Groundbreaking announced for Sierra Leone temple; site location, rendering also released

The First Presidency has announced a groundbreaking date for the Freetown Sierra Leone Temple, with a site location and exterior rendering for the temple released at the same time.

The date, site and rendering were published Wednesday, Dec. 15, on Newsroom.

Elder Hugo E. Martinez, president of the Church’s Africa West Area and a General Authority Seventy, will preside at the groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, March 19, 2022. Attendance at the event will be by invitation only.

President Russell M. Nelson announced a temple for Freetown during October 2019 general conference, one of eight locations identified at the time.

The Freetown Sierra Leone Temple — planned as a single-story building of approximately 18,000 square feet — will be built on a 2.9-acre site located at Jui Road, Kossah Town, Freetown, Sierra Leone. A two-story ancillary building will contain an arrival center, patron housing, presidency apartments, ordinance worker apartments and utility buildings.

Map of the site for the Freetown Sierra Leone Temple.
Map of the site for the Freetown Sierra Leone Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Africa is home to five currently operating temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the Accra GhanaAba NigeriaKinshasa Democratic Republic of the CongoJohannesburg South Africa and Durban South Africa temples. Another three temples are under construction — the Abidjan Ivory CoastNairobi Kenya and Harare Zimbabwe temples.

The Freetown temple is one of 10 Africa temples announced but not yet under construction. The other nine are the Antananarivo Madagascar, Beira Mozambique, Benin City Nigeria, Cape Town South Africa, Kananga Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kumasi Ghana, Lagos Nigeria, Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of the Congo and Monrovia Liberia temples.

The Praia Cape Verde Temple, under construction on that island republic some 500 kilometers off the coast of West Africa, is assigned to the Church’s Europe Area.

More than 21,000 Latter-day Saints in approximately 70 congregations reside in what will be the Freetown Sierra Leone Temple district.

Sierra Leone cement factory ownership changes hands

HeidelbergCement has signed an agreement to sell its subsidiary Sierra Leone Cement Corporation Ltd. (Leocem) to the Diamond Cement Group.

HeidelbergCement holds 50% of the shares in the company and has full management responsibility.

The sale includes a cement grinding plant with two grinding mills. The plant is located in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown and has a capacity of approximately 500 000 tpy.

The divestment is part of HeidelbergCement’s ongoing portfolio optimisation and margin improvement programme within its ‘Beyond 2020’ strategy.

In West Africa, HeidelbergCement will continue to focus on its core markets in Ghana, Liberia, Togo, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Gambia.

Sierra Leone: Vice President Launches National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Center 

Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has launched the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Center, an initiative intended to be a community instrument for solidarity, essential for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts besetting West Africa.

He assured the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, of the country’s ability to handle the center, especially for its intended purposes, adding that the infrastructure already was equipped enough to be able to help it work efficiently.

The 15-member regional group, in January 2020, announced the move for the establishment of a national centre for the coordination of early warning and response center in Sierra Leone as a proactive measure to address regional challenges in responding to such problems as climate change, security and health issues.

Addressing the meeting, the President of the Commission of ECOWAS, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, said they had decided to establish the center in all member states and that he was pleased to be in the country for the same launch.

He went on to reiterate that the center was to manage crisis, manage information prior to crisis and to prevent crisis from happening. He noted that the establishment of the center would help the country to have stability in terms of peace and security.

He also disclosed that the ECOWAS Commission had taken up the responsibility to fund the center for the first year of its establishment.

Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr Francis Kai Kai, and in charge of the center, said he was pleased that Sierra Leone had joined other member states in the coordination and management of health and security crises.

“I want to commend the astute leadership of President Julius Maada Bio for giving his full support in ensuring the center is established,” he noted, adding that he was also appreciative of all key stakeholders and donor partners for their tremendous support to the process.

Head of European Union delegation in Sierra Leone, Ambassador European, Manuel Mueller, said the establishment of the center was laudable and would contribute to promoting the development of the country.

