Opinion

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And the Chinese came in ‘green’ trucks!

February 25, 2019

opinion
John Baimba Sesay

These days, running to town would require extra energy and resources, for obvious reasons. If you can afford, get ready for the daily complaints along the road, of ‘tin trong.”  And so, Brima, a cousin, told me, “If you can, kindly find fried cassava and chop. E nor easy.” Well the price of garri, am told, has skyrocketed. Life isn’t shinning. But government is trying and as always, we must appreciate. Fuel price is down. The effect? Who knows? Ask the drivers though!

Here is another issue; just the other day, I was literally checking over the window to see what was popping out there and all I saw were some green Chinese trash trucks, roaming the streets of Freetown. So in hours, well, in actually sense, seconds, all gone green? How sweet and beautiful. I still have fresh unforgettable memories; amongst them, what a certain set of people had labeled “rotten red busses.”

Who would have ever thought Sierra Leone was going to have a chase of Chinese products, not least in vehicular terms. Well, only fools and God don’t change, an uncle told me once. How true! So reasonably, let us come to terms and be acceptable , and move on. For all we care, health, they say, is wealth and if those ‘dortry’ {trash} green trucks can get us good health, why not appreciate for at the end, wealth is assured ? At least the Freetown City Council has got some machinery to do their work even if they were not visibly felt during the dorty green truck parade in town. Don’t laugh please!

Forget the color, for there is more to it than meets the ordinary view. China has a color it so cherished; a known one, and I know, having stayed and worked in that Asian rising Tiger for close to seven years. But in this day and age of intriguing global geopolitical happenings, with every effort taken by world powers to stretch arms and fist across the aisle down to sub-Saharan Africa, the Chinese should do the needful at a given period. And they came in ‘green’ this time round. Period!

As a nation, we have always pursued revitalizing and redirecting our development process. That said the scale and enormity of financial resources and industrial capacity needed for that growth process remained challenging. Very much so as a matter of fact . Our recently concluded ‘prosperity’ trajectory, dubbed ‘Agenda for Prosperity’, did us a whole lot and took us to a new platform.

And then came a new direction of growth roadmap. Good plans contained therein.

Forget the political gimmicks we heard at some point, Sierra Leone needs China and other developed/developing nations, much as we are needed given our resource rich potentials. This we saw during the era of president Koroma.

Whatever, therefore, we could do to build on the ties, we must work towards that. We have come this far for some strategic reason. Great things we have seen, starting off in 1971, when both China and Sierra Leone entered into diplomatic relations, ties that were built on the foundation of shared and reciprocal respect.

This is little known but let it be said; Sierra Leone actually voted in favor of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758, which recognized the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate representative of China in the UN Body of Nations. That vote was a turning point in our ties of bilateral cooperation. Yes, o yes!

Fast forward; by 2016, we saw China scale up bilateral relations with us through comprehensive, strategic cooperative partnership, the highest level in bilateral engagement, in a bid to fully exploit the ten point cooperation package announced during the 2015 Johannesburg FOCAC Summit.

The same period saw the signing of a number of Cooperation Agreements, including on Hospital Partner Assistance, an Agreement Establishing Consultation Mechanism between the two foreign ministries, the West Africa Tropical Disease Research and Treatment Centre Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement; the Freetown Ring Road-Limkokwing University to Regent Village and an agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption of Diplomatic

It is appreciable, seeing the level of commitment by this government to continue with those projects or agreements they met. And who says governance isn’t about continuity? And just when success is got, the nation would rejoice!  But beyond this for now, is the quest to go beyond merely receiving ‘(dorty) trash green trash trucks. Go in for bigger projects, like other nations in the sub region would do.

The platform for a more promising future was left and inherited by this administration from the former. The Chinese are potential drivers of our growth given their resource import demand boom. To end, time to also now ensure an improved political and macro-economic stability and micro-economic reforms. These are all vital, beyond dressing in green, riding down town!