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Op-Ed

 Foreign Affairs: A Case for Transformative Foreign Policy in Sierra Leone!

May 27, 2019

By BOIMA MORRAY

Foreign Affairs (in my view) is our government’s strategy for dealing with other countries in terms of international relations with respect to the interest of Sierra Leone and fearlessly executing that strategy to meet the growth aspiration of Sierra Leone.  I commend the administration of H.E. President Bio for pivoting from aid to economic diplomacy with emphases on investment and trade, but now is the time to unleash a holistic Foreign Policy anchored in balanced international partnerships and bold ambition to deliver on a six-point national growth aspiration for Sierra Leone vis-à-vis economic development, human capital development, national security enhancement, human rights protection, meaningful diaspora engagement and respectful global standing!

H.E, our administration must do a thorough assessment of our current foreign mission footprint and commit to optimizing (not necessarily expanding) the footprint for access to valuable international resources to help make our national growth aspiration a reality — simply put, we must limit our foreign mission presence, in the short-to-medium term, to countries that have the capacity and willingness to help us realize our national growth aspiration.

Economic Development — Priority must be on sustainable private-sector-jobs, energy, water supply, food security, healthcare, infrastructure and control of corruption.  On the energy front, Sierra Leone being endowed with abundant sunlight puts us in a position to embrace solar renewable energy technology to meet the country’s medium-to-long term electricity needs with water-based or land-based solar power plants. Japan, for example, has proven experience with solar power plants, so we can leverage our relationship with Japan to deliver solar power plants as the source for sustainable electricity in Sierra Leone for decades and centuries to come.

Human Capital Development — H.E., I cannot commend your administration enough for launching free basic education in Sierra Leone and for the partnership between MIT and Njala University!  While all areas of human capital development are important in the long run, immediate focus must be on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) to complement the current effort of your administration and to help develop Sierra Leone’s next generation ecosystem of scientists, engineers, healthcare professionals and technologists.  We can leverage our foreign partners to make this a reality.  Remember, food and good health make education possible!

National Security Enhancement — There is a need for continued protection of our sovereignty (territorial boundaries on land, on water and in air) as well as the safety and wellbeing of all citizens.  However, there is a greater need, in my view, to continue to strengthen the discipline and professionalism of all security institutions as well as to protect the national secrets of Sierra Leone using cybersecurity technologies. We must leverage our relationship with other relevant countries to bring to fruition our goal of robust cybersecurity and high credibility of our security institutions.

Human Rights Protection — H.E., the human rights of all Sierra Leoneans (you included) are sacrosanct and must be protected by your administration even when it is uncomfortable to do so.  As always, people in power tend to appreciate human rights protection when they are no longer in power for obvious reasons.  Let us leverage our relationship with credible countries that can help us meet our constant commitment to human rights protection.

Meaningful Diaspora Engagement — The diaspora community has a lot to offer Sierra Leone if the government and political parties create the right environment.  Let me be clear, it is high time for political parties (both in power and opposition) to stop patronizing the diaspora community, stop occasionally using the diaspora community as ‘useful idiots’ for less valuable contributions (fundraising, et cetera), and start meaningfully engaging (with full participatory privileges) the diaspora community for lasting political, economic and social development of our beloved Salone!!

H.E., the presidency comes with great power and privilege, but above all it comes with enormous responsibility.  Please deliver desired results that will stand the test of time and scrutiny, and eventually a legacy that you will be proud of, your family will be proud of, Bo school will be proud of, and most if not all Sierra Leoneans will be proud of!

God Bless Sierra Leone

By BOIMA MORRAY

Biography – Boima Morray

Mr. Boima Morray has over two decades of business and leadership experience in the private sector.  He is a visionary leader who has held strategic leadership positions including Vice President, Executive Director and General Manager in Corporate America.

Mr. Morray successfully completed his education in the United States and he holds MBA in General Management from the University of Wisconsin School of Business, MS in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University and BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin.

Mr. Morray started and completed his college preparatory education in Sierra Leone.  He earned his A-Level Diploma from The Bo School, O-Level Diploma from Holy Trinity Secondary School in Kenema and Selective Entrance Certificate from St. Charles Lwanga Primary School in Kenema.