Sierra Leone: President Bio Launches US$156 Million New Global Fund Grant to Strengthen Healthcare Systems, Boost COVID-19 Responses

Sierra Leone President Dr Julius Maada Bio has launched a $156 million new Global Fund Grant to strengthen healthcare systems and the control of Malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and the new Delta Variant of the Covid -19 pandemic in the country.

The Global Fund is a partnership designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, Tuberculosis, and malaria as epidemics. The Fund was created in 2002 to support programs run by local experts, including governments, civil societies, technical agencies, the private sector, and people affected by the diseases. Since 2004, the Global Fund has invested over $347.3 million in Sierra Leone.

Its Executive Director, Peter Sands, thanked President Bio for his leadership in the fight against COVID-19 and praised his commitment to being the co-funding partner in the fight against Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and the current scourge of the Coronavirus. He added that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Catholic Relief Services, CRS, were the two main principal recipients who would work alongside other sub-recipients to roll out the 2021-2024 programme of the Global Fund.

Peter Sands further noted that in 2004 Sierra Leone received the first Global Fund grant and since that time the country had continued to benefit immensely from the Fund in the response to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and malaria, adding that they had enabled the country fight those three diseases. 

“Significant results have been achieved through the Global Fund in Sierra Leone. The ambitious target would have great implication on the people to build a prosperous future for the country,” he told the meeting.

Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr Austin Demby, said it was a special day in the relationship between the government of Sierra Leone and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, adding that as the principal recipient of the Fund, his ministry was determined to intensify surveillance and epidemiology efforts to better understand the burden of HIV infections in the country, to reduce stigma, and to intensify efforts towards attaining the 95/95/95 goals and epidemic control of HIV.

The 95-95-95 strategy was announced by UNAIDS in 2014, aiming to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 by achieving 95% diagnosed among all people living with HIV, 95% on antiretroviral therapy among diagnosed, and 95% virally suppressed among treated.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to working with our partners to set ambitious targets and associated metrics to measure progress gained in the march towards the global goal of TB elimination by 2035,” he assured.

President Julius Maada Bio noted that in spite of disruptions occasioned by COVID-19, he believed that it was possible to get back on track in the country’s fights against the burdens of HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria, noting that getting back on track would require significant resource mobilisation.

“That is why my Government has been working hard to establish strong partnerships with reputable institutions and donor partners around the world. One such partner is the Global Fund.

“I am also pleased to further inform you that the Government of Sierra Leone has committed additional funding of $9,465,377 (Nine Million, Four Hundred and Sixty-Five Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy-Seven United States Dollars) as counterpart funding to fight HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and Health system strengthening for the period spanning financial year 2021-2024,” he said.

The President further reiterated the fact that the Global Fund had been the largest investor in grants to build resilient and sustainable health systems in the country, adding that their investments in tools, systems, health workers, and laboratory resources were underpinning the government’s COVID-19 responses and other disease burdens in the country.

“Be assured that Sierra Leone will continue to be a strong ally in all your high-level advocacy campaigns for strengthening health systems,” he concluded.

‘It’s certain that more landslides will happen in Freetown’

James Gray and Alejandra Garcia in conversation with Kathryn Goodenough and David Boon

Photo courtesy: British Geological Survey. Cover graphic: Sunil Krishnan

Kathryn Goodenough and David Boon of the British Geological Survey (BGS) are perhaps more intimately familiar with the lay of the land in Freetown than most Freetownians.

Boon, an engineering geologist, had just completed a review of landslide hazard and risk in the Freetown Peninsula for the World Bank-ARUP when the catastrophic mudslides of 14 August 2017 occurred. Goodenough, a principal geologist, flew in a few days later on a planned trip for a UK Aid-funded capacity-building project. The presence in the country of these experienced geologists (Goodenough and Boon have clocked 20 and 15 years at the BGS, respectively) at this critical time was fortuitous, and their skills were quickly put to use. 

“We were asked by the UN team to review satellite imagery to actually map out where landslides had occurred across the Freetown peninsula, and then, feed that information back to the people on the ground because they may not have discovered all the landslides that had occurred in the more remote areas,” Boon said. Following this, the scientists were also part of on-the-ground efforts led by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to gauge the stability of the slope and to give recommendations to pre-empt future disasters in the area.

