the good of all. The need to work harder is of existential relevance to anything we do to attain economic independence. Africa is the only continent that produces what it does not consume but consumes what it does not produce. Reversing this trend is as important as our economic freedom. This is just what we need!!

As we welcome the new American Ambassador and thank the new US government for reversing the visa restrictions on Sierra Leone and other countries, we wish to emphasize the need for a realignment of US-Africa trade relations. There are opportunities for both parties –a win-win situation. We believe it’s about time Sierra Leone and the rest of Africa redefine their relationship with the greatest nation on the planet to tackle the problem of youth unemployment, the economy and trade.  This will be broadly dealt with in our subsequent editions. Meanwhile, enjoy your stay Mr Ambassador.       

Readers, in this special Independence edition, we reminisce across generations (the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s) and such sectors like sports music and law. With a narrative from the government and views from prominent opposition voices, we thoroughly examine the third anniversary of President Julius Maada Bio’s leadership of the state – in key areas like education, the fight against corruption, good governance and the economy.

Examine former President Ernest Bai Koroma’s advocacy for and African Peace Engineering Corps, the aftermath of the Susan’s Bay fire disaster and many more.

Happy 60th Independence Anniversary and Congratulations to all Sierra Leoneans!!

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