Powell Network Blog

April 27, 2011

Sierra Leone @ 50: A Time for Reflection

Filed under: Uncategorized — medjallow @ 5:22 pm

Sierra Leone, my home country,  celebrates 50 years of independence from the United Kingdom today. Amidst the celebrations of this important milestone, there is controversy.  In an op-ed piece I wrote for Critique Echo, a German-Sierra Leonean newspaper, I argued against the emphasis on celebration, and instead, called for a period of national reflection. I highlighted the monumental task facing the country, comparing life for the average Sierra Leonean today and at independence in 1961. For example, In the year immediately after independence, Sierra Leone’s GDP was $142.73 per capita. If you adjust that for inflation, it would be roughly $1029.88 in 2011.Today; Sierra Leone’s GDP is around $903, a difference of about $126.88.This means that we are significantly poorer now, than we were 50 years ago.

I concluded that it is more patriotic to emphasize stocktaking and learning from our past mistakes with a view of remedying our situation than just putting a focus on celebration. You can read the full article here.

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1 Comment »

  1. Great reflection Mohammed. I think the same could’ve been said to many of the African countries that celebrated independence this past year. More reflection is needed. I remember being at the Nigerian Independence Day parade this year and finding protesters with signage calling out officials about what is going on in the Niger Delta and the countries history of corruption. And now we currently see the debacle that is this years elections. I think the more the younger generation, like yourself, reflects on these issues, the closer to moving forward many countries will go.

    Comment by Ayo Oti — April 28, 2011 @ 12:53 am

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