On the fourth anniversary of the mudslide, Goodenough and Boon spoke to Tie u Orja’s James Gray and Alejandra Garcia on how landslides develop, the risks of geological disasters in Freetown, and the complexities of finding solutions.  Edited excepts:

On the causes of mudslides

David: The main causes are generally a combination of a steep slope, weak geology, and water. We often think of rocks as kind of hard. But in reality, a lot of the rocks we have under our feet are actually quite soft and weak.

Water plays a very important part for causing landslides. As it falls on the slope, some of it will run over the slope, some will drain into the slope. That water makes the soil heavier. When they’re water saturated, your trousers get heavy. The same is true of a slope. So that increases the stress and the pressure and makes that slope want to break apart and fail.

You also have a trigger, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Sometimes it can be quite a minor thing like water level in the ground rises, or often it’s a rainstorm like it was in Sierra Leone. It can be earthquakes. Sometimes the cause can be humans, even someone digging a hole in the wrong place on the slope, or cutting into the slope to build a road or railway. A river eroding away at the bottom of the slope can also destabilise the soil.

On why the death toll of 2017 mudslide was high

David: The main reason was that people were living directly in the firing line and it was early in the morning, when people were still at home. The landslide was not enormous, but it was several hundreds of metres wide, and the source area––the area that initially moved––was several hundreds of metres long. Then what happened, we think, was that the soil that got initially moved broke up on the slope. It got mixed with the water that was pounding down the valley, which was bowl-shaped. It created a very mobile flow of soil during a rainstorm. The landslide then went into a channelised river or a gully system and ran out seven kilometres to the sea. And anyone living within that area was impacted. The other thing was the vulnerability of the buildings… soil moving in a landslide is incredibly destructive and abrasive, and was full of very large boulders. Some of them were the size of a bus.

Kathryn :  The nature of the peninsula, the topography, the geology means that there will always be landslides. The difference with this one was that there were a lot more people in the path of the landslide.

On deforestation, urban planning, and landslides

Kathryn: On that day, there were several landslides across the Freetown peninsula and some of them were in forested areas, including up at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Landslides have occurred around Freetown peninsula in the past too, when it was all covered in forest. So, you have to be careful about saying that deforestation is the cause. It perhaps means that there is less natural protection, but it’s not necessarily a cause…

On poor urban planning, I think it is important to remember Freetown topographically is very steep. It has quite particular geologies that we know have specific plains of weakness in them, but there’s no immaculate geological map to tell you exactly where the problem areas are.  I think you can’t necessarily say that it’s poor urban planning, and that’s that—because it’s not necessarily the case that the information is all there to inform the urban planners. So, there is undoubtedly a need for more sound data. Is that fair Dave?

David: Yeah, we do see evidence that landslides were occurring in areas that had virgin rainforest on them. But I would say that they’re more likely to occur on deforested slopes… Having forest there reduces the amount of water that gets through. It’s a buffer, so it slows down the transport of water to the ground, and if you can slow that down, it would reduce the triggering effect.

The problem is that people more and more are building up onto those slopes and living within those catchments. The actual danger of the landslides themselves, what we call the hazard, is probably about the same as it was 50 years ago. But the exposure is higher because people are living in the way now.

Kathryn: It’s a complex system of understanding where the hazards are––which isn’t fully mapped in Freetown. It’s being able to do the planning better, and then it’s ensuring that people can actually [afford to] live in the areas considered to be a lower risk.

On the risks faced by Freetown communities

David: I think it’s certain that more landslides will happen again. The slope that failed is still potentially unstable. A landslide may not happen in exactly the same place, but the worry is that it might happen just to the side of that, where the landslides created a new cliff face, [which] will be unstable because it’s a free face. There’s actually no way of knowing when and where the next landslide will occur. People constructing buildings on slopes need to be educated not to do anything that might destabilise the slopes, such as cutting deeply into the side without some geotechnical advice, or changing drainage provision.

