By Amin Kef (Ranger)
The Chief Minister, Jacob Jusu Saffa, in his capacity as Chairman of the SLPP Manifesto Committee, engaged members of the Fourth Estate and Civil Society Organizations at the New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown on the 30th May, 2023 to intimate them about the achievements made in actualizing the 2018 SLPP Manifesto and what the new SLPP Manifesto encompasses, some being gains that should be consolidated and expanded.
He informed journalists and Civil Society activists that the 2023 SLPP Manifesto Committee categorized the future of President Bio’s leadership into five game changers for the next five years which includes: (1)Nurturing skills for the 21st century – the Human Capital Development, (2)Tech and Infrastructure – Pathways to Sustainable Economic Growth, (3)Feed Salone – an initiative to boost agriculture productivity to ensure food security, (4)Youth Empowerment Scheme – Presidential initiative to create 500,000 jobs for the youths, and (5)Revamping Public Sector Architecture.
The Chief Minister disclosed how the 2023 SLPP Manifesto was crafted from an informed view, taking into consideration the technical knowledge of the Manifesto Committee members. He added that consultation was extensive, making the Manifesto Document a participatory document of the people of Sierra Leone emphasizing that the SLPP 2023 Manifesto is owned by the people of Sierra Leone.
JJ Saffa maintained that there has been a shift of the SLPP’s flagship programme from Free Quality Education to that of agriculture. “We have a track-record of delivering on our flagship programs. Our flagship will be on food security to feed our people. Like we delivered on education, we will deliver on agriculture to stabilize the exchange rates, create jobs for people, reduce hunger, improve nutrition and learning outcomes of our children,” he said.
The Chief Minister also stated that the Manifesto caters for Youth Empowerment with a special Presidential Initiative that will create over five hundred thousand (500,000) more jobs for youths in the next five years and also promoting entrepreneurship for youths.
He said the New Direction Agenda was launched at Port Loko Teachers College some fives ago, where a promise was made to promote peace and security in the country adding that irrespective of the numerous challenges they promised to deliver, and they have done that, stressing that amidst global upheavals, Sierra Leone is in a better standing today.
JJ Saffa highlighted that it was very deliberate to have enhanced women’s participation in governance, thereby prioritizing girls education through the Hands Off Our Girls Project and the passage of the GEWE Act.
He spelt out the infrastructural development that was achieved mentioning the construction of the new Airport in Lungi, township roads and bridges saying in the pursuance of good governance, the SLPP Government removed the seditious libel law, and the death penalty from the law books of Sierra Leone.
The Chief Minister said is determined r to transform the country giving assurance that he is ready to undertake the herculean task for another five years.
He called on the Press to help in popularizing the SLPP Manifesto which, according to him contains serious plans which the Party will roll out effectively for the development of the country.
A question and answer session formed the climax of the engagement.