• December 19, 2023

  MCC’s Appalling Re-selection of Sierra Leone

   MCC’s Appalling Re-selection of Sierra Leone
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By Joseph A. Kamanda

The re-selection of Sierra Leone for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact Development Programme has marked another governance failure under the Julius Maada Bio incompetent presidency. Also, Sierra Leone’s re-selection speaks to the facts of considered neglects and diversion of due process of procedures in so many areas in democratic state governance could qualify Sierra Leone for the grant.

Going by what exactly the US government means, from the social media handles of the United States Embassy in Freetown, Sierra Leone didn’t win the Five Hundred Million United States Dollars (USD500M) grant due to democratic state governance in electoral reforms following the June 24, 2023 election among scores of other administrative and managerial inadequacies. The US Embassy’s social media handles urge meaningful electoral reforms as outlined in the agreement for national unity prior to considering the approval of the proposed compact. And failure in meeting these standards to achieve the compact development pact is a setback and huge shame and global disgrace for the country.

A press statement issued last Thursday 14 December 2023, from the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Committee Ranking Member Senator James Risch of Idaho said that after the flawed June 2023 election, the government and its political leaders made a commitment to restore confidence in Sierra Leone’s democratic institutions. The statement continued that considerable work needs to be done by the government of Sierra Leone, and political leaders should meet the required eligibility criteria and actions in the forthcoming months and years, to determine a final outcome including whether the US Congress will approve an MCC compact for Sierra Leone.

Failure by the Bio-led regime to clinch the MCC Compact Development Programme has not come as a surprise, for it is a government that is trying to position itself as if working tirelessly to serve and satisfy its citizens, yet there is glaring lack of basic and necessary social services in the country.

The US government knows exactly what it wants, based on criteria, from developing countries to qualify for the compact grant, and these are the underscored areas of failures by the Bio-led SLPP government.Therefore the re-selection of Sierra Leone does not worth jumping for, nor does it in any way serve as a badge of honour for president Bio and his bunch of failed state leaders being paid in vein from taxpayers’ coffers. So school boy minister Bxh must stop deceiving their sympathizers and followers on social media as that amount of spin can re-paint the picture already presented by the MCC Board of Directors chaired by the US Secretary Anthony Blinken.

Although government received the news with jubilation and described Sierra Leone’s disgraceful re-selection as a mark of increased confidence in actions taken by the failed Bio administration. On the other hand, many see the re-selection of Sierra Leone for the Compact Development Programmes as complete reverse in progress made by previous governments in diverse governance sectors. Thus the Bio government should even be ashamed of itself for making such a statement in the media and their official social media handles. Nobody needs a magician to tell the public and the world over that Bio is an unhappy man at the moment of missing such a huge amount to the tune of USD500M, all because of his government’s deliberate failures in doing the needful democratic and electoral reforms as enshrined in the October 16, 2023 Communique for peace and national unity.

Moreover, for those coming after the US diplomat, Ambassador Brian Hunt of the United States Embassy in Sierra Leone, are missing their targets. The ambassador is aptly on point in underlining the exact areas of failures by the Bio government that caused the disqualification of Sierra Leone for the USD500M grant, the more reason all hands should henceforth be firmly on the dialogue table with heads up moving forward.

Missing such opportunity is unquestionably a critical national challenge, not a partisan political capital at all for either of the parties. All must therefore hold on firmly with sincere and honest political correctness instead of yielding to personal egos and selfish desires. Sierra Leone is bigger than all other entities, institutions or organizations in the country. National interest should be seen as one collectively worth working for progress and development. It is a collective and joint venture which the government, the opposition, particularly the APC, and development partners should not in any way downplay at all.

It would be recalled that Sierra Leone’s proposed Compact progress track trends from December 2020, when the MCC Board of Directors selected Sierra Leone as eligible country to develop a compact programme, after the Board’s re-selection of Sierra Leone as eligible to continue developing a compact in 2021 onto 2022.

In December 2023 Sierra Leone failed to receive full Compact approval and was later re-selected. MCC has stated consideration of the approval of the proposed compact is based on the implementation of the Agreement for National Unity.

So as a democratic country, Sierra Leone must implement democratic and electoral reforms next time to win the MCC compact development programme grant.

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