Whatever the hazard is today, it’s probably worse tomorrow, because we have these compounded effects of increased population and climate change bringing more intense rainstorms.

On risk-reduction

David: Learning from the slides that already occurred in 2017 and 1945 you could develop a forecasting and early-warning system, where we say, so much rain has fallen, so today there is a green, amber, red alert for landslides. But that should be underpinned by as good as possible meteorological, geological, and topographical data bound together in computer models. Even then, the risk will never be zero––the best approach is to work with nature, and avoid living and building critical assets in the potential path(s) of destructive landslides.

Kathryn: We’re not talking about things that can be easily done in a short time with relatively small amounts of money. We are talking about long-term research that would need capacity that doesn’t exist in Sierra Leone at the moment.

David: There needs to be an integrated land-use policy and management, and education schemes right across the society. And the funding needed to ultimately make it happen.

On the need for long-term planning and global partnerships

Kathryn: I think the key message is that in Freetown there will always be landslides. The more data you can acquire, whether that is geological, topographical, related to weather, forest cover, where people are living, how their buildings are built—all that kind of information is really important. In Freetown, a lot of that data is not available. So, it’s really important to appreciate that there is long-term problem here. It can’t be fixed quickly, and it can’t be fixed easily.

David: It needs political will over a long period. It needs institutional structures and funding and systems and expertise, and the capacity to run and maintain [all these systems].

Kathryn: It needs political will. Not only in Sierra Leone, but we need global partnerships to really be able to make a difference in this sort of situation. This is not something that Sierra Leone can do on its own.

NOTE: This article was first published on 14 August 2021 on, which works to strengthen disaster communication in Sierra Leone.

Unmaking a mess

Solving Freetown’s garbage crisis is key to managing disasters and disease

By Adebayo Lawrence Thomas and Suphian Bangura

At 6am on a Thursday, Sallieu Bangura, dressed in bright orange regulation clothing, clocked in at the premises of a private waste management company contracted by the Sierra Leone government to collect solid and liquid refuse in Freetown. Bangura and four colleagues work one designated location a day over the course of an eight-hour shift, collecting garbage from some 150 households. Like they do most mornings, they loaded a truck with bins, shovels, and rakes, equipped themselves with protective gear, and drove out of the premises. Today, they are headed to Regent Village, some 10 kilometres away. Bangura earns Le 800,000 (approximately $78) a month. He took up the job some six years for the steady income it offered, because he “didn’t want to sit idle or become a criminal” .

FCC mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

“People look down on us as if we are not human beings,” says Bangura a little later, pulling two garbage bins behind him down Dadley Street in Regent. “They treat us like we are filthy and stinking.”

But Bangura believes in the value of his work. “There used to be piles of waste in some areas around the city, but now we are trying to control it,” he says. “We are helping people practice proper waste management and it has made a huge difference in our city.”

Though critical, the efforts of people such as Bangura are just not enough to overcome the waste disposal problem that is troubling parts of Freetown and contributing to its disaster vulnerability. A report published by Concern Worldwide, an Ireland-based charity that also operates in Freetown, says only 21 per cent of the waste in Freetown is appropriately disposed of, with the remainder, amounting to about 550 tonnes a day, either burned or discarded on the roads, gutters, and waterways. The problem is not just one of hygiene and aesthetics. The garbage choking the already inadequate drainage system is a key ingredient of the rainy season disasters that Freetown has seen in recent years. The combination of trash-clogged drains, intense rainfall, overburdened urban infrastructure, and the proliferation of slums and informal communities — many of which are built with flimsy materials and located in vulnerable areas — has resulted in floods and mudslides displacing and killing thousands of Sierra Leoneans in recent years.

Mustapha Kemokai, Environment and Sanitation Officer at the Freetown City Council (FCC), which oversees waste management in the city, acknowledges that the garbage situation is “extremely tough”, particularly in the wet season. According to him, “a lot of money” is being spent on waste collection, but “people dump their trash in the drains, creating flooding”.

While this may be true, it presents an incomplete picture of Freetown’s garbage challenge. Many people cannot afford to make use of a private waste disposal service, which requires registering for a fee of Le 125,000 ($12), and then paying the same amount each month for the weekly garbage pick-up. In a country where the monthly minimum wage is only Le 600,000 ($48), these costs can be prohibitive for many. In addition, the coverage of the service is limited and does not extend to some of the informal settlements that need it most.

While more affordable alternatives for garbage collection do exist, these too have their limitations. One such initiative is Klin (Clean) Sierra Leone, which is overseen by the FCC. This programme aims to “empower” unemployed youths by recruiting them to collect garbage door to door, using pushcarts rather than trucks, and offering a more flexible pay-as-you-go arrangement.

Abdullai Kamara, who has registered his cart with the FCC, works according to this model. “I push my cart from one community to another, shouting ‘Klin Salone’, and those who want a pick-up call for me. The money depends on the amount of garbage,” he says. Like Bangura, he believes he is helping keep his country clean and “with cleanliness comes development”. Kamara says he wouldn’t mind carrying on in this line of work for the rest of his life. However, even though he handles potentially hazardous waste, he does not have any protective gear to wear during his 7am — 7pm shifts, six days a week. When garbage tumbles free from his unsteady, overburdened cart, he pushes it back with his bare hands.

While the employees of a private company and independent sanitation workers like Kamara may work under radically different conditions, it is worth noting that in a country where there are barely any organised provisions for recycling or composting, most of the garbage they collect ends up at the same location: Kingtom landfill, a vast (and growing) expanse of festering garbage. It is still a better destination than another sprawling site nearby that serves as an informal landfill, and which also happens to be one of the largest and most impoverished shanty settlements in the city.

A few decades ago, Kroo Bay was a fishing village with a relatively clean beach. Today, according to a report by the development organisation Volunteer Services Overseas, it houses around 10,000 people, some of whom live in rickety huts built “upon a layer of garbage… around three to five feet deep, beneath which lies sand”. These congested structures — assembled haphazardly from discarded metal, sticks, rubbish, and mud — lie near an estuary, making them extremely vulnerable to flooding, a problem that is exacerbated by the trash and sewage that is indiscriminately consigned to the river. Every year, for more than a decade, the settlement has faced floods in the rainy season as well as a host of incumbent health risks, such as malaria and cholera, fostered by reeking pools of stagnating water. Sierra Leone’s average life expectancy is just 54 years, and Kroo Bay’s is believed to fall well below that average.

“When it floods here during the rainy season, it’s not just water but trash and all kinds of filth,” says John Bangura, a Kroo Bay resident. This problem extends to many other neighbourhoods in Freetown, which is one of the wettest cities on the West African coast (receiving average annual rainfall of more than 3,500mm) and where a majority of the population resides in slums or unplanned settlements.

Currently, Freetown’s ability to deal with the garbage it generates falls gravely short of the requirements of the people living in slums and in difficult-to-reach parts of the city — as is clearly evidenced in the overflowing garbage cans, mounds of exposed trash on virtually every street block, and makeshift landfill sites on the outskirts of the city. This unregulated trash disposal has ecological, human health, and economic repercussions in most communities.

“Solid waste management in Freetown poses vexing problems such as low service coverage, insufficient budgets, highly inadequate equipment, substantial inefficiencies such as high costs, low quality service, low labour productivity, poor public attitudes, and widespread illegal dumping,” Breda Gahan, a Senior Health and HIV/AIDS Advisor for Concern Worldwide, says. According to her, the waste management system in Freetown has suffered due to changing hands between multiple public and private organisations. “The shifting authorities — the political football — have made handling municipal solid waste in Sierra Leone one of the most expensive urban services, accounting for up to 3 per cent of the country’s GDP and 45 per cent of municipal income,” Gahan says.

Melissa Medegbe, an Environment Officer with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes that the burgeoning garbage problem is rooted in the lengthy civil conflict that wracked Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002. The existing infrastructure was severely damaged during this period, and was later unable to cope with the growth in the city’s population to more than a million currently — a number that is expected to double by 2028.

Given how congested and prone to disaster Freetown already is, the crisis could get a lot worse unless immediate steps are taken to fund and execute waste management initiatives. According to Medegbe, the most important step for now is to bring more regularity in waste management, which in turn will help attract more funding.

“We require more funding and vehicles to manage waste in Freetown. We have a lot of trash, but not enough vehicles to transport it to the landfill… people often just throw their trash into the drains, causing it to flow on to the roadways and creating blockages,” Medegbe says, adding that the road network also needs to be repaired in order to allow free flow of traffic and lessen congestion. “There is a need for additional designated waste transition sites. We have very few now, just about two — and this creates opportunities for illegal dumpsites.”

Cover illustration: Felix Rhodes. Additional reportage: Abdulrahman Koroma

A significant issue in Freetown’s waste management is a lack of awareness among the public, which compounds the problem of inefficient infrastructure. Recognising this, the EPA and FCC have intensified their mass sensitisation efforts, especially in the ongoing rainy season, in the hope that it will create an attitudinal shift in the people and motivate them to dispose of waste properly.

Medegbe believes that Sierra Leone should work with international organisations to holistically address the issue of waste management. Some advances have already been made in this direction. For instance, in 2019, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) gave trash collection equipment — including bikes, shovels, and safety gear — to the FCC for the setting up of 20 sustainable micro-enterprises that would conduct door-to-door rubbish collection in Freetown. Additional initiatives of this nature could help promote better outcomes for waste management.

Re-evaluating waste as a resource could also lead to several gains. According to a UN assessment, 80 per cent of Freetown’s trash could be recycled or composted, but this potential is still untapped. “Currently, there are few organisations into this venture, like Shae recycling, the first indigenous waste recycle company. The advantages of recycling will compel individuals to consider it,” Medegbe says. The energy-generation uses of waste should also be explored, adds Gahan, pointing to a 2014 study that estimated the city’s energy potential at 398.2kWh per tonne of waste — enough to meet the electricity needs of 50 households in one day.

According to Medegbe, the Sierra Leone government should create a supportive framework to encourage public-private partnerships (PPP) geared towards transforming waste into wealth via recycling, electricity- and gas-generation, and creating employment opportunities. “The international community could also ameliorate the situation by collaborating with Sierra Leone,” Medegbe says. Until then, however, the rainy season will continue to be a harbinger of dread in Freetown.

NOTE: This article was first published on 23 July 2021 on, which works to strengthen disaster communication in Sierra Leone.


By P.M. Kamara

The problem about Africa; Salone as a case study; is that we like to imitate others; especially the West. We are told to do this or that; and end up doing nothing. We are led by the nose, cap-in-hand; always begging for more. The most pathetic is that; these leaders: bleed their people white; kill and suppress for power to rule in perpetuity; all in the name of tyranny and despotism; but the West and the rest laugh and glee at them; as big jokers. Museveni is l’etat c’est moi; the sun king of Uganda; who takes relish to terrorize the opposition; kill peaceful protesters; like wanton flies; who merely seek or desire; to speak out for freedom and justice and good governance; or seek better governance tools; or alternatives. So many of them in Africa; from Eritrea to Rwanda to Egypt; to Burundi, Tanzania; down to Salone. Not one single African leader; apart maybe the glimpses from Nkrumah, Sankara to Mandela; or Paul Kagame; that have shown a certain latitude; towards either good governance or national development; but above all; are independent-minded.

African leaders cannot think for themselves; or out of the box as they say; but are led like lost sheep to the slaughter; to whimper and squeal; to the tantrums, whims and caprices; of the big powers; allowed to exploit at will; mortgage the state to all sorts of foreign wheeler-dealers; while they rape; and loot state coffers; impoverish their people; brutalize and kill them: in the bargain. The more they wipe out their debts; the more they plunge deeper into debt. They take killer loans from China; the IMF, World Bank; to further enslave and impoverish their people.

A debtor is a perpetual beggar; and a beggar is a slave to be told: to do this or that; and must totter to the dictates of the giver. These leaders cannot claim to had gained independence; bcos they are not independent-minded. In the UN; African leaders are least considered; and the big powers never agree. When China and Russia is on one side; the US and the West take the other side. So China can do whatever it wants in Hong Kong, Tibet or to the Uhguir people; allegedly in concentration camps; while the rest of mankind sit and watch; and lip-service merely paid; by the so-called icons of world democracy; while people suffer grotesque and unbearable persecutions.

The next step for China; is the imminent invasion of Taiwan; and America and EU could or might do little; or nothing about it; just as China intensify claims to disputed territories with her neighbours: The Philipines, Japan, Singapore etc. China can tell the world not to recognise Taiwan as a sovereign state; and the West and the rest; especially African leaders would kow-tow; in order to avoid punitive economic sanctions; or risk forfeit Chinese loans.

Kroo Bay is a slum in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown. Roughly 7,000 people live on the densely populated 50-acre area with no access to electricity, running water or sewage system. Harsh living conditions like these often lead to child neglect, violent abuse or sexual exploitation. [Olivia Acland/Al Jazeera]

I endorse the stance of Australia; not to be bullied into submission; for simply saying; that Chinese labs must be re-visited; so as to trace the source; or origins of the corona virus; despite punitive economic sanctions; levied against the Aussies by China. Lately, the WHO; raised concerns over China’s refusal; to open certain labs to proper scrutiny. In short, while the UN would never agree on what democracy is or should be; they cannot counter impactfully; ideologies of suppressive regimes; like Myanmar, Russia, China, Burundi, Eritrea etc; while human suffering mounts and people of all colours; flee their ruined countries at great personal risk; due to factors like: climate change, poverty, hunger, starvation; drought, mis-governance; corruption, conflicts, human trafficking; to the human factor of leaders; due to incompetence, greed and  the avarice of suppressive, morally bankrupt; and callous African dictators; under the guise of fake democrats.

Why is it that African leaders; are tied to the apron string of ideological powers; who actually don’t give a damn; if Africa burns; whether the East or West; for all share the same mentality; to keep the black man in perpetual mental slavery; just like during the slave trade, colonialism, imperialism, neo-colonialism; and the like. Imagine a time; when African babies; are fed to hounds and hunting dogs in Europe and America; sold and packed like sardines in ships; the indescribable agony and pain; across the Atlantic; and tortuous desert; by Arabs for a fortune. Or put in cages in French zoos; for white kids and folks; to catch glimpse of the human ape. Sold naked like animals; in open American pens; or being mated for stronger breeds for farm labour; lynched, burnt; killed at-will; like wanton flies. Yet, African leaders would never learn; from our dark and brutal past; and inhumane treatment meted to our ancestors. Instead; they take relish to be modern slave drivers; to enslave their populace; into mental slavery and total deprecation; while they store; millions of ill-gotten dollars in western banks.  Like the Abachas; as so many other Nigerian state looters; same as in other African countries. Nigeria with all the oil wealth; still can’t afford constant and steady light or refinery; while the country is now torn asunder; while the people perish; in bitter lamentations. So what good lessons can South Africa; or Nigeria teach the rest of the continent; if not to paint our leaders in gloomy colours; as traitors to the African continent; and it’s people. For what does it profit a man; if you gain the whole world; but lose your soul? And to pauperise your people; when you can’t take; a single dime to the grave!

See the recent events in South Africa; the looting that can be clearly identified; mainly by angry, desperate; and disgruntled black youths; bcos after Mandela; Mbeki, Zuma’s million-dollar mansion ( who like Mbeki did not treat Hiv-Aids seriously); to millionnaire Ramaophosa; seem to care less to improve the wretched lives of their people; but rather their pockets. The same as in America; with blacks even when fighting for a just cause; soon degenerates to wanton looting. Africa; and the conduct of our African leaders; is a big shame and disgrace; that leaves much to be desired.

African leaders  like most world leaders; ruled not to make a better life for their people; but to suppress, loot and mis-govern them in perpetuity. The fact is that; leaders don’t rule in the fear of God; or to govern their people in truth. But what is truth; if half of America’s populace; still cling firmly to the lie; that Trump won the American elections; to the extent; the State Capitol was ransacked; and the lives of senators and other house members put in the balance. To this very moment; most Republicans still believe; that the elections were rigged to favour the Democrats-even in their own very strongholds; to the extent that Republican-held states; are now enacting Jim Crow laws; to suppress mainly black and minority votes. What type of democracy then; can we learn from a country that prides itself; as the beacon of world democracy? What too can we learn from China and Russia; where freedom, liberty and equality; are anathema to such monolithic systems? African leaders are thus caught; between the Devil and the deep blue sea; simply because of lack of pride, miseducation; unbridled power, greed and avarice; and display; shameless exhibitionism.

Children wait for food distribution at an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Bunia, Ituri province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic – RC1AF66091D0

African leaders don’t put God first in leadership. It is like doomsday; everybody for himself and God for us all. To Salone now; a land once said to be flowing with milk and honey; the Athens of West Africa; that became an ill-run Sparta. The misfortunes of Mama Salone can be overturned; if endowed with a God-fearing leader sent by God. As both former British High Commissioner, Derek Alan Patridge and a Ghanaian ambassador noted; that only God can save Salone; which I fully endorsed; just like NRM revolutionaries; for God and Country. However, Salone is ruled by the dictates of Satanism; as politicians dabble in all sorts of occultic rituals; which APC dubbed; agba satani, bone to bone, pass ar die politics; a practice also equally toted; by the SLPP.

Both parties are thus labelled; Alhassan and Alusine; the two destructive siamese twins; responsible for the dog eat dog, usai den tie cow, Bailor Barrie evil ideology. But Salone does not need an ideology; from the East or West. All Salone needs; especially the APC at this crucial time; is a God-fearing leader; who is both patriotic; and visionary.

A God-fearing leader puts God first in all that he does; bcos God is not an ideologue; torn between West and East ideologies; between communism; and capitalism; or be cribb’d and cabbin’d within the narrow, suffocating corridors of; this you can, that you can’t; this you should; that you shouldn’t. The ideology of God is the Truth; to have a good heart; and to love all, hate none; for all nations and people; created in the likeness and image of God. So should I hate China; if the West or America say so; or verse versa? Ideology should not overcome the fear of God; righteousness; and love for humanity; justice and freedom. China, America or Russia; do not actually qualify as ideal candidates of truth or that love and humanity; the world so needs; that love and equality; that comes from God; which is spiritual. Infact, some countries don’t believe; in the existence of God. They suppress and oppress the truth; and nothing so glaring as in the last American elections; or China’s non-tolerance to free speech and demonstrations; or Russia’s attack on the opposition and it’s leader Navalny; to the extent of poisoning so-called dissidents; or enemies of Russia; living in exile in other foreign countries.

Joe Biden seems to me a nice and decent chap; a true Catholic; who lives and respects the truth; a leader by example; a unifier; consensus-builder; humane, humble; a man of impeccable character; and integrity. Donald Trump is totally the opposite; a diabolical and inverterate liar; dishonest, blackmailer; a misogynist; satanic, criminal; a racist: both in nature and action. Republicans normally reverse; or overturn key Democratic reforms; same also for Democrats. America is a country where one can die at anytime; without notice, reason or warning; a place where people are killed at random; with absolutely no gun control; and among the dangerous countries in the world; and many find it unsafe; and are terrified to live in America. Such a system is too unpredictable; for African leaders to follow headlong; even though it is still a better system as compared to China and Russia.

That is why what Salone needs at this crucial time in it’s chequered history; is a leader that respects the truth; God-fearing; unifier, incorruptible, of strong convictions; sacrifice self for others ie selfless; untainted; of proven ability; and above all: patriotic. Only such a leader can defeat Paopanista; to clinch 2023 for the APC.